The Black Plum

The muddy lanes

The rich clouds blessed with rains

Floats free over the hills

One the way I found bunches of sprouting roots           

A host, of black plum trees,

Swaying and jazzing up with the stormy wind

The unbroken trail of fallen plum

Hand picking the fallen plum is an art

The juicy, round, fleshy black plum

Landed over the bed of fallen leaves

Lay with pride

Sparkling and bubbly

Picked one by one

Gently and placed in the basket.

Many rounded and juicy plum

Slides off the there hands

And punctured their bumps

With a squash sound!

Collected separate, as it has a bit lower rate,

In the market.         

The floating purple side walks

They stretch in a never ending rail

Along the margin of the lane

Brought a million smiles at a glance

The children collect their shares in the leafy bowls

Cherish the bliss of juicy purple lips

Dancing and tossing the eaten seeds,

Competing in the thrill who shoots

 The far with their mouth blowing shots

Showcasing their tongues, to be purple the most

As their pockets are still full with the jumpy plums

The land from where I belong!

A upland tribe could not but be buoyant,

In such a dusky day:

When saw the black drops,

Of showered elixir:

Festival of life.

The plum travels miles

From baskets to cart wheels

The wet roads, rusted carts

Decored with green leaves

Above which laid the berry queens!

Catches the eyes as a distant bee

Served within a leafy bowl

As the vendor assembles the black bumpy plums

Upon the green leafs,

Holds a small tin salt can punctured with several holes at the top,

On the other hand: S/He

Jiggle and drizzle, black salt over

And juggled the leafy bowl

All round, bumpy black plum

Popped and jumped

And it’s ready to dwell again

In the slide of juicy yet colorful train,                 

Of alive memories.

The heritage treasure of knowledge:

Preserved, practiced and passed on to the next

Has made it possible to note the tribe’s ties,

Still awaken from graves

The awaken tribe, it is

Who bolt the seeds

Of nature’s knowledge to travel

Through the seas

The herbal therapy, label today

Can it hold the richness of ages old clay?

 The black plum not just plumy burst

Pulp get drenched and juiced,

Stored in bottles and circulated,

To boost the immune’s.

While the seeds aren’t left untouched,

Its dried and powdered fine

Packed in jars, label

‘For healthy intestines’

From cottage industries to fancy malls

Travels the laborious hands

Indigenous beats thrives the lives

Who lives miles apart

Blessing of sustainable living gears up

Else the artificial life supports has been reserved for some.

Be indigestion or aciditic blocks,

Failing liver or rising sugar

Natural healer is the black plum.

Be it History, present or to come:

The land which still holds alive,

The beans of ancient gifted treasures

Among the many, Gumla comes along.

The land from where I belong!





Author: Sonali Gupta
Photo Nick Victor


Gumla, Jharkhand, India.

Sonali Gupta has currently completed Master’s from Centre for English Studies, JNU New Delhi India. She’s a poet from Gumla district, Jharkhand, India.  Her area of interest are Identity and it’s assertion, Fading voices and history of minorities, Natya Shastra and Unheard voices of Tribles.

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