25.12.10

जुनून-ए-शौक़ अब भी कम नहीं है

जुनून-ए-शौक़ अब भी कम नहीं है|
मगर वो आज भी बर्हम नहीं है|

बहुत मुश्किल है दुनिया का सँवरना,
तेरी ज़ुल्फ़ों के पेच-ओ-ख़म नहीं है|

बहुत कुछ और भी है जहाँ में,
ये दुनिया महज़ ग़म ही ग़म नहीं है|

मेरी बर्बादियों के हम्नशिनों,
तुम्हें क्या ख़ुद मुझे भी ग़म नहीं है|

अभी बज़्म-ए-तरब से क्या उठूँ मैं,
अभी तो आँख भी पुर्नम नहीं है|

'मज़ाज़' एक बादाकश तो है यक़ीनन,
जो हम सुनते थे वो आलम नहीं है|

---मजाज़ लखनवी

शहर की रात और मैं, नाशाद-ओ-नाकारा फिरूँ

शहर की रात और मैं, नाशाद-ओ-नाकारा फिरूँ
जगमगाती जागती, सड़कों पे आवारा फिरूँ
ग़ैर की बस्ती है, कब तक दर-ब-दर मारा फिरूँ
ऐ ग़म-ए-दिल क्या करूँ, ऐ वहशत-ए-दिल क्या करूँ

झिलमिलाते कुमकुमों की, राह में ज़ंजीर सी
रात के हाथों में, दिन की मोहिनी तस्वीर सी
मेरे सीने पर मगर, चलती हुई शमशीर सी
ऐ ग़म-ए-दिल क्या करूँ, ऐ वहशत-ए-दिल क्या करूँ

ये रुपहली छाँव, ये आकाश पर तारों का जाल
जैसे सूफ़ी का तसव्वुर, जैसे आशिक़ का ख़याल
आह लेकिन कौन समझे, कौन जाने जी का हाल
ऐ ग़म-ए-दिल क्या करूँ, ऐ वहशत-ए-दिल क्या करूँ

फिर वो टूटा एक सितारा, फिर वो छूटी फुलझड़ी
जाने किसकी गोद में, आई ये मोती की लड़ी
हूक सी सीने में उठी, चोट सी दिल पर पड़ी
ऐ ग़म-ए-दिल क्या करूँ, ऐ वहशत-ए-दिल क्या करूँ

रात हँस – हँस कर ये कहती है, कि मयखाने में चल
फिर किसी शहनाज़-ए-लालारुख के, काशाने में चल
ये नहीं मुमकिन तो फिर, ऐ दोस्त वीराने में चल
ऐ ग़म-ए-दिल क्या करूँ, ऐ वहशत-ए-दिल क्या करूँ

हर तरफ़ बिखरी हुई, रंगीनियाँ रानाइयाँ
हर क़दम पर इशरतें, लेती हुई अंगड़ाइयां
बढ़ रही हैं गोद फैलाये हुये रुस्वाइयाँ
ऐ ग़म-ए-दिल क्या करूँ, ऐ वहशत-ए-दिल क्या करूँ

रास्ते में रुक के दम लूँ, ये मेरी आदत नहीं
लौट कर वापस चला जाऊँ, मेरी फ़ितरत नहीं
और कोई हमनवा मिल जाये, ये क़िस्मत नहीं
ऐ ग़म-ए-दिल क्या करूँ, ऐ वहशत-ए-दिल क्या करूँ

मुंतज़िर है एक, तूफ़ान-ए-बला मेरे लिये
अब भी जाने कितने, दरवाज़े है वहां मेरे लिये
पर मुसीबत है मेरा, अहद-ए-वफ़ा मेरे लिए
ऐ ग़म-ए-दिल क्या करूँ, ऐ वहशत-ए-दिल क्या करूँ

जी में आता है कि अब, अहद-ए-वफ़ा भी तोड़ दूँ
उनको पा सकता हूँ मैं ये, आसरा भी छोड़ दूँ
हाँ मुनासिब है ये, ज़ंजीर-ए-हवा भी तोड़ दूँ
ऐ ग़म-ए-दिल क्या करूँ, ऐ वहशत-ए-दिल क्या करूँ

एक महल की आड़ से, निकला वो पीला माहताब
जैसे मुल्ला का अमामा, जैसे बनिये की किताब
जैसे मुफलिस की जवानी, जैसे बेवा का शबाब
ऐ ग़म-ए-दिल क्या करूँ, ऐ वहशत-ए-दिल क्या करूँ

दिल में एक शोला भड़क उठा है, आख़िर क्या करूँ
मेरा पैमाना छलक उठा है, आख़िर क्या करूँ
ज़ख्म सीने का महक उठा है, आख़िर क्या करूँ
ऐ ग़म-ए-दिल क्या करूँ, ऐ वहशत-ए-दिल क्या करूँ

मुफ़लिसी और ये मज़ाहिर, हैं नज़र के सामने
सैकड़ों चंगेज़-ओ-नादिर, हैं नज़र के सामने
सैकड़ों सुल्तान-ओ-ज़बर, हैं नज़र के सामने
ऐ ग़म-ए-दिल क्या करूँ, ऐ वहशत-ए-दिल क्या करूँ

ले के एक चंगेज़ के, हाथों से खंज़र तोड़ दूँ
ताज पर उसके दमकता, है जो पत्थर तोड़ दूँ
कोई तोड़े या न तोड़े, मैं ही बढ़कर तोड़ दूँ
ऐ ग़म-ए-दिल क्या करूँ, ऐ वहशत-ए-दिल क्या करूँ

बढ़ के इस इंदर-सभा का, साज़-ओ-सामाँ फूँक दूँ
इस का गुलशन फूँक दूँ, उस का शबिस्ताँ फूँक दूँ
तख्त-ए-सुल्ताँ क्या, मैं सारा क़स्र-ए-सुल्ताँ फूँक दूँ
ऐ ग़म-ए-दिल क्या करूँ, ऐ वहशत-ए-दिल क्या करूँ

जी में आता है, ये मुर्दा चाँद-तारे नोंच लूँ
इस किनारे नोंच लूँ, और उस किनारे नोंच लूँ
एक दो का ज़िक्र क्या, सारे के सारे नोंच लूँ
ऐ ग़म-ए-दिल क्या करूँ, ऐ वहशत-ए-दिल क्या करूँ

---मजाज़ लखनवी

15.12.10

Be Nobody’s Darling

Be nobody’s darling;

Be an outcast.

Take the contradictions

Of your life

And wrap around

You like a shawl,

To parry stones

To keep you warm.

Watch the people succumb

To madness

With ample cheer;

Let them look askance at you

And you askance reply.

Be an outcast;

Be pleased to walk alone

(Uncool)

Or line the crowded

River beds

With other impetuous

Fools.

Make a merry gathering

On the bank

Where thousands perished

For brave hurt words

They said.

But be nobody’s darling;

Be an outcast.

Qualified to live

Among your dead.

--- Dedicated to Julian Assange, Co-founder of Wikileaks From Revolutionary Petunias and Other Poems, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich 1986 by Alice Walker.

4.12.10

The Bridge Poem

I’ve had enough
I’m sick of seeing and touching
Both sides of things
Sick of being the damn bridge for everybody
Nobody
Can talk to anybody
Without me
Right?

I explain my mother to my father
my father to my little sister
My little sister to my brother
my brother to the white feminists
The white feminists to the Black church folks
the Black church folks to the ex-hippies
the ex-hippies to the Black separatists
the Black separatists to the artists
the artists to my friends’ parents…

Then
I’ve got to explain myself
To everybody

I do more translating
Than the Gawdamn U.N.

Forget it
I’m sick of it.

I’m sick of filling in your gaps

Sick of being your insurance against
the isolation of your self-imposed limitations

Sick of being the crazy at your holiday dinners

Sick of being the odd one at your Sunday Brunches

Sick of being the sole Black friend to 34 individual white people

Find another connection to the rest of the world
Find something else to make you legitimate
Find some other way to be political and hip

I will not be the bridge to your womanhood
Your manhood
Your humanness

I’m sick of reminding you not to
Close off too tight for too long

I’m sick of mediating with your worst self
On behalf of your better selves

I am sick
Of having to remind you
To breathe
Before you suffocate
Your own fool self

Forget it
Stretch or drown
Evolve or die

The bridge I must be
Is the bridge to my own power
I must translate
My own fears
Mediate
My own weaknesses

I must be the bridge to nowhere
But my true self
And then
I will be useful

---by Donna Kate Rushin

From This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color by Cherrie Moraga & Gloria Anzaldua, New York: Kitchen Table Press, 1983.

20.11.10

दीने-आदमीयत

ये मुसलमाँ है, वो हिन्दु, ये मसीही, वो यहूद

इस पे ये पाबन्दिया है, और उस पर ये क़यूद



शैख़ो-पण्डित ने भी क्या अहमक़ बनाया है हमें

छोटे-छोटे तंग ख़ानों में बिठाया है हमें



क़स्त्रे-इंसानी पे ज़ुल्मों-जहल बरसाती हुई

झंडियाँ कितनी नज़र आती हैं लहराती हुई



कोई इस जुल्मत में सूरत ही नहीं है नूर की

मुहर दिल पे लगी है इक-न-इक दस्तूर की



घटते-घटते मेह्ने-आलमताब से तारा हुआ

आदमी है मज़हबो-तहज़ीब का मारा हुआ



कुछ तमद्दुन के ख़लफ़ कुछ दीन के फ़र्ज़न्द हैं

कुलज़मों के रहने वाले बुलबुलों में बन्द हैं



क़ाबिले-इबरत है ये महदूदियत इंसान की

चिट्ठियाँ चिपकी हुई हैं, मुख़्तलिफ़ अदयान की



फिर रहा है आदमी भूला हुआ भटका हुआ

इक-न-इक लेबिल हर इक माथे पे है लटका हुआ



आख़िर इंसाँ तंग साँचों मे ढला जाता है क्यों

आदमी कहते हुए अपने को शर्माता है क्यों



क्या करे हिन्दोस्ताँ, अल्लाह की है ये भी देन

चाय हिन्दू, दूध मुस्लिम, नारियल सिख, बेर जैन



अपने हमजिंसों के कीने से भला क्या फ़ायदा

टुकड़े-टुकड़े होके जीने से भला क्या फ़ायदा



- जोश मलीहाबादी


क़यूद – बन्धन

क़स्त्रे-इंसानी – मानवता के महलों पर

तमद्दुन – संस्कृति

ख़लफ़ – संतान

फ़र्ज़न्द – पुत्र

कुलज़मों – समुद्र

क़ाबिले-इबरत – सीख योग्य

महदूदियत – संकीर्णता

मुख़्तलिफ़ – भिन्न-भिन्न्

अदयान – मज़हबों की

हमजिंसों – साथी मनुष्यों

कीने – द्वेष

13.11.10

Moment of Silence

Before I start this poem,
I’d like to ask you to join me in
a moment of silence
in honour of those who died
in the World Trade Centre
and the Pentagon
last September 11th.

I would also like to ask you
a moment of silence
for all of those who have been
harassed, imprisoned, disappeared,
tortured, raped, or killed
in retaliation for those strikes,
for the victims in both
Afghanistan and the U.S.

And if I could just add one more thing …
A full day of silence
for the tens of thousands of Palestinians
who have died at the hands of
U.S.-backed Israeli forces
over decades of occupation.

Six months of silence
for the million and-a-half Iraqi people,
mostly children, who have died of
malnourishment or starvation
as a result of an 11-year U.S. embargo
against the country.

Before I begin this poem:
two months of silence
for the Blacks under Apartheid
in South Africa,
where homeland security
made them aliens
in their own country.

Nine months of silence
for the dead in Hiroshima
and Nagasaki, where death rained
down and peeled back
every layer of concrete, steel, earth and skin
and the survivors went on as if alive.

A year of silence
for the millions of dead
in Vietnam — a people, not a war –
for those who know a thing or two
about the scent of burning fuel,
their relatives’ bones buried in it,
their babies born of it.

