The Shine Journal

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Three From Iftekhar Sayeed




In the midsummer of my life, through half-opened
Window, I hear the slap, slap, slap …
Of the shuttlecock as it is knocked around;
I imagine the smoking breath of the players,
The lights that fall on ground that a few days ago
Was green, and will be green again when winter’s
Over, and winter’s sport; I recollect more than 
Imagine: my parents’ youth, which fused the arm with racket.
Each winter takes a bit of energy
Dissipated in games of badminton
Begun at sunset, when it’s cool enough,
Continued long past midnight: no tomorrow,
Pity that summer’s just round the corner,
Otherwise we could have played forever….

sunset at khagrachari 

this autumn
things have changed
last summer
the chengi
still curves
under the iron bridge
but the monsoon
has emeralded
the sylvan
western hills
even more
the rains 
have washed
the dust
and through
the transparent
blue the northern
the pampas grass
wasn't there
in june
they hold 
themselves high
either side of the chengi
miracles of
the spotted 
still adorns
the black
electric wire
its chessboard neck
as clear
to view
as its
call of contentment
to the ear
kroo kroo kroo
the green
still dives
like a lethal
for its dinner
in an
of power and grace

the tripura girls
like terrestrial birds
in particoloured
thabin and angi
begin to burn
the pampas grass

the clouds of
altostratus translucidus
let sunlight through
like ground glass
then pink and 
west to east
and the northern
hills blush
then pinks and 
the changeling chengi
burning like
in the sunset's flush
burning like
and the pampas grass
on each bank
the aspiring smoke
the moribund day 



 Was there anybody so perfect? Won’t 
 The cosmos be worse off when you’re not there?
 I recollect tonight how we met, how
 We have lived, how we have remained united;
 Then pass on to the inevitable thought
 Of the inevitable parting; but what makes life
 Valuable is not just time, time, time,
 But what it holds, like a vase full of roses.
 So the passing of perfection will make
 Of the universe a mausoleum;
 And who would wish to live there? Not I. Yet
 Today, my happiness uncircumscribed,
 What makes life valuable for you and me
 Is just time, time, time, a vase full of roses.

Motivation: Badminton is very popular in this country - it can only be played in winter because at other times it is too windy. So, it's a winter sport. Winter is a metaphor for life's end, but here it becomes the opposite: a metaphor of vitality, strength and youth. sunset at khagrachari was written in the south-eastern is a place of breathtaking beauty, and the details were there right before my eyes: however, the day was ending and the rising smoke seemed to embody the death of the day...Time was clearly motivated by love ... and the end of love in death. But the focus is not on death, but on the present.

Bio: I was born and live in Bangladesh. I teach English. I have contributed to, Mobius, Online Journal, Enter Text and other publications. My wife and I love to tour Bangladesh.

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Editor: Pamela Tyree Griffin

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