Thursday, January 29, 2015

On Marriage

On Marriage

It seems a marriage gains in strength and lasts,
when eros wanes and plays a lesser part.
For in its time that tide may ebb and yet
the fullness of the bond be unimpaired.

And if that mixing wild of metaphors
has given pause, could one alone suffice
to paint in words a wedding’s aftermath –
that light embrace in which the spouses dance?
Their thoughts, their words and most of all their acts
of caring build the friendship and the trust –
the rooms and girders of the house in which
the eros is a guest that comes and goes.
A guest that's welcome, one that gives delight –
but still a guest who's free to leave or not –
so all should be, including man and wife,
despite the ring and all it signifies.
We seek for permanence – to feel secure,
to give another shelter in our warmth.
And yet we know the winds that blow about
could take with them the ones that we have loved.
A structure built on eros might collapse
more easily than one that’s built on trust.
The guest is here tonight, tomorrow gone.
The house remains and waits for her return.
In all the tumult and the ceaseless flow,
the dwellings couples make are ripples mere.
Yet in that space, however small it seems,
there still is room for all the universe.
For each has strength – and when the two are one,
the strengths they each possess are multiplied.
And weakness, each may have. The friend, the spouse
may know it well and yet not stint in love.
And two can make a space that one cannot –
a space in which to nurture that which comes,
a space that’s not reserved, with room enough
for laughter, love and all the grief and woe.
But some of us are single – never wed
or though once wedded, now no longer so.
And some may pine for what they missed or lost,
and yet survive and even be of cheer.
We need our company – we need our friends,
but friendship true is hard for us to find.
And married bliss – or married hell – are things
that few may ever have or bear for long.
And when we’re single, we return to homes
that often lack in human company.
A product, this – of that insanity
that empties villages and even towns…

But those who marry and remain as joined –
they know the wedding marked a turning point.
They once were two – but then were made as one,
for better or for worse, till death’s divide.

The wedding is remembered and the years
before and after.  Children might be born
or not – and grow to adults, leave, return.
The spinster still outlives her sisters all.

For that divide will come – for some, with death,
for some, before – and only half remain,
with memory that's bittersweet, until
that remnant half in turn to nothing goes.

By chance, we're born.  By chance, we meet and wed,
perchance to then give birth, to nurture, tend –
and then to part, so one is left behind
to mark the time and wait for chanceful death.

So marriage?  “It’s a wondrous thing.” we’re told
by some, “It’s just a vestige of the past.”
by others.  Whom should you and I believe?
I've said my piece before – and now should leave.

And so I end my ode to marriage, though
my knowledge might be scant, and others say,
"He knows as much about it as a priest
who's celibate and yet gives brides advice."

2015 January 29th, Thu.
(some stanzas added Jan. 31st, Sat.)
Brooklyn, New York

Monday, January 26, 2015



For every woman who, from pleasure, sighed,
For every man who heard that sigh and felt
The bond between be strengthened even more,
I now put pen to paper.  I had knelt
In supplication, in my callow youth,
Before the ancient goddess and had prayed
But when I served instead her human form,
I knew my faith would never be betrayed.

For though a woman, like a man, can stray,
The thrill that’s felt, when hands have touched or when
The consummation reaches inner depths,
Will still be there - as insight stays, in Zen.
And you might say.  “It’s foolishness to place
Such weight on fleeting things - like sun and rain,
The passions and the loves of humans pass -
But leave behind their residues of pain.”

And you are right, of course, but so am I,
For even though my love be only such
As I imagined in my dreaming,  I
Have felt, in every cell, its tingling touch,
And feeling this, awakened, saw anew
The outer and the inner worlds and so
Was by that eros so transfigured that
I needed then divinities no more.

For every woman who has uttered sighs
And heard her lover’s utterance as well,
And felt that bond between be strengthened, I
Now write these lines and in that sighing dwell.
And some might say that this is foolishness
And they are right, of course, but so am I.
But who agrees with me, excepting when
From parted lips there rises, soft, the sigh?

