Farmers around Pattadakkal

a poem by

Rajendran M

Farmers around Pattadakkal (Karnataka)

Are they spectres from the alien planet
To wet tracts of Satavahanas
For braving the inundating floods
And weeping over the loss of crops?

The paddy fields have been layered with mud
And the rotten ground nuts are smelling bad
The darkened stems of sugar-cane go waste
And water is not receding in haste.

People dump their refuse on the narrow road
Where the cattle stand awaiting fodder.
People thresh and winnow for some grains
And the children sow tears in pangs of hunger.

How will these tillers tide over the year?
There the buses too don’t tread in fear.
The vegetables hesitate to pour in
And the nude kids sell curd in earthen jars.

The torrents have made the basin horrendous
Where the people can’t reclaim the harvests lost.
The marvels of temples no more appeal
When the whole vale is a gloomy morgue.

The barns are empty and their life is lousy.
Water in the coconuts is not tasty.
The peasants will be submerged in debts
As the corns of millets too have gone wastes.

The linnets and finches have left that place
Seeking somewhere perch and food alas!
The old cough and look at us in surprise
But do not stretch their palms for alms.

May God bless the college going wards
Of the farmers toiling on the plains of Aihole;
For in their hands lie their hope and future
And life again to sprout, grow and blossom.