Two poems by S. Ayyappa Raja

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Extinct Elephant

It's majestic
Marvellous on the earth
Largest and powerful too
No one can match the might
Even afraid of to fight
Though herbivorous and harmless
Unless others do
Having little eyes lustrous as well
Known for the elongated tooth
With a distinctive colour by its name
The unique and versatile trunk
Capable of carrying the huge logs
And a small coin to the extreme
Large ears are not only for hearing
But also for cooling the huge body
There stands an elephant
As a piece of ivory-carving
Testimony to the brutality of unethical poaching
Antimony eyes of the world are unabashedly watching.

Right to Live

I chase the squirrels
Which have come to eat
Mangoes from 'my' garden
I make the birds fly away
From 'my' grain field
I drive away the monkeys
Which have crossed 'my' balcony
I heard the stories about
Monkeys, mynas and their menace
From my dad and grandpa
Generations of them have been living
Like my generations in the locale
Why is this discrimination dear?
When I have inherited the property
From my forefathers
And the right to live there
Haven't they?



(Published in Kafla Intercontinental - Jan-April 2013)