The call of the Greater Coucal

In Poem on June 12, 2013 at 11:52 pm




I look to the left
I look to the right

A shy bird easily frightened
I watch, I hop
From low branch to the next
I keep low flight like the drone above

Left right, left right
Stomp comrade boots
Rifles held high
With both hands

I am dark
Tribals, comrades
Am I a crow?

My wings
They gather
A rusty tinge
My black dispelled
By dawn’s sunrise

The girls below
The boys below
Keep alive Mao

Their eyes burn red
Just like mine

Where’s home comrades?
Mine is right here

Left right, left right
Stomp comrade boots
Rifles held high
With both hands





  1. Bird Ecology Study Group – Greater Coucal Calling

  3. D. Bandopadhyay – Development Issues to deal with Causes of Discontent, Unrest and Extremism – Government of India, Planning Commission

  5. The continuing tragedy of the adivasis – RAMACHANDRA GUHA

  7. The crow-pheasant is a very shy bird. It flies low. It’s called Periya Shembagam in Tamil – பெரிய செம்பகம். In some parts of india, it is associated with black magic
    I love to watch this bird, with it’s long tail, foraging for food. On a rare occasion, I have seen four of them together.
    In this poem, I mix metaphors. The coucal is looking down from a branch and watching a Maoist’s drill taking place in a forest. It’s own color and identity is as mixed and confusing as the tribal-maoists it is looking down at.



Other poems
tucker raghu vatican2
Karma’s chameleon The mannequins of Mumbai The embrace



  1. This is the first time I am reading your poetry and I must say that I like it – this particular piece has an effect to it, which is something I’ve not noticed in the recent poetry that I read.

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