As famine looms ever closer, hear this plea:
lighten the burden of your peasants.
In these strictly measured fiscal years, money managers
have mismanaged the water table in the district of Sylhet.
Just a few grains of rice can be of great lift: a little fire,
a pot full of water, a sleeping family of seven full of water.
~ Raza Ali Hasan
Raza Ali Hasan was born in Chittagong, and grew up in Indonesia and Pakistan. After moving to the United States, he received an MFA from Syracuse University. He currently lives in Boulder and has taught at the University of Colorado and Iowa State University. Hasan’s poetry collections include Grieving Shias (2006) and 67 mogul miniatures (2008). In a review of the latter collection, Daniel Dissinger wrote that Hasan ‘constructs a sprawling world that fits in the palm of your hand.’
Editor’s Note: 27, from 67 mogul miniatures has been republished with kind permission of the poet.