Like mother’s love and all that’s innocent,
The joy of eros cleanses heart and mind.
It sweeps away the dirt and dust of time.
Where harshness was, it leaves perception kind.
It cures the dullness that’s our time’s disease.
It levels high and low, for eros comes
Unbidden and cannot be kept by force
Or wages, but in joyful freedom hums.

And so, when eros leaves, do not attempt
To lure it back or threaten it with woe.
Be grateful then that you were touched by it,
And being grateful, let it freely go.
For though the loss is painful, let it be.
The pain of losing love - of woman, man -
Of parent, child or friend - is harsh, indeed -
And eros is where all of these began.

2015 January 26th, Mon.
Brooklyn, New York

Saturday, January 24, 2015


As long as men and women have a boss or work as bosses,
So long will they have cavities that can't be fixed with flosses.
So if you go to work, one day, while wearing just a thong,
Perhaps you'll strike a blow for those, who'll honor you in song.
And if you are a man, perhaps this might not work out well,
But if a woman, when retiring, try it -- what the hell!
And if you think, by then your body might be out of shape,
Then go to work, that final day, while dressed up as an ape,
And jump upon a table, stomp your feet and thump your chest,
So bosses, seeing this, might from their bossing take a rest.
2015 January 24th, Sat.
Brooklyn, New York


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Pretty Little Pussy

The Pretty Little Pussy
I met, upon my way from work, a pretty little pussy.
It's fur was dark as midnight and was sprinkled so with stars!
I stopped to stroke that pussy but it jumped up in the air
And zipped across the street. Right then, there weren't any cars.

"Oh pretty little pussy!" I called to it aloud,
And made all kinds of noises – but that pussy ran away.
And so I walked home slowly and I wondered if I'd see
That pretty little pussy on the street another day.

But as I turned the corner to my house, what did I see?
A big and ugly bow-wow dog that barked aloud at me!
I felt a little frightened, for that dog was big and fierce.
But still I kept on walking and I hid away my fears.

But then the dog quit barking and instead it ran at me!
I stood for just a second. Then I ran, like one-two-three!
I ran and ran and looked behind and saw the dog had turned.
I waited till it disappeared.  A lesson, I had learned!

The moral?  With a pussy, you should wait for it to come.
If the pussy gets to like you, then it might become your chum.
But if you see a doggie that is barking, don't advance.
For that doggie then could chase you, and could bite you in your pants.
January 20th, Tue, 9:03 pm
Brooklyn, New York

Monday, January 19, 2015



“There once was a creator…” the myths of yore began,
“And then came the creation…” and so the stories ran.
But whence this said creator – and where she now is hidden,
Were questions sans an answer – and often were forbidden.

The fabric of the universe is a thing of change and flow
And yet there are the matrices, the substances and more.
So through the ages men and women asked themselves “Who did it?”
That mystery of Genesis persists, though some dismiss it.

For now we're told, "Creators – and creation too – is out."
So these are now forbidden.  We can question, we can shout –
But for doing so,  we’re punished – and we're banished, as of old.
There’s no burning or beheading – but we do as we are told.

And so our new religions replace the ones before.
But we wonder – are we clearer now or clouded even more?
There’s energy, there’s matter, there is space and there is time,
There is ignorance and knowledge – and these beings that can rhyme…
When the fabric was being woven, who was handling then the loom?
Was the weaving automated?  Was there no one in the room?
It’s the same for all creation, including you and I.
We wove ourselves together. Don’t ask me how or why.
And when you’d been assembled, so your parts were all in place,
There came to be this person, with a name and with a face.
But if I were to wander, from cell to cell within,
To look where you are hiding, I’d find there’s no one in.
“Is so and so within you?” I might ask a working cell.
And if that cell could answer, what story would it tell?
It does not know this person, of which it is a part.
And neither do your organs – your liver, brain or heart.
This "I" is thinking, typing – but where does it reside?
We say – “within a cranium” – but no one’s there inside.
A giant swarm of cells there is, and each is humming low,
But where, in this, the “I” is hid, who dares to say they know?
For how does “who” arise from “what”?  What makes the infant scream
Her “Me, me, me!” and thump her chest?  Are “I” and “you” a dream?
No border can be drawn indeed, no line in time or space,
Where I or you begin from naught or end without a trace.
And yet we’re each convinced of “I” and “you” and “he” and “she” –
The beings that appear to have the right to persons be –
In human form or animal, perhaps as plants as well –
Or robed as gods and goddesses that in our heavens dwell.
So surely, to dismiss the "I" and "you" and all the rest
As fictions mere, shows disrespect and may not be the best.
But then the question still remains – of what, this "I" and "you"?
Is “spirit” then the answer?  I will leave that knot for you.

