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  • Writer's pictureSpeak Your Roots

Stories by Badondor Diengdoh


A fly on the wall–still,

dead, curious, alive; listening

as a story fades; pieces

of a tale absorbed by the

turmeric stained jainkyrshah, only

to be washed away.

A fly on the wall flies

with yearning; flying

behind a story that rises

with smoke from

the rooster's feathers. Smoke

paints the air, drenching

it with rays of unfaithful peacocks

and stubborn stags. Air

now memory, colour and scent,

swallowed by cicadas who vibrate

hymns of faithful clothespins

like weary red strings. But

can a story fade or

does it fly to find other stories to




cry? Like

people, stories too can

meet in jadoh stalls and pata. Some

stories like winter,

melt with butter in a steel bowl

on restless charcoal. Some

stories bigger than most, like

the diengiei cast




others. Some

stories lose their way

to fall back as dew on

windshields of new lovers

and starving drivers. Some

stories like an eclipse

turn daylight into night,

staying longer than a candidate

who visits you for votes. Some

stories too painful, as

other sensitive stories flee like

the tiger upon licking the

blade of an axe. Some

stories fold themselves into

a grocery list of mother slipping

into pockets of

absent-minded fabric. Some

stories unheard but

familiar as the taste

of tungtap: formless

and edgeless, though bites

like cold mountain spring,

cuts through rock,

dampens a matchbox–to

then trickle down into the

stillness of a well, only

to be washed away

as smoke meets water.

-Badondor Diengdoh

Original poem "Stories" by @a_pocketful_of_plums 🔥🔥🔥 Thank you so much for sending this poem! 💚💚💚
This is a moving and beautiful poem. The evocative style paints layered Khasi cultural allusions like the peacock who abandoned the sun for a garden of mustard flowers and Sier Lapalang. Words, language, stories gain a body in a tribute to our oral tradition, where a story transcends time and space because it is constantly moulded by the one who tells it. The poem exhorts the power of the spoken word. It is a testament to the persistence of Khasi collective consciousness as smoke and water rise from the hearth.
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