“For a star to be born” by Noor Tagouri

For a star to be born,
there is one thing that
must happen: a gaseous
nebula must collapse.

So collapse.
Crumble.
This is not your
destruction.

This is your birth.

(“why / don’t / be…”) by E. E. Cummings

why

don’t

be

sil

ly

,o no in-

deed;

money

can’t do(never

did &

never will)any

damn

thing

:far

from it;you

’re wrong,my friend. But

what does

do,
has always done

;&

will do alw

-ays something

is(guess)yes

you’re

right:my enemy

. Love

She let go by Safire Rose

She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.

She let go of the fear.

She let go of the judgments.

She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.

She let go of the committee of indecision within her.

She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons.

Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.

She didn’t ask anyone for advice.

She didn’t read a book on how to let go.

She didn’t search the scriptures.

She just let go.

She let go of all of the memories that held her back.

She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.

She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.

She didn’t promise to let go.

She didn’t journal about it.

She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer.

She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper.

She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope.

She just let go.

She didn’t analyze whether she should let go.

She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter.

She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment.

She didn’t call the prayer line.

She didn’t utter one word.

She just let go.

No one was around when it happened.

There was no applause or congratulations.

No one thanked her or praised her.

No one noticed a thing.

Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.

There was no effort.

There was no struggle.

It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad.

It was what it was, and it is just that.

In the space of letting go, she let it all be.

A small smile came over her face.

A light breeze blew through her.

And the sun and the moon shone forevermore…

[The house was just twinkling in the moon light] by Gertrude Stein

The house was just twinkling in the moon light,
And inside it twinkling with delight,
Is my baby bright.
Twinkling with delight in the house twinkling
with the moonlight,
Bless my baby bless my baby bright,
Bless my baby twinkling with delight,
In the house twinkling in the moon light,
Her hubby dear loves to cheer when he thinks
and he always thinks when he knows and he always
knows that his blessed baby wifey is all here and he
is all hers, and sticks to her like burrs, blessed baby

“Hope” is the thing with feathers by Emily Dickinson

“Hope” is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all—

And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard—
And sore must be the storm—
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm—

I’ve heard it in the chillest land—
And on the strangest Sea—
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb—of Me.

Underneath it all by Gwen Stefani and Dave Stewart

There’s times when I want something more
Someone more like me
There’s times when this dress rehearsal
Seems incomplete

But you see the colors in me
Like no one else
And behind your dark glasses
You’re something else

You’re really lovely
Underneath it all
You want to love me
Underneath it all
I’m really lucky
Underneath it all
You’re really lovely

You know some real bad tricks
And you need some discipline
But lately you’ve been trying real hard
And giving me your best

And you give me the most gorgeous sleep
That I’ve ever had
And when it’s really bad
I guess it’s not that bad

You’re really lovely
Underneath it all
You want to love me
Underneath it all
I’m really lucky
Underneath it all
You’re really lovely

So many moons that we have seen
Stumbling back next to me
I’ve seen right through and underneath

And you make me better
I’ve seen right through and underneath
And you make me better

You’ve used up all your coupons
And all you got left is me
And somehow I’m full of forgiveness
I guess it’s meant to be…

You’re really lovely
Underneath it all
You want to love me
Underneath it all
I’m really lucky
Underneath it all
You’re really lovely

Untitled by Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī

Love is not written on paper,

for paper can be erased.

Nor is it etched on stone,

for stone can be broken.

But it is inscribed on a heart

and there it shall remain forever.

Note: If you have the original in Persian (Farsi) and/or who the translator is, please comment.

Someone like you by Adele and Dan Wilson

I heard that you’re settled down
that you found a girl and you’re married now.
I heard that your dreams came true.
Guess she gave you things I didn’t give to you.

Old friend, why are you so shy?
Ain’t like you to hold back or hide from the light.

I hate to turn up out of the blue uninvited
but I couldn’t stay away, I couldn’t fight it.
I had hoped you’d see my face and that you’d be reminded
that for me it isn’t over.

Never mind, I’ll find someone like you,
I wish nothing but the best for you too.
Don’t forget me, I beg,
I remember you said,
“Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead,
sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead.”

You know how the time flies,
only yesterday was the time of our lives.
We were born and raised
in a summer haze
bound by the surprise of our glory days.

