Bangladesh – A Poem

13 January 2004
People dot the fields of Bangladesh,
                                Dark bodies in the steamy sunlight,
                      Bare feet lost in muddy water and vivid green new plants,
                               Singing a song of beauty in their work.
Songs sung together, basic to life in Bangladesh,
                    Rise from the depths of that communal life,
                        That binds the spirit in a common love,
                                 Of country, land, and God.
Bright colored saris on the women,
                Dark brown bodies of the men,
                     Immobile in the watery slow landscape,
                Sing young and old in eternal repetition.
The Moslem faith of trust in God,
               Integrates their timeless, endless work,
                  Into the immensity of God’s universe,
             And sings these fields as their eternal home.
The watery fields of Bangladesh,
                     Working home for the rural poor,
                           A canopy of trees on high ground,
                    Signals village huts and simple trades.
These fields a lake in monsoon season,
                  For fishing, simple nets on bamboo stilts,
            Village now an island, songs of the fishermen
                      In a world of water.
A clump of trees on high ground,
                    The dry season or the monsoon,
             Alternate in an eternal note of sadness,
                   Yet joy – water and sun – the glory of God.
Hearth and simple trades,
                 A community of prayer and work,
                   Singing a melancholy song,
                  Of beauty, poverty, and remorse.

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