Monday, August 17, 2015

The Burden of Silence--By Kala Ramesh--India

The Burden of Silence

I hear a child whimpering . . .

The black tar road shimmers with the heavy rain we've had since morning. Each lamppost creating a mockery of the halo around the bulb. The darkening street comes alive, responding to something in the air, like the burden of silence in a courtroom before the verdict is announced.

Again, this whimpering sound . . . the child utters a name in between other obscure sounds. Curled on the road I see a woman in a sari, deep red in patches. A hit and run case. A gang rape. I dig into my sling bag for the cell phone. I need to call the police. But, I hesitate. Do I have the time and space to be dragged into this ruthless act?

The ticking seconds juxtapose my heartbeats. I dial 100

 withered branches
 stirring colours
 within me
 the present becomes my past
 running into my future

First published in - A Hundred Gourds 4:1 – December 2014

Neck deep in haiku, her face barely visible, Kala Ramesh, an award winning poet has been instrumental in bringing school kids and college youth into haiku. Indian music being extempore in nature, has taught Kala to think within and without the box — to be creative, daring and innovative and still adhere to the demands of an art form. Her latest obsession is to paint city walls with haiku, to weave in a pause, a breather into our hectic lives!


  1. Wow, what a wonderful piece! Very powerful.

  2. This is both expressive and impressive, Kala. In the end the decision to do what is right is what counts! // paul

  3. Finely written! Well-portrayed portrait of personal responsibility in the face of societal ills. Thank you for sharing this piece at Whispers. - Laura M Kaminski

  4. Very nice one, Kala. Thank you for sharing and continued blessings!

    -MJ (