Akhilesh Mishra: Death in the Shadow of Hunger

Death in the Shadow of Hunger

Akhilesh Mishra

When death has torn asunder the loveliest heart 

And bursts the dam behind the eye-lids

Releasing a flood, tears of blood

The might of death looks supreme. Absolute. Invincible. 

But suddenly,  

Hunger creeps in from nowhere like a tiny insect 

And pulls the earth underneath the roaring monster

The battle of dominance over human destiny.

Hunger expands its spell all over, 

and colors whole body and mind 

in the shades of bread. 

Like a howling tiger caged in the stomach,

Tears the heart moist with grief. 

Empties the eyes of tears

Dries the soul out of woeful wail, 

the laughter of merciless death.

Pain inflicted by death and all agents of death 

pales beside the lethal sting of bread  

Power of death fades away with time,

But the clutch of hunger

grows harder and sharper with 

each ticking of the clock. 

What is deadlier than death?

a stomach filled with hunger 

or a mind unguarded by the shadow of hunger?

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