Summer In Central India by Kirsty Wells

"With the wind in my hair, perched on the back seats of the open jeep, we drove for hours. During a 2 week filming project in Madhya Pradesh, I accompanied Tarun Bhati – the manager of the safari lodge I was producing a promo video for – and some of his close friends as he showed them a new site they had purchased, in order to build another commercial property. It was the peak of summer. Daily temperatures averaging 42 degrees. I spent the entire journey completely absorbed with the landscape we thundered through. The words of this poem came to me as we drove and very unusually I managed to retain them, to later jot them down as a note on my phone."

Dust sprays and fills my mouth
and eyes as we drive
through a vast desert. Like salt,
trees and huts sprinkled
across an otherwise
featureless landscape.

A neatly carved patchwork
quilt ladens the land,
embellished with reds and rust
under blazing sun.
Defined by steep banks, once
swamped rice fields lie parched.

Like clutching hands, green
forest marks the horizon.
Individual trees indistinguishable
in dense lush stands,
provide a stark reminder
of an untouched lands potential.

Perhaps without flourish,
though still life continues.
Birds chirp and zoom
through the open air,
children laugh, yell and cry
whilst their elders look on patiently.

Almost comical pom pom trees
sparsely scattered,
many species each with
perfectly round, leafy crowns,
held to the thirsty earth
by lollipop stick trunks.

Roaming cattle graze the bald,
brown ground, almost as skeletal
as the paddies through
which they wander.
Bells hung from fine necks jingle
as their ribs catch the sunlight.

Locals working arid fields serve
at the elements mercy.
Attending the stagnant pools and
dried river beds of this plain,
day upon day beneath passing clouds,
helplessly they await the rain.

Kirsty is a wildlife film-maker. You can find more of her work on her Wordpress.