I hate to turn up out of the blue uninvited
but I couldn’t stay away, I couldn’t fight it.
I’d hoped you’d see my face and that you’d be reminded
that for me it isn’t over.

Never mind, I’ll find someone like you.
I wish nothing but the best for you too,
don’t forget me, I beg,
I remember you said,
“Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead.”

Nothing compares
no worries or cares
regrets and mistakes
they are memories made.
Who would have known how bittersweet this would taste?

Never mind, I’ll find someone like you.
I wish nothing but the best for you,
don’t forget me, I beg,
I remember you said,
“Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead.”

Never mind, I’ll find someone like you.
I wish nothing but the best for you too.
Don’t forget me, I beg,
I remember you said,
“Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead,
sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead.”

Parts of the tongue by Jane Gibian

A predilection for stone fruit
sees a trail of peach
and plum stones in his shadow
You had traced him down
this discreet path to where
his casual touch
was six light insect
feet on your forearm

In the magazine you read about
the ten sexiest women
for April; they all live
in suburbs beginning with W
and wear impossible shoes

You hunt for modern equivalents
of One hundred ways with mince
and watch his hand become
refined under its wedding ring,
the fingers longer and nails less bitten

He coaxes your shoulders straight,
uncurling them with firm hands

but you were merely bent over
with laughter
Now your tongue forks into four:
one part for being good-natured
one for lamentation
the third part of irony
and the last for an imaginary language

You move to a newly-invented
suburb beginning with X
where you will use the four parts
of the tongue with equilibrium

Again and Again (Immer wieder) by Rainer Maria Rilke

Again and again, however we know the landscape of love
and the little churchyard there, with its sorrowing names,
and the frighteningly silent abyss into which the others
fall: again and again the two of us walk out together
under the ancient trees, lie down again and again
among the flowers, face to face with the sky.

Note: Stephen Mitchell did the English translation. Following is the original in German.

Immer wieder, ob wir der Liebe Landschaft auch kennen
und den kleinen Kirchhof mit seinen klagenden Namen
und die furchtbar verschweigende Schlucht, in welcher die anderen
enden: immer wieder gehn wir zu zweien hinaus
unter die alten Bäume, lagern uns immer wieder
zwischen die Blumen, gegenüber dem Himmel.

The moon is hiding in by E. E. Cummings

the moon is hiding in
her hair.
The
lily
of heaven
full of all dreams,
draws down.

cover her briefness in singing
close her with the intricate faint birds
by daisies and twilights
Deepen her,

Recite
upon her
flesh
the rain’s

pearls singly-whispering.

King of sorrow by Paul Denman, Stuart Matthewman, Helen (Sade) Adu, and Andrew Hale

I’m crying everyone’s tears
And there inside our private war
I died the night before
And all of these remnants of joy and disaster
What am I suppose to do

I want to cook you a soup that warms your soul
But nothing would change, nothing would change at all
It’s just a day that brings it all about
Just another day and nothing’s any good

The DJ’s playing the same song
I have so much to do
I have to carry on
I wonder if this grief will ever let me go
I feel like I am the king of sorrow, yeah
The king of sorrow

I suppose I could just walk away
Will I disappoint my future if I stay
It’s just a day that brings it all about
Just another day and nothing’s any good

The DJ’s playing the same song
I have so much to do
I have to carry on
I wonder will this grief ever be gone
Will it ever go
I’m the king of sorrow, yeah
The king of sorrow

I’m crying everyone’s tears
I have already paid for all my future sins
There’s nothing anyone
Can say to take this away
It’s just another day and nothing’s any good

I’m the king of sorrow, yeah
King of sorrow
I’m the king of sorrow, yeah
King of sorrow

Letter to Ba by Chandrakant Shah

Wearing the blue jeans you bought me
I sit down to write to you
After a long time

Light blue is the denim and sapphire blue the ink
Between the two – this sheet of paper
Blank and white
On this sheet I write to you of my troubles
After a long time

We’re fine
How’re you?
I write for the sake of writing
Ask for the sake of asking

I want to write just that –

After growing grimier
Over the years, these jeans have got so soiled
That I no longer feel like washing them.
To wash these jeans –
No river flows by
No friends
No farm, no well, no birdsong of koels nearby
No white cranes either

Instead, a white washer, white dryer
White washing powder to wash blue jeans
A white anti-static fabric softener
For the occasional static

Green trees seem white
White, the blue sky
The rainbow is white
White kohl, white soorma
White kumkum, white the white rice
White, white, pure white, white gulal

