The International Poetry Journal in Bengali and English

Issue 38
Oct-Dec '07




Poetry in English

Charles Fishman

War Babies

We approach but do not touch your world,
do not enter, as if our eyes have been distracted,
at the last moment, by a flutter of paper
of a sudden flash of light.
We were the bruised windfalls of your harvest.
The dead you assimilated changed you,
the way a tumor growing inside your head
will change you. Death was our element,
the first pungent breath.

We did not cultivate the taste, tried to forget.
We learned to hibernate, to breathe once or twice
a decade. At last, the words would burst from us
in harsh stuttering gasps.

We were the spoiled fruit of your poor husbandry.
You knew we bore desireóa deviant gene
that would flourish in the slow epoch of winters.
You could feel the undertow, the taproot

struggling deeper. We were the last
permitted to cluster, in vague despair,
in dazed sobriety, yet we walked singly,
the bloom rubbed off, the juice bitter.

Robert Dunn

Poet Laureate

The good news is: last week
I was finally named
Poet Laureate of someplace.
The bad news is: itís my car.
Iíve been named Poet Laureate
Of my car.
My own car Ö
And not even my entire car, either.
Just the front seat.
Apparently, there was some dissatisfaction
From the rear seat.
And there was one person who was
Especially virulent against my being selected.
I locked him in the trunk.
He is still in there.
After all, what good is being
Named Poet Laureate of anywhere
If you canít get the last word?
(Donít answer that Ö)

Hassanal Abdullah

Finding the Difference

A poet and a priest are
Almost the same,
The only Difference is
One believes in god
And the
Other tends to be one.

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