Leaving the city

After high-rises, massive concrete apartment blocks,

Grubby Lego-block towns with washing hanging down

Corrugated iron worlds stumbling on forever

But after the brick fields’ belching chimneys


After the dumps with herds of black scavenging pigs

After the last rickshaw graveyard

At last we see the green fields

Emerald green paddy fields

Vibrating rice growth so lush the plants hustle for space


Brown cloud frays and light brightens as villages replace towns

Dark patterned shadows in bamboo groves,

Deep green ponds offer cool invitations from the road side,

Where ducks waddle and goats rub lazy tree trunks


People bend tenderly, tending their crops, milking their cows

Narrow tree-lined lanes tempt you away from the highway

The gleaming black of a fork-tailed drongo flashes through ripening grain

Black feathered twirl and one short-horned grasshopper meets his maker

Drongo, having paid for her seat, returns to the perch placed for her use


Life slows to organic speed where crops grow and time is measured in seasons

Where big wheeled buffalo carts determine speed

Families gather in shady swept yards to eat food they have grown

From seeds they have sown

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