Poems by Mozid Mahmud

Poems by Mozid Mahmud

Translated by Rahad Abir

The Serpent

When I was wildly crawling on my chest in terror

You called me a reptile

Ribcage really hurts when I walk shrinking it

And that tormenting serpent-life still ablaze in my memory

Your two lovely feet, however, were wonderfully strolling amidst

The greenery of God’s Eden. Hiding in the leaves

Out I poured my jealous anger on you, and

From that very day I’d longed to kneel down at your feet

You wouldn’t ever feel the disgrace of not having legs. Yet

Quite inquiringly you did stroke near my chest

Since birthI was susceptible to conceal my nakedness, for

Being unpleasant to look at—head, breast and belly—sort of alike

While entering a hole

Probably, at most, the geography of my skin-coat get altered

And then none could bring me back dragging my tail

Because of crawling on chest result in slow agony

To my brain

If ejaculation not happens through my venom gland

Might something horrible than death gobble me down

Being such a lanky big creature, you can’t escape God’s eyes

Where would you go then

To save you from shame and disgrace

I rushed to hide in my ideal den

But you’re aware that snakes are unable to dig holes

Even so God didn’t like our hide-and- seek game

Cursed and banished us shortly from His green heaven

And alienation was awarded thereafter.

In this lonely dreadful desert

Who else do I know other than you

How would I travel to you

I cannot even stand on my feet; so I cover

My shame-prone body under grasses throughout the daylight

And come out at night and slither away

To look for you

Life Of A Tree

Today will be the end of my tree-life

After the night turns into dawn

A woodcutter visited me yester night; everything settled

The sound of sawing will wake me from nighttime sleep

So battered is my heart, I rather feel for the soil, her agony

My womb, the intimate branches, is the lone haven for a hen

That fell into a sheer slumber holding her two eggs to her bosom

How could I let her know why the language of birds and tress is unalike

But this bird is she who was my wife who I call mother

At least a day I happened to be in her guts

Picking caterpillars across the river, here she planted that

That came out of her bottom in the end

What else but the birds can be the meaning of life

Trees simply dream to fly, while men dream to have a tree-life

Trees lie in the middle of circle, the Bodhi tree– posterity

Of Sirdharta’s wishes became known as Sirdharta tree

Birds sat on its branches, felt the trunk of the bark

Sujata’s hands, rice pudding led him to Nirvana

The sound of sawing echoes the call of liberty in my mind

Liberty is nothing but change of scenes

And the temptation of this shell still pains me

Where’d the mother bird go with her chicks

Having returned the night after

The worry of being a tree is to stand all alone

The worry is about the pain in leg; yet it’s a great pleasure

To generate oxygen for men; my dried branches contain fire

Fire that means God, the axis of life; O God!

Birds and trees, trees and human beings

Where’s the happiness in this triangle of unhappiness


Is there any God’s realm or a single piece of land

Let me stand in there for a bit

Where stands a fruit tree offering shade or a stream

Flowing through the God’s realm

Let me bathe immersing myself

In that brimming cold water

The man who stood under the sunset the day before

A little earlier of that time, the man who separated

The water from salt and showered upon you caringly

You were then well taken care of by the rain and as a duet

Enjoyed reading the poem ‘Jhulon’ of Rabindranath Tagore

And your bodies swelled like a rose-bud beaming its splendor

But all of a sudden you called the stranger a thief

And your guard threw him out on the street

With his unyielding cane

Nonetheless you were still enjoying the shower he offered

And kept the fire burning within your bodies

In fact, what the heck do you have that he could steal

That you name wealth and body, such as

A piece of land, stone building, digital paper note

Or your thigh, buttocks, breasts and face

But why are they so charming

You simply can’t explain

All is God’s mercy, then you say, but

You can’t recognize the bare-footed God, when He

Mixes sand with brick-dust, and

Lay the bricks one after another with dazzling brilliance

And keep hiding smiles watching your imprudence

Because He knows, in a few days

You’ll be taken away somewhere in other scene

Though you don’t let the actual owner sit for a while


Hands are none but the dried out legs of humans

They gave it a try initially, standing one day on their rear limbs

Just to have fun with the kids

Given that the child’s giggling and unbroken insistence

Two feet with wobbly steps made a move, jumping

Such as, children born of humans make their daddies

Be the four legged horses and mount on their backs

And sound neigh holding ears

This was the matter exactly like that; the naughty kid said

‘‘Dad walk on your two legs’’

Imagine how badly the front legs dangle from the shoulders

While attempted walking with two rear legs

Though, what animal can ignore her offspring’s want?

Not in ages and ages humans hadn’t known the actual use

Of the dried out front two legs; ‘useless’ since then became

A meaningful word to them; picked up stones with the

Dangling hands, and chucked them over hither and thither

Leaving the heads of buffaloes bloodstained

Quiet harmless claves took to their heels in the forest

And then, not a single chimpanzee could ever count on men

From then on human beings got separated from other beings

Because human nature is anti-nature

Thus stone-and- spear age had long gone

And in the blood of slain swine humans find pleasure no more

Hands now against hands are wide awake

Forget about humans’ intelligence, brilliance

The history of Humans is history of Hands