A Groundhog Spring! Haiku

This spring, the second of the covid19 pandemic, is another lockdown. I remember my fear and isolation during the first one, the first stay at home order I had ever experienced. I am grateful that I am able to be out in sun, sitting on my balcony and enjoying the calls of the birds. The cat is also filled with alertness and enjoyment from her whiskers to the tip of her tail! Birds, she feels, call to her! Sometimes she chitters back.

Easing back into the blog, I’ve made up for the Haiku challenges I’ve missed on Ronovan Writes. Here, I’ve written around the words suggested for the past three weeks. I hope you enjoy these new shoots of poems!

Dawn, Kaushalya Bannerji, 2021

swift/ branch

Chirping, spring perches
on branches bare of verdant
bloom. swift, full throated.

fleas/ sneeze

When fleas sneeze rats might
scurry. plague upon both their
nations! leave us be!

comfort/ erupt

Oh comfort erupts
when sun’s days grow longer yet
shadow lies above

Flower Moon

We’ re already in the month of May! Hard to believe we have spent nearly 2 months in lockdown, the expectations of self-isolation and submission to newly visible norms of social hygiene and engineering. I have read a lot, like many of you, perhaps way too much– about the ramifications, implications, permutations, of COVID19. Under the new normalcy of this time, governments are best deciding how to dupe their citizens into living with the harsh light of this virus which hypervisibilized the extant inequities among human beings; all the things wrong with our societies that are based on power and profit and the status quo.

For the last couple of weeks, I have been paying more attention to the sights and sounds of spring. It’s the first anniversary of this blog, EartotheGround and my eightieth post, in spite of some huge difficulty concentrating. I want to share some new drawings inspired by the full moon to come, known as the Flower moon. Many thanks to those of you who have followed me for the last year. Please share and help to grow the audience of this blog. I remain committed to a vision of culture that puts people, nature, experience, and expression front and centre, in spite of the inanity that passes for much of mainstream culture on the internet. Culture for profit can only tell the stories of power and submission, and that’s what I find in the guise of mystery series, thrillers and violent action films that have taken over Netflix and replaced a great deal of more humane and human storytelling. In this way, reading is perhaps more nuanced! and looking at static images in a time of hyper mobility, is a little piece of resistance to the televisualization of our collective lives. Thank you for keeping your ears to the ground with me, listening and looking for connection and understanding in spite of novel challenges and the status quo!

Flower Moon 1, Kaushalya Bannerji, 2020
Flower Moon 2, Kaushalya Bannerji, 2020
Flower Moon 3, Kaushalya Bannerji, 2020
Flower Moon 4, Kaushalya Bannerji, 2020
Full Flower Moon, Kaushalya Bannerji, 2020

Dream of a Common Language

While the Coronavirus, Covid 19, lays bare all our inequities and fears, spring is still springing in the Northern hemisphere. Bit by bit, crocuses and bulbs are beginning their annual preening, though this year, it seems they have less admiring audiences as the streets are more empty than I’ve ever seen them. Ever so gradually, the tiniest of brown and green fuzz sprouting on tree branches and bushes will uncurl to show the little green of newly born leaves.

Like the poet Adrienne Rich exhorted us so many years ago, we must “dream of a common language” in the face of this pandemic. A pandemic whose elite narratives exclude and disregard the vast plight of world humanity. Our common language must include compassion, humanity, mercy, and kindness for the most vulnerable during these terrible times. Unemployment, food insecurity, lack of housing, the loss of loved ones, lack of access to widespread testing, the uncertainty of various social messages about how to best protect ourselves; these are truly sad and sometimes, enraging, times.

And yet, in spite of all that naked greed has done to devastate our surroundings, the earth is still here, beneath my feet when I go for my solitary walk. Birds and urban mammals are rejoicing. Bird song is louder than it’s been in the city! This is a visual piece, a homage to our planet, whose beauty can give us something to strive for, when the social order seems senseless…

Dream of a Common Language 2020, Kaushalya Bannerji
Dream of a Common Language 2020, Kaushalya Bannerji
Dream of a Common Language 2020, Kaushalya Bannerji
Dream of a Common Language 2020, Kaushalya Bannerji
Dream of a Common Language 2020, Kaushalya Bannerji