Doomsday Pantoum

Innas Tsuroiya

 

Once upon a time in God’s abundant kingdom
there was a smaller kingdom, man-made one,

of rapacity & misery, its murderous rottenness.
To be human is perhaps not holy from the start.

_______There was a smaller kingdom, man-made one,
_______where laboring mass footslogged under the sun.

_______To be human is perhaps not holy from the start
_______unless you ease & erode each other’s suffering.

Where laboring mass footslogged under the sun
ibis & other birds were worshipped for erudition.

Unless you ease & erode each other’s suffering
even river horses would outrun you to heaven.

_______Ibis & other birds were worshipped for erudition
_______& the king wanted that too, god-like. O, Ruler,

_______even river horses would outrun you to heaven
_______if you did not give up the lands, golden stools.

& The king wanted that too, god-like. O, Ruler,
are the land & gold not of our sweat & blood?

If you did not give up the lands, golden stools,
we laboring mass would start fires: must let go.

_______Are the land & gold not of our sweat & blood!
_______Once upon a time in God’s abundant kingdom

_______we laboring mass would start fires: must let go
_______of rapacity & misery, its murderous rottenness.

 

 


Innas Tsuroiya is a poet and writer living in Indonesia. Her work has appeared in Guernica, Michigan Quarterly Review, Running Dog, Wax Nine Journal, and  Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, among others.

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