The World Takes a Breath
The world takes a breath
about the wisdom
of looking within,
photographs of mute anguish
to give us our daily fix
a wild pandemic
Who’d have thought
an empty hour
was so much labour?
We walk the day most times
on steel girders
knowing that as long as there are lists
the world is safe,
and meaning won’t save us
but rhythms will.
And only sometimes
does all the fumbling
and the sky falls away
like blue laughter
and suddenly we’re cycling,
hands free, hands free,
Arundhathi Subramaniam is an award-winning author and poet
ImprisonmentI know, like a familiar nightmare
I have peeled months and sieved seasons in jails.
Here I am hunched again among scourges of loneliness
Bruised by a two-headed hydra — terror and an invisible
Despairing and dead,
Hungry and ailing,
Men in perpetual winter haunt pyres and graves across
as gigantic griefs every waking hour
Their phantom screams pound my listless ears.
Spare us, O goddess of dark nights, spare us your blood-
ied, frightening grimace.
Daud Haider is a Bangladeshi poet in exile in Berlin. The poem has been translated from Bengali by SwatiGhosh
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