Friday, December 31, 2004


For the Tsunami victims...

Ghar hamara, jo na rotay bhi to veeran hota
behr gar behr na hota, to bayaban hota

Tangi e dil ka gila kya, yeh woh kafir dil hai
ke agar tang na hota, to pareshan hota...

Asadullah Ghalib

From Deewan e Ghalib

Friday, December 17, 2004

Crocus: After Valentine's

I always wanted to write this poem. Imagine that. In any case, one could say it's for the blatant commercialism that plagues Valentine's Day or the concept of love or love itself (if there's any such thing called love). For myself, it's something else. Just ironic how things never last.

10:30 pm Friday, December 17, 2004

Crocus: After Valentine's

Losing their color
in a white enamel vase,
crocuses wilt,
feelings die
after valentine’s day.

A Little White Upon a Field of Yellow

Completed on 17th December, 2004

A Little White Upon a Field of Yellow

By the river Indus
A white car travels on a road
Through the upper Punjab plains
With yellow fields of mustard
On both sides
Assiduous men and women
Are so you so unaware
Of this beauty
That you can’t hear the children’s banter
The soundtrack of your lives
Or the passing of trucks
Or see the train track that leads nowhere
To nowhere but then somewhere…
Like a snake worming it’s way
Through stones that were
Once part of a sea long forgotten
On a dusty road where it seldom rains
Like a little white upon a field of yellow
Upon your field of yellow…

Thursday, December 16, 2004

...and a song of despair

I got nothing to say and nothing to hide, so just let me go and let me die. Alone.

A Song of Despair

The memory of you emerges from the night around me.
The river mingles its stubborn lament with the sea.

Deserted like the dwarves at dawn.
It is the hour of departure, oh deserted one!

Cold flower heads are raining over my heart.
Oh pit of debris, fierce cave of the shipwrecked.

In you the wars and the flights accumulated.
From you the wings of the song birds rose.

You swallowed everything, like distance.
Like the sea, like time. In you everything sank!

It was the happy hour of assault and the kiss.
The hour of the spell that blazed like a lighthouse.

Pilot's dread, fury of blind driver,
turbulent drunkenness of love, in you everything sank!

In the childhood of mist my soul, winged and wounded.
Lost discoverer, in you everything sank!

You girdled sorrow, you clung to desire,
sadness stunned you, in you everything sank!

I made the wall of shadow draw back,
beyond desire and act, I walked on.

Oh flesh, my own flesh, woman whom I loved and lost,
I summon you in the moist hour, I raise my song to you.

Like a jar you housed infinite tenderness.
and the infinite oblivion shattered you like a jar.

There was the black solitude of the islands,
and there, woman of love, your arms took me in.

There was thirst and hunger, and you were the fruit.
There were grief and ruins, and you were the miracle.

Ah woman, I do not know how you could contain me
in the earth of your soul, in the cross of your arms!

How terrible and brief my desire was to you!
How difficult and drunken, how tensed and avid.

Cemetery of kisses, there is still fire in your tombs,
still the fruited boughs burn, pecked at by birds.

Oh the bitten mouth, oh the kissed limbs,
oh the hungering teeth, oh the entwined bodies.

Oh the mad coupling of hope and force
in which we merged and despaired.

And the tenderness, light as water and as flour.
And the word scarcely begun on the lips.

This was my destiny and in it was my voyage of my longing,
and in it my longing fell, in you everything sank!

Oh pit of debris, everything fell into you,
what sorrow did you not express, in what sorrow are you not drowned!

From billow to billow you still called and sang.
Standing like a sailor in the prow of a vessel.

You still flowered in songs, you still brike the currents.
Oh pit of debris, open and bitter well.

Pale blind diver, luckless slinger,
lost discoverer, in you everything sank!

It is the hour of departure, the hard cold hour
which the night fastens to all the timetables.

The rustling belt of the sea girdles the shore.
Cold stars heave up, black birds migrate.

Deserted like the wharves at dawn.
Only tremulous shadow twists in my hands.

Oh farther than everything. Oh farther than everything.

It is the hour of departure. Oh abandoned one!

Pablo Neruda

From the translations by W. S. Merwin

Original entry published in my journal on deviantArt at Yadwigha's Journal.