Monday, January 11, 2010

Some more poems


First light on the kitchen table
Breakfast for one. Beer and wine.
Feline eyes kiss fallen tart.

Lunch is a conceit of three. My cat,
Your snapshot and me. Secret rum
In mint tea. Invalidation of the sun.

Last light comes to sup. Dinner is a feat
In rectitude. Water and whiskey.
Campaign of shadows. No despair.

A sliver of music around the ankles
In a dream’s corridor.
Endless retreat of inaccessible feet.

© 1994, C. P. Surendran
From: Gemini II

At the Family Court

The lift wouldn’t work.
So they walked up
Four flights
Of stairs and passed
On the fourth landing
Two toilets, one marked,
For Judges Only, and one,
For Others. They used
The first though.
But no one charged
Them with contempt of court.
Later, they sat in the hail
With some 20 others,
People come together
To be separated.
The four fans in the hall
Big as windmills
Breezed past
Their several lives.
Late in the noon
An attendant
Called out their names
And led them into a hall
Where the judge
They met in the toilet said
They were no longer
Man and wife.

© 1999, C. P. Surendran
From: Posthumous Poems

Come, Let Us Build A Night
Come, let us build a night
On the marble edifice of silence
let us swathe ourselves in the sheets of darkness,
and ignite the twin candles of our bodies . . .
When dew arrives on tiptoe,
let it not discern even the whisper of our breaths
In the silken fragrance of mist,
entwined let us lie, like fragrance itself —
Draped in the earthy aroma of our bodies, Let us, like spirits, rustle forever . . .

© 2002, Gulzar

From: Raat Pashmine Ki

© Translation: 2008, Salim Arif

My apologies, Sona
My Apologies, Sona.
Journeying through the terrain of my verse
in these rains, inconvenienced you
Unseasonal are the monsoons here.
The alleyways of my poetry are frequently damp.
Water gathers often in the ditches.
If you trip and fall here,
you run the risk of spraining a foot.
My apologies, however . . .
You were inconvenienced
because the light in my verse is somewhat dim.
The stones at my threshold
are imperceptible, as you pass.
I have often cracked a toenail against them
As for the streetlamp at the crossroads,
it has remained unlit for aeons
You were inconvenienced.
My apologies, my heartfelt apologies.

© 2007, Gulzar

© Translation: Salim Arif

These poems are sourced from Poetry International Web website. You can read a selection of poems from contemporary Indian poets. They have also something wonderful. They have reproduced the original poem in the original language along with the English translation. Those who can read Urdu will perhaps enjoy reading the Gulzar's originals in Urdu. You could also read Mallika Amar Sheikh's Venus or Namdeo Dhasal's Kamathipura in the Marathi original.

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