Shabdaguchha: Logo_new edited by: Hassanal Abdullah issue: 69/70


Poets and Translators:

Afzal Moolla  
Alan Garfoot
Anisur Rahman Apu
Baitullah Quaderee
Bill Wolak
Biswajit Monda
Dilara Hafez
Frank Stewart
Germain Droofenbroodt
Greeg Dotoli
Ray Herndon Smith
Hassanal Abdullah
Howard Scott
Jalal El Hakmaoui
Jidi Majia 
Joan Digby
John Digby
Jyotirmoy Datta
Maria Bennett
Naoshi Koriyama
Naznin Seamon
Rehanul Hoque
Rahul Roychowdhury
Richard Berengarten
Roni Adhikari
Rukui Chen
Stanley  H. Barkan
Tanvir Ahmed Rhidoy
Tomasz Marek Sobieraj
Zhang Hu

Cover Art:

Erick Villalona

New Logo:

Najib Tareque

Shabdaguchha Title: Issue 70

    Stanley H. Barkan

    for Bonnie & Bebe

    Two little girls,
    in an old photo,
    I took for teens,
    butare just little girls,
    in the same outfits.

    The one on the left,
    called the “cute” one;
    the one on the right, not.

    Actually, they were
    not twins, but triplets;
    the third not born alive,
    somehow squeezed
    between the other two,
    could not survive.

    It wasn’t until these
    twins were twelve
    that their mother
    told them they
    were triplets.

    Now in the photo,
    the two both smiling
    under their sun bonnets,
    wearing square patterned,
    white gloves,
    bobby socks,
    one withblack patent leather,
    the other, sturdy plain leather shoes,
    still too young to know
    of their lost sister.

    Oh, but now they stand,
    forever fixed in smiling bliss,
    a time of joyful ignorance.

    And I, as I look backwards,
    with wonder at what they were
    and what they have both become:
    fine wives and mothers,
    grandmothers, too,
    both artists,
    bothliving works of art,
    thevery best that could be.

    Only the shadow of the third
    who might have also been
    shadows my mind.


    In the womb
    I was happy
    floating about
    in my own sea.

    I had all
    that I needed—
    why look for trouble,
    exit Eden?

    I remember . . .
    You don’t believe me,
    but I am sure
    of this memory.

    Now as I look
    about me,
    at daughter & son
    and their children,

    I think of
    the journey
    from then
    till now.

    From birth
    to birth to birth
    all over the earth—
    the miracle of life!

    for Toshi

    Why they came
    to my house
    is a mystery.

    They were on their way
    south to the sun
    where they go every year.

    How they get there,
    what guides them,
    no one really knows.

    At first I thought
    it was the leaves
    shaking in the tree.

    It seemed as if
    the tree had suddenly
    taken on a fauna aspect.

    Its branches were shaking,
    all its leaves were dancing.
    it was alive with movement!

    As I was drawn to the tree
    by its more than floral motion,
    I looked more closely.

    The leaves that fluttered,
    the branches that shook—
    were something else!

    They weren’t green,
    they were orange-and-black,
    thousands of waving wings!

    Monarchs had stopped
    to rest for a while
    in the shade of my tree.

    All of a sudden
    the tree seemed to be
    readying to take off.

    Then, all together,
    the leaf-wings flew off—
    a cloud of butterflies.

    Merrick, New York

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Shabdaguchha, an International Bilingual Poetry Magazine, edited by Hassanal Abdullah