Illustration by Modita

Specimen by Shabnam Kaur

Illustration by Modita
Illustration by Modita

And then they came to ‘Exhibit A’:

They came in flocks and crowds,
In floods and surges,
Sang requiems and dirges,
Or broke into pandemonium;

They showered with likes and approvals,
Or startled
With Machiavellian maneuvers;

They burned with their hot, hot gusts,
Then passed like a cold, amnesiac breeze,
Burn and freeze.”

“What did they fear?
(After all, they were Human!)”

“Blazing summer,
Winter’s jabbing spear:
The desert sun,
The desert nights . . .”

About the Author

Shabnam Kaur

‘Specimen’ is about the realization that despite the vastness, the complexity, and the apparent significance of the human cultural experience, we are merely one of the specimens of the experiments of Nature, and are concerned with fulfilling immediate (but not necessarily, teleologically germane) needs like protection from extreme conditions such as heat and cold.

Shabnam Kaur is from Chandigarh, India. She has a master’s degree in English from Panjab University. Her poems have been published by The Poetry Society of India, and by the online poetry magazine Art Refurbish. She has self-published five collections of poetry as Kindle ebooks: ‘Eurydice Bides in Hades: Verses of Estrangement and Apathy’, ‘Almost Love Poems’,‘Almost Love Poems 2’, ‘Aquamarine: Love Poems’, and ‘Lycanthropisation: A Bildungsroman in Verse’. You can find her works at You can follow her on Instagram at, on WordPress at, and on Tumblr at

About the Illustrator


Modita is doing engineering in UIET, Panjab University, Chandigarh. She aims to travel
the world, and has becoming famous as an artist on her bucket list. Her Plan A is to make her parents proud and Plan B is to open up an Art Gallery. You can find her works on Instagram and her Facebook page.

Specimen is one of the many amazing submissions we have received so far for the third edition of the literary collection The Machinery. You can read the submission guidelines here.

Feel free to share the poem on Social Media or let us know what you think about it in the comments below!

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