success is not a game of qualities but
a result of the momentum you gain
from where you start.
if you start from the bottom
all you can gain is height
but if you start from the top
you are given the chance
to reach for the stars
and then complain
how they don’t twinkle enough
I hold a picture from a distance of one metre
Of a smiling man
I ask you what you think of it-
I hold the same picture from the distance of 50 centimetres
I ask you again
“Nothing out of the ordinary.”
You look at me perplexed as I slowly glide towards you
violating your private bubble as
I hold it again from the distance of 30
You notice in the background
a swastika is branded
on the sleeve of the man
He is tattooed and bald and very pale
He is at a neo-naxi rally
And you can see
If you squint real carefully
You can make out a
“Make America Great Again” sticker.
I’m asking you to look a little closer
at every little thing
because you’ll never know what
you’re not seeing
unless you leave your comfort zone.
I want to take your head
and clasp it so tightly that the shape and size
morphs into a clump
as if your scalp and brain was made
of orange play-doh-
I wouldn’t be surprised if it was.
But the texture is probably dry and crumbly.
Efforts are futile to make anything of use.
That’s what happens when you play with incompetent clay…
You might as well have a handful of poop.
This isn’t the kind of city,
Once I called my own.
The city belongs to foxy politicians,
Unscrupulous traders, flesh racketeers, pimps, loompens, rapists,
But this cannot be my city.
The city belongs to mute witnesses,
To rape and murder but not to me,
The city belongs to hypocrites,
Feigning nonchalance to the sight of destitute,
At slums and beggars dying on the avenues of the rich.
This is the city of the escapists,
Who at the slightest premonition of a peril,
Make the hastiest retreat.
This is the city of the spooks
They stoically sit on the piles of injustice;
Here they go into rhapsodies,
Over the question of life after death.
This is the city of the soothsayers,
Agents of self-aggrandizement, opportunists.
I can never call it my own city, never.
Liars, cheats, religious bigots abound in here;
In this city, we’re a handful of men and women
Armed with logic, liberal thoughts,
Voice against injustice,
Live in beating hearts.
Not my City.
Taslima Nasrin is “a Bengali author and former physician who has been living in exile since 1994. From a literary profile as a poet in the late 1970s, she rose to global attention by the beginning of 1990s owing to her essays and novels with feminist views and criticism of all “misogynistic” religions including Islam.” (Wikipedia)
HER POETRY IS AMAZING.
as she loudly talked on the phone
complaining to whatever friend who would listen
about her “miserable existence”
while swiping on her new iPhone 10
clutching her Gucci bag
flipping a freshly groomed haircut
hailing for a taxi
glaring at passerbyers
for their stunned stares
in reaction to this oblivious
and rather obnoxious woman
was more thunderous
than the sound of her voice
that had only faced hardship
in not always getting something
the way she wanted.
Three in a row
It’s usually a cat’s game,
So here we go!
Three in a row
Who is gonna get it?
Who knows? Who knows?
And if I happen to lose,
We’ll play again.
And if you happen to lose
We’ll play again
The point isn’t to win
Even at the end
The point is that you’ve had fun
And made a friend.
There’s a big difference between a clean bus
And a dirty bus.
Although both take you
to where you need to go
And both will hoard random strangers
And both will have crying babies during inopportunely long journeys;
A dirt stained window obstructs all beauty that you may pass
Even if it’s right in front of your nose
Helping you fail
how picturesque the path is.