In Prison | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 02, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:20 AM, December 02, 2017


In Prison

Mahbub Talukdar

The room is locked from outside;

It's windowless, I'm all alone.

The darkness, a giant serpent,

Has me in its coils like a hideous ogre


Where is the beauty of nature

To captivates one's eyes?

Why doesn't one hear time ticking

Tirelessly weaving

The endless Sari of eternity

Day and night?


In the cold and the dark,

I'm a prisoner

Sans images, sans touches, sans sound,

Seemingly shrouded by death.

Fearful and marked on my forehead and cheeks

I accept punishment for sins I'd never known.


Who are you going North?

Are the songs of the larks

Frozen in the cold?

Send to them powdered sunbeams.

Record their unfrozen songs!


Who are you going West ?

Do kingfishers there fleet across

Limpid waters ?

Bring back scenes painted in water colors.

Bring back pictures of moonlight

Ofthe dainty feet of fairies.


Who one you going South ?

Mermaids will touch you gently there.

Tell them all I'm in a dark dungeon,

And heartless forgetfulness is crushing me

Day after day, mornings and nights.


Unlike tales in the Arabian Nights

I shan't be suddenly unchained.

Gone are the feeble rays of hope.

In mornings to come I know

No one will come to hold my hands anymore!


No one will tell me ever that night has now ended

And the creatures of darkness are no more

For you there are nature's wonders

And a fountain of happiness flowing


Till eternity. And someone saying,

“Come let us touch it

Though we can't embrace

Its boundless expanse.'


I know all these will mean nothing

As long as the lock outside remains.


So be it. But if only I could

Conjure the whole world into this room again!


Mahbub Talukder is an established poet and at present Member, Election Commission of Bangladesh.

Kazi Fazlur Rahman writes fictional and non-fictional prose. He is a retired bureaucrat and was Adviser of the Bangladesh Caretaker Government 1990-91.

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