January 23, 2018

In Quest of Wild Happiness

poem

In Quest of Wild Happiness

by Shahinur Islam


At the end of the nightlong war comes a shriveling dawn

shouldering merely a drop of happiness, her image

sitting tight in the ravaged field from far to much farther—

too far— to the hundred more fields; her whole body remains

a thirsty mouth like a dry leaf. A whole cubic heart of pain

is born just as seeds of pomegranate are stored in a whole.

The rest of the day across the grassy field when the sky

is more impudent with someone else, the bad company

of love forfeits the solitude of grass. Then no tapping

of fingers falls on her lips like the second phase of the moon;

On her mahua eyelids shower no kisses in crazy glee.

This time her eyes picture the relief hanging in the tie

of a noose after so many years; and then someone seems

to inaugurate the workshop of sadness in the town

of heart. At that time a fire-beaked bird comes with love of hell,

and without taking her on his wings nips her entire heart

and throws in the parched crematorium unseen so far

as if to burn and enrich the ash-ground for the last time.

But how many days he’s peeped into the yard of her mind!

How much he’s been besotted with the drained delight in her!

How often he has left her alone with the mere fragrance

of jasmines after making them fall in the morning

in quest of wild happiness in the missing, cruel forests!

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