New | TSC poetry | Jerry Lucius


After an evening of loving you

Our bodies curled up into alphabets

kept so close to each other they make

a word, there was no one to decipher

any meaning unlike when we take a

stroll around the localities and

accidentally touch hands or when your

knee rubbed mine in a taxi that has

taken too many passengers; here in

these walls is the antonym of judgement,

the opponent to the war of the outside,

we look through the window and wished

we belonged to the sky if only we could

 be unbothered by the past or what

will happen next if we could not think

of our bills or what we owe we can try

pulling strings from the air and braid

them into armour instead I place

a kiss below the back of your neck to

remember just where we left off.



Dear country


How do you claim us as your own?

Your love, we do not know

You, we do not understand

beyond arrests and abandonments

you do not offer much

not even a single meal

Save the white chalks and all

Your coloured lies Dig for us

our graves instead

Let the streets become burial grounds

For this is where we shall die

Come virus or not

hunger will arrive regardless

And death will only follow –

But should we still remain

Divide and break our bodies

into a flock of sparrows

Render unto us the sky instead

And let it be ours.



We hear songs in Umlyngka

Echoed in the motions of leaves

in the quiet sadness of daybreak

old pear trees sing of survival


There are crows in Umlyngka

They take dead things to the sky

When we speak of the joy of heaven

our tongue quivers for freedom


Only wounded hearts in Umlyngka

Abandoned at the doorstep of despair

We bask in the periphery of a promise

Awaiting to be remembered


Dust doesn’t settle in Umlyngka

Each grain operates like a dream

Dreams spill in the soreness of breath

They have flooded the earth.


The good days we were promised are the bad days

We do the laundry, sweep the floor

check our money the way we count broken

teeth. We cook what remains, tend to the garden

dig out all the weeds and divide the roses-

we bathe often, rinse our hands frequently

take a moment to test our lungs, pray

keep safe- keep safe- keep safe

(Say it like a wish, a slogan, an outcry)

we cannot go just yet/ we pick up the

phone, speak to cousins and their mothers,

write to our friends, do not leave just yet/

we look at the paper or turn on the television,

cross our fingers, too many are leaving us/

we feel our pulse, ask for strength

return to the rituals of our grieving, repeat it all

in the sadness of our breaths, we whisper eulogies

curse the regime and wished we were loved.

For Grandmother

How do I hold your

tears in my palms?


You cry for the

land, the dirt your roots

have held on to

for over seventy years;


You cry for the people

your children, Friends,

dying strangers broadcast

on the Television;


You cry for the

future- one you will

not live but lose sleep

over what it will become;


Your life is spent

in mourning- woman of

resistance- beacon of

freedom. Grandmother

we cry with you


Today the sky sees

it gives rain, cries along

wiping all wet eyes

with its own tears


That is all there is to this

Tears wiping tears

Sorrow on top of sorrow-

Broken hearts

embracing each other.

 Bio: Jerry reads psychology and nurses his wounds in Shillong. He devotes most of his time to love, poetry and gardening. 

*Artwork courtesy Wikimedia Commons, Open Doors Project, Portugal

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