I saw their green skin cringe
as I took this snap
at Jallianwala Bagh*
Their pallor’s silent wail
craved a release
from these vicious forms
The chilling Baisakhi day
is frozen in their leaves
and in this shot
*The Jallianwahla Bagh massacre, also known as the Amritsar massacre, took place on 13 April 1919 when a crowd of nonviolent protesters, along with Baishakhi pilgrims, who had gathered in Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar, Punjab, were fired upon by troops of the British Indian Army under the command of Colonel Reginald Dyer. The civilians had assembled to participate in the annual Baisakhi celebrations—both a religious and cultural festival for the Punjabis. Coming from outside the city, they may have been unaware of the martial law that had been imposed. The British government released figures stating 379 dead and 1200 wounded. Other sources place the number of dead at well over 1000. Wikipedia
34 thoughts on “Frozen”
Never been there but will remember your poem when I do, for sure…
I did not like the shrubs, leaves et al in the shape of gunmen…
Ah, the Jallianwala Bagh massacre is still alive in our minds….meaningless deaths left a permanent scar on Indo-British relations. Sigh!
It took me a moment to see that the green figures were holding guns. What a horrible, terrible piece of British history inflicted on the people. Thank you for sharing this – your poem is hard to read (but beautifully written).
Oh Sumana, this is so very touching and poignant..❤ especially the lines ‘Their pallor’s silent wail craved a release from these vicious forms’ is such a strong and vivid image. A heartfelt tribute to those who have left us. May their spirit rest in peace. Ameen. Beautifully penned. Thank you so much for participating at Prompt Nights and for your constant love and support. ❤
Lots of love,
I am pleased there is a memorial to this massacre. That it is a living one gives it a great meaning however much of the unrest we experience in the world these days is a remnant protest of the colonial period of many European nations. I am glad you featured it.
I find this a sad but important reminder… we need to remember, we need it more than ever… the green skin talked to me…
A clever use of language here Sumana – from snap to shot..at first i thought the hedges were shaped as children playing..then realised what was being held.. some moments in history seem destined to be frozen in our memories..
i too, enjoy these nature trimings of human form but also get that feeling that they wish to be released from that stationary setting
This was the worst act of British in India according to me.
Thanks for writing on it so beautifully
An unusual green hunt. I read the first two lines before seeing the “shot” and thought it was going to be about snapping green beans!
Very touching poem.
Seeing this must be like walking through the memorial at Auschwitz–horrible. Somehow, that it is a growing thing makes it more horrible. Frozen in our snap/shot is as close as i want to get. Brilliant!
YOUR snap/shot “Frozen.”
It is quite chilling to see the aggressive poses of humans within the natural medium of the bushes.
Topiary never struck me as aggressive before I saw the picture and read your poem. I can almost feel the bushes reluctance to be twisted into such sad forms, but as was pointed out earlier, it is important to remember.
Horrifying, when peaceful people are gunned down. I resonate with Rommy’s comment about the topiary being reluctant to represent such a terrible event, trees being the peaceful creatures they are. But yes, we must remember.
Such potent and powerful lines. Really enjoyed the history behind this as well.
A memorial made from the greens of life, hopefully so the innocent will be remembered….thank you for sharing the history as I did not know of this day.
My skin cringed, too… especially after reading your note.
This makes me shudder–thank you for including the note–such a poignant read!
A poignant piece – the last stanza, in particular, is crafted masterfully … haunting nuances, that stir one’s soul with outrage – the brevity of words: so impactful.
Unfortunate mayhem in many instances happened when over-eager soldiers reacted to big numbers confronting them.
Thank you for including the notes. I too was struck by the irony of capturing such brutal reality in the living forms of leaves and vines. You captured the prompt depths with your concise and succinct words. Thank you,
Oh, beautifully put…!! A scar that stays….may all have the heart enough to not make scars…
Yes, a sad irony that such beautiful living things should be used as a reminder of tragic killing.
Excellent wake up call to a history I was unaware of. 😦
so poignant, especially after reading about the events in your follow up.
Such a sad event in the history of our countries….it is important that these kind of event are never forgotten. XXX
I have chills down my spine when I read about this horrible event. Your words fit perfectly with the memorial figures. You can imagine the day. 😦
This poem gives me the chills, Sumana. The green figures with guns in the photo took my breath away! (Sorry I am late with this visit…making my way through the Pantry late!)
I, too, thought at first those were children playing. What a horrible way to remember; I don’t understand who thought that was a good idea. Your poem is a very powerful indictment of that time.