A year of silence
for the dead in Cambodia and Laos,
victims of a secret war … ssssshhhhh ….
Say nothing … we don’t want them to
learn that they are dead.

Two months of silence
for the decades of dead
in Colombia, whose names,
like the corpses they once represented,
have piled up and slipped off
our tongues.

Before I begin this poem,
An hour of silence
for El Salvador …
An afternoon of silence
for Nicaragua …
Two days of silence
for the Guetmaltecos …
None of whom ever knew
a moment of peace
45 seconds of silence
for the 45 dead
at Acteal, Chiapas
25 years of silence
for the hundred million Africans
who found their graves
far deeper in the ocean
than any building could
poke into the sky.
There will be no DNA testing
or dental records
to identify their remains.
And for those who were
strung and swung
from the heights of
sycamore trees
in the south, the north,
the east, and the west …

100 years of silence …
For the hundreds of millions of
indigenous peoples
from this half of right here,
Whose land and lives were stolen,
In postcard-perfect plots
like Pine Ridge,
Wounded Knee,
Sand Creek, Fallen Timbers,
or the Trail of Tears.
Names now reduced
to innocuous magnetic poetry
on the refrigerator
of our consciousness …
So you want a moment of silence?

And we are all left speechless
Our tongues snatched from our mouths
Our eyes stapled shut
A moment of silence
And the poets have all been laid to rest
The drums disintegrating into dust
Before I begin this poem,
You want a moment of silence
You mourn now as if the world will never be the same
And the rest of us hope to hell it won’t be.
Not like it always has been

Because this is not a 9-1-1 poem
This is a 9/10 poem,
It is a 9/9 poem,
A 9/8 poem,
A 9/7 poem
This is a 1492 poem.
This is a poem about
what causes poems like this
to be written

And if this is a 9/11 poem, then
This is a September 11th poem
for Chile, 1971
This is a September 12th poem
for Steven Biko in South Africa, 1977
This is a September 13th poem
for the brothers at Attica Prison,
New York, 1971.
This is a September 14th poem
for Somalia, 1992.

This is a poem
for every date that falls
to the ground in ashes
This is a poem for the 110 stories
that were never told
The 110 stories that history
chose not to write in textbooks
The 110 stories that CNN, BBC,
The New York Times,
and Newsweek ignored
This is a poem
for interrupting this program.
And still you want
a moment of silence
for your dead?
We could give you
lifetimes of empty:

The unmarked graves
The lost languages
The uprooted trees and histories
The dead stares on the faces
of nameless children
Before I start this poem
We could be silent forever
Or just long enough to hunger,
For the dust to bury us
And you would still ask us
For more of our silence.

If you want a moment of silence
Then stop the oil pumps
Turn off the engines and the televisions
Sink the cruise ships
Crash the stock markets
Unplug the marquee lights,
Delete the instant messages,
Derail the trains, the light rail transit

If you want a moment of silence,
put a brick through
the window of Taco Bell,
And pay the workers for wages lost
Tear down the liquor stores,
The townhouses, the White Houses,
the jailhouses, the Penthouses
and the Playboys.

If you want a moment of silence,
Then take it
On Super Bowl Sunday,
The Fourth of July
During Dayton’s 13 hour sale
Or the next time your white guilt
fills the room where my beautiful
people have gathered

You want a moment of silence
Then take it
Now,
Before this poem begins.

Here, in the echo of my voice,
In the pause between goosesteps of the
second hand
In the space
between bodies in embrace,

Here is your silence.
Take it.
But take it all
Don’t cut in line.
Let your silence begin
at the beginning of crime.
But we,
Tonight we will keep right on singing
For our dead.

---Emmanuel Ortiz

10.11.10

Tomorrow

Tomorrow
we are
bones and ash,
the roots of weeds
poking through
our skulls.

Today,
simple clothes,
empty mind,
full stomach,
alive, aware,
right here,
right now.

Drunk on music,
who needs wine?
Come on,
Sweetheart,
let’s go dancing
while we’ve
still got feet.

by David Budbill
from While We've Still Got Feet
Copper Canyon Press, 2005

6.11.10

Waiting for the Barbarians

What are we waiting for, assembled in the forum?

The barbarians are due here today.


Why isn’t anything happening in the senate?
Why do the senators sit there without legislating?

Because the barbarians are coming today.
What laws can the senators make now?
Once the barbarians are here, they’ll do the legislating.


Why did our emperor get up so early,
and why is he sitting at the city’s main gate
on his throne, in state, wearing the crown?

Because the barbarians are coming today
and the emperor is waiting to receive their leader.
He has even prepared a scroll to give him,
replete with titles, with imposing names.


Why have our two consuls and praetors come out today
wearing their embroidered, their scarlet togas?
Why have they put on bracelets with so many amethysts,
and rings sparkling with magnificent emeralds?
Why are they carrying elegant canes
beautifully worked in silver and gold?

Because the barbarians are coming today
and things like that dazzle the barbarians.


Why don’t our distinguished orators come forward as usual
to make their speeches, say what they have to say?

Because the barbarians are coming today
and they’re bored by rhetoric and public speaking.


Why this sudden restlessness, this confusion?
(How serious people’s faces have become.)
Why are the streets and squares emptying so rapidly,
everyone going home so lost in thought?

Because night has fallen and the barbarians have not come.
And some who have just returned from the border say
there are no barbarians any longer.


And now, what’s going to happen to us without barbarians?
They were, those people, a kind of solution.

- Translated by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard

(C.P. Cavafy, Collected Poems. Translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard. Edited by George Savidis. Revised Edition. Princeton University Press, 1992)

Ithaka

As you set out for Ithaka
hope the voyage is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them:
you’ll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

Hope the voyage is a long one.
May there be many a summer morning when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you come into harbors seen for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind—
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you are destined for.
But do not hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you are old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.

-Translated by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard

(C.P. Cavafy, Collected Poems. Translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard. Edited by George Savidis. Revised Edition. Princeton University Press, 1992)

25.10.10

ग़म-ए-दुनिया से गर पायी भी फ़ुरसत सर उठाने की

ग़म-ए-दुनिया से गर पायी भी फ़ुरसत सर उठाने की
तो फिर कोशिश करेंगे हम भी कुछ कुछ मुस्कुराने की

सुनी थी बात घर की चाँद पर दादी के किस्सों में
हकीक़त हो ही जाएगी वहां अब आशियाने की

बशर के बीच पहले भेद करते हैं सियासतदां
ज़रूरत फिर जताते हैं किसी कौमी तराने की

वतन की नींव में मिटटी जमा है जिन शहीदों की
कभी भी भूल ना करना उन्हें तुम भूल जाने की

नगर में जब से बच्चे रह गए और गाँव में दादी
लगाये कौन फिर आवाज़ परियों को बुलाने की

जलायोगे दिए तूफां में अपने हौसलों के गर
कोई आंधी नहीं कर पायेगी हिम्मत बुझाने की

नदी के वेग को ज्यादा नहीं तुम बाँध पाओगे
जो हद हो जाएगी तो ठान लेगी सब मिटाने की

कहा तुमसे अगर कुछ तो उसे क्या मान लोगे तुम
शिकायत फिर तुम्हें मुझसे है क्यूँ कुछ ना बताने की

सभी रंग उनके चेहरे पर लगे हैं प्यार के खिलने
ज़रूरत ही नहीं उनको हिना के अब रचाने की

यही किस्मत है क्या सच्ची मोहब्बत करने वालों की
उन्हें बस ठोकरें मिलती रहें सारे ज़माने

---ममता_किरण

Offering Chant

All forms appearing in the vast three thousand worlds

I offer as the supreme mudra of body

Please grant the siddhi of unchanging form

All sound, and sources of sound, appearing in the vast three thousand worlds

I offer as the supreme mudra of speech

Please grant the siddhi of unimpeded speech

All the mind’s discursive thought in the vast three thousand worlds

I offer as the supreme mudra of mind

Please grant the siddhi of undeluded mind

All happiness and suffering in the vast three thousand worlds

I offer as the mudra of auspiciousness

May all the sky be pervaded by great bliss

If suffering, I bear the suffering of all beings

May the ocean of samsara’s suffering dry up.

--- Rain of Blessings: Vajra Chants (Music by Lama Gyurme. On Youtube)

15.10.10

Cry if you need to......

Cry if you need to......

Because it has lived its life intensely
the parched grass still attracts the gaze of passer-by
The flowers merely flower,
and they do this as well as they can.
The white lily, blooming unseen in the valley,
doesn't need to explain itself to anyone;
It lives merely for beauty.
Men, however, can not accept that 'merely'.

If tomatoes wanted to be melons,
they would look completely ridiculous.
I am always amazed
that so many people are concerned
with wanting to be what they are not ;
What's the point of making yourself look ridiculous ?

You don't always have to pretend to be strong,
there's no need to prove all the time that everything is going well,
You shouldn't be concerned about what other people are thinking
Cry if you need to
it's good to cry out all your tears
(because only then will you be able to smile again)

--- English translation of a poem by Japanese Poet Mitsuo Aida

The Martyr

(1)

Look how vast
his sheltering shade
spreads on the Earth
with humility
and with glory!

His hands
alike the branches of
the Holy Tree of Life
glows with the light of love.

His fearless revolt,
his far reaching revlot,
burned the gates of Hell
shook the walls of Hell.

Hi Death,
not from the cold lame of the awaiting razor blades
Or the sentinl of the poisoned swords:
His death landed on his shoulders,
like the spring's last sparrow,
from his smoky cloud of sorrow
running behind him for years.

And that fortress of might,
his Heart,
the Heart whose key,
the candid verse of amity,
collapsed onto itself,
But never fell apart.

(2)

In the era of forceful negation of love
entwined with himself,
with his captive voice:
He such became, himself,
The Anthem of Love.

And he such became,
he such became himself:
The Elegy of Love.

(3)

Look how chaste
Look how vast
he streams on the Earth
with humility and with glory!
And he such engraves
the effigy of nobility and of truth
on the heart of the rocks!

Look how pure he fades away in the Sea
with humility and with glory!

And look how gracious he kneels in front of your thighs
with humility and with glory!

Look!
His death was the birthday of so very many Knights.

---By Ahmad Shamlou
-Translation: Maryam Dilmaghani
The poem's original title translates as: "The Birth of the one who lovingly died on the Earth". It was first published in the anthology Abraham in Fire 1973, Tehran.

The Elegy

For Forough Farrokhzad's death

In the quest for you
I sobbed at the knees of the mount,
at the edge of the sea and the turf.

In the quest for you
I moaned with the wind.
Along the eroded face of the routes,
At the crossroad of seasons.

And over a broken window
which made a wooden frame
for the cloudy blues of the skies.
In hope of your image
How long, long, how long,
this frame will remain plain?

Your charm,
was allowing for the passage of the breeze
and of love, and also of death
which confided in you
their perpetual insights.

Hence you became a pearl
Immense, enviable and precious:
the treasure which bears, solely,
the entire delight of belonging to the land.

Your name is a sunrise,
shining over the vast front of the skies,
Be hallowed you name!

And we are still rotating nights and days,
in this elusive yet.

---By Ahmad Shamlou
- Translation: Maryam Dilmaghani
Translated from the poem "Marthieh" first published in the anthology Marthieh-hay Khak (Elegies of The Earth) 1956, Tehran.

Reign of Winter

And if you ever greet them

they will not pause one instant

to greet you back.

Heads are hanging sternly lowly.


And if you salute the passing friends

They will not raise their heads

They will not move their gaze

to even glance at your face.

The sight is lost in an opaque, thick haze.

No sign of the stars: They no longer blaze!

The eyes see no more-but one step ahead;

We pass silent and sombre with our tumbling tread.

To a passing man, it is your hand that you lend

Only hesitantly he extends his to you, Alas My Friend!

The air is bitter cold and cruel, the route is a dead-end!

You exhale and your breath turns into a dark blur,

raising insolently a wall in front of your eye.

