Rahman HenryLike a Shell
She was lying on her side . . . and I
Conjured the evening casting my own shadow
Into the colts blood—as the birds dreamt.
From the scene, the blood, the bird . . .
The distance gets wider. But my mother was
The primal sister of the mud.
There, the place I saw her before my birth . . .
An unknown rainy land . . .
That story fades, vanishes from the stage.
The one who was awakened in the dream . . . and
Her song! Was it heard at least once?
My mother did not have that memory—
So, I created this souvenir in my
Deep sleep—on the wings of forgetfulness . . .
As the rivers do not remember the happenings.
But whatever I recall, or I don’t
Would not be important at all—
I did not have any talk with
My mother about what I’ve just related—
She was in the moving cloud—
She was lying in the side scene . . . and I
Created sadness in the hidden life
Mistakenly trusting someone else’s presence—like the shells.
So, the tear, too, knew more about
Agriculture—like my mother, the source of crops.
Rahman Henry (1970 - ) is the author of 10 collections of poetry including Circus Mokhorito Gram, Prokrito Saros Ura Jaye and Khun Jhora Nodi. His latest books are Gotrovumikaheen (2008) and Nibrochiot Kobita (Selected Poems). As a government official, working for the Executive Branch, Mr. Henry got a chance to experience the rural beauty of Bangladesh while working in various parts of the country for many years, and recently reassigned to the Ministry of Finance, Dhaka.
Translated from the Bengali by Hassanal Abdullah