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Monday, July 06, 2020

Two poets write about the season of disquiet

Two poets on the strange new rhythms of a world thrown out of gear.

Updated: May 24, 2020 10:14:01 am
(Illustration by Suvajit Dey)

The World Takes a Breath

The world takes a breath

noisily —

recycling anodyne
text messages
about the wisdom
of looking within,

photographs of mute anguish
to give us our daily fix
of indignation,

a wild pandemic
of pieties.

Who’d have thought
an empty hour
was so much labour?

We walk the day most times
on steel girders
of habit

knowing that as long as there are lists
the world is safe,

and meaning won’t save us
(never has),
but rhythms will.

And only sometimes
does all the fumbling
and twitching
swivel
into

immaculate choreography

and the sky falls away
like blue laughter

and suddenly we’re cycling,

hands free, hands free,
on air.

 

Arundhathi Subramaniam is an award-winning author and poet

Spare Us

Daud Haider

ImprisonmentI know, like a familiar nightmare
by heart,
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
virus.

Despairing and dead,
Hungry and ailing,
Men in perpetual winter haunt pyres and graves across
centuries
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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