Master Plan


The city juts into the future. 

Riverfronts and promenades, fountains and workspaces 

Glass and nightlife. 

This new city—new as a honeycomb. 

The old city peers over its shoulders. 

There’s no other place to go. 

New heritage takes over old heritage. 

All things must turn concrete, the master echoes in stone. 

A city must be hard, says the builder 

Watching the future with Google glass. 

Our biscuit shop is gone, the cart with oranges too. 

Rough edges are turning right angled 

While ants hurry to work. 

Lassi becomes latte, expresso as a machine. 

Time turns common, measured by the clock. 

And you and I—so busy with today 

We have forgotten our tomorrow,  

and yesterday is so far away. 

And the poor, where will they go? 

Will they hide behind those colourful maps 

Others call master plans?

Or will they land outside your door 

Waiting for a morsel of tomorrow? 

Or will they cross the fence forever? 

There she is, going to school 

Google map in hand 

Mud still dripping from her small bare feet.  


Amlanjyoti Goswami’s new book of poetry, Vital Signs (Poetrywala) follows his widely reviewed collection, River Wedding (Poetrywala). Published in journals and anthologies across the world, including Poetry, The Poetry Review, Penguin Vintage, Rattle and Sahitya Akademi, he is also a Best of the Net and Pushcart nominee. His work has appeared on street walls of Christchurch, buses in Philadelphia, exhibitions in Johannesburg and an e-gallery in Brighton. He has reviewed poetry for Modern Poetry in Translation and has read at various places, including New York, Boston and Delhi. He grew up in Guwahati, Assam and lives in Delhi.