But do not swallow answers pat – the old ones or the new.
There’s more in this than meets the eye – or so’s my humble view.
The question here is deep, I think – yet usually avoided.
It’s worth our while to think on it – and not to simply void it.
2015 January 19th, Mon.
Brooklyn, New York

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Dancer (and the Reed)

The Dancer
(and the Reed)

On the sands, beside the ocean,
I did the dancer meet,
As the waves were drum-rolls sounding
And the wind was fluting sweet.

She danced of the creation,
Of the genesis, of sex –
She was god and man and woman,
She was nature – nothing less.

From the sweat, her face was shining,
Though the breeze was blowing cool,
With the surf behind her roaring
As she danced before this fool.

I was spellbound by her dancing –
That was sensual and divine.
I stood and watched her postures
And the play of gestures fine.

With her feet, she stomped a rhythm –
Primordial, heartbeat, lust –
And her torso swayed to lilting –
That of sky that calls to dust.

She was thunder, she was lightning,
She was wind, torrential rain,
She was each of all the seasons,
She was pleasure, she was pain.

She was joy and she was sorrow,
She was laughter, she was grief.
And my heart, by her, was stolen –
By this dancer, like a thief.

So the gods may ask allegiance
That the strongest can’t resist;
So the musk may rouse the senses
And on mating, then insist…

But the dance then rose in tempo,
As coitus too may do,
And it reached, in time, a climax,
With my heart convulsing too.

And then, as she was flowing
And was swaying, I was freed
And I floated, by that seaside,
Like a wave-tossed broken reed.


I think I fell unconscious
And I lay there for a time.
When I woke, there was no dancer –
So I've danced her back in rhyme.

But if you find her dancing –
By an ocean, on a beach,
Beware – for those who watch her
Will be captured by her, each…

Let my rhymes be then sufficient
For the ones, who’re weak of heart –
Though they be a pale reflection
Of the wonder of her art.

Her face was flushed – her beauty
Was like the morning mist,
Her lips were slightly parted –
Her face, by moisture kissed.

Her hips were circling slowly,
Her arms were waving high,
Her hands were weaving stories,
And her eyes were darting sly.

Was she air or was she ether?
For she leaped in wondrous arcs
And she landed like a feather,
Yet the sand flew out like sparks.

She was sparkling, like a fountain,
She was flowing, like a stream.
Was she a woman – or a goddess?
Was she real – or a dream?

I do not know the answers,
But that dancer, I can see –
For I’d seen, myself, her dancing,
By the breakers, by the sea…
There are things we can imagine.
There are others, that we can't –
That are spoken of in whispers –
Or in hymns the faithful chant.

I have witnessed such a wonder –
As I've seen, myself, my hand.
But whence and how and wherefore,
I do not understand.

2015 January 18th, Sun.
Brooklyn, New York
Please see:  The Dances of the Golden Hall, by Ashoke Chatterjee (text) and Sunil Janah (photographs), ICCR (Indian Council for Cultural Relations), New Delhi, 1979. 

This book, designed by Zehra Tyabji and printed at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, has a short Introduction by Indira Gandhi and a Foreword by the violinist Yehudi Menuhin.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Like Steve Jobs?

This is addressed to some of my (zealot) "Libertarian" and
(blindly) "patriotic" friends.   
Like Steve Jobs?

