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Showing posts from September, 2009

No One - a Poem

No One
By Mahbubul Karim (Sohel)
September 27, 2009


He built the largest building
Pyramid of concrete and granite
Middle of envious kryptonite
No limit and no holding

She traveled the world in eighty days
And nights like Jules Verne’s story
Getting love, endless glory
Her passion weathers rebuke, dismays

The group of four astronauts
Gone and returned from landing moon
Walking the vast empty space swoon
Conspicuously bail outs

Lifted their souls from purgatory
Of economic depression
Right into wilful oppression
Hell fire in Friedmanite gory

No one was spared from judgement
Of threshing laughter and jeer
Economics voodoo’s clear
Acceptance, sheer fraudulent

No one spared!
No one dared
To croak words
Of sanguine flare

Market goes up
Market goes down
The gloomiest clown
Drowned in speculative burp


Science Fiction or Historical Fiction?

This article published in the New Scientist this week is engaging. I have not read any of the writings by Kim Stanley Robinson before. The Guardian writes that "Kim Stanley Robinson, one of the greatest science fiction authors writing today", therefore giving the writer's name a respectable meaning to me. Robinson attached the Booker Prize juries for not selecting any science fiction novels, and especially this year, when five short listed novels are all historical fiction. Here is a snippet of Robinson's argument from this article, "This is important, because you need the literature of your time. You can't get the meaning of our life in 2009 from historical fiction, nor from science alone. Novels serve us, and are treasured, because we want meaning, and fiction is where meaning is created. Scientifically minded people could perhaps conceptualise novels as case studies or thought experiments, both finer grained and wider ranging in their approach to meaning …

Reflection on Harmonium – a Prose Poem

Reflection on Harmonium – a Prose Poem By Mahbubul Karim (Sohel) September 12, 2009
Once it used to be the lifeblood of a musical lore. Once it used to lighten up the room with impeccable tune playing the auditory dance with a classical voice of a singer. Pumping the below in one hand, and the other to play the plastic covered black and white keys, harmonium player raced the musical field like a man in a battle. Striking the keys with force, pulling and pushing the below with vigour, matching the tabla player’s fierce tempo in bayan while leading the singer’s vocal to crescendo perfecto. Now as it lies abandoned, replaced by glittery synthesizers and digital gizmo, harmonium’s last breath extends: not giving up! Not giving up! Unlike its brethren accordion, you don’t have to strap it on your chest. Unlike the cousin violin, you don’t have to place it on your shoulder. No bow is needed. No feet pump is required. Harmonium, the maestro, sits in a forgotten corner of locked up closet. Too m…

Classroom - a Poem

ClassroomBy Mahbubul Karim (Sohel)September 12, 2009
A rainy and cold morningOf waning summer. Boys and girlsWearing the blue sky uniformsReading the poetry of Tagore.
The classroom looks serene. In the blackboardImprint of white chalks Measuring the rhymes and similesDissected stanza’s rustic glamour.
The teacher with neatly parted receding hairAnd large spectacle hanging from nose Is pacing from one corner to anotherReciting the pleasing poem in soothing voice.
The boys and girls are following the teacherEach word, each pause and tribulationBouncing off the rhythmic lyricShouting and murmuring the opening words:
“It’s the morning! Open the Door!”(Bhor Holo! Dor Kholo!)
A rainy and cold morningOf waning summer. Boys and girlsWearing the blue sky uniformsReading the poetry of Tagore.

Dedicated to the Bangla and English literature teachers of University Laboratory School at Dhaka. Inspired by poem Memory from Childhood by poet Antonio Machado, translated in English by Robert Bly.

Slippery, Silvery Fish - a Poem

Slippery, Silvery FishBy Mahbubul Karim (Sohel)September 11, 2009
I had no sense of dyingI had no sense of the God divineOr the screechy scream of a slaughtered Negated swine
Water was filling up my lungsWas I wheezing?Coughing?Can one cough while drowning?Silvery fish were swimming by,But the river, down thereCold and shadyImpish bungs
A boy of year twoEven death seemed an escapadeMy flailing fingers grasping thruWater charadeThe swarming fishSlippery as they wereSinking as I wasIn the depth of that murky swishOf waves looked jovialWhile water filling up my lungsTwirled tongue, not trivial

I looked upSplintered rays from heavenSlicing the shadow of a dingy boatNo stethoscope, no white coatSomeone grabbed my shoulderThe right one, Trembled, deadenAnd pulled me up
There I wasOn the boat In cradle of patriarchBeside sobbing matriarchCoughing and wheezingAll the river water from my sinking lungsImpish bungsAt once, taking deep breathAs if that was an explorationThis drowningAnd saved acclimat…