Life stands paralyzed
Pyres burn in makeshift
Crematoriums in
Vacant lands

Bodies lie stacked
The disease is killer
But apathy killed too,
As did lack of amenities

Country sends SOS
Help arrives from
Foreign shores
As Indians gasp
For lack of oxygen

She sits in the park,
Now a burning ghat
Amidst logs of wood
And watch the dying
Embers – a vacant look –
The last rites of the nation!

Author’s note:  India is experiencing Covid horrors. People are dying in hordes. Many have died not of corona, but of lack of oxygen. Sordid pictures are emerging from all corners of the country. The following is the link to a news story portraying the horror. It is just one among several.


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 Impspired.com in November 2020. Read other articles by Pranab.