Poem: Return home
by Jibonanondo Das
When I return to the banks of the Dhansiri, to this Bengal,
Not as a man, perhaps, but as a salik bird or white hawk.
As a dawn crow in this land of autumn's new rice harvest,
I'll float upon the breast of fog one day in the shade of a jackfruit tree.
Or I'll be some young girl's pet duck, ankle bells upon her reddened feet
I'll spend the day floating on duckweed-scented waters.
When again I come, smitten by Bengal's rivers and fields, to this
Green and kindly land, Bengal, moistened by the Jalangi river's waves;
Perhaps I'll watch the buzzards soar on sunset's breeze,
Or listen to a spotted owl screeching from a simul tree branch,
A child scatters puffed rice upon the grass of some home's courtyard.
On the Rupsa river's murky waters a youth perhaps steers his boat
Its torn white sail reddish clouds scud by, and in the darkness,
Coming to their nest, I shall see white herons
Among them all is where you'll find me.
(Translation of one of my my favourite Bengali poems, in memory of the Independence day of Bangladesh tomorrow, December 16th)