If this is your own breath then what could you expect

from your friends –of far-away or close-by?

O My Honest Saviour!

O My Old Virtuous Companion!

I hail you with reverence and respect!

Welcome me back!

Open me your door!

It is me, it’s me: Your visitor of all nights!

It is me, it’s me: The sorrowful errant!

It is me: The discarded, The beaten stone!

It is me: The injury to Creation; The song out of tune!

Recall? Not the black, not the white: The colourless buffoon!

Come and open me the door!

I am freezing; open the door before!

O Counterpart! O Generous Host!

Your usual guest is trembling in the icy outside!

And if you have ever heard a sound:

It is not raining and in this lane there is not even a soul!

The noise is from the encounter of my teeth

with this overwhelming cold.

Tonight I am here to reimburse you in mass!

I am here to go clear in front of a wine-glass!

Do not say “It’s late; it’s almost the crack of dawn!”

The sky is deceitful with its blushed fawn!

This red is not from the rays of light;

The red is the imprint of this cold’s shameless clout!

The pendant of the bosom of the heavens, Sun,-dead or afoot-

is buried, obscured, beneath the weight of a nine-storey vault!

O Counterpart! O Generous Host!

Pour wine into the glass to light up this bitter exile:

You see? In this winter days and nights are equal.

And if you ever greet them

they will not pause one instant

to greet you back.

The air is heavy, the doors are closed,

Heads hang lowly, and hands are cloaked.

Your breath turns to a dark shadow,

Hearts are fading away under the sway of sorrow.

The trees are naked, like frozen, forsaken bones,

Earth is desolate, Sky is falling down.

Moon and Sun are lost behind Loads of Litter:

It is, indeed,

The Reign of Winter.

---Mehdi Akhavan-Sales
-Translation: Maryam Dilmaghani

Ode on a Grecian Urn

Thou still unravish'd bride of quietness!
Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these? what maidens loath?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear'd,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal—yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
Forever wilt thou love, and she be fair!

Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;
And, happy melodist, unwearied,
Forever piping songs forever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!
Forever warm and still to be enjoy’d,
Forever panting and forever young;
All breathing human passion far above,
That leaves a heart high sorrowful and cloy’d,
A burning forehead and a parching tongue.

Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
Lead’st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?
What little town by river or sea-shore,
Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
Is emptied of its folk, this pious morn?
And, little town, thy streets for evermore
Will silent be; and not a soul to tell
Why thou art desolate, can e’er return.

O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede
Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent form! dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st,
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty,"—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

--- John Keats.
Version from The Poetical Works of John Keats, 1884. Boston.

11.10.10

Bullah ki jaana

Bulla, ki jaana main kaun
Bulla, ki jaana main kaun

Na main moman vich maseetan
Na main vich kufar dian reetan
Na main pakan vich paleetan

Na main andar bed kitaban
Na main rehnda bhaang sharaban
Na main rehnda mast kharaban

Na main shadi na ghamnaki
Na main vich paleetan pakeen
Na main aaabi na main khaki

Na main aatish na paun
Bulla ki jaana main kaun

Na main arabi na lahori
Na main hindi shehar nagaori
Na hindu na turk pashauri

Na main bhet mazhab de paya
Na main aadam hawwa jaya
Na koi apna naam dharaya

Avval-aakhar aap nu jana
Na koi dooja hor pacchana
Maithon na koi har syana

Bulle shauh Kharha hai kaun
Bulla ki jaana main kaun

English Translation:

Bulleh! to me, I am not known

Not a believer inside the mosque, am I
Nor a pagan disciple of false rites
Not the pure amongst the impure
Neither Moses, nor the Pharoh

Bulleh! to me, I am not known

Not in the holy Vedas, am I
Nor in opium, neither in wine
Not in the drunkard`s intoxicated craze
Niether awake, nor in a sleeping daze

Bulleh! to me, I am not known

In happiness nor in sorrow, am I
Neither clean, nor a filthy mire
Not from water, nor from earth
Neither fire, nor from air, is my birth

Bulleh! to me, I am not known

Not an Arab, nor Lahori
Neither Hindi, nor Nagauri
Hindu, Turk (Muslim), nor Peshawari
Nor do I live in Nadaun

Bulleh! to me, I am not known

Secrets of religion, I have not known
From Adam and Eve, I am not born
I am not the name I assume
Not in stillness, nor on the move

Bulleh! to me, I am not known

I am the first, I am the last
None other, have I ever known
I am the wisest of them all
Bulleh! do I stand alone?

Bulleh! to me, I am not known

---This poem is a Kafi (a classical form of Sufi poetry, mostly in Punjabi, Sindhi and Seraiki language) written by the Sufi saint Bulleh Shah.Listen this poetry with music on Youtube;

10.10.10

Reality

In love, nothing exists between heart and heart.
Speech is born out of longing,
True description from the real taste.
The one who tastes, knows;
the one who explains, lies.
How can you describe the true form of Something
In whose presence you are blotted out?
And in whose being you still exist?
And who lives as a sign for your journey?

--- Rabia Basri

O my Lord, if I worship you

O my Lord,

if I worship you
from fear of hell, burn me in hell.

If I worship you
from hope of Paradise, bar me from its gates.

But if I worship you
for yourself alone, grant me then the beauty of your Face.

- by Rabia Basri (Rabia Al-'Adawiyya)

25.9.10

Howl

For Carl Solomon

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn
looking for an angry fix, angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,

who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz,

who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and saw Mohammedan angels staggering on tenement roofs illuminated,

who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy among the scholars of war,

who were expelled from the academies for crazy & publishing obscene odes on the windows of the skull,

who cowered in unshaven rooms in underwear, burning their money in wastebaskets and listening to the Terror through the wall,

who got busted in their pubic beards returning through Laredo with a belt of marijuana for New York,

who ate fire in paint hotels or drank turpentine in Paradise Alley, death, or purgatoried their torsos night after night with dreams, with drugs, with waking nightmares, alcohol and cock and endless balls, incomparable blind;

streets of shuddering cloud and lightning in the mind leaping toward poles of Canada & Paterson, illuminating all the motionless world of Time between, Peyote solidities of halls, backyard green tree cemetery dawns, wine drunkenness over the rooftops, storefront boroughs of teahead joyride neon blinking traffic light, sun and moon and tree vibrations in the roaring winter dusks of Brooklyn, ashcan rantings and kind king light of mind,

who chained themselves to subways for the endless ride from Battery to holy Bronx on benzedrine until the noise of wheels and children brought
them down shuddering mouth-wracked and battered bleak of brain all drained of brilliance in the drear light of Zoo,

who sank all night in submarine light of Bickford's floated out and sat through the stale beer after noon in desolate Fugazzi's, listening to the crack of doom on the hydrogen jukebox,

who talked continuously seventy hours from park to pad to bar to Bellevue to museum to the Brooklyn Bridge, lost battalion of platonic conversationalists jumping down the stoops off fire escapes off windowsills off Empire State out of the moon, yacketayakking screaming vomiting whispering facts and memories and anecdotes and eyeball kicks
and shocks of hospitals and jails and wars, whole intellects disgorged in total recall for seven days and nights with brilliant eyes, meat for the
Synagogue cast on the pavement,

who vanished into nowhere Zen New Jersey leaving a trail of ambiguous picture postcards of Atlantic City Hall, suffering Eastern sweats and Tangerian bone-grindings and migraines of China under junk-with-drawal in Newark's bleak furnished room,

who wandered around and around at midnight in the railroad yard wondering where to go, and went, leaving no broken hearts,

who lit cigarettes in boxcars boxcars boxcars racketing through snow toward lonesome farms in grandfather night,

who studied Plotinus Poe St. John of the Cross telepathy and bop kabbalah because the cosmos instinctively vibrated at their feet in Kansas,

who loned it through the streets of Idaho seeking visionary indian angels who were visionary indian angels,

who thought they were only mad when Baltimore gleamed in supernatural ecstasy,

who jumped in limousines with the Chinaman of Oklahoma on the impulse of winter midnight street light smalltown rain,

who lounged hungry and lonesome through Houston seeking jazz or sex or soup, and followed the brilliant Spaniard to converse about America
and Eternity, a hopeless task, and so took ship to Africa,

who disappeared into the volcanoes of Mexico leaving behind nothing but the shadow of dungarees and the lava and ash of poetry scattered in fire
place Chicago,

who reappeared on the West Coast investigating the F.B.I. in beards and shorts with big pacifist eyes sexy in their dark skin passing out incomprehensible leaflets,

who burned cigarette holes in their arms protesting the narcotic tobacco haze of Capitalism,

who distributed Supercommunist pamphlets in Union Square weeping and undressing while the sirens of Los Alamos wailed them down, and wailed
down Wall, and the Staten Island ferry also wailed,

who broke down crying in white gymnasiums naked and trembling before the machinery of other skeletons,

who bit detectives in the neck and shrieked with delight in policecars for committing no crime but their own wild cooking pederasty and intoxication,

who howled on their knees in the subway and were dragged off the roof waving genitals and manuscripts,

who let themselves be fucked in the ass by saintly motorcyclists, and screamed with joy,

who blew and were blown by those human seraphim, the sailors, caresses of Atlantic and Caribbean love,

who balled in the morning in the evenings in rose gardens and the grass of public parks and cemeteries scattering their semen freely to whomever come who may,

who hiccuped endlessly trying to giggle but wound up with a sob behind a partition in a Turkish Bath when the blond & naked angel came to pierce them with a sword,

who lost their loveboys to the three old shrews of fate the one eyed shrew of the heterosexual dollar the one eyed shrew that winks out of the womb
and the one eyed shrew that does nothing but sit on her ass and snip the intellectual golden threads of the craftsman's loom,

who copulated ecstatic and insatiate with a bottle of beer a sweetheart a package of cigarettes a candle and fell off the bed, and continued along
the floor and down the hall and ended fainting on the wall with a vision of ultimate cunt and come eluding the last gyzym of consciousness,

who sweetened the snatches of a million girls trembling in the sunset, and were red eyed in the morning but prepared to sweeten the snatch of the sun
rise, flashing buttocks under barns and naked in the lake,

who went out whoring through Colorado in myriad stolen night-cars, N.C., secret hero of these poems, cocksman and Adonis of Denver-joy to the memory of his innumerable lays of girls in empty lots & diner backyards, moviehouses' rickety rows, on mountaintops in caves or with
gaunt waitresses in familiar roadside lonely petticoat upliftings & especially secret gas-station solipsisms of johns, & hometown alleys too,

who faded out in vast sordid movies, were shifted in dreams, woke on a sudden Manhattan, and picked themselves up out of basements hung
over with heartless Tokay and horrors of Third Avenue iron dreams & stumbled to unemployment offices,

who walked all night with their shoes full of blood on the snowbank docks waiting for a door in the East River to open to a room full of steamheat
and opium,

who created great suicidal dramas on the apartment cliff-banks of the Hudson under the wartime blue floodlight of the moon & their heads shall be crowned with laurel in oblivion,

who ate the lamb stew of the imagination or digested the crab at the muddy bottom of the rivers of Bowery,

who wept at the romance of the streets with their pushcarts full of onions and bad music,

who sat in boxes breathing in the darkness under the bridge, and rose up to build harpsichords in their lofts,

who coughed on the sixth floor of Harlem crowned with flame under the tubercular sky surrounded by orange crates of theology,

who scribbled all night rocking and rolling over lofty incantations which in the yellow morning were stanzas of gibberish,

who cooked rotten animals lung heart feet tail borsht & tortillas dreaming of the pure vegetable kingdom,

who plunged themselves under meat trucks looking for an egg,

who threw their watches off the roof to cast their ballot for Eternity outside of Time, & alarm clocks fell on their heads every day for the next decade, who cut their wrists three times successively unsuccessfully, gave up and were forced to open antique stores where they thought they were growing old and cried,

