The room is locked from outside;
It's windowless, I'm all alone.
The darkness, a giant serpent,
Has me in its coils like a hideous ogre
Where is the beauty of nature
To captivates one's eyes?
Why doesn't one hear time ticking
The endless Sari of eternity
Day and night?
In the cold and the dark,
I'm a prisoner
Sans images, sans touches, sans sound,
Seemingly shrouded by death.
Fearful and marked on my forehead and cheeks
I accept punishment for sins I'd never known.
Who are you going North?
Are the songs of the larks
Frozen in the cold?
Send to them powdered sunbeams.
Record their unfrozen songs!
Who are you going West ?
Do kingfishers there fleet across
Limpid waters ?
Bring back scenes painted in water colors.
Bring back pictures of moonlight
Ofthe dainty feet of fairies.
Who one you going South ?
Mermaids will touch you gently there.
Tell them all I'm in a dark dungeon,
And heartless forgetfulness is crushing me
Day after day, mornings and nights.
Unlike tales in the Arabian Nights
I shan't be suddenly unchained.
Gone are the feeble rays of hope.
In mornings to come I know
No one will come to hold my hands anymore!
No one will tell me ever that night has now ended
And the creatures of darkness are no more
For you there are nature's wonders
And a fountain of happiness flowing
Till eternity. And someone saying,
“Come let us touch it
Though we can't embrace
Its boundless expanse.'
I know all these will mean nothing
As long as the lock outside remains.
So be it. But if only I could
Conjure the whole world into this room again!
Mahbub Talukder is an established poet and at present Member, Election Commission of Bangladesh.
Kazi Fazlur Rahman writes fictional and non-fictional prose. He is a retired bureaucrat and was Adviser of the Bangladesh Caretaker Government 1990-91.