In this country of the whites, what a black fate is mine
On this bright white day, I sit here pounding life’s misfortunes
Sit here to write to you
Feverishly
After a long time

Light blue is the denim and sapphire blue the ink
Between the two – this sheet of paper
Not so white and no longer so blank
On this sheet I write to you of my reflections
After a long time

I keep writing that –

There’s no mango orchard here
To dry washed jeans
Even the sunlight here is sterilised
The wind EPA-controlled
Different water sprinklers nurture different patches of green
Everyone here has different lawns, different water, different sunlight

The jeans here are different for meeting people
Different for behaving, different for socialising
Ways of loving also different
Different TVs, different remotes
Different parties, different votes
Different cars, different phones
Different names, Jaswant John
Different brides for different grooms
Under the same roof, people live in different homes

I sit in my home, different from myself, distant from myself
Far far away
I sit here to bridge the gap on paper
After a long time

Light blue is the denim and sapphire blue the ink
Between the two – this letter
Never intended to be so long
On this sheet I write to you of bridges and gaps
After a long time

I turn the page over and write all over again that –

When I turned the almost-dried jeans inside-out
To dry them out completely
My life almost turned upside-down

Upside-down roads, upside-down driving
Upside-down men, upside-down women
Having upside-down conversations, I spend my upside-down nights
I draw water each day from upside-down taps
In the upside-down darkness, upside-down switches for lights

Upside-down alphabets
Upside-down voices
Upside-down silences
Surround me as
I sit here silently to write a wedding song
After a long time

Light blue is the denim and sapphire blue the ink
Between the two – this letter
Complete and yet incomplete
On this sheet I write to you this wedding song
After a long time

And finally I just want to write that –

After repeated washing
These jeans are furrowed
By deep wrinkles of dilemma

Wrinkles that tell
Of the desire to settle in the USA anyhow
Of the conditions to settle here
Of the acceptance of these conditions
Of adjusting to this acceptance
Of surrendering to the ‘medical’
Of growing dependence on social security

I sit here in the USA totally attached to Vadodara
I sit here to write of this attachment
After a long time

Light blue is the denim and sapphire blue the ink
Between the two – this letter
Completed and blank
On this sheet I write to you of my troubles
After a long time

Note: The English translation is by Naushil Mehta and Arundhathi Subramaniam. Following is the original.

Letter to Ba by Chandrakant Shah in the original Gujarati Part 1 of 5

Letter to Ba in Gujarati

Letter to Ba by Chandrakant Shah Part 2 of 5

Letter to Ba in Gujarati

Letter to Ba by Chandrakant Shah in Gujarati Part 3 of 5

Letter to Ba in Gujarati

Letter to Ba by Chandrakant Shah in Gujarati Part 4 of 5

Letter to Ba by Chandrakant Shah

Letter to Ba by Chandrakant Shah in Gujarati Part 5 of 5

Letter to Ba by Chandrakant Shah

That which is past, is gone (जो बीत गई सो बात गई) by Harivansh Rai Bachchan

There was a star in life
agreed, it was much loved
when it sank, it did sink.
Look at the sky’s vastness,
so many stars have broken away
so many loved ones it has lost
the lost ones, were they ever found?
But tell me, for the broken stars
does the sky ever grieve?
That which is past, is gone.

There was a flower in life
which, I doted everyday on
when it dried, it dried away.
Look at the garden’s breast,
dried, many of its saplings have
welted, many of its flowers have
that which welted, did it ever bloom?
But tell me, for dried flowers
does the garden create an uproar?
That which is past, is gone.

There was a cup of wine in life
which, you gave your heart and soul for
when it broke, it did break.
Look at the winehouse’s courtyard
shaken, where many cups are
fall, and merge with the ground
that which fall, do they ever rise?
But tell me, for broken cups
does the winehouse ever regret?
That which is past, is gone.

Soft mud, we are made of,
wine drops do tend to fall.
A short life, we have come with,
winecups do tend to break.
Yet, inside the winehouse
there is a winepot, there are winecups.
Those, struck by intoxication
do splurge away on the wine.
He’s a raw drinker,
whose affection escapes no cup,
one who has burnt from true wine
does he ever shout, or scream?
That which is past, is gone.

Note: Please comment below if you know who translated this into English. Following is the original.

