Shafiqul Islam

On Our Times and Our Country

Though the trees have disappeared
from innumerable gardens
our times are not yet barren.
Look, there sprout millions of saplings again.

Though millions of pointed arrows
have darted from many a bow to the hunting grounds
the fawns with a deep craze for life
go on playing in the pleasant morning sun.

Maybe the wild milch-cows no more graze in the moonlight
on the slope of the blue hills
Maybe the stag
no more jumps on the naked body of its grazing mate,
its blood-stained flashy phallus sternly erect.

Our times are not, however, barren
as dairies have proliferated in the world.

O my country, plundered for centuries together!
O my grief-stricken mother, evolving over a thousand centuries!
How many invaders have looted your treasures
and went back!
How many dancing Tartars struck fear in your heart
with their swords dripping with blood!
Still your breast is not empty
whereas all those princes with the stigma of banditry
on their faces
have perished at dark nights!

O my father!
O time – my noble father embracing my country!
Please, drench my mother’s womb with your sparm
and impregnate her again.

Let my heavenly mother
give birth to many truth-seeking
younger brothers for me
out of the ashes purified by martyrs’ blood.
I’ll leave the fresh dreams born out of my scarred heart
in my younger brothers’ hands.

Give me such younger brothers, O my mighty and heroic father!
Give me younger brothers, O my frustrated, helpless mother!


Submitted: Friday, February 27, 2009
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