I recently submitted a poem to Robi, an online literary journal, by Bangladeshi Identity Project. As it says on its introduction page, this journal in intended for the Bengali diaspora by the Bengali diaspora. It’s for us Bengalis that belong there, in our native country, but call this place our home too. Despite speaking our foreign tongue, we keep our mother tongue close to our heart, interchanging words consistently, their meanings translucent. My poem was accepted and published. If you’d like to read the journal, please do. I chose to submit my poem, Immigrant.
Poem by Juansen Dizon
i over love.
i over feel.
i am the sea
or i am nothing.
Your serenade makes the leaves twirl about,
Twirling and twirling and twirling
As if their feet just can’t stop dancing,
The blades of grass running across the ground,
In mindful chatter,
As if time is of the essence.
Where are you all off to?
With outstretched arms, trees reach up to be caressed,
Their fingers barely clasping around your tresses,
Their brittle branches falling off here and there,
You move on.
You move on, your voice bellowing,
Brushing up against windows, tapping on wooded floors,
Knocking over garbage cans and garden swings,
Whipping up hair, hats, and people.
They barely stood a chance.
Is this finally the start of Spring?
Hardly. Snow is on its way.
And so begins the start of a celebration
although we should make everyday
The best part of a foggy, wintry morning
in the rural parts around here is enjoying
freshly collected from the sap of date trees,
free of dust, noise, pollution,
A big thank you to baba (my father) who helped me understand the process of how the molasses were collected from the date palm trees. I knew molasses were being collected but it looks a tad bit different than collecting maple syrup, as I’ve read in Laura Ingall’s “Little House in the Big Woods”. The things you can learn from books 🙂 . Anyways, baba has experienced this before and he misses it quite a bit. Also a big thank you to Shoudho Bhaiya. When I actually saw you out there the other day, enjoying the very same thing I’m writing about, I just had to know what your experience was like 🙂
After what seemed like forever, thunder, dragging his feet, roamed off to somewhere distant, roaring and calling. And just like that, the clouds parted and let the sun peek through, as her light caressed everything she touched.
》》》 I don’t know why it took me so long to post this. It was just lying in my drafts folder for 1.5 years. Maybe I wanted to add to it more or maybe I just didn’t have the time to post it. Well…it’s here now. Maybe, just as this poem depicts, we’ll get a break from this dreary rain and see some sun this weekend 😊.
I am about to introduce Blackout poetry to my class for student teaching. Personally, I have been meaning to do this for a while. So when I decided I wanted to teach a lesson on poetry, this was one of the first things that came to mind as I was coming up with activities. This works well with my lesson as I am not only teaching the students to differentiate between poetry and prose but I am also teaching them to identify literary devices and the ways they help us understand text a little better. I was going to do this the old fashioned way with newspaper clippings and permanent markers but then I suddenly came across this cool interactive feature on the New York Times website.
Here’s the link if you would like to try it out: Searching for Poetry in Prose
“The single story creates stereotypes and the problem with stereotypes is not that they aren’t true, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.”
-Chimamanda Adichi, The Danger of a Single Story
i feel your touch
so i reach for you
only to meet nothingness
as you are whisked away from my reality
your name softly bouncing off the walls
if only i could’ve done the same
as i stare blankly at the side of my wooded table
wishing you were here