We Have Words

Nisha Prakash

Us now
Words await you
Gritty like black gold
Our tongues are dry kindling
Lips teeth become phosphorous red white
Sounds strike like powdered glass – cutting, burning
Cauterizing the toxic wounds you spread through fear
Time will heal, as our dreams root and flower
Birthing life you never imagined – which never died within us.

Notes on this poem:

I call this poem a “pyramid poem”, because every successive statement is longer than the previous one. Line one has 1 word, line two has 2 words, line three has 3 words and so on, till line ten.

I have used the imagery of oil, matchsticks and fire to represent the incendiary power of words.

Words can bruise, leave open wounds and even cause infection. But this is necessary for healing to take place and change to begin.

Considering the state of the world – Israel & Palestine, Ukraine & Russia, the internal persecution of minorities in India, I believe this poem is extremely pertinent and powerful for the current moment. More than weapons, I believe words in the form of dialogue, literature and laws will make the most significant impact for human & nature rights.

About the author

Nisha Prakash is a writer based in Bengaluru, India. A poet and aspiring novelist, she is deeply interested in exploring the human experience through verse. Nisha also has a YouTube channel called “Tales and Texts”, where she provides book reviews and also critically engages with her favourite topic – the impact of world religions on ecology.

You can find Nisha on Instagram.