हरिवंश राय बच्चन द्वारा जो बीत गई सो बात गई

जीवन में एक सितारा था
माना वह बेहद प्यारा था
वह डूब गया तो डूब गया
अम्बर के आनन को देखो
कितने इसके तारे टूटे
कितने इसके प्यारे छूटे
जो छूट गए फिर कहाँ मिले
पर बोलो टूटे तारों पर
कब अम्बर शोक मनाता है
जो बीत गई सो बात गई

जीवन में वह था एक कुसुम
थे उसपर नित्य निछावर तुम
वह सूख गया तो सूख गया
मधुवन की छाती को देखो
सूखी कितनी इसकी कलियाँ
मुर्झाई कितनी वल्लरियाँ
जो मुर्झाई फिर कहाँ खिली
पर बोलो सूखे फूलों पर
कब मधुवन शोर मचाता है
जो बीत गई सो बात गई

जीवन में मधु का प्याला था
तुमने तन मन दे डाला था
वह टूट गया तो टूट गया
मदिरालय का आँगन देखो
कितने प्याले हिल जाते हैं
गिर मिट्टी में मिल जाते हैं
जो गिरते हैं कब उठतें हैं
पर बोलो टूटे प्यालों पर
कब मदिरालय पछताता है
जो बीत गई सो बात गई

मृदु मिटटी के हैं बने हुए
मधु घट फूटा ही करते हैं
लघु जीवन लेकर आए हैं
प्याले टूटा ही करते हैं
फिर भी मदिरालय के अन्दर
मधु के घट हैं मधु प्याले हैं
जो मादकता के मारे हैं
वे मधु लूटा ही करते हैं
वह कच्चा पीने वाला है
जिसकी ममता घट प्यालों पर
जो सच्चे मधु से जला हुआ
कब रोता है चिल्लाता है
जो बीत गई सो बात गई।।

Across by Vikram Seth

Across these miles I wish you well.
May nothing haunt your heart but sleep.
May you not sense what I don’t tell.
May you not dream, or doubt, or weep.
May what my pen this peaceless day
Writes on this page not reach your view
Till its deferred print lets you say
It speaks to someone else than you.

I love sleep by Ouyang Yu

I love sleep knowing it is politically incorrect and culturally inappropriate
To say this but I love sleep not caring whether someone is going to bomb
The rialto tower or the Sydney opera house I love sleep at 46
For I don’t remember anything about myself or what I do I love
Sleep lingering in my bed with a bit of dream here and there but nothing substantial
To merit a mention I love sleep years ago in Wuhan while I was working
As a lorry driver in a shipping yard I had a roommate who loved sleep
The only two things he did was go to work in the factory lifting things and come
Back to sleep in our three-bed room “I love sleep” he said one night as we stood
On the bridge across a nameless creek that ran into the Yangtze River
“for I dream of things, beautiful things that you never will see anywhere in the world”
I began to know that he was an orphan that he had nowhere to go on weekends
Things like that and I felt sad kind of for him and for myself I love sleep
And when I do so I know I am wasting my life knowing that I am wasting my life
Anyway even if I do not sleep I cherish the time immediately after I wake up
For I hear the birds calling out to each other among themselves I do not hear them in
sleep I become wordy soon I’ll stop I love sleep I dream a little although I don’t recall
anything this morning I went to a friend’s house to interview him he had a beautiful
house that cost him nearly one million dollars off record he talked about his plan
For afterwards he said he would love to lead a xianyun yehe life
I shared his view although I know ours would be different
For that kind of life of leisurely clouds and wild cranes
I love sleep correct me if I am wrong for in sleep I am equal to anyone
Without a fight

Divorce by Gayatri Majumdar

A quarter of the seven-year-old
bottle of Jean Nate Friction
pour le Bain After Bath Splash,
an old Chinese king in lac,
a fat Ganesh in pastel pink
and steel utensils.

Sony Walkman, one
of the two crystal flower vases,
all of the photographs, and the brass.
Crockery made in Indonesia,
amber in colour, Webster’s New
Collegiate Dictionary
, not one but two,
the blue and green of the Japanese painting.

Ceiling fans manufactured by 24 Carats,
Netlons, and two wooden cabinets
for soap and lipstick.
Garam masala, bought cheap in America;
a red Banarasi sari.
a Godrej manual typewriter – all articles,
mostly nouns, some prepositions,
not one metaphor,
no verbs either.