Poems by
Ravinder Malhotra

The Drought

a poem by Ravinder Malhotra

Light began its merry dance
On a windswept, dry parched land,
To herald another fiery day
And scorch the air and sand.

On broken twigs the morning dew
That gathered through the night,
Vanished with the rising sun
And as the day grew bright.

The eagle took to wing on air
That rose with the heat,
To glide on currents high above
In majestic retreat.

Surveying for miles below
For death that was for some,
From thirst, hunger and fatigue
Waiting patiently to come.

Water holes that teemed with life
Once varied, big and small,
Lay with crusted bottoms now
Till the next rainfall.

Crocs that ruled the waters once
Into hibernation retreat,
To sleep and surface once again
And beat the summer heat.

Trees soaked what little moist
Their nimble roots could try,
To help trunk and bark retain
And let them not go dry.

Shorn of leaves the barren trees
Rose lifeless from the ground,
No mercy showed the thirsty wind
Nor the heat around.

In trunk holes nested families
Of the tawny owls,
Weary, fed and resting
From nocturnal prowls.

Three full years the owls preyed
On dwindling rats and snakes,
Leaner breeds each year they fed
From fields and dried up lakes.

But each day the anthills grew
Higher all around,
Red ants brimmed in them to full
On sun baked lifeless ground.

Nature in its bosom keeps
The signs of life in Gloom,
Not all is lost in patient wait
For it again to Bloom.