Another Solitary Reaper!

Behold! A lone migrant laborer is
Harvesting wheat in a field.
You may ask.
Does it matter?
I will retort.

It could be anywhere under the sun.
It could be anywhere in this world!

They left in hordes two days into the
With no work, no money and hardly
Anything to
An exodus away from the place of work
To the safety of home…

Not that home would be a better place.
Not that there are plenty of money and
Yet one craves to be in a familiar place
To stay in during uncertain times,
When darkness descends even at

Home is a better place to die in
Even of hunger
Than in an unknown land of deadly
Disease and hunger…

But now with all of them gone
What will the farmers do?

There is standing crop in the field, but no one to
How will the grains be saved in these UNHOLY

The lone worker perhaps stayed behind
As his brethren were photographed
In the pages of newspaper with
Bruised feet and torn sleepers on their
Way to dusty home. He perhaps stayed behind
As he is young and unafraid to die in
An alien

He has no song to sing as he reaps the wheat…
No overflowing vale will lull him to sleep,
But stark reality will stare at him on
Sleepless nights in these deadly corona times.

Romanticism’s all gone as death’s stealthy march
Makes man kneel not to any muse for a new poetry
But to an invisible god, in search of mercy and life
In these

• Author’s Note:  See news article which prompted this poem.

Pranab Ghosh is a journalist, writer, poet, translator and blogger. His blog is “Existential Problems”. His poems and prose have been published by several on=line publications including Dissident Voice, Spillwords, The Piker Press, Setu Magazine, Pangolin Review, Visual Verse, etc. Pranab has coauthored a book of poems, titled Air & Age; a translation of a book of Bengali short stories, “Bougainvillea and Other Stories” (English translation title). His second book of poems and first solo book, “Soul Searching and Other Poems” (2017), was published by Scarlet Leaf Publishing, Toronto. His second collection of poems, “Vision of the World and Other Poems”, was published by in November 2020. Read other articles by Pranab.