• Wednesday, Oct 05, 2022
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Without Me

  • Published at 08:43 am August 5th, 2021

Poetry in translation

(Translated by Rifat Munim)


Though a trifling affair, every morning I take my time and wear a watch

around my wrist. Habitually: 

at a steady pace as I know 

I am not in a hurry. Neither here nor in any foreign land

is anyone lamenting my absence. I

won’t have to supervise building a miraculous bridge—small, medium or large.


All the different kinds of salt, ancient and wild, that 

once filled the gusty wind to create quite a sight to behold 

—a trip there to determine their origin and classification does not 

await me any longer.

Nor will I have to venture out to some place, 

alone or with a group of volunteers, raising quite a ruckus,

putting on the grave-looking dress of a rescuer. 

No one is staying up late into the night

to take a hack at my shaal tree-like body out of greed

with a scythe like a crescent moon. Beyond

all the familiar causality, beyond all kinds of melodrama 

now I find myself bound by my love for an enormous, ornate chair

dictated by rule, that’s why I can take all the time 

I need. I am not in a hurry

to run around all in a fluster.


Battles are won, independence is achieved and all the other

desired monuments are being erected in different nations

according to their differing tastes, wisdom and wishes.

Albeit a bit haphazardly, the real piece of news 

is reaching us every day. The bottom line:

the humankind may go through the best or the worst 

of times without me. A lot of things may indeed happen without me—

perhaps a long procession of flowers and lamps throughout the night.


Out of extra pleasure after a morning walk, 

with a fresh appetite and ambition

two of the brightest heroes of this century

may still pace around their rooms, 

even after returning to their respective homes.

Or maybe arising out of the breakfast tables of Breznev and Kissinger,

strokes of misfortune, starvation, and untimely deaths like flocks of birds

have descended upon the skeletons of Bengal and Angola 

in one corner of the world,

or maybe upon all across Asia, Africa and Latin America.


A lot of things may indeed happen without me.


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