Aparna Upadhyaya Sanyal

November 27, 2018

When we requested Aparna to send us a poem on philosophy, this is was not what we expected. It took us a couple of times to read and understand it, but as we did, its brilliance amazed us. As we live our lives we tend to rationalise all our behaviour- justify even- sometimes as benevolent, sometimes as necessary, sometimes as inevitable. At the end of it all, it begs a question- it is how it is and it is how we are, but is it ok?

Every night, even the corals come out to feed.
The dark makes predators of us all.

Untouchables die faster, more furious.
Privilege remains watching, wretched toothed and clawed.

Even glass can be moulded before it is shattered,
seeds can bring annihilation at the touch of a tongue.

Devastation is wrecked on the tines of intent—
the weapons we love are placeholders, but.

I am the pineapple that digests, as you eat it,
the cactus that is killed by liquid kindness.

I am the iceberg that floats on a shrinking sea,
the cat eyes in the carcass of the wildebeest.

We wake up and deflect,
echo clubfooted rationalisations to ourselves.

But, there is no truth apart from this:
we are all fitted for the earth, and it awaits our final ease.

Aparna is the recipient of the 14th Beullah Rose Poetry Prize by Smartish Pace and was shortlisted for the 2018 Third Coast Fiction Prize. Her poetry has been published in The Penn Review, Smartish Pace, Dunes Review, SOFTBLOW, Typehouse Literary Review and many more reputed international journals. She is a popular Spoken Word Poet and performs at venues across India and is featured on the masthead of the Songs of Eretz Poetry Review as a frequent contributor.

You can buy her best-selling collection of poetry, Circus Folk & Village Freaks, here.