By Zubayr Hossain
This poem is not only for the 1134 who perished when Rana Plaza collapsed that day, but for the ones who crawled out, and also for those who were never found.
——————————————————————-Screaming into the hollow;
Their wails are filtered out.
Their cries are met by un-eyed pity,
Yet stories remain untold.
Their worth is set by the hour;
Fingers calloused and cold.
No universal love hounded these people.
No exposé leading to bored youth on the streets.
No column inches, not even the tiny ones at the side reserved for the most insignificant people .
No journalists having a lazy news week documented their versions of the myths–
The myths that say they had what was coming to them,
The myths that that paint lashes on their backs,
The myths that denounce compassion as a foreign word,
The myths that proclaim comfort and security as the most precious of human conditions,
The myths that maintain innocence and virtue as holy, without any mention that it is the same for freedom.
Their mothers are silenced. Their fathers with new mothers
forget to send postcards congratulating them of their failures.
We see them executed on coat hangers;
We wear them on the soles of our muddy feet.
And on days like these,
The most insignificant of days,
The most uneventful of days
“Where do they come from?”
Laying on the grass,
The blades grazing my cheek.
I turn to the girl beside.
Her body surrendering to the earth,
Hair blanketing her face;
Flickering eyelids submitting to restless dreams;
She was restless in dreams, a luxury she did not have being awake; Restless, but cautious.
For once, she had overheard some woman say,
“It is unkind to yourself, to have dreams that do not belong to you”.
The woman had since passed from memory, but the words still held tight.
She was forever apprehensive of the exploits of dream robbers.
I wondered what she was dreaming of. Me?
Probably not, that would be against the purpose;
one does not retreat to sleep, after all, to muse about living people.
I looked around,
Yes, the sparrow is mocking me
But no–no serry of trees to provide shadow.
It struck me only then,
The Sun is queer on afternoons like these.
Not in the mood for blinding light.
Nor for heat that makes sweat hang to the tips of your nose.
But, for a charitable heat, toasting us gently;
Rolling us over, bathing us ;
Acknowledging somehow of the unpleasant cold we had endured, on the night before–
and the unpleasant coldness we were yet to be tricked into;
knowing that these were the last hours of rest, preceding longer hours of harassment.
We were not deserving of this:
Reserving our scolding, like a mother not punishing her children at the sight of their sulking countenances, though her children had wronged her.
Yes we had wronged her.
Yes we were deserving of reproach.
Yes, of a great lecture too.
But no punishment now . No wise words.
Not even a thought to how stars would ever have the time to think of the miseries of teenagers.
Note: This poem is for the Time for Poetry Weekly Writing Challenge
Happy NaPoWriMo everone 🙂
Evening seeps through the window,
rattling our restful cocoon,
melting across the
ash laden bed sheet;
A Vantage of joy robbed of her breath
I see you,
boy with the silver tongue,
sat on the porch, pencil behind your ear;
What master piece have you traced in your head this time?
Tattered red sari caught in middle class modesty;
The minstrel robbed of her instrument;
Crude intentions with no stage to perform;
The ghost behind the bride’s jewelry;
Uncovered, suddenly the grossest distortion of humanity,
the silhouette under the Ramna lamp post meekly contemplating what is and what could have been if only the shepherds with hot pens had been gentler with their sermons.
Kiss those dirty ramblings
Hold tightly those lazy thoughts;
In your aged empty notebook,
Sketch me that which is called glory:
to be able to love without measure