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pen

SARATH AMUNUGAMA
The Last Poem

 

Selecting the words

one by one

like bullets

aiming the argument

with that sardonic smile

in the corner of my mouth

in a moment, I fire the shot

bursting your heart into two

 

You, wordless

with your eyes wide

as soon as

the shot hits you

turned aside suddenly

to hide your tears;

fell on the bed

and began to sob

turning your heart’s blood

into tears

 

My heart leaps

like a hunter who

got his kill.

 

Your heart

broken into fragments

with my sharp logic

doesn’t utter a word

lying on the bed

hiding your head in the pillow

you only make veiled sobs.

 

But

having vanquished you

breaking you into fragments

using the power of

my logic

when your eyes

suddenly opened

why does that sight

reverberate in the heart?

Having murdered you

with my logic’s weapon

why is it that

a graveyard’s loneliness

pervades the heart?

 

Translated by A T Dharmapriya

roots

KI. PI. ARAVINTHAN

Frozen State

Even my shadow cries out cringing, eyes lowered

in shame as eyes like those of a cat

strip me a shade lower than Black,

penetrating into the very marrow.

Oh, the blood isn’t black….?

Disdain bubbles.

 

Hell for Africa is in its South

they say, how can those blackened by hell’s heat

enter our circles, they ask…

 

The entry port to Hell was negotiated by Vasco de Gama

to discover Paradise for your cold worlds.

 

Who wants your Paradise?

I have not come to snatch it back.

But I cannot ever forget,

you are the ones who snatched our Paradise.

 

Before I could drink the waters,

spread my roots, become a tree

yielding shade and fruit,

sow seeds, become a grove,

 

I was felled, cut away from the soil of my roots

thrown as a tree without fruit into the frozen ice,

the soil around me was shaken off but

can the soil around roots be ever taken away?

 

The soul which survived the ancient flames of caste,

will it be singed now with the hot fires of race?

When and where was a foreigner ever loved?

But did we not tolerate you for three hundred years or more?

Now you should tolerate me just a little.

 

Even my shadow cringes and cries out

shame in my heart, I live

frozen in the snow

 

Translated by Kanchana Damodaran

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

REX BAKER

Too Old for Tears

Such as the falling of leaves, so is the passing of men;

Such as the stirring of trees, so is the breathing of men;

Winds move the sighing of myriads, loose

In the rhythm of dying,

 

Ready to fall from the restless movement of being.

Each generation cries with the coming of seasons

And the old will remember the wind in the stillness of noon,

 

The infant will cry unheard in the tremulous silence

 

When treetops sway in the ominous peace of the sun.

 

Such as the movement of stars, so is the living of man

And as the living of man, so is the weeping of years;

We crush through the brown dead leaves uncaring

And thrill to the impotent blasts of winter

For we have grown too old for tears.

 

Such as the man, so is the juggling leaf in the wind;

Such as the foliage, so the ephemeral flock of immortals;

Only the winter is barren of fear of the wind

When the seasons have ended and men

Have forgotten the leaves.

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