Butterflies flit, turn and flutter
Like shreds of color bolted into air.
Flowers gaze up in alarm
at the sparkles in the sun.
It's the wizard's legerdemain,
Beyond compare is the phenomenon.
Flowers check with their apparels
if their colors have faded somewhere,
or make sure their fleeting fluorescence
hasn't rubbed off on these agile aliens
or if the doubtful strangers have picked
Their little pockets in broad daylight,
Their pigments, their only treasures,
And made them paupers extraordinaire.
Daylight brigands, thieves — who knows—
There can be that pass for the gentry
in the latest fashion and artistry,
but are forsooth light-fingered gentlemen
with a fair face and slick hair
or armed with a cold blade lethal assassins.
Like the lovers caught kissing
By the flash of a sudden light
In the dark I was embarrassed
By the discovery of my secret
Delight, a hidden treasure,
A trove of glittering desire
Burning all by itself at night
When to my privacy I retire
With a thousand candle lights.
It's a majestic deep-sea fish,
That turns and flashes preciosities
But dies dull coming to strong light.
Let it alone, and burn a cold silver
A smouldering smokeless fire,
A solitary creature of the deep.
Masud Mahmood is a Professor of English at Chittagong University.