A Tough Act to Follow

By Ekasmayi Naresh
Image Credits: Pinterest

Circa situations sans catastrophes,

when numb were we to such dire possibilities – 

that death drying up our airways to a drought 

or rendering our days darker 

than the blackness which the malaise brought, 

would be but a regular happening

and life’s circus would go on, 

apathy’s lull drowning 

out the faint shrieks of sorrow,

this night’s tidium met inevitably by another dawn. 

In that untouched time of normality 

this circus put on a cheerful show –

the ringmaster, more benevolent then, 

the crowd’s voice, their plaudits and their jeers

still admitted in the spirit of spectatorship,

money made useless, 

penury ploughed into the populace,

But cheered on by the unfounded optimism 

of the detainees of this dictatorship. 

The show housed other tricksters too

traitors to another camp,

vying for their moment in this circus tent’s triumph

trapeze artists swinging between sides 

with unparalleled ease,

trouncing the truth with metaphor and myth;

Firebreathers, spewing sensationalization 

alleging acute threat from those outnumbered

while the prevailing faction 

kept chosen castaways, 

within their borders, encumbered.

The main act reserved

for the handlers and the beasts in their care

yet for years their only handle 

was on the bulls and the bears.

But now, they steal the show

the unassuming audience 

unaware of suffering a blow

buys into the act

ruin reigns relentlessly in this pathetic province

but is treated as a matter of fact. 

So how do such starkly surreal scenes

from that circus, from so many months ago 

level up to the present offerings?

– the acts have changed,

but destining the audience to doom 

continues to be successfully arranged.

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