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Storms: a typology

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.


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