You say we've got a heaven here
As nowhere else exists.
I don't know if that’s true or not,
But myth, like rot, persists.
So one may write his verses and
May never fear the knock,
Until they're at his door, and then
He's in for quite a shock.

You claim that we have freedom in this land.
And surely there are grades of slavery.
And so, perhaps you'll think it's knavery
For me to say that I don’t understand.

As long as men and women stand in line
To work at jobs, in which their bosses say
What must be done – and workers then obey,
So long, your claims are somewhat asinine.

You say that we can walk away from jobs.
I wish it was that easy. There are guns
That work as well as steel-and-powder ones.
Not everyone can be like Steven Jobs.

And everywhere, across the world,
Where freedom's shoots might rise,
A booted heel bears down to crush
The ones, who so surmise.
Such "insolence" cannot be borne
By those of rank and powers.
And far too often, you will find
That booted heel is ours.
2015 January 17th, Sat., 11:30 pm
Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York

To Monua – Eleven Years Past

To Monua – Eleven Years Past
In the bitter cold of winter
In the northern climes, we pray
For the warmth of northern summers –
And the ones who’ve gone away…

For the life, we each are given,
We each in time return,
From age, despair or illness –
Or fiends that bomb and burn...

We're born, indeed, by accident.
By accident, we go.
And yet, although we're happenstance,
There's much we get to know.

And when our elders leave, our grief
Is deep – but when we see
The ones who're younger go before,
We wish we would not be...
On a Saturday, you left us –
Or on a Sunday morn,
On the dates returned this weekend,
Oh my sister, all forlorn...
And I wasn’t there to stay you –
But a continent away.
And this, I still remember –
In the silence, every day.
But if there’s still your spirit
That wanders, asking why –
With our parents now departed,
You should know, I’m coming by –

And surely, we’ll be meeting
And I will hold your hand –
And our parents might be watching
And they will understand.
And all your friends, your cousins,
Your elders, in-laws, more –
The ones you touched, who’re living –
Or gone, will come to know.

For you and I and others
Are ripples on a sea –
That though we each might vanish
Will never cease to be.
You lived a life of beauty,
However deep the pain –
And each of us is praying
We’ll find you once again.


And so – for every other,
Who has passed the “One Way” sign
And left behind another
Who can only pray and pine –
I write to you, my sister,
As they might write to those –
The ones, who're not returning
From where their fortune chose...
The bubbles meet and part and pop
And others take their place.
So parents grieve and siblings mourn,
Remembering a face...
We think with time the wound will heal.
But rarely is it so.
In every home, the sorrow comes
And never will it go.
2015 January 17th, Sat. 9:35 pm
Brooklyn, New York

In Memoriam
Monua Janah
1959 – 2004

And Where Are You?

Immersion in the Ganges

Jupiter Rising
Monua in Boston


Friday, January 16, 2015


You say that you have lost your sense of self,
been sundered into pieces, scattered, strewn…
You ask me how you might collect yourself.
I wish I knew a method to rejoin
your broken bits. Instead, I’ll offer this.
If you were free to leave this Earth and roam
the depths, and with the solar wind could fly
beyond the planets and the comet-clouds,
you then might glimpse the truths that some deny.

When lost within the interstellar dark,
or even out between the galaxies,
there’s still that foam that bubbles up from naught
and gives you substance, likewise giving birth
to all that swirls and feeds the fiery dance.

And in the interstices, you might find
the workings of that universal mind –
the Brahma of the pantheists – that bears
the Yahweh-Allah feared by Abraham...


