Summer Song

It’s time for agitation against the dark,

for poetry to watch and adore silence―

now it’s no time for hug, kiss, or love.

Last summer when we were far away

I planned a rendezvous by a riverbank―

the warm river having a quiet stream

stirring souls―and to bathe together.

One year already passed, but my plan

hasn’t seen the light, because nature

had probably hatched its secret plan

before we dreamt to be a twosome.

I also planted a seed of a shady tree

that grows fragrant flowers and fruits,

but the seed has stopped sprouting up.

Miasmic flowers hit our nostrils hard

damaging smell sense, diffusing odor

Everything seems to collapse forever,

the sky betraying with dark stars too.

We live our life—maybe no one does—

turning anaemic, counting days silently.


—April 3, 2020


Author: Mohammad Shafiqul Islam

Mohammad Shafiqul Islam is the author of two poetry collections, most recently Inner State (Daily Star Books, 2020), and translator of Humayun Ahmed: Selected Short Stories and Aphorisms of Humayun Azad. In February 2017, he was a poet-in-residence at the Anuvad Arts Festival, India, and his poetry and translation have appeared in Journal of Postcolonial Writing, Poem: International English Language Quarterly, Critical Survey, Stag Hill Literary Journal, SNReview, Reckoning, Dibur Literary Journal, Lunch Ticket, Bengal Lights, Armarolla, and elsewhere. His work has been anthologized in a number of books, including The Book of Dhaka: A City in Short Fiction (Comma Press, UK). Currently at work on a few translation projects such as The Letters of Kazi Nazrul Islam, Dr Islam is Associate Professor of English at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Sylhet, Bangladesh.

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