Translation / December 2013 (Issue 22)

Two Poems

by Shamim Reza, translated by Dulal Al Monsur

The Blue Fig

At the night of creation, in one hand
of the blue fig your image was held;
in another- my heart.
When two thousand two blind afternoons
were spoilt at the graveyard,
jealous insects began dancing in delight
leaving them behind on an icy mountain peak
as they took them for fossils.
After so long a time my cloudy shadows
proved fruitless in making an image
of my own in you.
Rivers, blind, can’t feel downy banks.
In this mute dusk of winter my forgetful mind
failed to stir your heart.
Forgetting the rhythmic dance out of
the scavenger’s smelling sweat,
I keep my love pierced in the tamarind shadow.

The Myth of the Nalonda Girl

At last the girl stands on the waves of Nalonda.

Nalonda river floats on the far away universe,
floating on under current swims in the space.
What an illusion!
From Nalonda, the girl,
opening the loose end of her sari
in the azure, turns into a river
and creates waves—
and sometimes losing the urban routes
hides herself in cauliflower fields.
Her neck is sightless all around
her breasts — the color of ripe paddy;
she has physical Ashar in her bodily luster!
There was no winter blast behind autumn,
nor the realm of heaven—
the goddess girl
was out of the physical world.
The vessel of kisses goes on heavenly flow.
Turning into a plant, the girl lives inside
my heart.
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