Smells of a Frozen Fire | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 24, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, September 24, 2016

Smells of a Frozen Fire

Translated from the Bengali: Sofiul Azam

So weird a moon is now up,

whose inner rot lets loose its stench in the air,

its pus raining down as moonlight.

At the edge of a forsaken field, I'm on my feet

and looking at the perverse full moon.

Will those deserted desires wake up tonight?

Wounds on my heels,

the tiredness of long travelling in my sinews.

In a strange aircraft of my imagination, I fly to the height of seven stars,

and soaring around, see the history of this world's growing old.

There were wars then,

humankind flicked seeds out with dreams of crops –

and at the cost of sweat were stored the stocks of tomorrows.

There are wars now,

crops ripen on fields as before –

and at the cost of sweat is stored more of sweat still.

Hatred in my eyes,

the guilt of long remaining unmoved in my body and soul.

Perhaps in the coming winter,

there will be none freezing over in cold.

Or who knows –

perhaps in the market

will soon be released a purified full moon.

Will those deserted desires wake up tonight?

Again in an aircraft of my imagination,

once flying forward and back,

I watch this world's scary future –

human hands cropping out of the earth.

It's prophesied this world full of barbed wires would be a village,

and a five-membered court will set forth –

all the untouchables will plead at the chief's feet.

Yet more of songs will be sung

to the left-off twang of extinct birds.

On the barks of deformed trees

will be carved human faces.

Even if the tax is levied on each dream,

everyday new poems will be written down.

Perhaps haughty hills, too, 

will beseech pity at human feet. 

Rain will be sold out,

so will be compassion and kisses,

and dogs will feast on their kin's flesh and bones.

In agony, my jaws harden, 

will those deserted desires wake up tonight?

Each geography is now changed,

on both sides of this planet is the full moon up tonight –

the perverse moonlight floods fields and docks.

How far can one walk with wounds on heels?

Perhaps now is the auspicious time –

to fan conflagrations of desires all around.

They spread far and wide;

a greedy tongue, after its meal of the whole world,

snakes up towards the moon,

just then all of a sudden a bizarre cold 

drops down on all corners.

Half sunk in snow,

and the other half in tree-branches on fire,

this night keeps awake with a widow's barren solitude.

Caught in the snowy net wide spread,

the lusty fire flames up –

a war is on between frost and fire;

and afloat on the air –

smells of a frozen fire.

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