Friday, March 31, 2017

The Dreamers’ Lament

The Dreamers’ Lament
In childhood, we conceived our dreams;
in youth, we gave them birth.

And then we worked to rear them,
and saw them slowly grow.

And we had hoped to leave them strong,
before we left this Earth.

But sadly, they were ravaged, wrecked—
and now they are no more.

The things that we had dreamed of,
for which we worked and fought,

They still appear as worthwhile,
although our dreams have died,

as all the things, that we had built,
are rendered now as naught.

For every time we’d smiled and laughed,
we’ve also wept and cried.

The tasks, that we had set ourselves,
now must again be done.

But who will fight those battles, still,
that we had thought we’d won?

And who, we ask, will shoulder now
those burdens we had carried?

It seems that we have overstayed;
for far too long, we’ve tarried.

Our spans of course are limited,
yet long enough for woe.

We’ve had our sips of joy and now—
it’s time for us to go.

2017 March 31st, Fri
Brooklyn, New York

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Gems Within Your Eyes

The Gems Within Your Eyes

In your eyes, I saw the diamond—
in your eyes, I saw the pearl,
the amethyst, the emerald—
that said you were my girl.

And red might be the ruby,
and blue the sapphire’s fire,
but all their colors faded
beside my deep desire.

In your eyes I saw my Venus—
my dream of Aphrodite.
I only saw your eyes then,
though you were in your nightie.

Although we might have quarreled
when the stars had brought us close,
when they chose to separate us,
I could see beyond my nose.

And I could see your eyes then,
that twinkled from afar,
as I’d seen them flash and sparkle,
when you briefly were my star.

2017 March 18th, Sat.
Brooklyn, New York

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Breath and Heart

The images are not directly related to the verses that follow.  They might give you a sense of the season and the sights here in Brooklyn, New York.

Click on an image to see it in a somewhat larger and clearer format.  If you are using a web-browser on a traditional computer, you can then also click on the thumbnails for the other images. This might not be possible on a cellphone.

For an even larger, clearer projection, against a darkened background, you can, in most Windows PC web browsers, use the f11 key to toggle to full screen view.  
To return to this post (if on a computer), use the esc key, or click on the white X near the top right of the dark background.  On PC's, remember to hit f11 again to return to normal viewing mode.

After the Snow. Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. 2017 Feb 9.

Crossing Manhattan Bridge. 2017 February 19.

Trees. Starrett City, Brooklyn. 2017 February 19. 

Breath and Heart 

There is, to everything and everyone,
a softer side, that’s gentle, calm and mild—
and there’s another, that is hard and harsh,
oblivious to the pain and harm it does.

If only we could mouth a mantra that
could turn the others to their kinder selves,
then many of our troubles might have ends,
and all the world become a better one.

But finding no such spell in all we’ve learned,
the only thing we still could do might be
to turn ourselves towards our gentler halves—
to dwell therein, aware of breath and heart.

So when the anger rises or the fear,
observe it rising, as you would a wave—
and see it rise and crest and then subside—
so mind and heart can clearly work again.

Behold the fear and make of it your friend.
Observe the anger as you would a child’s.
Forgive the ones who act as though they’re blind,
and cleanse your heart of evil.  Do be kind.

2017 March 16th, Thu.
Room 208 (teacher’s room)
Telecommunications (formerly Bay Ridge) High School
Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York

Friday, March 3, 2017

Likhbe Xexe Je-লিখবে শেষে যে-The Writer at the End

There are five items in this post: 

  • 1. the Bengali original (লিখবে শেষে যে)sparked by a Facebook post by Sanju Saha;
  • 2. a Roman transcription (Likhabē Śēṣē Yē), via Google's site,, that follows the standard spelling in the Bengali script;
  • 3. another Roman transcription (Likhbe Xexe Je), of the author's devising, that follows the standard Bengali pronunciation, rather than the standard spelling; 
  • 4. a voice recording of the Bengali;
  • 5. a translation into English (The Writer at the End).

Item 1: Bengali Original

লিখবে শেষে যে

অনেক কিছু লেখার ছিল,
লেখা হল না৷
ভাবছি, কাকে বলব এখন,
বলার ছিল যা৷

ছিলে যখন পাশে, তখন
ব্যস্ত ছিলাম, তাই
লিখছি এখন, দিনের শেষে,
মনের কথা, ভাই৷ 

আসছে না, সেই বুকের ব্যাথা,
কাগজ কলমে৷
বসে আছি, তার-ই আশায়,
লিখবে শেষে যে৷
শুক্রবার, ৩রা মার্চ, ২০১৭ খ্রি
ব্রুক্লিন, নিউয়র্ক

Item 2:  The following is a Roman transcription made via

Likhabē Śēṣē Yē

Anēka kichu lēkhāra chila,
lēkhā hala nā.
Bhābachi, kākē balaba ēkhana,
balāra chila yā.

Chilē yakhana pāśē, takhana
byasta chilāma, tā'i
likhachi ēkhana, dinēra śēṣē,
manēra kathā, bhā'i.

Āsachē nā, sē'i bukēra byāthā,
kāgaja kalamē.
Basē āchi, tāra-i āśāẏa,
likhabē śēṣē yē.

Śukrabāra, 3rā Mārca, 2017 Khri
Bruklina, Ni'uẏarka
Item 3: The following is a Romanization made using the transcription scheme outlined briefly at and even more briefly (but perhaps too compactly) below.

  • x = sh, c = ch.
  • t and d are dental (with the tongue tip touching the backs of the upper front teeth)—as in Latin languages.
  • t' and d' are alveolar (tongue tip to upper gum ridge)—as in English.
  • h is used as an aspirant (an addition of a puff of breath to a consonant, as at times done in English).
  • All other consonants are roughly as in English, but without aspiration.
  • All vowels, including those at the ends of words, are pronounced.
  • All unmarked* vowels are as in Italian and Spanish, but mostly with intermediate length (duration).
  • ~ nasalizes the preceding vowel, faintly.
  • Stress (loudness) and elongation (extended duration) are usually placed on the first syllable of a word, but are slight, and there is no slurring of vowels in unstressed syllables.
* Marked Vowels
  • o` is like the first vowel in British orange, being a rounded, open, back vowel, of intermediate length.
  • e` is as in hat, being an unrounded, open, front vowel, of intermediate length.
Again, both of these vowels have intermediate length (duration). 
Likhbe Xexe Je

O`nek kichu lekhar chilo,
lekha holo na.
Bhabchi, kake bolbo e`khon,
bo`lar chilo ja.

Chile jo`khon paxe, to`khon
be`sto chilam, tai
likhchi e`khon, diner xexe,
moner ko`tha, bhai.

Axche na, xei buker be`tha,
kagoj ko`lome.
Boxe achi, tar-i axae,
likhbe xexe je.

Xukrobar, 3e Marc, 2017 Khri
Bruklin, Niu Io`rk

Item 4:  This is a voice recording of the Bengali. This might not work on cellphones. Please click on the rounded-triangle play button on the right of the composite icon below. In some browsers, you might have to click twice. Adjust the volume on your device as needed.

Record music and voice >>

Item 5: The following is a translation into English.
The Writer at the End

There was much to write
that wasn’t written.
I think—to whom will I tell
the things I had to say?

When you were by me, I
was busy, and so
I now attempt to write
my thoughts, dear friend.

What is in my heart
does not come to my pen.
I am waiting for the one
who will write at the end.

Friday, 3rd March, 2017 AD
Brooklyn, New York