That desert god was jealous, as were those
the Greeks had placed upon Olympus high.
And if indeed the gods are judged by what
is deemed as their creation, surely then
they’re all a heartless bunch of nincompoops.
And yet, perhaps, within the endless void,
on seeing distant lights that flare and die,
you’d come to hear the murmuring of those,
who still persist in asking, “Why, oh why?”
And if there be an answer, you’d return
and share with mortals what that reason is.
And if there isn't, or it can’t be known,
you still might tell your tales of wondrous things
to us, who’re bound by our terrestrial birth.
To travel out, upon a flare, and see
our local sphere – and then, the dark, to view –
to turn towards the fading sun and be
where nothing is – might bring you back to you…
You’re lost and scattered?  So, the atoms are.
The light is speeding out to who knows where.
And yet, amidst that chatter – hear the song.
The atoms chant in all their alto keys.
You’re born to die – and yet you still belong.
So why such travels out, to realms of cold?
Why leave your planet’s womb to course the dark?
Such ventures, you might leave to natures bold,
and turn to journeys inwards, on this ark…

For all the truths you might discover there,
beyond the planets and the cloud of Oort –
You'll find them here, upon this spinning Earth
and in that self that viewing can dissolve –
to leave that void that still gives birth to all...

So I have offered you a dream and then
have told you that it's worth is null and naught,
except perhaps to see the trap in which
the ones who're lost and those who're found are caught.
2015 January 16th, Fri.
Brooklyn, New York

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


When your nights are crazed – and your mind’s on fire,
When your days are mad – and you race,
When you’re robbed of wit and of all desire,
Then you’ll know the name of that place.
You’ve been told of a hell in the afterlife,
And for some, that’s a subject of mirth.
But whether it’s there or not, you can see
We have fashioned our hells on this Earth.
When you’re caught in the battle, you will kill or be killed,
For that is the plight of us humans.
We are soldiers who slaughter, and our leaders can say,
“We have turned them, as needed, to demons.”
You’ll be sent to a school or be trained for a war,
And they both are the sides of the same.
You’ll be robbed of your freedom. You’ll toil or you’ll fight,
And you won’t be aware of the shame.
There are wars that we humans endure.  And we die,
But the wars of our tribes do not end.
We are drudges who work, till we sicken and die.
But the lines to the mills do not end.

Is it Lucifer then who has led us to this,
Is it Satan, who's conquered the world?
So our hearts have been asking, since pharaohs arose
And we men, in the furnace, were hurled.

The pyramids rise in the south and the north,
The ziggurats, towers and domes.
And we humans are tamed and are rendered as slaves
In the Shenzhens and Cairos and Romes.
There are snares that we set for the bird and the beast,
There are snares that we set for our kind.
In the lands of the west and the lands of the east,
They can capture your body and mind.
There are hells on this Earth that we humans have made,
In the battlefield, factory and mine.
And we work and we fight, till we’re worn or we’re dead.
There are more, who are waiting in line...
And your fortune or wit could have saved you from this,
Or have given you leases of years.
But the traps have been baited and prisons prepared
For the labors of sweat and of tears.
If you’re looking for peace, you should exit fast,
For you’ll stay at the risk of your soul.
And the longer you stay, the more of your bits
You will need to rejoin, to be whole.
When the mind is at peace, then the body is freed
From the toil or the fight that’s the trap.
So it’s peace that’s denied to the mind, as the slave
Who’s been captured is smeared with the crap.
It’s the loss of your freedom that leads to the grave,
Before you have lived of your life.
It’s the captives who labor, so their captors can say
They have profited much from the strife.

With our children corrupted, with innocence lost,
With the adults complicit in this,
Can we sleep in the nights, can we breathe in the days
And pretend that the future is bliss?
2015 January 5th, Mon. 4:04 am
(stanzas added January 13th, Tue. 2:01 am

and January 17th, Sat. 8:35 am)
Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York


Sunday, January 11, 2015

ভূত–II (Bhut–II)

