The new parliament house

July 3, 1991

The new parliament house

em = By Subhash Jaireth

em = (translated from the Hindi)

First

the hill was cut

with explosives

bulldozers

and perforators.

Then

her brown wound was stuffed

with iron

stones and glass.

Then

her shoulders arms and thighs

were planted with green grass

and soil dragged by trucks.

Then

the fountains were arranged

and the wind ordered to blow.
The green grass

bound in the precise geometry

lost the language of sparrows,

sunshine and all the shadows.

The green grass

growing green and more green

lost the wild dreams of forests.
Then

the green grass received bribes —

flowers leaves and climbers,

and

the lamp-posts were dug in,

the lamps fixed and the neon

chandeliers hanged.
The house was built

The hill snubbed

the green grass cut

and the new grass

sentenced for life.
You know

that old hill: that was I

this new hill also is I

the wild grass was I

and this captive grass

also I

For how long

who knows?

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