by Muhammad Shanazar
Today amid the thick forest,
I am here again on the high mound,
The central seat to administer
The cattle left loose around.
It is the same peak where we all
In the days of my childhood sat,
The reverend shepherds rested
Gossiped about the olden times
Narrated they life long experience,
And some twisted the fibers of jute
On the rotators to make cots.
Different noises of life gurgled
From all sides around,
The goats bleated, the hounds barked,
The sheep moved lazily after being fed,
The camels ate tassels of the trees
The donkeys brayed at the noon,
The bulls fought entangling horns,
The birds chirped in the shadowy branches.
Here are the patches where the old women
Of the village came to scythe grass green,
I see my mother too, carrying the stuffed sack,
Going back to home in the long queue.
At noon the damsels or the elderly ladies
Of the village brought our lunch
With pickle, or onions or sugar
Home baked bread smeared with butter,
And milk in the earthen pots.
We all excitedly waited for the moment,
Then gentle winds made us all sleepy,
We slept sweet sleep on the bare ground,
While the cattle sat, rested and chewed.
When evening encroached, we measured
The stretched shadows with our feet
To know the time of return,
And we moved exhausted to homes
Behind the trails of surfeited lazy cattle.
Ah! It is the same old forest
That often makes me nostalgic,
Melancholic memories begin to assemble
Forcing the tears to drop into dust.
Sounds of life come from neither side,
The trees stood dressless like ghosts,
Or like bony skeletons that haunt in dreams,
As if flesh of nature has been eaten away
By the callous scavenger modernity.
Now I being engrossed in the pensive mood
Hear nothing but the dirge of doleful silence
While air passes through stiff dry grass.
Last updated June 22, 2011