On the Road

Impressions: Bangladesh

I am reviving my poetic version of Bangladesh below for my readers and sharing photographic memories from my recent trips.  The first is set is a boat trip with some girlfriends on the haors under the rain in Sunamganj:

haors2 haors3 haors4 haors5haors1

And the second set is a tea estate in Sylhet:

tea estate1 tea estate2 tea estate3

And here is my dedication to Bangladesh, the birthplace of Tagore:

This is the land
Where rivers rule, unrivalled.
Supreme, they sing supine
And sometimes they rise
To the beck of the flute
That flirts with the river,
The sun, and the lazy, lusty fog.
“Rise, O mighty one,”
“Arise, O ancient Sun,”
“Lift, O foul fog.”

Land of labor,
Heads held high,
the clasp of brick to sky
made gold in heaven’s eyes.
Wire frames contour, hush,
with the seed, the heave, the mend.
In the pulse of the noonday sun,
Heavy loads hang in a trapeze pose.
Clothes of gauze knot old bones
together. On a city street,
a slim form lies curled asleep in a basket.

Land of color,
Turmeric dusting,
Mustard scorch,
Sunflower fantasy.
Deck the bride in betelnut red,
Scent my view in mango green.
How do I know I’m alive?
By the boast of monk-n-white stripes,
The dance of gold-speckled pink,
The infinity of indigo blue.

Land of poets,
bleeding red ink into inkwells
sunken in the sediment.
Fishermen, cast your nets!
Gather up your Ganges rhymes.
Set them adrift, your pearls of verse,
hollows on the river’s spine
till they grace the shore of young hearts
and, deep and chill as the tiger’s roar,
come blazing into a new dawn.