| All around the deep forest
Of the Kingdom of Heaven:
Umpteen varieties of fruits to eat,
Plenty of honey to drink.
Wild animals were my neighbours.
Heavy machines walked
Into my forest one day,
Chopped the trees, spoiled the river.
Dark carbon clouds overhead,
Waiting to grasp a healthy human
And the wilderness around me.
The chirps of the birds,
The sweet scent of wild flowers,
Replaced by thick industrial smoke,
Which led to many a stroke.
The roaring of tigers, the trumpet of elephants,
Sunbathing crocodiles, fish-eating penguins…
All have vanished from my neighbourhood.
What once was my Kingdom of Heaven
Now resembles a living Hell!
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HEMANTA R NAIK
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