The International Poetry Journal in Bengali and English

Issue 37
July-Sept '07




Poetry in English

Stephen Stepanchev/স্টিভেন স্টেফেনচেভ


Tendrils of philodendron

Crawl over the stone floor
Of my high-tech kitchen.
Doomed to a horizontal life—
All but one anxious tendril
Which leans against a wall,
Straining for verticality.

Lying sick in bed,
Horizontal as a corpse
Doomed to chatter with roots,
I, too, dream of verticality—
I want to be upright and equal
To the tall men of this world,
The statesmen and presidents,
Even the choirs of angels
In the imagined reaches of reality,
Who can teach me how to sing
Solo harmonies
For dicing galaxies.

Maria Terrone/মারিয়া টেরন

Children on Fire

This morning, news of another
tenement fire, more children burned
and bandaged, struggling now to live.

I think of them here in the country
where someone has bound the spindle-
thin trunks of the new apple trees.
Before me, an orchard of white rags
wound on limbs stock still—
a field hospital filled
with the stunned children of war.

Someone has staked out order
with a tense stretch of wire fencing.
Rough weeds tall as men march
through the adjoining field,
their plumes flaring in the fiery
light of late afternoon,
the wind whipping dandelion fluff
to white ash.

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    Shabdaguchha, A Journal of Poetry, Published in New York, Edited by Hassanal Abdullah.