who were burned alive in their innocent flannel suits on Madison Avenue amid blasts of leaden verse & the tanked-up clatter of the iron regiments of fashion & the nitroglycerine shrieks of the fairies of advertising & the mustard gas of sinister intelligent editors, or were run down by the drunken taxicabs of Absolute Reality,

who jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge this actually happened and walked away unknown and forgotten into the ghostly daze of Chinatown soup alley
ways & firetrucks, not even one free beer,

who sang out of their windows in despair, fell out of the subway window, jumped in the filthy Passaic, leaped on negroes, cried all over the street, danced on broken wineglasses barefoot smashed phonograph records of nostalgic European 1930s German jazz finished the whiskey and threw up groaning into the bloody toilet, moans in their ears and the blast of colossal steam whistles,

who barreled down the highways of the past journeying to each other's hotrod-Golgotha jail-solitude watch or Birmingham jazz incarnation,

who drove crosscountry seventytwo hours to find out if I had a vision or you had a vision or he had a vision to find out Eternity,

who journeyed to Denver, who died in Denver, who came back to Denver & waited in vain, who watched over Denver & brooded & loned in
Denver and finally went away to find out the Time, & now Denver is lonesome for her heroes,

who fell on their knees in hopeless cathedrals praying for each other's salvation and light and breasts, until the soul illuminated its hair for a second,

who crashed through their minds in jail waiting for impossible criminals with golden heads and the charm of reality in their hearts who sang sweet
blues to Alcatraz,

who retired to Mexico to cultivate a habit, or Rocky Mount to tender Buddha or Tangiers to boys or Southern Pacific to the black locomotive or
Harvard to Narcissus to Woodlawn to the daisychain or grave,

who demanded sanity trials accusing the radio of hyp notism & were left with their insanity & their hands & a hung jury,

who threw potato salad at CCNY lecturers on Dadaism and subsequently presented themselves on the granite steps of the madhouse with shaven heads and harlequin speech of suicide, demanding instantaneous lobotomy,
and who were given instead the concrete void of insulin Metrazol electricity hydrotherapy psychotherapy occupational therapy pingpong &
amnesia,

who in humorless protest overturned only one symbolic pingpong table, resting briefly in catatonia, returning years later truly bald except for a wig of blood, and tears and fingers, to the visible mad man doom of the wards of the madtowns of the East, Pilgrim State's Rockland's and Greystone's foetid halls, bickering with the echoes of the soul, rock-
ing and rolling in the midnight solitude-bench dolmen-realms of love, dream of life a nightmare, bodies turned to stone as heavy as the
moon,

with mother finally ******, and the last fantastic book flung out of the tenement window, and the last door closed at 4. A.M. and the last telephone slammed at the wall in reply and the last furnished room emptied down to the last piece of mental furniture, a yellow paper rose twisted
on a wire hanger in the closet, and even that imaginary, nothing but a hopeful little bit of hallucination ah, Carl, while you are not safe I am not safe, and now you're really in the total animal soup of time and who therefore ran through the icy streets obsessed with a sudden flash of the alchemy of the use of the ellipse the catalog the meter & the vibrat-
ing plane,

who dreamt and made incarnate gaps in Time & Space through images juxtaposed, and trapped the archangel of the soul between 2 visual images
and joined the elemental verbs and set the noun and dash of consciousness together jumping with sensation of Pater Omnipotens Aeterna Deus to recreate the syntax and measure of poor human prose and stand before you speechless and intelligent and shaking with shame, rejected yet confessing out the soul to conform to the rhythm of thought in his naked and endless head, the madman bum and angel beat in Time, unknown, yet putting down here what might be left to say in time come after death, and rose reincarnate in the ghostly clothes of jazz in the goldhorn shadow of the band and blew the suffering of America's naked mind for love into an eli eli lamma lamma sabacthani saxophone cry that shivered the cities down to the last radio with the absolute heart of the poem of life butchered out of their own bodies good to eat a thousand years.

II

What sphinx of cement and aluminum bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination?
Moloch! Solitude! Filth! Ugliness!
Ashcans and unobtainable dollars!
Children screaming under the stairways!
Boys sobbing in armies!
Old men weeping in the parks!
Moloch! Moloch!
Nightmare of Moloch!
Moloch the loveless!
Mental Moloch!
Moloch the heavy judger of men!
Moloch the incomprehensible prison!
Moloch the crossbone soulless jailhouse and Congress of sorrows!
Moloch whose buildings are judgment!
Moloch the vast stone of war!
Moloch the stunned governments!
Moloch whose mind is pure machinery!
Moloch whose blood is running money!
Moloch whose fingers are ten armies!
Moloch whose breast is a cannibal dynamo!
Moloch whose ear is a smoking tomb!
Moloch whose eyes are a thousand blind windows!
Moloch whose skyscrapers stand in the long streets like endless Jehovahs! Moloch whose factories dream and croak in the fog!
Moloch whose smokestacks and antennae crown the cities!
Moloch whose love is endless oil and stone!
Moloch whose soul is electricity and banks!
Moloch whose poverty is the specter of genius!
Moloch whose fate is a cloud of sexless hydrogen!
Moloch whose name is the Mind!
Moloch in whom I sit lonely!
Moloch in whom I dream Angels!
Crazy in Moloch!
Cocksucker in Moloch!
Lacklove and manless in Moloch!
Moloch who entered my soul early!
Moloch in whom I am a consciousness without a body!
Moloch who frightened me out of my natural ecstasy!
Moloch whom I abandon!
Wake up in Moloch!
Light streaming out of the sky!
Moloch! Moloch!
Robot apartments! invisible suburbs! skeleton treasuries! blind capitals! demonic industries! spectral nations! invincible mad houses! granite cocks! monstrous bombs!
They broke their backs lifting Moloch to Heaven!
Pavements, trees, radios, tons!
lifting the city to Heaven which exists and is everywhere about us!

Visions! omens! hallucinations! miracles! ecstasies!
gone down the American river!
Dreams! adorations! illuminations! religions!
the whole boatload of sensitive bullshit!
Breakthroughs! over the river! flips and crucifixions!
gone down the flood! Highs! Epiphanies!
Despairs! Ten years' animal screams and suicides!
Minds! New loves! Mad generation! down on the rocks of Time!
Real holy laughter in the river! They saw it all!
the wild eyes! the holy yells! They bade farewell!
They jumped off the roof! to solitude! waving!
carrying flowers! Down to the river! into the street!

III

Carl Solomon! I'm with you in Rockland
where you're madder than I am
I'm with you in Rockland
where you must feel very strange
I'm with you in Rockland
where you imitate the shade of my mother
I'm with you in Rockland
where you've murdered your twelve secretaries
I'm with you in Rockland
where you laugh at this invisible humor
I'm with you in Rockland
where we are great writers on the same dreadful typewriter
I'm with you in Rockland
where your condition has become serious and is reported on the radio
I'm with you in Rockland
where the faculties of the skull no longer admit the worms of the senses
I'm with you in Rockland
where you drink the tea of the breasts of the spinsters of Utica
I'm with you in Rockland
where you pun on the bodies of your nurses the harpies of the Bronx
I'm with you in Rockland
where you scream in a straightjacket that you're losing the game of the actual pingpong of the abyss
I'm with you in Rockland
where you bang on the catatonic piano the soul is innocent and immortal it should never die ungodly in an armed madhouse
I'm with you in Rockland
where fifty more shocks will never return your soul to its body again from its pilgrimage to a cross in the void
I'm with you in Rockland
where you accuse your doctors of insanity and plot the Hebrew socialist revolution against the fascist national Golgotha
I'm with you in Rockland
where you will split the heavens of Long Island
and resurrect your living human Jesus from the superhuman tomb
I'm with you in Rockland
where there are twenty-five-thousand mad comrades all together singing the final stanzas of the Internationale
I'm with you in Rockland
where we hug and kiss the United States under our bedsheets the United States that coughs all night and won't let us sleep
I'm with you in Rockland
where we wake up electrified out of the coma by our own souls' airplanes roaring over the roof they've come to drop angelic bombs the hospital illuminates itself imaginary walls collapse O skinny legions run outside
O starry spangled shock of mercy the eternal war is here
O victory forget your underwear we're free
I'm with you in Rockland in my dreams you walk dripping from a seajourney on the highway across America in tears to the door of my cottage in the Western night

---Allen Ginsberg.

11.9.10

Chakley

ये कूचे ये नीलामघर दिलक़शी के
ये लुटते हुए कारवां ज़िंदगी के
कहां हैं कहां हैं मुहाफ़िज़ ख़ुदी के
सना-ख़्वाने-तक़दीसे-मशरिक़ कहां हैं|

ये पुरपेंच गलियां ये बेख़्वाब बाज़ार
ये गुमनाम राही ये सिक्कों की झंकार
ये इस्मत के सौदे ये सौदों पे तकरार
सना-ख़्वाने-तक़दीसे-मशरिक़ कहां हैं|

तअफ्फुन से पुरनीम रौशन ये गलियां
ये मसली हुई अधखिली ज़र्द कलियां
ये बिकती हुई खोखली रंगरलियां
सना-ख़्वाने-तक़दीसे-मशरिक़ कहां हैं|

वो उजले दरीचों में पायल की छनछन
तऩफ्फ़ुस की उलझन पे तबले की धनधन
ये बेरूह कमरों में खांसी की धनधन
सना-ख़्वाने-तक़दीसे-मशरिक़ कहां हैं|

ये गूंजे हुए कहकहे रास्तों पर
ये चारों तरफ भीड़ सी खिड़कियों पर
ये आवाज़ें खिंचते हुए आंचलों पर
सना-ख़्वाने-तक़दीसे-मशरिक़ कहां हैं|

ये फूलों के गजरे ये पीकों के छींटे
ये बेबाक़ नज़रें ये गुस्ताख़ फ़िक़रे
ये ढलके बदन और ये मदक़ूक़ चेहरे
सना-ख़्वाने-तक़दीसे-मशरिक़ कहां हैं|

ये भूखी निगाहें हसीनों की जानिब
ये बढ़ते हुए हाथ सीनों की जानिब
लपकते हुए पांव ज़ीनों की जानिब
सना-ख़्वाने-तक़दीसे-मशरिक़ कहां हैं|

यहां पीर भी आ चुके हैं जवां भी
तनूमंद बेटे भी अब्बा मियां भी
ये बीवी भी है और बहन भी है मां भी
सना-ख़्वाने-तक़दीसे-मशरिक़ कहां हैं|

मदद चाहती है ये हव्वा की बेटी
यशोदा की हमजिंस राधा की बेटी
पयंबर की उम्मत ज़ुलेख़ा की बेटी
सना-ख़्वाने-तक़दीसे-मशरिक़ कहां हैं|

ज़रा मुल्क़ के रहबरों को बुलाओ
ये कूचे ये गलियां ये मंज़र दिखाओ
सना-ख़्वाने-तक़दीसे-मशरिक़ को लाओ
सना-ख़्वाने-तक़दीसे-मशरिक़ कहां हैं|

---साहिर लुधियानवी

Glossary:

कूचे = streets
नीलामघर = auction houses
मुहाफ़िज़ ख़ुदी के = the protectors of pride
सना-ख़्वाने-तक़दीसे-मशरिक़ = those who praise the pious eastern ways
बेख़्वाब = sleep-less
इस्मत = pride, honour
तकरार = fights, arguments
तअफ्फुन = bad smell, stink
पुरनीम रौशन = full of dimly lit
ज़र्द = yellowing
तऩफ्फ़ुस = breaths (life)
बेरूह = soul-less
कहकहे = laughters
मदक़ूक़ = diseased
जानिब = towards
ज़ीनों = stairs
पीर = old, wise
तनूमंद = healthy, fit
हमजिंस = breed
पयंबर = prophet
उम्मत = race
रहबरों = leaders

Brothels

These lanes, these marts of rich delights,
Precious lives, undone, defiled;
Where are the defenders of virtuous pride?
Where are they who praise, the pious eastern ways?

These sinuous streets, these doors ajar,
The clinking coins, the moving masks,
Deals of honour, hagglings fast,
Where are they who praise, the pious eastern ways?

These dimly-lighted, stinking streets,
These yellowing buds, crushed and ceased,
These hollow charms, for sale and lease;
Where are they who praise, the pious eastern ways?

The jingling trinklets at casement bright,
Tambourins athrob’ mid gasping life;
Cheerless rooms with cough alive;
Where are they who praise, the pious eastern ways?

Boisterous laughs on public paths,
Crowds at windows, thick and fast,
Vulgar words, obscene remarks;
Where are they who praise, the pious eastern ways?

The betel spittal, the floral wreaths,
Audacious looks and filthy speech,
Flaccid figures, looks diseased;
Where are they who praise, the pious eastern ways?

Lecherous eyes in beauty’s quest,
Extended hands chasing breasts,
Springing feet on stairs pressed;
Where are they who praise, the pious eastern ways?

This is the haven of young and old.
Aging sires and youngsters bold,
Wife, mother and sister — she plays a triple role.
Where are they who praise, the pious eastern ways?

Help, O Help, this daughter of Eve!
Radha’s child, Yashoda’s breed;
The prophet’s race, Zuleikha’s seed;
Where are they who praise, the pious eastern ways?

Call, O call the leaders wise
Let them see these streets, these sights,
Where are the champs of eastern pride?
Where are they who praise, the pious eastern ways?

Translation by K.C. Kanda first. The translation appeared in “Masterpieces of Urdu Nazm”, Sterling Paperbacks, published by Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi. ISBN 81 207 1952 2, Reprint 1998, 2000.

मैं पल-दो-पल का शायर हूँ

मैं पल-दो-पल का शायर हूँ, पल-दो-पल मेरी कहानी है ।

पल-दो-पल मेरी हस्ती है, पल-दो-पल मेरी जवानी है ॥


मुझ से पहले कितने शायर आए और आ कर चले गए,

कुछ आहें भर कर लौट गए, कुछ नग़में गा कर चले गए ।

वे भी एक पल का क़िस्सा थे, मैं भी एक पल का क़िस्सा हूँ,

कल तुम से जुदा हो जाऊंगा गो आज तुम्हारा हिस्सा हूँ ॥


मैं पल-दो-पल का शायर हूँ, पल-दो-पल मेरी कहानी है ।

पल-दो-पल मेरी हस्ती है, पल-दो-पल मेरी जवानी है ॥


कल और आएंगे नग़मों की खिलती कलियाँ चुनने वाले,

मुझसे बेहतर कहने वाले, तुमसे बेहतर सुनने वाले ।

कल कोई मुझ को याद करे, क्यों कोई मुझ को याद करे

मसरुफ़ ज़माना मेरे लिए, क्यों वक़्त अपना बरबाद करे ॥


मैं पल-दो-पल का शायर हूँ, पल-दो-पल मेरी कहानी है ।

पल-दो-पल मेरी हस्ती है, पल-दो-पल मेरी जवानी है ॥

--- साहिर लुधियानवी

नज़र ऐ-कॉलेज

ऐ सरज़मीन-ए-पाक़ के यारां-ए-नेक नाम
बा-सद-खलूस शायर-ए-आवारा का सलाम
ऐ वादी-ए-जमील मेंरे दिल की धडकनें
आदाब कह रही हैं तेरी बारगाह में

तू आज भी है मेरे लिए जन्नत-ए-ख़याल
हैं तुझ में दफन मेरी जवानी के चार साल
कुम्हलाये हैं यहाँ पे मेरी ज़िन्दगी के फूल
इन रास्तों में दफन हैं मेरी ख़ुशी के फूल

तेरी नवाजिशों को भुलाया न जाएगा
माजी का नक्श दिल से मिटाया न जाएगा
तेरी नशात खैज़-फ़ज़ा-ए-जवान की खैर
गुल हाय रंग-ओ-बू के हसीं कारवाँ की खैर

दौर-ए-खिजां में भी तेरी कलियाँ खिली रहे
ता-हश्र ये हसीं फज़ाएँ बसी रहे
हम एक ख़ार थे जो चमन से निकल गए
नंग-ए-वतन थे खुद ही वतन से निकल गए

गाये हैं फ़ज़ा में वफाओं के राग भी
नगमात आतिशें भी बिखेरी है आग भी
सरकश बने हैं गीत बगावत के गाये हैं
बरसों नए निजाम के नक्शे बनाए हैं

नगमा नशात-रूह का गाया है बारहा
गीतों में आंसूओं को छुपाया है बारहा
मासूमियों के जुर्म में बदनाम भी हुए
तेरे तुफैल मोरिद-ए-इलज़ाम भी हुए

इस सरज़मीन पे आज हम इक बार ही सही
दुनिया हमारे नाम से बेज़ार ही सही
लेकिन हम इन फ़ज़ाओं के पाले हुए तो हैं
गर यां नहीं तो यां से निकाले हुए तो हैं !

--- साहिर लुधियानवी

किताबें कुछ कहना चाहती हैं..

किताबें करती हैं बातें
बीते जमानों की,
दुनिया की, इंसानों की,
आज की, कल की,
एक-एक पल की,
गमों की, फूलों की,
बमों की, गनों की,
जीत की, हार की,
प्यार की, मार की।
क्या तुम नहीं सुनोगे
इन किताबों की बातें ?
किताबें कुछ कहना चाहती हैं
तुम्हारे पास रहना चाहती हैं
किताबों में चिड़िया चहचहाती हैं
किताबों में झरने गुनगुनाते हैं
परियों के किस्से सुनाते हैं
किताबों में रॉकेट का राज है
किताबों में साईंस की आवाज है
किताबों में ज्ञान की भरमार है
क्या तुम इस संसार में
नहीं जाना चाहोगे?
किताबें कुछ कहना चाहती हैं..
तुम्हारे पास रहना चाहती हैं।

--- सफदर हाशमी

18.8.10

वो सुबह कभी तो आएगी

वो सुबह कभी तो आएगी

इन काली सदियों के सर से जब रात का आंचल ढलकेगा
जब दुख के बादल पिघलेंगे जब सुख का सागर झलकेगा
जब अम्बर झूम के नाचेगा जब धरती नगमे गाएगी

वो सुबह कभी तो आएगी

जिस सुबह की ख़ातिर जुग जुग से हम सब मर मर के जीते हैं
जिस सुबह के अमृत की धुन में हम ज़हर के प्याले पीते हैं
इन भूखी प्यासी रूहों पर इक दिन तो करम फ़रमाएगी

वो सुबह कभी तो आएगी

माना कि अभी तेरे मेरे अरमानों की क़ीमत कुछ भी नहीं
मिट्टी का भी है कुछ मोल मगर इन्सानों की क़ीमत कुछ भी नहीं
इन्सानों की इज्जत जब झूठे सिक्कों में न तोली जाएगी

वो सुबह कभी तो आएगी

दौलत के लिए जब औरत की इस्मत को ना बेचा जाएगा
चाहत को ना कुचला जाएगा, इज्जत को न बेचा जाएगा
अपनी काली करतूतों पर जब ये दुनिया शर्माएगी

वो सुबह कभी तो आएगी

बीतेंगे कभी तो दिन आख़िर ये भूख के और बेकारी के
टूटेंगे कभी तो बुत आख़िर दौलत की इजारादारी के
जब एक अनोखी दुनिया की बुनियाद उठाई जाएगी

वो सुबह कभी तो आएगी

मजबूर बुढ़ापा जब सूनी राहों की धूल न फांकेगा
मासूम लड़कपन जब गंदी गलियों में भीख न मांगेगा
हक़ मांगने वालों को जिस दिन सूली न दिखाई जाएगी

वो सुबह कभी तो आएगी

फ़आक़ों की चिताओ पर जिस दिन इन्सां न जलाए जाएंगे
सीने के दहकते दोज़ख में अरमां न जलाए जाएंगे
ये नरक से भी गंदी दुनिया, जब स्वर्ग बनाई जाएगी

वो सुबह कभी तो आएगी

जिस सुबह की ख़ातिर जुग जुग से हम सब मर मर के जीते हैं
जिस सुबह के अमृत की धुन में हम ज़हर के प्याले पीते हैं
वो सुबह न आए आज मगर, वो सुबह कभी तो आएगी

वो सुबह कभी तो आएगी

--- साहिर लुधियानवी

16.8.10

कुछ तो स्टैंडर्ड बनाओ

प्रकृति बदलती छण-छण देखो,
बदल रहे अणु, कण-कण देखो|
तुम निष्क्रिय से पड़े हुए हो |
भाग्य वाद पर अड़े हुए हो|

छोड़ो मित्र ! पुरानी डफली,
जीवन में परिवर्तन लाओ |
परंपरा से ऊंचे उठ कर,
कुछ तो स्टैंडर्ड बनाओ |

जब तक घर मे धन संपति हो,
बने रहो प्रिय आज्ञाकारी |
पढो, लिखो, शादी करवा लो ,
फिर मानो यह बात हमारी |

माता पिता से काट कनेक्शन,
अपना दड़बा अलग बसाओ |
कुछ तो स्टैंडर्ड बनाओ |

करो प्रार्थना, हे प्रभु हमको,
पैसे की है सख़्त ज़रूरत |
अर्थ समस्या हल हो जाए,
शीघ्र निकालो ऐसी सूरत |

हिन्दी के हिमायती बन कर,
संस्थाओं से नेह जोड़िये |
किंतु आपसी बातचीत में,
अंग्रेजी की टांग तोड़िये |

इसे प्रयोगवाद कहते हैं,
समझो गहराई में जाओ |
कुछ तो स्टैंडर्ड बनाओ |

कवि बनने की इच्छा हो तो,
यह भी कला बहुत मामूली |
नुस्खा बतलाता हूँ, लिख लो,
कविता क्या है, गाजर मूली |

कोश खोल कर रख लो आगे,
क्लिष्ट शब्द उसमें से चुन लो|
उन शब्दों का जाल बिछा कर,
चाहो जैसी कविता बुन लो |

श्रोता जिसका अर्थ समझ लें,
वह तो तुकबंदी है भाई |
जिसे स्वयं कवि समझ न पाए,
वह कविता है सबसे हाई |

इसी युक्ती से बनो महाकवि,
उसे "नई कविता" बतलाओ |
कुछ तो स्टैंडर्ड बनाओ |

चलते चलते मेन रोड पर,
फिल्मी गाने गा सकते हो |
चौराहे पर खड़े खड़े तुम,
चाट पकोड़ी खा सकते हो |

बड़े चलो उन्नति के पथ पर,
रोक सके किस का बल बूता?
यों प्रसिद्ध हो जाओ जैसे,
भारत में बाटा का जूता |

नई सभ्यता, नई संस्कृति,
के नित चमत्कार दिखलाओ |
कुछ तो स्टैंडर्ड बनाओ |

पिकनिक का जब मूड बने तो,
ताजमहल पर जा सकते हो |
शरद-पूर्णिमा दिखलाने को,
'उन्हें' साथ ले जा सकते हो |

वे देखें जिस समय चंद्रमा,
तब तुम निरखो सुघर चाँदनी |
फिर दोनों मिल कर के गाओ,
मधुर स्वरों में मधुर रागिनी |
( तू मेरा चाँद मैं तेरी चाँदनी ..)

आलू छोला, कोका-कोला,
'उनका' भोग लगा कर पाओ |
कुछ तो स्टैंडर्ड बनाओ|

--- काका हाथरसी

चार कौए उर्फ़ चार हौए

बहुत नहीं सिर्फ़ चार कौए थे काले ,
उन्होंने यह तय किया कि सारे उडने वाले
उनके ढंग से उडे,रुकें , खायें और गायें
वे जिसको त्यौहार कहें सब उसे मनाएं

कभी कभी जादू हो जाता दुनिया में
दुनिया भर के गुण दिखते हैं औगुनिया में
ये औगुनिए चार बडे सरताज हो गये
इनके नौकर चील, गरुड और बाज हो गये.

