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Worries at a Hilltop Resort
Words by Sofiul Azam
I’m lying on a beach-style outdoor bench at a hilltop resort,
enjoying the fresh air from all around and the warm
sunshine at this time of winter even though I know
bombs are falling like hail on some parts of the world
and deaths are being recorded in destiny’s logbook.
I’m holding my four-month-old daughter drooling
and crawling on me while somewhere the legs of toddlers
are already broken before they learn to toddle.
My four-and-a-half year-old son is scampering here
and there to catch dragonflies resting on the blades
of long unmown grass by the lake while his yearmates
gather empty artillery shells for sale in local scrap markets
because buying bare necessities are part of their struggle
to keep heads above ruins. My wife is in the shower
to wash off her drowsiness and the tiredness of travel
while desperate mothers seek refuge for their kids--
their only hopes. My dreams of having a rest are gone,
and here stalk my nightmares that are not wizen-faced
witches in a bamboo-grove but diplomatic acrobatics,
political dogfights and smear-campaigns: all these make
humanity live on life support before it gets flatlined.
Schizophrenics set loose across the globe say:
bombs every now and then are necessities like food,
the scarcity of which spells chaos, is it a disguiser’s cynosure?
What will I do with a catcaller’s life of smut and booze
or a parroter’s unuttered embargo on questions?
How can I write poems and think of beauty alone?