O The Cowboy - Poem by Sayeed Abubakar
Hundred years ago, where were you?
When your mother was a little girl
growing like a pine tree, did anyone conceive
a hero-like man was hidden in the folds of the her body
resembling a pan swelling up with heated date juice?
Or did your dad- as a vulture from the high sky
searches for a dead cow- nose out the scent
of your existence in the rolls of your mother's body
while unfolding her like a sari in the pitch-black darkness
of her youth?
If the case was so, where were you then?
Hundred years hence
where will you be like the smoke of a cigar?
Love existed on earth
when you were out of existence.
Then darkness like a wrestler, too,
played the mysterious game with the alien light.
Then women- having spoken of hearts- spent nights
wet with lust beside men blind with love.
When you pass away from the earth,
stars will bloom like flowers,
then women, too, like the playful ducks,
will swim in the lilting sea of night
with their bodies uncovered and undressed.
But you think, no woman in absence of you
any longer becomes a mother,
in absence of you all sports on earth
get stopped for ever like a clock out of order.
Nowhere you've seen any undying tree, o the cowboy
nor you've seen any deathless lamb;
then why do you want to capture in your fist for good
the breast of earth degraded with rapes since her birth?
[Translation of Bangla poem 'He Rakhal' taken from the poet's first
book 'Pronoyer Prothom Pap' (1996) ]
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