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Damle's Gods

Every morning Damle wakes when the first animal in the forest does, and
 the gold rays of the sun wash over his brown limbs, 
as he puts an ear against the ground, his breath caught in his throat till he hears the forest breathing fine
And then bends in worship infront of 
 his only God—
The great Banyan tree whose roots grip the soil in an iron hold
And whose green canopy is so thick,
Damle prefers its shade in the hot equatorial sun
And its shelter in the downpours
Its trunk so wide that not even two men together could put their arms around it
But one morning he awoke,
And put his ear to the soft earth, and heard the sounds of machines, 
big whirring wheels and shrieking drills and woodcutters, 
Marching in sync to his own frightened breathing,
And Damle stood bent in horror, as the men came
Men with gleaming axes
Men with trucks like giant, metallic monsters
And when Damle fell to the ground in shock,
This time his ears heard
The forest scream,
the flowers bursting in a song of agony, 
the heavy boughs and limbs of the trees rippling in distress
And Damle wept as he ran and wrapped his arms around his great God, the men and their cruel machines advancing in the distance
The men laughed and camped in a clearing for the night,
And sheets upon sheets of icy rain fell, but Damle clung fast to his God, 
Till it felt like the rain had seeped into his bones
In the morning he awoke, and his exhaustion and sadness threw him to the ground
And this time,
This time he heard the march of a thousand feet, 
and when Damle looked up,
He saw men and women, 
who had surrounded the forest, hand in hand,
They were silent, but their eyes said
"To cut through the forest, you must first cut through us."
 and it poured the entire day, 
but they stood fast, soaked to the very bottom of their feet,
Till all the contractors and their weapons had turned back and left.
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This poem won in Instagram Weekly Contest held by @delhipoetryslam on the theme 'Mother Gaia' 

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