Cartography | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 05, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:09 AM, June 05, 2021



The map I dream drawing every day, Bangladesh, is yours.

I will never be weary of dreaming to see you progress from

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The bottomless basket to a beautiful land of liberty and love.

You contain my universe, Bangladesh, where morning starts

With rose-coloured light of the sun like sparks we know

Human brains carry to enlighten the world, to cultivate the

Crops of happiness because your soil is fecund, your monsoon

Is moderate and in spring greens adorn you with the outfit

Of a damsel ready to tie the knot in a mood of merriments.

I can't stop dreaming the land where harmony among religions

Made the occupiers stare in disbelief, the land where both

City and country had bonds, connecting the populace with a

Lisle of amity and empathy, with no sign of bigotry or injustice.

I keep on dreaming the ground where organic viands grew

And kept men sturdy and women statuesque like Sultan's.

I dream of the dawn when country people awoke at the call of

Cockerels and city dwellers didn't burn the midnight oil hatching

Foxy cabals against the babes in the woods, against kids on laps.

I look back and recall the memories of playing in green fields,

Running in sports for an innocuous recognition sans acrimony,

Of seeing children grow up without depression and tension.

I still dream because I am not a nihilist piping a flute of anxiety

But my songs are in danger of extinction, my music in peril.

They toss around and smash sculptures, banning Lalan's lyrics.

Arts and letters beguile, poets spread lies—they shout loud.

Body language suggests they merely deal with fire and ashes,

Whereas the great lights uphold Poetry is music of being human.

Sometimes anguish seizes my mind, kinks thought process too

But I cannot cease to dream of rivers flowing gently to life

Because maybe what I see are just metaphors coming out of

A flask of hallucinations smudged for negligence for eons.

Sometimes I wish to take flight from dark clouds of the land

As the sky whose horizons stretch to eternity looks vaster

And then my skyward rotunda of memories puts me in a limbo.

Sounds from the asylum of silence induce me to sojourn

In the contemporary bailiwick of chaos, just to wait for a time

When words in verse and imagination will direct our dreams

Or dreams will lead us to where we always aspire to live forever.


Mohammad Shafiqul Islam is poet and translator; he teaches English at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Sylhet. 

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