The International Poetry Journal in Bengali and English

Issue 39
Jan-Mar '08

Nasir Ahmed

Father and Son

The full moon was shining on the Buri-Ganges water
As the cluster of diamond.
In such a night
While pushing the loaded cart
The boy said, "Father, I have to pie . . ."
Pulling off his lungi he then started to pour it
Facing the moon.

A pair of gentle mares
With no guard around
Gulped in the moonlight as they were eating grass.
A sigh erupted—people gazed at each other,
And the old Salimuddi said his boy in fear, "O Kalim,
What a darkness dear! Is it not a full moon tonight?
Would this hoofing dust
Spoil the world as the war of Karballa did?"

The boy, speechless, eyed him as a fool
As if he could see animals, not only the horse
But all others of the type,
Live by sucking blood and light—
Flocks of two-legged horse and tiger
All with human face and sharpen teeth as wolves—
Blood stain and moonlight
Tinged on their nails and teeth.

In that darkness, the whole society was a jungle.
The peace-loving deer were
Scattered and running in fear of life.
Wolves sharpened their teeth while shivered the vast land.

Kalim asked in reply, "Dad, what a dark
Jungle is this! Where are the houses? Our pushcart?"
Like a question mark
The father and the son then
Sat facing each other motionless
In the dark.

Lungi: long skirt like dress for men.

Nasir Ahmed (1952 - ) is the editor of the literary supplement of the Daily Janakantha. Also, previously worked for the Daily Bangla. He started his career as a journalist in an early age and published more than ten books including his Selected Poems.

Translated from the Bengali by Hassanal Abdullah

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