11 June 2022

Poems From Goa: Songs Of Nature, Forgotten


Poems From Goa: Songs Of Nature, Forgotten

These poems by Priyal 'Woodpecker', one of the new age hippies of Goa, look at the loss of Goa's natural spaces and the impact of human invasions on what was once a pristine land for solitude, bereavement, and freedom.

Priyal 'Woodpecker' at her home in Goa.
Priyal 'Woodpecker' at her home in Goa. Chinki Sinha


Encroachment of the feminine.

Encroachment on mother earth.

The home buried under the chores.

All wounds buried under our wombs.


Impotent masculinity

Has allegedly trespassed 

Every gate of fertility.

He has trespassed

On her every age, 

Every bone, 

Every sense.

HE has trespassed


H E R S P A C E 

Caged in his toxic brokenness.

Eventually, she too

Has been converted 

Into a guardian 

Of patriarchy; 

A gatekeeper of her own 

Death chamber.


Ye woman! Rejoice 

For, the encroachment on the wild 

Is only ephemeral. 

Our eternal 

Is beyond their paws. 

Our ruins, harder than their 

Collective erections.



We can build back

On our own ruined land.

We can live back

On our own bloody breath.

We can chew - all the demons up,

And sew cosmic love 

In the laps of

All creation.

Together, we can temple.

(without any goddamn god)


Oh patriarch flesh, 

It's time you rejoice, too!

For, thanks to you –

The secret of human extinction

Will be eternally buried 

Under the debris of 

Female claustrophobia  

Priyal “Woodpecker” came to Goa a few years ago when she was looking for a place to grieve.
Priyal “Woodpecker” came to Goa a few years ago when she was looking for a place to grieve. The riverside place is her refuge now. She did many things over the years. Like walking barefoot in order to learn and forgive | Credit: Chinki Sinha


Look closely, aren't my feet

Prettier than your shoe?

Aren't they more intricately designed,

Than any other goddamn brand?


Come, step in my shoes

And feel your earth bare. 

Feel her heart

Thumping with plastic 


Feel your own feet

Crushing your hostile ego.


The face of your feet

Is your most vulnerable 


It is open to every callousness, 

Razors and tried nails.

It is weary to every broken 

Blood and bloodied spits.

(Aren't you curious about

How will you scar, later?)


First, man and earth -

We were both barefoot.

Then man started to wear shoes.

Then man forced the earth in 

Tar shoes. 

Clok clok clok

Now, both meet in shoe masks

Under which none is breathing.

Under which, the child poisoned his

Mother while still suckling on her.


Until there walks a single person 

With the shoe, the world refutes 

To be clean.

For, this last shiny shoe human

Still carries their ego, 

In their shoes. 

They feel protected enough;

To not give a fuck about 

What they throw,

What can hurt. 

Their capitalist shoes motivate them 

To coolly call 

Mud; dirt

And barefoot; poverty.


“Come, smell my bare feet. See how

They stink of Earth's dead body; 

Mutilated ~

With fillets of human (s)crap,

Garbage and grief;

*Carelessly littering her skin in glee.

Like men, carefully raping in glee.*


(Kid you not)

With my bare feet,

I have seen eyes, who -

After looking at my naked feet,

Turn - half full with contempt,

Half empty with piety;

Wanting to stomp on my skin 

With their artificial one.

I have seen eyes ~

Fleeing from mine

In disgust;

Of their own vulnerability

That they aren't ready to feel.

I have seen eyes ~

Bombing my limbs

With quiet arsenals, hoping 

That they would rather 

See me as an amputee;

Than barefoot. 

(A poet and a filmmaker, Priyal “Woodpecker” is one of the new age hippies in Goa. She performs, designs, makes jewelry and promotes sustainable living and environmentalism through her art and lifestyle. Views expressed in this piece are personal)