Sunday, January 20, 2019

Kill What You Eat--and Eat What You Kill

 
  Kill  What You Eat—and Eat What You Kill

  While walking in the park, I met
  an elder—and we talked.
  And what he told me gave me pause—
  and later gave me woe .

“Kill, what you eat, yourself, my friend,”
  the elder said to me.
“Do not depend on others, who
  are slaving, out of sight.

“The food you eat, the clothes you wear,
  your trinkets and your toys—
  attempt to kill or make yourself,
  or know their provenance

“The lights and gadgets in your home
  and where you go to work,
  the vehicles on which you ride,
  the roads on which they run—

“the fuels for these things as well—
  are made for you by others
  and brought to you by others or
  the conduits they have made.

“These actions all rely upon
  the slaughters, small and large,
  of beasts (and even human ones),
  and plants—and things that we

“may think are lifeless, yet have lives,
  although of other sorts—
  the mountains, plains and valleys and
  the oceans, lakes and streams.

“If you would have the hearing, you
  would hear their groans and screams.
  The air, that we are breathing, too,
  has a life that you can feel."

  And spreading out his arms, he then
  inhaled the city's air
  and slowly then exhaled that breath,
  let down his arms and smiled.

“This air we’re breathing, you and I,
  though often breathed before,
  would be as fresh, if not for Man,
  as when the plants had risen.”

  He said these things—and made me think.
  I thought: he must be mad.
  And so I said goodbye and left—
  but could not sleep at night.

“Kill what you eat,” he’d said, “and eat
  whatever you've killed, my friend.”
  as he'd gestured 'round at the earth and the sky
  and the trees and the works of Man.

  Kill what I eat?  Oh, how absurd!
  And eat what I kill?  That’s mad!
  I tried to put this out of my head,
  but I felt his words return.

  And ever since then, I've felt unease
  and even unwell at times.
  As I'd like you to share in my misery, I
  am passing this on in my turn.

  2018 December 29?, Thu?day
  Brooklyn, New York 

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Kon Rajat'a Bhalo-কোন রাজাটা ভালো


কোন রাজাটা ভালো?

এক রাজা তো গেল চলে।
ডাল গজালো গাছের।
ওই রাজা তো দূরের দেশের।
এই রাজা তো কাছের।

স্বাধীন হলাম, লড়ে কেঁদে।
বিদেশিদের রাজ
বিদায় নিল। কাঁধের ওপর,
অন্য রাজা আজ।

কোন রাজাটা ভালো? আরে,
সব রাজাই এক।
লুটতে তারা করবে দ্বিধা?
চোখটি খুলে, দেখ।

রবিবার, ৩০ ডিসেম্বর, ২০১৮ খ্রি 
ব্রুকলিন, নিউ ইর্ক
  

Poetry as Solace


Poetry as Solace

As music is a solace, so is verse,
At least for some of us that have this vice
That has its virtue, more than smoking does
Or all the things that now distract our minds
And so are used to soothe the jangled nerves
That need the numbing that these things provide.

And I confess that I have written lines
Not only when inspired but also when
The madness and the din that is around
Had made me seek my solace—not in drink,
But in the rhythms and the stillness that
I’ve often found in writing lines of verse.
 
2018 December 30th, Sun.
Brooklyn, New York
   

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Poetry and Truth


Poetry and Truth

I have expressed at times, in lines of verse,
The things that I could never say in prose.
And hopefully the ones who read those lines
Will find, among them, here and there, a truth.

There are those truths that most agree are facts—
The features of the flowing outer world.
And then then there are the truths we find within—
That each may feel but none of us can show.

And some of these at least we can depict
With words or other symbols, recognized
By those who’ve known the thing we refer to.
And poetry can often aid in this.

It might have been that in the distant past,
When mind and speech were more uncluttered, words
Had more of weight—so speech was more like verse.
But then we lost that ancient, artless art.

So now we find this mainly not in speech
Or written prose, but now and then in verse—
Returning, as it were, to primal speech
And so to clarity and speaking truth.

But surely verse can also serve the ends
Of those who lie, for reasons of their own.
And so it is with everything.  And yet
We still can read a line and thrill to truth.

2018 December 29th, Sat.
Brooklyn, New York

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Kill What You Eat--and Eat What You Kill


  Kill  What You Eat—and Eat What You Kill

  While walking in the park, I met
  an elder—and we talked.
  And what he told me gave me pause—
  and later gave me woe .

“Kill, what you eat, yourself, my friend,”
  the elder said to me.
“Do not depend on others, who
  are slaving, out of sight.

“The food you eat, the clothes you wear,
  your trinkets and your toys—
  attempt to kill or make yourself,
  or know their provenance

“The lights and gadgets in your home
  and where you go to work,
  the vehicles on which you ride,
  the roads on which they run—

“the fuels for these things as well—
  are made for you by others
  and brought to you by others or
  the conduits they have made.

“These actions all rely upon
  the slaughters, small and large,
  of beasts (and even human ones),
  and plants—and things that we

“may think are lifeless, yet have lives,
  although of other sorts—
  the mountains, plains and valleys and
  the oceans, lakes and streams.

“If you would have the hearing, you
  would hear their groans and screams.
  The air, that we are breathing, too,
  has a life that you can feel."

  And spreading out his arms, he then
  inhaled the city's air
  and slowly then exhaled that breath,
  let down his arms and smiled.

“This air we’re breathing, you and I,
  though often breathed before,
  would be as fresh, if not for Man,
  as when the plants had risen.”

  He said these things—and made me think.
  I thought: he must be mad.
  And so I said goodbye and left—
  but could not sleep at night.

“Kill what you eat,” he’d said, “and eat
  whatever you've killed, my friend.”
  as he'd gestured 'round at the earth and the sky
  and the trees and the works of Man.

  Kill what I eat?  Oh, how absurd!
  And eat what I kill?  That’s mad!
  I tried to put this out of my head,
  but I felt his words return.

  And ever since then, I've felt unease
  and even unwell at times.
  As I'd like you to share in my misery, I
  am passing this on in my turn.

  2018 December 27?, Thu?day
  Brooklyn, New York 
  

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Go on, Dream


Go on, Dream

The small fish eat the smaller fish
And are eaten then in turn.
The winners—they get everything.
The losers then can burn.

In business, this is how it is.
And this is celebrated.
We may not like the way it works,
But this, it seems, is fated.

Or is it?  Can we change perhaps
The way it works—the scheme?
Some say that this is possible,
And others, "Go on. Dream."

2018 December 25, Tue.
Brooklyn, New York

Bo'rtomane-বর্তমানে


বর্তমানে

এই জগতে আসা যাওয়া
কি কারণে, ভাই?
এসেছিলাম মূর্খ শিশু।
বুঝেছি তো ছাই।

গতকালে ছিলাম।  এবার
আসছে কালে যাই।
দেখতে কিছু পাই না, বাপু।
রই না বেশি তাই।

গতকালের শোকে ভুগি,
আসছে কালের ভয়ে।
এদের সাথে যতই লড়ি,
পাই না শেষে জয়।

ভবিষ্যৎ আর অতীত—এদের
সঙ্গে লড়া মিছু।
বর্তমানে দুঃখ আছে,
সুখ ও আছে কিছু।

হাটছি আজ এই বন্য পথে,
বর্তমানে তাই।
পৌঁছব কি? কোথায়, কবে?
জানি  নাকো ভাই।

মঙ্গলবার, ২৫ ডিসেম্বর, ২০১৮ খ্রি,
ব্রুকলিন, নিউ ইয়র্ক