Azrael, Taras Karien

Have you heard
the leaves rustle
in the autumn,
when the fresh bout
of gun fire
deafens the night sky?

Swoosh, thud, dead.
Is that the call of Azrael?

Stray cattle, dead bodies
and pierced trees
is all that survives
in abandoned villages.

Death knows no borders
or boundaries.
It roams free between villages
like people did, six decades ago.
Visiting Ghulam Din’s house
near the old well
and then traveling to
Hari Singh’s fields
across the patch of
No-Man’s Land.

But, it is the other,
always the other-
the aggressor.

Between propaganda and peace talks
what is lost?
Only the railing on the roof,
the wall, a few houses
and some lives.

 

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Two translations and a missing paragraph

Hazrat Shah Niaz’s: Ishq mein tere koh-e-gham
Aql, Fanna and Bekhudi aren’t appropriately translated. The philosophy behind these is too vast to be contained in Reason, Annihilation and Selflessness.

Aise dinan barkha rut aayi noorul hasan
A lively rendition that follows from the poetry, a blend of folk and rich idioms (Ghatri mein daam). It is an embodiment of the vibrant Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb.

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Lodhi Garden -Kodak Portra on an Airesflex.

Have you ever been consumed by an idea
like a walnut, hollowed out from inside.
No, not by breaking it
but by letting it be
on the table, untouched
until it begins to roll itself
and cracks on the floor,
only to find the void
that exists within it.

Yes, ideas are powerful
but so are they – consuming!

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i paint on
the shadows of time1435
and whatever was left behind
in absentia.

whimpers are benign
and loss, sublime
the nude dementia,
speak of heaven to me.

hovering, towering
the gates of dawn
the squeaky Azaan
find me, will you?