Hisham M Nazer

Hisham M Nazer, a lecturer of English Language and Literature at Varendra University, Rajshahi, Bangladesh, is a multilingual poet from Bangladesh, a researcher of culture and philosophy, a columnist, an occasional short-story writer, and an amateur photographer. He is a prolific writer, published worldwide and nationally. His works have appeared in literary journals/magazines/anthologies/dailies from Austria, Greece, Belgium, France, USA, UK, Canada, Romania, Philippines, India and Bangladesh. He has also written op-eds and personal essays for dailies like The Hindu and The Daily Star. Recently in 2016 for his poem “Shakespeare’s a name: a Tragedy Left Behind” he has won the first prize in an International Poetry Competition (Shakespeare themed) organized by the Department of English, Farook College, Kerala, India. His collection of poetry Imaginarium is going to be published by writers.ink (and distributed by University Press Limited). Moreover he has worked as a sub-editor for two literary magazines- Shasshwatiki (print journal, Bengali, Bangladesh) and The Browsing Corner (Multi-lingual e-zine, India). Currently he is doing research on Edward Said’s Orientalism and South-Asian political fiction. For publication information please visit-
Poems

The White Curtain

 

The white curtain,
Dancing with the winds

That are lost within these walls,
Gives hints of shadows, shades of a figure,
Veiling the rest for the imagination,
Where she is always beautiful,

Always, complete.
A windlet eavesdrops the whispers and

The prayers of my heartbeats,
And with a laughter,

Softer than the first light of the morning,
Plays with the silken white harp in the rhythm

We danced in for the first time

When we met each other,

And then

Found each other forever…

A hint of your eyes, of your aquiline nose,

Of your lips—the jal taranga for my ears,
A glimpse of your payel, beaded

With pearls from an unknown Indian shore,

The darkness of an ancient night

Cascading through your hair

Find a way through the playful sway,

Through the screen of delight and desire,

And then you are again a shade, a shadow I know,

A shadow that danced with me once, beside the shore.

As the curtain swings

In the swing-dance with the winds,
I see the bouquet of your hair
And I see you tendering

A tendril of your lock behind your ear,

Failing every time, failing and making me fall,

Fall in love with you again

After what seems like an eternity…

Oh I just want to stand up and walk past the curtain,

Run my fingers through your hair,

Hold them back and

Pin them up together with a rose…

But I am too old,

Too blind behind this white blind

Of memory and dream!

I am too tired on these rusty wheels

That take me nowhere

But always before the door,

Where the curtain still sways,

And with love and sorrow

Runs softly over my wrinkled face, over my still eyes

And makes me remember

The only memory I have

Of her, my shadow who left me,

And left me to live with shades

And shadows of her memory.

The curtain still sways

And the soft light paints morning on it,

On the canvas where you too can see

The colour of my tears,

The painting of my memory…

Look into my eyes, my eyes that are like pearls

Look into them, come closer, and tell me

What is dream, what is pain

And what can love be

But a gift that unfolds into loss and tears

Into a life together to become

Only a memory?

The Lizard

 

Between the piles of books on my table
There hid a baby lizard, grotesque and slimy
That trampled Plato, Machiavelli, Auden,
And then stopped on Tolstoy
Probably to rest there for a while from its toil.
For no reason, nor for what it had done:
An unpardonable sin only punishable
By another sin of litericide,
I thought- let’s smash it between those books!
Let’s see how it twitches for a while
And then, slowly bending sideways,
How it dies
With the unceremonious design of death!
And the simple idea
That I can end its life then and there
Made me wait a little more
To meditate on an imminent death
And enjoy the fact that it’s coming not for me
But on my call.

I sat close to it to do it finally,
But as I looked at its calm protruding eyes,
Showing no sign of fear;
At its indifferent face unaware of the future,
And saw the sheer pulsation of life on its throat
Plato, Machiavelli, Auden and Tolstoy
Stepped outside their books,
Stopped me and said:

“O poet!
You who are proud of the beauty of your mind
And marvel at your own human disposition,
You see a little harmless slime
And intend to end its life for no reason?
But how will you kill the lizard
That crawls inside your mind;
How will you kill it: your own ugly cruelty
Uglier than the slime?

Do not try to act like a God

When you are only a human…

Death…is only a story for those
Who have died living…
And it is still painful even without tears,
Without a funeral,
Without all those mourning faces
That make death such a strange celebration of pain.
Do not kill the lizard
For somewhere else it will be born again,
Away from such torturous hands;
Do not kill the lizard

Because there’s no answer if you ask why.

Or kill it if you want to so badly
But this you must know-
Only the mightiest of all man can check
The impulse that his power entails.”

 

Inside the Circle of a Crowd

 

On the road there lies a smashed body,

Hugging the pitch

As if surrendering itself to the dust

And to the dreams of feet,

With its skull gaping wide

Eyes blank and bloody, smeared with dust

Face unrecognizable…

 

Not far beyond the circle of a crowd

A poor boy picks up

A small red ball

Hollow at one end,

And merrily runs away

With that prize

Without glancing back to that

Smashed heap of flesh

That lies like a puppet on the road

Without a string.

 

And above the roof of the building beside,

Under a heavy mossy stone there lies a note

Wildly fluttering in the breeze,

To be free,

And there is written

This last poem of a defeated soul–

 

“Clowns can write tragedy”

 

 

Art

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