a patched-up poem :: ruby rahman
translated by Farid Rahman
You must have realized by now
That this poem, like life, is all patched-up.
Two lines were written in the month of Agrahayon
Over which swept innumerable Sidrs, so many springs.
Haggling over fish
I jotted down two more lines on a taka note.
Then came inflation, came famine,
Who knows where flew away that taka note
Flew away this surreal life
Flew away all those open dreams.
That night amid a gentle earthquake
When trembled this new century
The trees flew up to somehow go and sit
Beside the stars in the sky,
Clouds rushed in at comet-speed to fill my rice plate,
And I was flung to land in Palashi’s battlefield.
From the earth’s depths out flowed boiling lava
My little finger and forefinger jerked
As my tears and blood burnt to vapour.
My Srabon nights misted, they fled away
Fled the blue deep-dark clouds, dried the ceaseless rain.
Yet, even then,
Astonishingly blue-and-green alphabets crowded me
To sew these lovely patches like a quilt
On the body of my poem.
Only to again disappear. What desolation!
On fields open spaces in offices rush working people
Aging faster than sound, faster than light.
In this tumult
Two stanzas of this poem enter into a black
But every moment send distress signals
Blip-blip from the center of dreams, from the depths
of a re-awakening
As if a star was emerging from within Srabon-darkness!
In this poem like desolate life where do I fit in the lines!
Oh, this patch-work, this tailorwork I can no longer abide.