The Storms coerced me to wander;
they cut off my roots
and made sure my feet bled whenever I walked.
The Storms wanted me to be naked;
one took away my home,
the other took away my family
yet, I, a mere commoner, was not the one who called these Storms;
I was not the one who ordered the Army to descend
and I was not the one who angered the Sea God
for Him to swallow the earth,
for I am but a mere commoner who is as easy to spur aside
as an unwanted thought;
as a dog.
I did not fell the tree, but I am denied its shade;
I did not pronounce enmity, but it's my blood being spilt being a vagabond now, I think of those who did-
Do they even pay for this?
Are they even affected in the slightest?
I would raise these questions
when I have a voice
when I have a roof over my head.
when the rumbling in my stomach stops,
I will speak.
I will speak
when I stop moving.
Himanshi Bahl studies Political Science and leads a not-for-profit organization called H'ours that is based on sustainable disruption.
Art used is from Jacob Lawrence's 1941 Migration Series paintings.
Poet's note - The poem is based on SDG 13: Climate Action. It depicts how climate change is an epochal crisis. Climate change displaces people forming a new breed of refugees called 'climate refugees'. The poem talks about how it is the marginalised and lower strata of society that suffer the most from climate-borne adversities. Thus, the mainstream discourse and climate action should adopt a bottom-up approach so that the voiceless gain a voice. ‘Storms’ has been used as a metaphor to mean both natural storms and the storm of political inaction.