October 15, 2010

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

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