Wednesday, May 11, 2011

the puppet show

come watch the puppet show
write reviews and critiques
post pictures and videos
all you stake holders
come watch the puppet show

quiet anguish feeds
crevasses of barren earth
weathered hands caress
firm clay as if to gently revive

dessicate dehydrate

interest compounds
lenders come pound
shame is a disemboweled purse
bank threatens
collateral auction
shame is land auctioned

desperate destitute

fingers feel the rope
from the dry well
crackling coir
sharp and warm from the sun
look a puppet's
swinging from the tree

deceased delivered

coffer kings
policy makers
people in public service
see, hear, smell, taste, feel
bear witness
to the puppet
swinging from the tree

the farmer is dead
long live the farmer

© 2011 Padmavani Karkera

NOTE: According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) atleast 17,368 Indian farmers committed suicide in 2009. Why? If you are interested click on the link below:


  1. eloquent delivery of sadness..
    keep it up.

  2. oh open very gaily....come see the poppet show...and then the second stanza makes a great turn and you really get going to build to a marvelous crescendo. sad those that are getting chewed up and living in a semi agri area yes the farmers have been hit hard....

  3. "fingers feel the rope.." For many living through economic hardship, the looming thought of suicide may strike them. Meanwhile, as your poem points out, "puppets" are used to perpetuate the callous show. Excellent poetry!

  4. very cleverly done about a sorrowful subject well done...and thank you for sharing

  5. The Puppet show motif very beautifully and aptly used to sum up the chaos in today's political and social milieu. Loved it.

  6. You have bravely addressed a tragic subject in your poem, beautifully done and commendable activism. More people in this sad world to pray for.

  7. This is a wonderfully orchestrated piece that illustrates the woes of our current environment. Thank you for speaking your truth, may it inspire many more! ~ Rose

  8. Great use of the puppet show as the medium through which the tragedy cracks open. And oh the wonderful alliteration in this piece!: corrupt/callous/careless/coffer kings - and this group - politicians/policy makers/people in public service

  9. I loved this Padma. Moved me to sit quite and reflect at the govt inaction - the life of a farmer is not a life that we count. Neo-liberal policies don't care a dam about this! Your poem saw only one image coming back again and again – of a tree, next to the cracked, parched earth, where farmers are hanging from the tree!

  10. Thank you Promising Poets Parking Lot. Yes Brian, they are hit hard and not because of the vagaries of monsoon like we were taught in school. Dustus, yes, and defeatist though it might seem, death seems to be the only way out. Thank you Kez, Mystic Margarite. Ann thank you for recognising my attempt at something beyond effective coming together of words. Cathy thank you! I am glad you enjoyed the poem. Will miss the dervish dance, look forward to the 27th :). Lavanya, glad you dropped by. Well there seem to enough foodgrain in this country to let rot, but apparently not enough to feed the 30 crore Indians who earn less than Rs.300 p.a.(BPL).

  11. Beautiful poem. Thank you for this. Found you on The Things She Thinks About and will continue to visit your site.

  12. Thank you Kelly. I am at this moment going through On Target! :) Loving it.

  13. Thanks for a strong, moving poem. I did not know about this. One doesn't hear enough about these things. Do you know Billie Holiday's 'Strange Fruit'? Not the same subject at all but the images your poem brought to my mind made me think of that song.

  14. Dear Clara, thank you very much for dropping by and letting me know. I have read how much you agonise over your country and I know you would understand.

  15. Padmavani, liked the stark reality associated with drought you have pictured through your words. Not an easy life for them at all...

  16. There is something so raw, so brutal about this poem that I cannot find the words to articulate my feelings. This happens occasionally - there are no words, just heightened feelings.

  17. On a lighter note Padmavani, there is an Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award waiting for you over at my blog.

  18. Thanks for dropping by and letting me know your thoughts, Elizabeth.
    Yippee for the award! I am glad you liked the book :)


I appreciate hearing from you. Please let it be constructive. :) Thank you for your time.