local_library The Withering Future of the Natural World

by V S Balakrishnan

Published in Issue No. 272 ~ January, 2020

There is a pothole on our path’ concerned, I said to my friend.

Well, close it then with some dirt’, he replied with a smile.

As we proceeded enthusiastically on our treacherous way

Through the pristine wilderness of the Yellowstone National Park.

Somewhere in a distant place, not near our camping site

But not very far from the park’s location either,

We could hear the excavators running madly through the thickets

Stomping heavily on the dusty ground as if to express their rage

Before swallowing the bushes raw with the earth, an unusual feast

Their gaping jaws thrown open almost immediately after every bite

Revealing their ghastly metal teeth indicating an insatiable hunger,

As the people’s government, the guardian of our glorious land

Has given its permission to dig mines of prosperity on the migrating path

Of the elegant butterflies, the monarch of their kind.

As we slept inside our protective tent, side by side in comfort

With an argument about our future ceasing just minutes before,

As the wind swirled and roared throughout the freezing night,

A weird dream looking so real appeared in my restless mind.

There is a fluorite mine on our path’, one butterfly said, receiving

An insight into the three stages of time as a response from another.

Well they have become so common all around this place these days,

As we once used to be in the towering mountains standing majestically,

Sending down innumerous veins of wild streams with steady flow

Through the green body of the lush forest, ever young and vibrant;

And will be in near future in every single museum in this great country

Dedicated to the natural world, disintegrating slowly, fading with time,

With people though few, who would still have the artistic mind

And the much needed patience to experience and appreciate

The beauty of life, drawn in complex, artful sketches and

Painted with brilliant colors on our wings, fragile yet magnificent.




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I am Balakrishnan writing from Tamil Nadu, India. I am 29 years old and have earned my BA in English literature. I write in both English and my mother-tongue Tamil, and have self-published a poetry book in both. My works have appeared in Pif Magazine, Better than Starbucks Magazine, Plants and Poetry Journal, Poets Choice, Castello Duino Poesia, The Wire's Dream Magazine, Coffee People Zine, Unstamatic Magazine, and Dissident Voice. Besides writing, I am also interested in gardening and painting as well.