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.