ভূত–II (Bhut–II) 
অনেক আশায়, এই বিদেশে
এসে, হলাম গবেট শেষে৷
বলল সাহেব, “ও অকেজো,
এমনি করে বাসন মেজো –  
বাইরে যেন চকচকায় –  
ঝিলিক যেন সোনার প্রায়৷”
বাধ্য হয়ে, মাজছি বাসন৷
তাও ত দেখ, পাচ্ছি শাসন৷
কায়দা করে, বেয়ে সিঁড়ি, 
উঠছে সাহেব৷ চাকরি-গিরি
করছি আমি, বেদম খেটে৷
খিস্তি-গালি জ্বলছে পেটে৷
বাসন মেজে মাহিনা পাই,
ফিসফিসিয়ে ভজন গাই৷
সকল আশা হল ছাই,
গুরুর দয়া চাইছি তাই৷
ওজন ভারী বইছি যত,
লাঠি-জুতো পাচ্ছি তত৷
করল আমায়, ধোপার গাধা৷
ওজন বয়ে, হলাম হাদা৷
ঘোড়ার মতন ছুটছি যত,
খাচ্ছি তবু চাবুক তত৷
ভূতের মতন খেটে – ধুত!
খিচরে গিয়ে, হলাম ভূত!
বিকেল ১:৩৫, রবিবার, ১১ই জানুয়ারি, ২০১৫ খ্রি
বেন্সন্হার্স্ট, ব্রুক্লিন, নিউ যর্ক  

A Season for Retreating

A Season for Retreating
If you’re punished for your labor,
Should you cease to do what’s right?
If it’s truth that you’ve uncovered,
Should you hide it from the light?

When you’re harried for your caring,
Will you then no longer care?
When you’re hammered for your daring,
Will you then no longer dare?

You can think about your answer,
You can answer fast or slow.
But until you’ve lived to know it,
You will never really know.

You may think that you’re a fighter,
That you’ll never yield your ground
When the stakes are truth and justice,
Though the foe be all around.

But the years can take their taxes
And the blows can wear you down.
And there’s little point in fighting
When it’s you against the town.

There’s a point in every battle,
There’s a time in every war,
When you know you’ve been defeated,
No matter who you are.

There’s a season for advancing,
Another for the pause.
There’s a season for retreating,
No matter what the cause.

For your causes may have merit
And your logic may be sound,
But when lies have you surrounded,
Then it’s time for ceding ground.

2015 January 11th, 12:31 pm
Brooklyn, New York

Je Gan Gai-যে গান গাই

যে গান গাই 
(The Songs We Sing -এর  অনুবাদ)
পুরনো গানের সুরে, আমরা গাইছি নতুন গান৷
গানের স্রোতে আসছে, শোনো, প্রাচীন যুগের প্রান৷
অতীত থেকে কান্না-হাসি, বিদ্যা-বুদ্ধি নিয়ে,
বইছে নদী আসছে-যুগে, আজের গীতি দিয়ে৷
বনের মাঝে, এলো কানে বনবাসীদের গাওয়া৷
মনে হল বইছে যেন পুরান কালের হাওয়া৷
কত দিনের আগের কথা, সেই হাওয়াতে ভাসে৷
কবে যারা চলে গেছে, মনে আবার আসে৷

নতুন পাতার জন্ম হল, প্রাচীন গাছের ডালে৷
মাটির নিচের শেকড় দিয়ে, অতীত থেকে টানে
নতুন গানের ছন্দ-মানে, নতুন সুরের দোল৷
মায়ের থেকে জন্মে, শিশু ছাড়বে ক্রমে কোল৷
নতুন গানে থাকে যদি মূল্য খাঁটি সার,
রইবে গাওয়া, আমরা যখন হয়েছি নদী পার৷
বনের পথে হেঁটে হেঁটে, হয়ত তখন কানে
আসবে, কারোর, মোদের গীতি, দুলবে সুরের টানে
সকাল ১১:৩০
রবিবার, ১১-ই জানুয়ারি
ব্রুক্লিন, নিউয়র্ক
This is a translation, into Bengali, of:

The Songs We Sing 

The Songs We Sing

The Songs We Sing

The songs we sing are part of all
The songs that course through ages.
They carry laughter, sighs and tears –
And wisdom from the sages.

So when you hear the singing in
The forest, then you know
The song could be an ancient one
That’s still in sparkling flow.
And every song that we create
Or think we do has roots
In all the songs that came before –
With ours, the latest shoots…

And if, perchance, the songs we make
Have essences that last,
They’ll still be there, in some refrain,
When you and I are past.

