Sunday, November 22, 2015

My Fear for You, My Son - a Poem

My fear for you, my son
while holding you closest to my heart
listening to your mild heartbeat
My fear for you, my son
Is the world turning into
a void full of people
without remorse or regret

You walk and giggle
all the pure delight shining through you
You hold my fingers tight
while exploring room to room
touching new things, objects of your fascination
dancing with your favorite nursery rhymes
and building structure with colorful blocks
you say broken words, made up words
no language puts barrier
no religion clouds your simple thoughts
and pleasure exploring the world
as it is and not make believe by the idiotic adults

My fear for you, my son
while feeding you a squeezed orange
smearing your face with my clumsy palm
that you will grow up in a world
receded to the time of medieval feuds
where the cries of oppressed and dispossessed
are laughed and jeered at with beguiling farce

Badge - a Poem

A night like any other night
A day like any other day
Trudge along the spiteful blight
Dimming the golden ray

Of hopes and dreams
Simmer under the scorching sun
While the sliced moon beams
Over the trembling swan

As the birds and the bees
Fly away from the raging fire
Engulfing flowers and trees
In desiccated dire

Premonitions of a day
When badge wearing humans
Dissipated into bashing gray
Ash, everlasting doldrums!

All the anger and hatred
Thrown at the dehumanized souls
Becalmed at last in kindred
Spirits of acquiesced ghouls

Friday, November 13, 2015

Pray for Paris. Pray for Beirut

Pray for Paris. Pray for Beirut,
Baghdad, Istanbul
Pray for all the dead,
dying, injured
Pray for lost innocence,
End of hatred
Pray for children
Your, mine and refugees'
Who will inherit this world
Gone mad
with shameful indifference!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

On This Remembrance Day

Freedom is never free, someone said, and the poet Czeslaw Milosz said, "The living owe it to those who no longer can speak to tell their story for them." Remembering all the fallen souls who sacrificed their lives to make this world a better place. Ultimately, senseless wars and violence have the great potential planting the seeds of more wars and violence of the future, but sometimes to protect the innocents and humanity brave souls embark on the difficult journey. I can't even fathom how brave one must be staring down the barrel of a tank or crawling through the fields of mine to rescue the stranded human beings. My maternal grandfather, Moniruddin Ahmed, was one of those brave souls, a world war warrior fighting for the Allies, shoulder to shoulder, combat to combat, along with his British and Indian Army comrades in Europe, who died too early. Today, on this remembrance day, I salute his sacrifice and the sacrifice of countless many like him, regardless of creed, race, national origins, as I recognize that in life and in death the silly hyperbolic differences turn out to have no value, but the solidarity towards the common yearning of a better humane world is invaluable that the dead of the wars surely want us to remember on this remembrance day.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Tahmina Anam's Article: Bangladesh on the Brink

Tahmina Anan, the critically-acclaimed writer of A Golden Age, a well written novel that I had the pleasure of reading some years ago, is bold and brave pointing out the key issues surrounding the growing murderous criminality in Bangladesh. She rightly observes the following in her The New York Times article:
"Even if the intelligence shared by America and Australia is right about Bangladesh, that is only part of the battle the country now faces, because the threat to pluralism doesn’t come exclusively from outside our borders.  
It comes every time someone questions a fellow citizen and asks whether his version of Islam is the real one. It comes when people first appear to condemn the death of the bloggers but then qualify their condemnation by saying that the bloggers may have, after all, offended the faith. It occurs when we accept the casual racism directed at minorities, whether they are Hindu or Shiite or from one of the indigenous communities.  
Those who threaten us from beyond our borders are only capitalizing on a trend that is already tolerated, and sometimes endorsed, by the wider population. The attacks on foreigners and on citizens who represent a secular Bengali tradition reflect the rise of a sharply conservative Islamist nationalism in Bangladesh. As we adjust to this new era, we would do well to remember that intolerance begins at home."
In a pluralistic society, people has the right to peacefully practice their religions or non religions. In a peaceful nation that Bangladesh sees itself to be, good decency also dictates not to show intolerance, either verbally or by written words towards anyone's faith or non faith. However, having said that this is also true that every living human being also has the right to say whatever he or she wishes to say without inciting the raw hatred toward another person or a community. And above all, no one has the right to kill and maim another human being just because he or she said or written something that is opposing to someone's deeply held faith or ideology.

What I see in Bangladesh is severe polarization, mainly across the political line. This is the same gruesome mentality "either you are with us, or you are with the...", fill in the blank with whatever you would like this to be, say, "terrorists", "Islamists", "bloggers", "atheists", etc., purposefully denigrating words to dehumanize the opposing group of people for the sake of total domination. The political factions in Bangladesh from both sides of the polarized boundaries have to wake up to reign in their hatred spewing words and activities. I believe there is still time to turn this culturally diverse nation back to its congenial core, being tolerant, secular and truly democratic by deeds and means.

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Justice - a Poem

Such a loaded word
as if it has any real meaning
when words get torn out 
ripped asunder 
from pages of dusty books
countering the crooks 
becomes only a daydream
of gullible poets and writers
who are haunted 
by the phantom menace

The words dance 
in the cloud and the mind
alike, where the ferocity 
and calculated grin
arising from shadowy goon
swoon over the pen
a writer holds on his hand
thinking to write the next word 
or not, instead catching 
the bubbles of silence
floating mid air  

Justice not served
as justice denied
a father's agonies is heard
from afar 
travelling across Ethernet
like a category five hurricane
brooding on the ocean
calm tears, reminder 
of a storm, havoc in waiting