Tiamerenla Monalisa Changkija
Tonight too, I lay awake listening to echoes of dead birds’ songs, sung long ago;
these songs, that were once joyous celebrations of living
constantly drum the inner cores of my mind underscoring my past
— the days I took pride to serve our ‘traditional delicacies’ to family, friends and tourists
bragging “We love our wildlife best on our dining tables”.
Today I’m modern but that’s all and the tourists have stopped visiting my empty land
— a land as empty as I am.
Tonight too, I lay awake listening to echoes of dead birds songs, sung long ago.
these songs of dead birds, once joyous celebrations of living
are now constantly haunting lamentations and recriminations
that drum the inner cores of my mind underscoring my past
— the days I thought I could never go wrong.
Tiamerenla Monalisa Changkija is a poet and writer, born in Jorhat, Assam. She studied at Patkai Christian College, Chumukedima and did her BA and MA in Political Science from Delhi University. She is the editor and proprietor of the Nagaland Page, an English daily. Her books include Weapons of Words on Pages of Pain (1993).