Contemporary Literary Review India | Print ISSN 2250-3366 | Online ISSN 2394-6075 | Impact Factor 8.1458 | Vol. 10, No. 1: CLRI February 2023

Sonia Singh

Selves of the Concrete

The conqueror of our concrete jungle

Swings on the vines of skyscraperish gloom.

And reeks of rotten smiles and feigned perfumes,

Wears expensive cloth of human skin

And tries to talk like a dictionary.

Can you speak human?

Can you know what is human?

Have you evolved past that stage?

Don't run past me.

I shall not race with you.

And stop howling for the massacred garden

When the axe is with you.

Why are you trembling to see me?

It was you who searched for me.

I do not read your browsing history.

I read your dreams.

Dreams fighting sane ambitions,

Dreams lost in the hurry of the day.

Dreams that hide in the corners of a mature night,

Dreams of freedom and wayward ways,

Dreams woven by spells of imagination,

Dreams that can defeat rationality’s frown,

Dreams written on a yellow crumpled sheet,

Dreams you desire

But fear to meet.

Yes, I know you for I am you.

For you my view would perhaps be primitive

But it is true.

Here lie you.

While a crumbling skyscraper forms the headstone of your grave.

Let these bricks crumble.

Let the grave scream aloud.

And let my voice trace those pits in the spirit

That you fill out of skill.

Don't drop the sleeping pill inside their mouth.

For I speak

From those pits,

From those graves,

From those caves.

I speak not for the "Men" but for my human.

Your depths reach out to you.

Why school yourself to rule life?

Why swing and strife to fear the fall?

Why tie a watch around your neck?

Why swim on a boat made of cheque?

Why sell your brain to prove your brain?

Why aspire to be a leader?

Why be a slave?

Why be a cannibal?

Why eat your self?

Yet, you will die of hunger if you don’t.

Yet, I will die of hunger if you do.

Sometimes, hierarchical selfhood becomes lethal.

The concrete jungle makes the jungle inside scarier.

What to do,

When the bundle of selves on a lonely human's head

becomes drearier?

Rise and Fall

We all live…on a battlefield.

Tired soldiers stand on my sides.

Members of the same clan

Glare at each other since civilization began.

One is a wrinkled white haired soul.

One is a young spirit with new goals.

And as they turn their backs at each other,

I go and stand between them.

One screamed in my ears—

“Fidelity to the memories and stories of our forefathers,

Steadfastness of polished experience,

Do you desire to lose the reliability of a community?

Can you bear killing a legacy?”

Then the other squealed in my ears—

“To snatch my opportunity

Of creating legends,

Of building legacies,

Why inherit a community that can't pity

The desires of an individual soul?”

The old attacks to survive the new.

The new attacks to survive the old.

Then those who have lived in communities never felt more alienated.

And those who live in communities never felt more trapped.

Both weak, fire at each other.

Both meek, cry for each other.

Both try to seek

Their wishes from the other.

While trembling with the fear of one another's wishes.

And so we all live…on a battlefield

Wondering who shall yield

While soldiers stuff their ears

And place loudspeakers in front of their mouths.

The failure of one's beliefs is conviction's price.

Everybody is afraid of looking,

Lest the ground turns out to be thin ice.

So each generation shall wait a hundred years.

Today is not the day I am willing to encounter my vice.

The pulse of time beats through hundred hearts

Between the fissions and visions and transitions of generations.

Single era becomes multifaceted.

The day and night begins

From the movement of the same sun.

Perhaps human brain is too dunce

To read two truths at once.

And the soldiers shall remain

Until you and I have played both.


Sonia Singh is intrigued by everything that leaves a psychological imprint on our lives. She is a recent graduate of the University of Delhi, India, with a Bachelors in English Literature. Nowadays, she is keenly interested in recording contradictions, dilemmas, and the silent unease of modern and post-modern experiences while still pursuing her further studies.

Get Your Book Reviewed: If you have got any book published and are looking for a book review, contact us. We provide book review writing service for a fee. We (1) write book review (2) publish review in CLRI (3) conduct an interview with the author (4) publish interview in CLRI. For details visit: Email: