Still, Life: Abandoned Tata Motors Plant, Singur, 2010

Monday, July 17, 2017

Whenever it appears to the [appropriate government] that land in any
locality is needed for any public purpose [or for a company]...
Thereupon it shall be lawful...to enter upon...any laid in such locality;
to dig or bore into the sub-soil; to do all other acts necessary to
ascertain whether the land is adapted for such purpose; to set out the
boundaries of the land purposed to be taken...;...to cut down and clear
away any part of any standing crop, fence or jungle...

--Land Acquisition Act, 1894

 

We could call it something clever like,
GOOD FENCES DON'T ALWAYS MAKE GOOD NEIGHBORS:

the sun--a full hot circle caught
between these last decaying teeth.  These latest ruins.

We keep tripping over knots
of brittle grass.

Piles of ash (displaced
dunes) suffocate the fields.  They harvest

bricks from the unfinished factory wall for 10 paise a piece.
The gaps make first-rate apertures for framing.

An old man carrying eight bricks
on his head turns to tell me, Take your

photos well, babu.  Let them see.
The hired guard deserts his post,

squatting in uniform with the local men, in the local posture.
Evening light trespasses the perimeter.

Monday, July 17, 2017