2015 January 11th, Sun. 10:31 am
Brooklyn, New York

For a translation into Bengali, please see:

Je Gan Gai - যে গান গাই



The wonders of a land that still is filled
with all the riches human hands and minds
had wrought in ages past – the thoughts and crafts,
the songs and dances that enriched the lives
of our ancestors – these, we've long ignored,
accepting, as our own, the foreign garb
of those who came to plunder, aping ways
of distant lands – and even spurning speech
of parents for the tongues of conquerors
who long have left in body, leaving us
with one more layer yet to add to those
the settlers and the raiders past had laid,
from Arya tribes to Central Asian hordes –
with every foreign vice accepted, while
our own remained, with virtues rarely learned
of those who came, while native ones were spurned –
and from our actions and the ones before
there rises, like a strange, familiar dream,
our India, this, the country dear we love,
that’s filled as much with wonder as with woe,
where sorrows new are overlaid on old,
where justice rarely, in a life, is found –
that yet remains for us our hallowed ground,
on which, in peasants' phrases, you will find
the wisdom of the seers of the past
and in the laughter of the tribals you
will hear the echoes of the ages yet
and all the innocence that still remains
untouched at heart by streams of filth that flow
from sources old and new to settle, dank,
on sediments that build the rock below.

2015 January 11th Sat. 9:37 am
Brooklyn, New York  

Saturday, January 10, 2015

For Every Love Denied

For Every Love Denied

I walk tonight and see a rising moon –
And so recall that Luna’s silver light
Lends magic to the lovers’ trystings, as
It casts that shadow that’s a lover’s plight.

The joys of love are celebrated, but
Its sorrows give, to songs of love, their depth.
When love’s accepted, we rejoice – and yet,
At being rejected, some are more adept.
But those, who’ve weathered their romances past,
And so, in many ways, can shield their hearts,
Too often may forget their innocence
Or when they first were pierced by Cupid’s darts.
For every love, sincere, that’s been denied,
For every lover scorned, abandoned, I
Now make lament.  The moon that rises, full,
I see reflected in a wistful eye.
For every yearning for fulfillment that
Depended on another’s whim or choice,
I whisper recognition.  To that pain
Of unfulfillment, I give plaintive voice.

Let every maid, from grave or ashes, rise,
Who died a spinster, from her love denied.
Let every youth revive, to walk again,
Who yearned and aged – and till his passing pined.
And let those beings walk beneath this moon
And be the lovers they were meant to be –
If only for an hour, in that sweet delight –
And then, fulfilled, forever cease to be…
I walk tonight, beneath a rising moon
And so recall the joy, frustration, pain
Of courtship and rejection.  So I mouth
These verses now – that might be mouthed again…
2015 January 10th, Sat.
Brooklyn, New York

Thursday, January 8, 2015


It's been a while that you have gone. I miss your presence so.
And whether you are present still, I really do not know.


We do not know from where we come or know the reason why
We each are born to live awhile, to suffer and to die.

From spirit, light and atoms, there is conjured up a soul.
But what, we ask, is spirit?  It is everywhere and whole –
Or so we’re told, by those who might have insight or might not.
They speak of it as essence – that persists. Yet bodies rot.

And surely mind and body each are in the other’s core,
So self cannot remain as such, when body is no more.
We do not know to where we go or whether we’ll return –
Or what are time and space, in which the distant beacons burn.

And yet, we each have memory – and that, which still is passed
From virus and from cell to cell, as through the eons past.
And so it is, I type these lines and send them out to read
To those who then might pass them on – or swiftly hit "delete".
But if indeed the “I” and so the “we” are made of dreams,
The dreamer is, though bubbles form and pop in spirit’s streams.


If you and I were bubbles, then perhaps it's once we'd meet.
But to the dreamer dreaming this, I'd say, "That part was sweet."

