The laughter’s gone from this heart.
the lamplight’s gone from this home;
the threshold, the corners are dark,
the ones who’d lit it up depart
for cities from where no letters come;
for cities that no one returns from.
The water’s as tall as the crops -
the river’s too full of herself,
ear by ear the grain starts to rot,
the young scatter in search of jobs,
the old watch unable to help;
the lamp stands unlit on its shelf.
The fathers can keep their eyes dry
and keep their words clipped and brief;
but they pause far too much, they sigh,
and their lips suddenly pull awry;
the mothers are too bowed to weep
gone to places even beyond grief.
The water stands as high as the rice
the harvest has stopped in its tracks;
the lamp flickers once before it dies -
the light lays its head on the thighs
of the dark and the young men pack
for cities, and they don’t come back.
We’re become the shell of a house.
We’re become the shell of a loving.
See how our garments fall loose.
See how our proud heads are bowed.
Once here the bulbul used to sing,she’s now fallen quiet, there’s nothing.