POETRY | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 27, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 27, 2018

POETRY

Diva

BIPASHA HAQUE

They decorated her way with hibiscus, 

The blood-red petals aglow in blighting sun: 

a fluorescent grandeur against a dark auburn silhouette. 

They waited with a waiting 

as far as their arms would stretch. 

Their waiting had that luminous complacence. 

Their batik turbans and lapis lazuli beads 

had the eagerness of the beauty of Biblical parables. 

Moments went by, but they were patient. 

Their eyes radiated, then diluted 

as if belladonna had had its effect. 

Their breathing slowed down, 

like those of Buddhist monks. 

Their slim, erect and alert bodies 

had the stillness of cheetah right before a hunt. 

Rustling clouds, sombre and pining 

moss hanging from abundant canopies— 

the lapis lazuli ripples, cascading in giggling bursts, 

The air was pregnant with expectation, to sum it all up. 

It was the time for annual cleansing, 

And, without her they knew it wouldn't happen. 

But let me be clear that she was unwelcome 

in their conversations, from their households, 

and also from their riverbeds. 

A forlorn distance sighed between them and her, 

Like the distance between the lips and heart 

Or between thoughts and actions 

or between instinct and impulse! 

And see there she is, the Diva!

The afternoon glow and the glow-worms 

the hibiscus luminous and grande, 

The crowd knew that the wait was over. 

Then they let in distance to drift between them. 

The concentric circle of the readiness of a cheetah 

Or the long walk of bushman for hunt begins again.

Bipasha Haque is a diaspora writer with particular interest in life-the way it is. By profession Bipasha is a university teacher.


POEMS BY ARSHI MORTUZA

Splodges

How can I word what I feel?

The ink on the tip of my quill

drip, drip, drips on a blank page

as I think, think, think

yet every mental lexicon fails

to express how I feel

 

See, some words come close

but are not quite accurate -

could I say I'm crazy? obsessive?

and the black ink still splatters

"drip, drip, drip"

on the page, which was once blank

 

And I look at my quill,

A lonely stranded feather

Plucked out from its entirety

It's no longer whole, and neither am I

But what is the word for that?

 

I think long and hard

As my quill bleeds

Giant droplets of ink

 

I take a look at the page

soaked in smudges of ink

and I smile -

for it reflects, exactly what I feel

The Whispers of the Rose 

There's a secret

One I promised I'd take to my grave

Let it be buried with me

Let it end with me

Allow it to also decay with the dust

 

However I cannot promise

that upon my death, on that very soil

An intruder may not bloom

Sighing and lamenting - that very secret

White are her petals;

Curved inwards and layered

 

And on top of my grave,

Will she whisper into the wind

that very secret?

 

I still promise -

that it's a secret

which I'll take to my grave

but the leaves at dawn

the petals and thorns

may get a sense of it

 

Arshi Mortuza is a last semester student at ULAB.

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