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A tributary’s own words

  • Published at 07:04 pm January 11th, 2020

A poem by Belal Chowdhury in Rifat Munim's translation

Abruptly one day

somewhat absent-mindedly 

did I enter this forest;

like someone who, in spite of himself, 

flips through the thousand pages a book, 

not reading it and yet going through the motions 

because his indolence wouldn’t let him

get up and close the book and put it back.

Far behind this uninterrupted silence in the forest, 

I left the human settlements; 

people’s voices do not reach here

even though our deafness is bigger than the number of people;

the forest is like a distant place, filled with darkness 

and prized mountains

—Aren’t we even more incomprehensible and inaccessible than that?

Piled up is firewood

while a charming, cold darkness is enveloping the forest

but this time, come what may

I have to flow out 

through all the exit routes that I can find. 

Rifat Munim is literary editor, Dhaka Tribune.