• Thursday, Apr 09, 2020
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Cries of this soil

  • Published at 04:59 pm March 14th, 2020
Painting by S.M. Sultan
Painting by S.M. Sultan


(Translated by Rifat Munim)

stop me while there is still time

place me on land

in water

give me a bath with water 

filled with flowers, Mother

rub coconut oil all over me

tell me still 

we can get by only with rice and daal

we don’t need a world of plenty.


keep me here still 

hidden in your chest

put me all over the full moon on the plate

and don’t forget to ask Grandma

why the old woman weaving yarn on the moon 

still cries


there still is a flower near my heart,

a petal of bakul;

plant new seeds with all your heart 

and let there be chants 

praising all plants and trees!


keep me here still 

beside a lantern; 

no need for electricity do I feel

bare the whole village 

to resist the burning of soil

to make sure

the city does not make its way

                             toward the village.


keep me here still, in farming

tropical wind

if there is an epidemic in the neighborhood

I’ll be here as neem flowers, 

to keep you all safe.


all over the sajne stems

dewdrops frolic all morning

keep me here still

don’t send me far away 

in the name of education!


keep all aspects of civilization 

hidden from me

Mother, in my ignorant world

I’ll rather be the cries of this soil.


keep me here still

after sprinkling water on the bitter gourd plants

I’ll go catch dragonflies 

for my fledgling shalik bird

in the mornings and afternoons every day.


don’t leave me, Father

president of a committee I don’t want to be

sitting on the earthen verandah

I’ll rather seek out the Supreme Being

in the light of the star 

that is yet to come alive!


keep me here still

in the verdant Shantiniketan

in prolonged dejection

cries my mind!