2015 January 8th, Thu.
Brooklyn, New York 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Winter’s Rain

Winter’s Rain
The steady drip of rain on winter days
is better than the snow, for those who fear
the shoveling and mess that snow can bring.
And if my job had less of misery,
I then might welcome this as grace
that wets the earth and feeds the lakes – and so
prepares us for the coming of the spring.
But now, I walk the city’s pavements hard,
with grays of skies reflected in the streets –
and grimace.  “More of winter’s woe.”, I think –
and sourly wish I’d stayed between the sheets.

But while I walk and hear these phrases rise
and ebb like sighs within my mind, I think,
“By writing these, I’d burden others too,
who might perhaps be needing some relief.” –
and so I turn my mind to better things.
The grays of winter, in the polar climes,
could be our payment due for autumn’s leaves
and our deposit for the blooms of spring –
a happy thought, to mull and store away…
And thinking next of summer’s greenery,
I walk the streets and savor winter’s rain…
So such things yield – to weak philosophy.
2014 January 3rd, Sat.
Brooklyn, New York

গাইব তাদের গান (gaibo tader gan)

গাইব তাদের গান

ধর্মের পথে, কাটল জীবন পাপের আবিষ্কারে৷
কাজের ফলে, ভরল থলি কেবল তিরষ্কারে৷
যা কিছু প্রিয়, রাখল কেড়ে গভীর অন্ধকারে৷

নিশির মাঝে, পথ হারিয়ে, আলোর খোঁজে যাই৷
হোঁচট খেয়ে, হুমরে পরে, যমের দয়া চাই৷
দুঃখে, শোকে, মনে মনে মায়ের ভজন গাই৷
বারেবারে আঘাত খেয়ে, তাও ত আছে প্রাণ৷
তাই ত আছে আলোর স্মৃতি, আছে আশার টান৷
রাতের শেষে, ভোর বেলাতে, গাইব তাদের গান৷
শনিবার, ৩রা জানুয়ারি, ২০১৪ খ্রি
ব্রুকলিন, নিউ য়র্ক


Friday, January 2, 2015

The Gifts of this New Age (notun juger upohar-নতুন যুগের উপহার)

(translation of Notun Juger Upohar-নতুন যুগের উপহার)
The Gifts of this New Age
They’re polite, on the surface, but cruel within.
They hide, beneath their cultured phrases,
their sharp and poisoned daggers.

Civility and barbarism have combined
to make such beings – they, who sit
in suits in offices – and type
upon their screens,
so that, each day,
our slavery increases.

They’ve forgotten right and wrong –
but they know, very well,
how to count the dollars.
In the place of learning,
they sell
their wares of ignorance.
The lords and serfs of old have left.
We have, instead, these beings
and their servers –
the gifts of this new age.
Yeshua and Gotama, see…
Tell us, Kabir,
how can we escape
from this?
Give us counsel.
Whisper, in our ears,
your song…
2014 30th December, Tue (Bengali original)
(translated into English, 2015 Jan. 2nd, Fri.)
Brooklyn, New York

Thursday, January 1, 2015


On days when I’ve been overwhelmed by stress
but still have somehow put the work to rest,
on walking home, I’m freed awhile to breathe,
observe and contemplate the flow of life.

And I confess, at times I seek escape –
and when I’m able, fly away in mind
to walk beside a broad and flowing river –
far from cities built on greed and fear.
Let men devour each other, seek to climb
where base or high ambition bids them to.
Let those like me, of humbler needs, repair
to where such rivers, in their natures, flow.
The sun is shining on the waves, the wind
is blowing through the waving grass – and clouds
are soaring in the arcing dome of blue.
I hear the wind, the lapping waves and more.
The sound of birds perhaps – the distant moo,
the flute that’s playing from the orchard grove…
Ah, sit in corner-offices on high,
but let us be, to walk in fields alone…
On walking home at dusk, I see the stars
appearing one by one above.  I see the trees
that stand as still and silent sentinels...
And so, this son of earth and sky revives…
So each seeks refuge from the cruel game –
and each, if lucky, finds a place of peace,
from which to draw the spirit's sustenance –
for otherwise, a soulless shell remains.
2015 January 1st, Thu.
Brooklyn, New York