हंस मोर चातक गौरैये किस गिनती में
हाथ बांध कर खडे हो गये सब विनती में
हुक्म हुआ , चातक पंछी रट नहीं लगायें
पिऊ – पिऊ को छोडें कौए – कौए गायें

बीस तरह के काम दे दिए गौरैयों को
खाना – पीना मौज उडाना छुट्भैयों को
कौओं की ऐसी बन आयी पांचों घी में
बडे – बडे मनसूबे आए उनके जी में

उडने तक के नियम बदल कर ऐसे ढाले
उडने वाले सिर्फ़ रह गए बैठे ठाले
आगे क्या कुछ हुआ सुनाना बहुत कठिन है
यह दिन कवि का नहीं , चार कौओं का दिन है

उत्सुकता जग जाए तो मेरे घर आ जाना
लंबा किस्सा थोडे में किस तरह सुनाना ?

--- भवानीप्रसाद मिश्र .

Credo

I would rather be ashes than dust

I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot.

I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.

The function of man is to live, not to exist.

I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them.

I shall use my time.

--- Jack London

9.8.10

Gondola no Uta (The Gondola Song)

Life is brief.
fall in love, maidens
before the crimson bloom
fades from your lips
before the tides of passion
cool within you,
for those of you
who know no tomorrow

life is brief
fall in love, maidens
before his hands
take up his boat
before the flush of his cheeks fades
for those of you
who will never return here

life is brief
fall in love, maidens
before the boat drifts away
on the waves
before the hand resting on your shoulder
becomes frail
for those who will never
be seen here again

life is brief
fall in love, maidens
before the raven tresses begin to fade
before the flame in your hearts
flicker and die
for those to whom today
will never return.

---Lyrics were written by Isamu Yoshii, melody by Shinpei Nakayama.
It was used as a theme song in Akira Kurosawa's 1952 film Ikiru.

7.8.10

शिकस्त

बारहा मुझसे कहा दिल ने कि ऐ शोब्दागर
तू कि अल्फ़ाज़ से अस्नामगरी करता है
कभी उस हुस्ने-दिलआरा की भी तस्वीर बना
जो तेरी सोच के ख़ाक़ों में लहू भरता है

बारहा दिल ने ये आवाज़ सुनी और चाहा
मान लूँ मुझसे जो विज्दान मेरा कहता है
लेकिन इस इज्ज़ से हारा मेरे फ़न का जादू
चाँद को चाँद से बढ़कर कोई क्या कहता है

--- अहमद फ़राज़

कठिन है राहगुज़र थोड़ी दूर साथ चलो

कठिन है राहगुज़र थोड़ी दूर साथ चलो
बहुत बड़ा है सफ़र थोड़ी दूर साथ चालो

तमाम उम्र कहाँ कोई साथ देता है
मैं जानता हूँ मगर थोड़ी दूर साथ चलो

नशे में चूर हूँ मैं भी तुम्हें भी होश नहीं
बड़ा मज़ा हो अगर थोड़ी दूर साथ चलो

ये एक शब की मुलाक़ात भी ग़नीमत है
किसे है कल की ख़बर थोड़ी दूर साथ चलो

अभी तो जाग रहे हैं चिराग़ राहों के
अभी है दूर सहर थोड़ी दूर साथ चलो

तवाफ़-ए-मन्ज़िल-ए-जानाँ हमें भी करना है
"फ़राज़" तुम भी अगर थोड़ी दूर साथ चलो

------ अहमद फ़राज़

6.8.10

I Know Tears

When your heart is
shaken about with tears...
What sould I be doing to help you out?
Even looking up at the sky...
My heart hurts as much as yours.

Something that you
don't have to get hurt over...
Everyone accidentally feels...
Just like the times
when you're surprised...
...by how cold the water really is.

Now, just being here right next to you...
It's all that I can do, and nothing else...
All the smiles that I can
make just for you, anytime...
...I'll embrace and send to
you, whenever you need it.

You can blieve it,
dreams will someday be reality...
Just for you and only for you...
It is okay to cry, because
deep inside that heart of yours...
...every piece of
sadness turns to wings...
...for you to fly.

--- Taken from the Original Translation of closing song of animation series Rurouni Kenshin.

3.8.10

Gypsy Woman

it’s not what you are running from
it’s where you are heading to,
the desire
the hope
you are one of a few,
needing to fulfill
inquisitive minds
exploring
the unknown
leaving the rest behind,
it’s blissful awareness of
everlasting anew,
a soul calls home
where all fresh dreams
go to brew
ambiguously,
it’s the untold story
that never would be
if not for the sacrifice
of two…
or three…

--- Kay.
Poem taken from her Blog.

On the South Downs

Light falls the rain
On link and laine,
After the burning day;
And the bright scene,
Blue, gold, and green,
Is blotted out in gray.

Not so will part
The glowing heart
With sunny hours gone by;
On cliff and hill
There lingers still
A light that cannot die.

Like a gold crown
Gorse decks the Down,
All sapphire lies the sea;
And incense sweet
Springs as our feet
Tread light the thymy lea.

Fade, vision bright!
Fall rain, fall night!
Forget, gray world, thy green!
For us, nor thee,
Can all days be
As though this had not been!

---Francis William Bourdillon (1852-1921)

Notes

2] laine: arable land at the foot of the Sussex Downs.

18] thymy lea: pasture fragrant with the herb thyme.

The Night has a Thousand Eyes

The night has a thousand eyes,
And the day but one;
Yet the light of the bright world dies
With the dying sun.

The mind has a thousand eyes,
And the heart but one:
Yet the light of a whole life dies
When love is done.

-- Francis William Bourdillon

31.7.10

Some People

Some people flee some other people.
In some country under a sun
and some clouds.

They abandon something close to all they’ve got,
sown fields, some chickens, dogs,
mirrors in which fire now preens.

Their shoulders bear pitchers and bundles.
The emptier they get, the heavier they grow.

What happens quietly: someone’s dropping from exhaustion.
What happens loudly: someone’s bread is ripped away,
someone tries to shake a limp child back to life.

Always another wrong road ahead of them,
always another wrong bridge
across an oddly reddish river.
Around them, some gunshots, now nearer, now farther away,
above them a plane seems to circle.

Some invisibility would come in handy,
some grayish stoniness,
or, better yet, some nonexistence
for a shorter or a longer while.

Something else will happen, only where and what.
Someone will come at them, only when and who,
in how many shapes, with what intentions.
If he has a choice,
maybe he won’t be the enemy
and will let them live some sort of life.


--- Wislawa Szymborska
Poems New and Collected, 1957-1997(Harcourt, Brace & Company, 1998),
translated from the Polish by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh.

30.7.10

Ozymandias

In Egypt's sandy silence, all alone,
Stands a gigantic Leg, which far off throws
The only shadow that the Desert knows:
"I am great OZYMANDIAS," saith the stone,
"The King of Kings; this mighty City shows
"The wonders of my hand." The City's gone,
Nought but the Leg remaining to disclose
The site of this forgotten Babylon.
We wonder, and some Hunter may express
Wonder like ours, when thro' the wilderness
Where London stood, holding the Wolf in chace,
He meets some fragments huge, and stops to guess
What powerful but unrecorded race
Once dwelt in that annihilated place.

--- by Horace Smith.

Ozymandias

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

---by Percy Bysshe Shelley

24.7.10

The Stolen Child

WHERE dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water rats;
There we've hid our faery vats,
Full of berrys
And of reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim gray sands with light,
Far off by furthest Rosses
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;
To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And anxious in its sleep.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scare could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Away with us he's going,
The solemn-eyed:
He'll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hillside
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breast,
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and round the oatmeal chest.
For he comes, the human child,
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than he can understand.

---William Butler Yeats

The Old Men Admiring Themselves in the Water

I HEARD the old, old men say,
"Everything alters,
And one by one we drop away."
They had hands like claws, and their knees
Were twisted like the old thorn trees
By the waters.
I heard the old, old men say,
"All that's beautiful drifts away
Like the waters.

---William Butler Yeats

15.7.10

Daffodils

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed---and gazed---but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

---William Wordsworth

9.7.10

Leisure

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

--- W. H. Davies

4.7.10

An Autumnal ghazal

Rastay manzilen sarab aur dil
kitne be-rooh murda khoab aur dil

lams ke haath kitne yakh – basta
sard- muhri ke kitne baab aur dil

jaan -kani hai ya zeest karna hai
dharkanon ka mehaz azaab aur dil

yaad ke dhundlake mein jeene do!
Bhool jane ka iztarab aur dil

raah mein aagahi ke sang-reze
haath mein hijr ki kitaab aur dil

---Jahanunma

Poem 'An Autumnal ghazal (haath mein hijr ki kitaab…)' taken from this blogpost.

30.6.10

Quatrains

I sent you a few words
ones that are now rare –
if they reach you one day,
hide them, there’s no way to understand me

the space that exists within a word
is like our home:
there are pictures, sounds, and gestures in it –
and yet we are forbidden to decipher it

for those who still believe in words:
silent is their surging core, pitch-dark is their heart of fire –
but when will we ever understand the sea?
and the eternal fire?

what do we find beyond words:
a flower garden? deep space?
in the garden, so many things are left unsaid
in space, so stark is the void

what else is left to cling on to? some words
insist on bursting through reality’s edge –
upon reaching the other shore, will it still be meaningful,
to you, everything I want to say?

in every word you read there are always
missing letters –
you will find them again someday
amidst thickets of memories.

by Sapardi Djoko Damono
translation: Hasif Amini and Sapardi Djoko Damono
from Hujan Bulan Juni
publisher: Grasindo, Jakarta, 1994

20.6.10

To the Choirmaster

The rock lives in the desert, solid, taking its time.
The wave lives for an instant, stable in momentum
at the edge of the sea, before it folds away.
Everything that is, lives and has size.
The mole sleeps in a hole of its making,
and the hole also lives; absence is not nothing.
It didn’t desire to be, but now it breathes
and makes a place, for the comfort of the mole.
I am a space taken, and my absence will be shapely
and of a certain age, in the everlasting.
In the fierce evening, on the mild day,
How long shall I be shaken?

-(Habakkuk)

by Paul Hoover
from Poetry Magazine,
June 2010

12.6.10

नसीब आज़माने के दिन आ रहे हैं

नसीब आज़माने के दिन आ रहे हैं
क़रीब उनके आने के दिन आ रहे हैं
जो दिल से कहा है जो दिल से सुना है
सब उनको सुनाने के दिन आ रहे हैं

अभी से दिल-ओ-जाँ सरे-राह रख दो
के लुटने लुटाने के दिन आ रहे हैं
टपकने लगी उन निगाहों से मस्ती
निगाहें चुराने के दिन आ रहे हैं

सबा फिर हमें पूछती फिर रही है
चमन को सजाने के दिन आ रहे हैं
चलो "फ़ैज़" फिर से कहीं दिल लगायेँ
सुना है ठिकाने के दिन आ रहे हैं

--- फ़ैज़ अहमद फ़ैज़
It is also used in the film In Custody (1993)
गायक: शंकर महादेवन
संगीतकार: उस्ताद जाकिर हुसैन और उस्ताद सुलतान खान

11.6.10

Humne is ishq mein kya khoya hai

आ कि वाबस्ता हैं उस हुस्न की यादें तुझ से
जिसने इस दिल को परीख़ाना बना रखा था
जिसकी उल्फ़त में भुला रखी थी दुनिया हमने
दहर को दहर का अफ़साना बना रखा था

आशना हैं तेरे क़दमों से वो राहें जिन पर
उसकी मदहोश जवानी ने इनायत की है
कारवाँ गुज़रे हैं जिनसे इसी र’अनाई के
जिसकी इन आँखों ने बेसूद इबादत की है

तुझ से खेली हैं वह महबूब हवाएँ जिनमें
उसके मलबूस की अफ़सुर्दा महक बाक़ी है
तुझ पे भी बरसा है उस बाम से मेहताब का नूर
जिस में बीती हुई रातों की कसक बाक़ी है

