Bangbandhu

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Weeping silently her breast trembled
Dearest son wiped her tears away, promising a better tomorrow

He watched the path from whence he came
Walking forward proudly, never hiding his face in shame
I am a Bangali he told those who asked

He charmed his beloved people, gathered friends among the masses
When they were hopeless, he gave them hope
When they were defiled, he became defiant
Gathered all Bangalis, the determined plan

Enemies devised action upon action to thwart his every move
Bangalies were hurting this he knew well
Anger, frustration, enemies killed his precious Bangalis
March 25th, 1971 the day no one could forget
Tanks, soldiers killing Bangalis until the early dawn
Death did not control his ferocious Bangalis
Their fortitude increased

Bangabandhu raised his head from her breast, wiped her tears away
‘Hush’ he whispered in her ear. “Your children will suffer no more”
He led his Bangalis from war to freedom, keeping promises made long ago
An independent Bangladesh, a brighter today

originally published in "Poems on Bangabondhu in Different Languages" in 2004 and appeared in the column Coming of Age featured in Weekly Bengalee Newspaper in 1994.

 

Dhaka Morning View

Misty fog surrounds the trees
I wrap my shawl tighter around
Blocking the cold drafts surrounding me
I can see the men wrapped in shawls wearing lungees
Their heads wrapped in cotton scarves
Huddled closely around a fire nearby

Rickshaws pass by ringing their bells loudly
Dogs bark at street noises and a kitty wanders in under the gate
In the distance the wail of a train’s horn and
Cars beeping as they go this way and that through the streets
To their destinations in various parts of the city

The clouds shifting back and forth
The mist of the fog melting away  to
A glimmer of the sun peaking through
Giving promise to a beautiful day ahead
Green, golden and beautiful
Breaks the dawn in Bangladesh

My Connecticut Home

When I think of you
It is the smell of the air before the rain
The crunch of fallen red gold leaves   Of the old Oak tree
The red of my cheeks on a cold, Winter day

When I think of you
I am riding my bicycle around the neighborhood
The smell the coffee brewing
Hamburgers & Steaks
We are playing shark in the pool in Summer

When I think of you
The fog is so thick you can’t see anything
The brook flows freely
The birds chirp while they eat
The street is clean and clear
The field just a stone’s throw away in Spring

When I think of you
It is home and tears threaten to fall
I miss the sights, the smells and visions of you
I am you and you are me
I see you when I sleep and wish we were together
Back home again, in Connecticut

 

I See You

Through the mist
Through the clouds
Through the rain
I see you

Through the sadness
Through the hurt
Through the pain
I see you

Through trouble
Through success
Through heartbreak
Through love
I see you

I see you
I see you
I see you

Dark Clouds

Dark clouds hang overhead
Everyday that same feeling of dread
July first memories don’t seem to wane
Morning and nights it’s all the same

Who are you, questions unasked
They entered proudly, no need of mask
We are ISIS they proclaimed
Then began killing, not even ashamed

Night turns to mourning
Hopes turn to tears
Fighting against turning
Courage into fear

Candlelight masses in the park
This sad day forever we mark
Twenty-two souls now have gone away
Never to see the light of another day

Dark clouds hang overhead
Everyday that same feeling of dread

Allahu Akbar

“Allahu Akbar”
The call for prayer echoes near and far
White clad men wearing caps line the streets
Red checkered shawls draped 
Remembrance of their Hajj
One by one they make their way
Step by step to the Mosque

“Allahu Akbar” says the Imam leading prayer
Whispers of the congregation follow
Rise, bend and prostrate; Rise, bend and prostrate
Until each raka of the prayer completed
Imam speaks, everyone listens 
One by one departing
Step by step to home

“Allahu Akbar” rings out as the terrorist strikes
People killed “Allahu Akbar”
Now a bad refrain
From peace chaos
ISIS what have you done
ISIS why have you sacrificed ISLAM

That Day At Holey Bakery

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Drip drop rain somehow soothing
Thinking of 22 souls
Tears appear
Restless, wakeful, tearful, fearful
Tomorrow
What will it bring?
Joy, sorrow, remorse, guilt
Happiness seems far
Normal disappeared
That day at Holey Bakery
 
Venture out?
No!
Who are you?
What do you want?
Who am I?
Who is God?
Fearful questions, fearful answers
What is the right one?
Allah or Jesus?
We are brothers, sisters in fear
Normal disappeared
That day at Holey Bakery
 
Healing the hurt
Seems far away
Bang!
Is it a gun, a bomb, are they back?
Terrorists loom in darkness
Peak out, afraid to speak out
Candle light vigil, we stand strong
United in defeat, in fear
Normal disappeared
That day at Holey Bakery