SA (January19,1981 / Bangladesh)

Based On Wars Reported

(for Sadia Arman)

This way to glory... This way to the grave.
- "From A German War Primer" by Bertolt Brecht

1. Waiting for a Good Harvest

On the threshold of another century coming,
we think this century has planted more corpses
than in any as far back as we remember.

And we confess we have had the right
amount of flesh and bones - the best
with no side affects to Earth, and of blood
(Oh, you cannot forget blood welling up
from every hole bullets have ever made!) ,
if not rain from mushroom clouds up high.
Every government, be it in Europe or Asia,
we think, should fix for the ignorant this slogan:
'no more buying expensive chemicals.'

So, we farmers of this blessed century feel
our greed for good crops is going to be met soon -
for you know Earth's more fertile every year;
we can hope the Almighty won't be so stingy
as to bestow upon us a good harvest.

2. Scapegoats and the Lambs

Picasso, how do you come across this feeling:
this world is a big charnel house and Guernica
is one single work synonymous with life?

On Christ's pasture, lambs are slaughtered,
and the scapegoats that we are - sacrificed
in the name of the Lord of the Wars.

How long should we relish a pervert's joy -
daily to be alive to see horrors multiply
all afloat on the waves of bombardment?

Oh, no cleansing at the cost of green for red!

3. Lord of the Wars, Look

Lord of Wars, who dares have a suspicion
about your unusual talent for tricks!
you and the whole pack of your hounds think:

blood is a wonderful dye for the human skin,
and guns the brushes artists like you use
on the world's longest canvas for centuries.

But freaks like us wonder who it is at times
dumping a cucumber straight up your ass;
for nothing's all that terrific for you,

not even horrific to see bullets forever stop
one's hand reaching out for a little butterfly,
from one of the trenches on the western front,

not even the tots - certainly not yours -
all tiny and fresh as dew-moistened cabbages
and now crusty with blood in a blast.

Broken-winged sparrows pining for spring,
we only read praises even when we watch out
for the skeletons creaking under your boots.

No, I ain't have no interest in your death, rather
how you in childhood ran through meadows -
ah, the shoots undulating as green waves

against Constable's greenline on the horizon
or drowned your ankles in pebbles of a fountain
or how you in youth first kissed a maiden.

Because you, too, are a human being like us.


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