तू ने देखी है वह पेशानी वह रुख़सार वह होंठ
ज़िन्दगी जिन के तसव्वुर में लुटा दी हमने
तुझ पे उठी हैं वह खोई-खोई साहिर आँखें
तुझको मालूम है क्यों उम्र गँवा दी हमने

हम पे मुश्तरका हैं एहसान ग़मे-उल्फ़त के
इतने एहसान कि गिनवाऊं तो गिनवा न सकूँ
हमने इस इश्क़ में क्या खोया क्या सीखा है
जुज़ तेरे और को समझाऊँ तो समझा न सकूँ

आजिज़ी सीखी ग़रीबों की हिमायत सीखी
यास-ओ-हिर्मां के दुख-दर्द के म’आनी सीखे
ज़ेर द्स्तों के मसाएब को समझना सीखा
सर्द आहों के, रुख़े ज़र्द के म’आनी सीखे

जब कहीं बैठ के रोते हैं वो बेकस जिनके
अश्क आंखों में बिलकते हुए सो जाते हैं
नातवानों के निवालों पे झपटते हैं उक़ाब
बाज़ू तौले हुए मंडराते हुए आते हैं

जब कभी बिकता है बाज़ार में मज़दूर का गोश्त
शाहराहों पे ग़रीबों का लहू बहता है
आग-सी सीने में रह-रह के उबलती है न पूछ
अपने दिल पर मुझे क़ाबू ही नहीं रहता है|

--- फ़ैज़ अहमद फ़ैज़

चुनरी में दाग

मनवा में मेरे आँधी है उठी, और स्तब्ध खड़ी हूँ मैं
सांसो में बाँध अपनी ही सांस, निशब्द खड़ी हूँ मैं

दुनिया से जीती जीती, खुद से हारी बर ध्वस्त खड़ी हूँ मैं
आइना में और अक्स में, मद मस्त खड़ी हूँ मैं

लागा चुनरी में दाग छुपाऊँ कैसे
लागा चुनरी में दाग
चुनरी में दाग छुपाऊँ कैसे, घर जाऊँ कैसे
लागा चुनरी में दाग

झम झम झम झम झमजवात
अंतर में गूँजे दिवस रात
एक शून्य शून्य कपटी विशाल
माया की दशे से लड़ती मैं भिड़ी
विश्वस्त खड़ी हूँ मैं
मेरी लाज में हूँ, चूनर भी मैं हूँ
चुनर पे दाग भी मैं

[ हो गयी मैली मोरी चुनरिया
कोरे बदन सी कोरी चुनरिया] - 2

हाँ जाके बाबुल से नजरें मिलाऊँ कैसे
घर जाऊँ कैसे

[लगा चुनरी में दाग छुपाऊँ कैसे] - 2

मैं ध्वस्त ध्वस्त, मैं नष्ट पष्ट
मैं सरल विरल, मैं अति विशिष्ट
मैं श्याम श्वेत, बादल में रेत
निर्झर सी झरी हूँ मैं
अंधियारी रात, दीपक में बाती
स्वपनिल सी खड़ी हूँ मै
कंचन की काया, अपना ही साया
बस खुद से डरी हूँ में
लकड़ी मैं गीली, थोड़ी सीली सीली
थम थम के जली हूँ मैं
मैं माया माया, मैं छाया छाया
आत्मा और काया मैं

[निशब्द खड़ी हूँ मैं] - 2
विश्वस्त खड़ी हूँ मैं
लागा चुनरी में दाग
सर्वत्र खड़ी हूँ मैं

लागा चुनरी में दाग
सर्वत्र खड़ी हूँ मैं

--- स्वानंद किरकिरे

8.6.10

Aaj bazaar main pa ba jolan chalo

आज बाज़ार में पा-ब-जौला चलो

चश्म-ए-नम जान-ए-शोरीदा काफी नहीं
तोहमत-ए-इश्क़ पोशीदा काफी नहीं
आज बाज़ार में पा-ब-जौला चलो

दस्त-अफ्शां चलो, मस्त-ओ-रक़्सां चलो
खाक-बर-सर चलो, खूं-ब-दामां चलो
राह तकता है सब शहर-ए-जानां चलो

हाकिम-ए-शहर भी, मजम-ए-आम भी
तीर-ए-इल्ज़ाम भी, संग-ए-दुश्नाम भी
सुबह-ए-नाशाद भी, रोज़-ए-नाकाम भी

इनका दमसाज़ अपने सिवा कौन है
शहर-ए-जानां मे अब बा-सफा कौन है
दस्त-ए-क़ातिल के शायां रहा कौन है

रख्त-ए-दिल बांध लो दिलफिगारों चलो
फिर हमीं क़त्ल हो आयें यारों चलो

आज बाज़ार में पा-ब-जौला चलो

--- फ़ैज़ अहमद फ़ैज़
Check Jahane Rumi's webpage for translation and explanation;
Video Weblink of the Poetry Reading by Faiz himself.

दमसाज़ an intimate friend, a cosinger; पा-ब-जौला with fetters in feet, prisoner, helpless; पोशीदा hidden, concealed रक़्सां dancing; रख्त baggage, property; शायां suitable, fit, worthy; शोरीदा mad, desperately in love, disturbed, dejected

Nisar Main Teri Galiyon Ke

निसार मैं तेरी गलियों के अए वतन, कि जहाँ
चली है रस्म कि कोई न सर उठा के चले
जो कोई चाहनेवाला तवाफ़ को निकले
नज़र चुरा के चले, जिस्म-ओ-जाँ बचा के चले

है अहल-ए-दिल के लिये अब ये नज़्म-ए-बस्त-ओ-कुशाद
कि संग-ओ-ख़िश्त मुक़य्यद हैं और सग आज़ाद

बहोत हैं ज़ुल्म के दस्त-ए-बहाना-जू के लिये
जो चंद अहल-ए-जुनूँ तेरे नाम लेवा हैं
बने हैं अहल-ए-हवस मुद्दई भी, मुंसिफ़ भी
किसे वकील करें, किस से मुंसिफ़ी चाहें

मगर गुज़रनेवालों के दिन गुज़रते हैं
तेरे फ़िराक़ में यूँ सुबह-ओ-शाम करते हैं

बुझा जो रौज़न-ए-ज़िंदाँ तो दिल ये समझा है
कि तेरी मांग सितारों से भर गई होगी
चमक उठे हैं सलासिल तो हमने जाना है
कि अब सहर तेरे रुख़ पर बिखर गई होगी

ग़रज़ तसव्वुर-ए-शाम-ओ-सहर में जीते हैं
गिरफ़्त-ए-साया-ए-दिवार-ओ-दर में जीते हैं

यूँ ही हमेशा उलझती रही है ज़ुल्म से ख़ल्क़
न उनकी रस्म नई है, न अपनी रीत नई
यूँ ही हमेशा खिलाये हैं हमने आग में फूल
न उनकी हार नई है न अपनी जीत नई

इसी सबब से फ़लक का गिला नहीं करते
तेरे फ़िराक़ में हम दिल बुरा नहीं करते

ग़र आज तुझसे जुदा हैं तो कल बहम होंगे
ये रात भर की जुदाई तो कोई बात नहीं
ग़र आज औज पे है ताल-ए-रक़ीब तो क्या
ये चार दिन की ख़ुदाई तो कोई बात नहीं

जो तुझसे अह्द-ए-वफ़ा उस्तवार रखते हैं
इलाज-ए-गर्दिश-ए-लैल-ओ-निहार रखते हैं

---फ़ैज़ अहमद फ़ैज़
---------------------------------
Video of Potery Reading and English Translation (Source)

My salutations to thy sacred streets, O beloved nation!
Where a tradition has been invented- that none shall walk with his head held high
If at all one takes a walk, a pilgrimage
One must walk, eyes lowered, the body crouched in fear

The heart in a tumultuous wrench at the sight
Of stones and bricks locked away and mongrels breathing free

In this tyranny that has many an excuse to perpetuate itself
Those crazy few that have nothing but thy name on their lips
Facing those power crazed that both prosecute and judge, wonder
To whom does one turn for defence, from whom does one expect justice?

But those whose fate it is to live through these times
Spend their days in thy mournful memories

When hope begins to dim, my heart has often conjured
Your forehead sprinkled with stars
And when my chains have glittered
I have imagined that dawn must have burst upon thy face

Thus one lives in the memories of thy dawns and dusks
Imprisoned in the shadows of the high prison walls

Thus always has the world grappled with tyranny
Neither their rituals nor our rebellion is new
Thus have we always grown flowers in fire
Neither their defeat, nor our final victory, is new!

Thus we do not blame the heavens
Nor let bitterness seed in our hearts

We are separated today, but one day shall be re- united
This separation that will not last beyond tonight, bears lightly on us
Today the power of our exalted rivals may touch the zenith
But these four days of omniscience too shall pass

Those that love thee keep, beside them
The cure of the pains of a million heart- breaks

ईन्तेसाब - आज के नाम

ईन्तेसाब
आज के नाम

आज के नाम
और
आज के ग़म के नाम
आज का ग़म कि है ज़िन्दगी के भरे गुलसिताँ से ख़फ़ा
ज़र्द पत्तों का बन
ज़र्द पत्तों का बन जो मेरा देस है
दर्द का अंजुमन जो मेरा देस है
किलर्कों की अफ़सुर्दा जानों के नाम
किर्मख़ुर्दा दिलों और ज़बानों के नाम
पोस्ट-मैंनों के नाम
टांगेवालों के नाम
रेलबानों के नाम
कारख़ानों के भोले जियालों के नाम
बादशाह्-ए-जहाँ, वालि-ए-मासिवा, नएबुल्लाह-ए-फ़िल-अर्ज़, दहकाँ के नाम

जिस के ढोरों को ज़ालिम हँका ले गये
जिस की बेटी को डाकू उठा ले गये
हाथ भर ख़ेत से एक अंगुश्त पटवार ने काट ली है
दूसरी मालिये के बहाने से सरकार ने काट ली है
जिस के पग ज़ोर वालों के पाँवों तले
धज्जियाँ हो गयी हैं

उन दुख़ी माँओं के नाम
रात में जिन के बच्चे बिलख़ते हैं और
नींद की मार खाये हुए बाज़ूओं से सँभलते नहीं
दुख बताते नहीं
मिन्नतों ज़ारियों से बहलते नहीं

उन हसीनाओं के नाम
जिनकी आँखों के गुल
चिलमनों और दरिचों की बेलों पे बेकार खिल खिल के
मुर्झा गये हैं
उन ब्याहताओं के नाम
जिनके बदन
बेमोहब्बत रियाकार सेजों पे सज-सज के उकता गये हैं
बेवाओं के नाम
कतड़ियों और गलियों, मुहल्लों के नाम
जिनकी नापाक ख़ाशाक से चाँद रातों
को आ-आ के करता है अक्सर वज़ू
जिनकी सायों में करती है आहो-बुका
आँचलों की हिना
चूड़ियों की खनक
काकुलों की महक
आरज़ूमंद सीनों की अपने पसीने में जलने की बू

पड़नेवालों के नाम
वो जो असहाब-ए-तब्लो-अलम
के दरों पर किताब और क़लम
का तकाज़ा लिये, हाथ फैलाये
पहुँचे, मगर लौट कर घर न आये
वो मासूम जो भोलेपन में
वहाँ अपने नंहे चिराग़ों में लौ की लगन
ले के पहुँचे जहाँ
बँट रहे थे घटाटोप, बे-अंत रातों के साये
उन असीरों के नाम
जिन के सीनों में फ़र्दा के शबताब गौहर
जेलख़ानों की शोरीदा रातों की सर-सर में
जल-जल के अंजुम-नुमाँ हो गये हैं

आनेवाले दिनों के सफ़ीरों के नाम
वो जो ख़ुश्बू-ए-गुल की तरह
अपने पैग़ाम पर ख़ुद फ़िदा हो गये हैं

--- फ़ैज़ अहमद फ़ैज़
This is the video weblink of the poetry reading .

