Five Poems by the author of three collections of poems: Bujhe Rangon ki Raunaq (Splendor of Faded colors), Tanhai ke Tehwar (Festivals of Solitude) and Aaeene Ke Zindani (Captives of the Mirror)
Gusts of wind knock at the door.
Her forehead adorned,
The harlot opens the door and peeps out;
The elephantine shadow of the night
Crosses her threshold.
A bird flies out
Through the north-facing window, ajar.
A wide field of borax, milk-white;
Within its dismal acreage confined
Searching for its cadaver,
A soul laments.
The sky inclines,
And with a thunder intimates the secret
That lies beyond space and time.
Circling the perimeter of the night;
Hiding their faces behind the beams of light.
Shattered on the floor
A mirror lies,
That bears the fractured image
Of a God — stunned.
By the warmth of her taut breast,
A clump of grapes,
Held between her thumb and forefinger —
The naked woman
Dangles before his eyes.
Tightly shuts his mouth
To hide his falling teeth.
From a granite rock
A body, abashed.
In the valley, below,
Of blood-sputtering flowers.
A wintry gust of wind
Spreads in all directions
The smell of freshly shoveled earth.
Under the entangled branches
Of the tree of paradise
Wolves interlocked in fighting.
The sun hurling its fiery spears.
From its subterranean caves
Death dispatches its emissaries,
In all four directions.
Riding their panthers emerge
The panicked flight of the human herd
In vain, looking to heavens for surcease.
In their pursuit, heralds of hell,
Waving their black banners.
When the bass note resonates
And the lotus star falls from the sky,
Lava shoots out from the mountain top
In all four directions.
Your taut breast discharges
Sprays of milk;
Spasmodic, you pluck the stars
From the Milky Way.
Your breaths are blasts of summer wind,
Boiling over, the foam spits out on the sand
Shrimps knotted in coitus.
A whirlwind in gyration on the sky…
A towering phantom
Stoops to kiss your navel.
With its forked tongue, quivering,
The serpent licks your lips,
Holding it tight you squeeze it in your fist;
And, bite down on it lightly with your teeth.
The glowing eyes
Of the huge-headed lion, your ride,
Watch you, with lust,
From behind the dripping foliage.
The glittering spire of your temple
Touches the azure sky.
A golden bowl containing ambrosia,
And the enchanted ankle-bells
Of your primeval dance,
Lie on the floor;
A row of petrified skeletons stands
Staring in vacuity.
The red tempest has rumbled in her throat,
Your warring song,
An unsheathed sword is in her hand
Like a banner.
Descend to the mighty circle of your tent
And felicitating you
Adorn your forehead with a star.
The walls of the cave that I populate,
Bear images of myriad beasts.
And many edifying maxims of the dead.
In a corner joining their heads stand,
Five celebrated saints.
When the morning climbs its minaret
To blow its horn,
I shut my eyes,
To meditate upon the transcendental;
But I am interrupted
By the noise above,
Of merchants unshuttering their shops;
And of the cannibals
Standing on their mound
Beating their empty kettle drums.
In a mendicant’s sleeveless gown,
Wearing my wooden sandals,
I strike my metal tongs together
To make a mystic music;
But I am interrupted by a wandering sage
Noisily preaching above:
Piety, wisdom and tolerance.
Then placing two fingers under my tongue
I blow a whistle,
To which responds a celebrated corpse
By coming back to life.
Raising my tin-cup high,
I drink kerosene oil to his health;
And sitting on my hams and heels
Play the dice board game with him.
The bridge that the sun’s arc makes,
My subterranean dream.
I contemplate the height of the Great Bear constellation
Compulsively puffing at my cheroot.
Carved out of the black salt rock with my adze
In an arched recess stands:
A fierce human size figure
A cat-o-nine-tails in her bitter hands.
I hear the enchained regrets
Inciting her to lash me viciously.
When night falls
I ignite my bonfire
Which demands from me its due,
Of three ounces of butter, purified
Then round my sacred bonfire,
Brandishing my chopper in my hand
I grit my teeth,
And uttering profanities
Execute my savage dance.
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