6.6.10

एक बूँद सहसा उछली

मैने देखा :

एक बूँद सहसा

उछली सागर के झाग से -

रंगी गयी छण भर

ढलते सूरज की आग से !

- मुझको दीख गया :

हर आलोक-छुआ अपनापन

है उन्मोचन

नश्वरता के दाग से !

--- अज्ञेय

5.6.10

Breathes there the man...

Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
“This is my own, my native land!”
Whose heart hath ne’er within him burned,
As home his footsteps he hath turned,
From wandering on a foreign strand!

If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no Minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;

Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonoured, and unsung.

- Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832). It is a fragment from his narrative poem, “The Lay of the Last Minstrel” (1805)

22.5.10

The Mask of Anarchy

Percy Bysshe Shelley - Written on the occasion of the massacre carried out by the British Government at Peterloo, Manchester 1819

As I lay asleep in Italy
There came a voice from over the Sea,
And with great power it forth led me
To walk in the visions of Poesy.

I met Murder on the way -
He had a mask like Castlereagh -
Very smooth he looked, yet grim;
Seven blood-hounds followed him:

All were fat; and well they might
Be in admirable plight,
For one by one, and two by two,
He tossed the human hearts to chew
Which from his wide cloak he drew.

Next came Fraud, and he had on,
Like Eldon, an ermined gown;
His big tears, for he wept well,
Turned to mill-stones as they fell.

And the little children, who
Round his feet played to and fro,
Thinking every tear a gem,
Had their brains knocked out by them.

Clothed with the Bible, as with light,
And the shadows of the night,
Like Sidmouth, next, Hypocrisy
On a crocodile rode by.

And many more Destructions played
In this ghastly masquerade,
All disguised, even to the eyes,
Like Bishops, lawyers, peers, or spies.

Last came Anarchy: he rode
On a white horse, splashed with blood;
He was pale even to the lips,
Like Death in the Apocalypse.

And he wore a kingly crown;
And in his grasp a sceptre shone;
On his brow this mark I saw -
'I AM GOD, AND KING, AND LAW!'

With a pace stately and fast,
Over English land he passed,
Trampling to a mire of blood
The adoring multitude.

And a mighty troop around,
With their trampling shook the ground,
Waving each a bloody sword,
For the service of their Lord.

And with glorious triumph, they
Rode through England proud and gay,
Drunk as with intoxication
Of the wine of desolation.

O'er fields and towns, from sea to sea,
Passed the Pageant swift and free,
Tearing up, and trampling down;
Till they came to London town.

And each dweller, panic-stricken,
Felt his heart with terror sicken
Hearing the tempestuous cry
Of the triumph of Anarchy.

For with pomp to meet him came,
Clothed in arms like blood and flame,
The hired murderers, who did sing
'Thou art God, and Law, and King.

'We have waited, weak and lone
For thy coming, Mighty One!
Our Purses are empty, our swords are cold,
Give us glory, and blood, and gold.'

Lawyers and priests, a motley crowd,
To the earth their pale brows bowed;
Like a bad prayer not over loud,
Whispering - 'Thou art Law and God.' -

Then all cried with one accord,
'Thou art King, and God and Lord;
Anarchy, to thee we bow,
Be thy name made holy now!'

And Anarchy, the skeleton,
Bowed and grinned to every one,
As well as if his education
Had cost ten millions to the nation.

For he knew the Palaces
Of our Kings were rightly his;
His the sceptre, crown and globe,
And the gold-inwoven robe.

So he sent his slaves before
To seize upon the Bank and Tower,
And was proceeding with intent
To meet his pensioned Parliament

When one fled past, a maniac maid,
And her name was Hope, she said:
But she looked more like Despair,
And she cried out in the air:

'My father Time is weak and gray
With waiting for a better day;
See how idiot-like he stands,
Fumbling with his palsied hands!

He has had child after child,
And the dust of death is piled
Over every one but me -
Misery, oh, Misery!'

Then she lay down in the street,
Right before the horses' feet,
Expecting, with a patient eye,
Murder, Fraud, and Anarchy.

When between her and her foes
A mist, a light, an image rose,
Small at first, and weak, and frail
Like the vapour of a vale:

Till as clouds grow on the blast,
Like tower-crowned giants striding fast,
And glare with lightnings as they fly,
And speak in thunder to the sky,

It grew - a Shape arrayed in mail
Brighter than the viper's scale,
And upborne on wings whose grain
Was as the light of sunny rain.

On its helm, seen far away,
A planet, like the Morning's, lay;
And those plumes its light rained through
Like a shower of crimson dew.

With step as soft as wind it passed
O'er the heads of men - so fast
That they knew the presence there,
And looked, - but all was empty air.

As flowers beneath May's footstep waken,
As stars from Night's loose hair are shaken,
As waves arise when loud winds call,
Thoughts sprung where'er that step did fall.

And the prostrate multitude
Looked - and ankle-deep in blood,
Hope, that maiden most serene,
Was walking with a quiet mien:

And Anarchy, the ghastly birth,
Lay dead earth upon the earth;
The Horse of Death tameless as wind
Fled, and with his hoofs did grind
To dust the murderers thronged behind.

A rushing light of clouds and splendour,
A sense awakening and yet tender
Was heard and felt - and at its close
These words of joy and fear arose

As if their own indignant Earth
Which gave the sons of England birth
Had felt their blood upon her brow,
And shuddering with a mother's throe

Had turned every drop of blood
By which her face had been bedewed
To an accent unwithstood, -
As if her heart had cried aloud:

'Men of England, heirs of Glory,
Heroes of unwritten story,
Nurslings of one mighty Mother,
Hopes of her, and one another;

'Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number,
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you -
Ye are many - they are few.

'What is Freedom? - ye can tell
That which slavery is, too well -
For its very name has grown
To an echo of your own.

'Tis to work and have such pay
As just keeps life from day to day
In your limbs, as in a cell
For the tyrants' use to dwell,

'So that ye for them are made
Loom, and plough, and sword, and spade,
With or without your own will bent
To their defence and nourishment.

'Tis to see your children weak
With their mothers pine and peak,
When the winter winds are bleak, -
They are dying whilst I speak.

'Tis to hunger for such diet
As the rich man in his riot
Casts to the fat dogs that lie
Surfeiting beneath his eye;

'Tis to let the Ghost of Gold
Take from Toil a thousandfold
More that e'er its substance could
In the tyrannies of old.

'Paper coin - that forgery
Of the title-deeds, which ye
Hold to something of the worth
Of the inheritance of Earth.

'Tis to be a slave in soul
And to hold no strong control
Over your own wills, but be
All that others make of ye.

'And at length when ye complain
With a murmur weak and vain
'Tis to see the Tyrant's crew
Ride over your wives and you -
Blood is on the grass like dew.

'Then it is to feel revenge
Fiercely thirsting to exchange
Blood for blood - and wrong for wrong -
Do not thus when ye are strong.

'Birds find rest, in narrow nest
When weary of their wingèd quest
Beasts find fare, in woody lair
When storm and snow are in the air.

'Asses, swine, have litter spread
And with fitting food are fed;
All things have a home but one -
Thou, Oh, Englishman, hast none!

'This is slavery - savage men
Or wild beasts within a den
Would endure not as ye do -
But such ills they never knew.

'What art thou Freedom? O! could slaves
Answer from their living graves
This demand - tyrants would flee
Like a dream's dim imagery:

'Thou art not, as impostors say,
A shadow soon to pass away,
A superstition, and a name
Echoing from the cave of Fame.

'For the labourer thou art bread,
And a comely table spread
From his daily labour come
In a neat and happy home.

'Thou art clothes, and fire, and food
For the trampled multitude -
No - in countries that are free
Such starvation cannot be
As in England now we see.

'To the rich thou art a check,
When his foot is on the neck
Of his victim, thou dost make
That he treads upon a snake.

'Thou art Justice - ne'er for gold
May thy righteous laws be sold
As laws are in England - thou
Shield'st alike the high and low.

'Thou art Wisdom - Freemen never
Dream that God will damn for ever
All who think those things untrue
Of which Priests make such ado.

'Thou art Peace - never by thee
Would blood and treasure wasted be
As tyrants wasted them, when all
Leagued to quench thy flame in Gaul.

'What if English toil and blood
Was poured forth, even as a flood?
It availed, Oh, Liberty,
To dim, but not extinguish thee.

'Thou art Love - the rich have kissed
Thy feet, and like him following Christ,
Give their substance to the free
And through the rough world follow thee,

'Or turn their wealth to arms, and make
War for thy belovèd sake
On wealth, and war, and fraud - whence they
Drew the power which is their prey.

'Science, Poetry, and Thought
Are thy lamps; they make the lot
Of the dwellers in a cot
So serene, they curse it not.

'Spirit, Patience, Gentleness,
All that can adorn and bless
Art thou - let deeds, not words, express
Thine exceeding loveliness.

'Let a great Assembly be
Of the fearless and the free
On some spot of English ground
Where the plains stretch wide around.

'Let the blue sky overhead,
The green earth on which ye tread,
All that must eternal be
Witness the solemnity.

'From the corners uttermost
Of the bounds of English coast;
From every hut, village, and town
Where those who live and suffer moan,

'From the workhouse and the prison
Where pale as corpses newly risen,
Women, children, young and old
Groan for pain, and weep for cold -

'From the haunts of daily life
Where is waged the daily strife
With common wants and common cares
Which sows the human heart with tares -

'Lastly from the palaces
Where the murmur of distress
Echoes, like the distant sound
Of a wind alive around

'Those prison halls of wealth and fashion,
Where some few feel such compassion
For those who groan, and toil, and wail
As must make their brethren pale -

'Ye who suffer woes untold,
Or to feel, or to behold
Your lost country bought and sold
With a price of blood and gold -

'Let a vast assembly be,
And with great solemnity
Declare with measured words that ye
Are, as God has made ye, free -

'Be your strong and simple words
Keen to wound as sharpened swords,
And wide as targes let them be,
With their shade to cover ye.

'Let the tyrants pour around
With a quick and startling sound,
Like the loosening of a sea,
Troops of armed emblazonry.

Let the charged artillery drive
Till the dead air seems alive
With the clash of clanging wheels,
And the tramp of horses' heels.

'Let the fixèd bayonet
Gleam with sharp desire to wet
Its bright point in English blood
Looking keen as one for food.

'Let the horsemen's scimitars
Wheel and flash, like sphereless stars
Thirsting to eclipse their burning
In a sea of death and mourning.

'Stand ye calm and resolute,
Like a forest close and mute,
With folded arms and looks which are
Weapons of unvanquished war,

'And let Panic, who outspeeds
The career of armèd steeds
Pass, a disregarded shade
Through your phalanx undismayed.

'Let the laws of your own land,
Good or ill, between ye stand
Hand to hand, and foot to foot,
Arbiters of the dispute,

'The old laws of England - they
Whose reverend heads with age are gray,
Children of a wiser day;
And whose solemn voice must be
Thine own echo - Liberty!

'On those who first should violate
Such sacred heralds in their state
Rest the blood that must ensue,
And it will not rest on you.

'And if then the tyrants dare
Let them ride among you there,
Slash, and stab, and maim, and hew, -
What they like, that let them do.

'With folded arms and steady eyes,
And little fear, and less surprise,
Look upon them as they slay
Till their rage has died away.

'Then they will return with shame
To the place from which they came,
And the blood thus shed will speak
In hot blushes on their cheek.

'Every woman in the land
Will point at them as they stand -
They will hardly dare to greet
Their acquaintance in the street.

'And the bold, true warriors
Who have hugged Danger in wars
Will turn to those who would be free,
Ashamed of such base company.

'And that slaughter to the Nation
Shall steam up like inspiration,
Eloquent, oracular;
A volcano heard afar.

'And these words shall then become
Like Oppression's thundered doom
Ringing through each heart and brain,
Heard again - again - again -

'Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number -
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you -
Ye are many - they are few.'

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