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.

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.

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।।

Before you came (Original: “tum jo naa aa’e the”) by Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Note: The following translation into English is by Naomi Lazard.

Before You Came by Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Before you came things were just what they were:

the road precisely a road, the horizon fixed,

the limit of what could be seen,

a glass of wine was no more than a glass of wine.

With you the world took on the spectrum

radiating from my heart: your eyes gold

as they open to me, slate the color

that falls each time I lost all hope.

With your advent roses burst into flame:

you were the artist of dried-up leaves, sorceress

who flicked her wrist to change dust into soot.

You lacquered the night black.

As for the sky, the road, the cup of wine:

one was my tear-drenched shirt,

the other an aching nerve,

the third a mirror that never reflected the same thing.

Now you are here again—stay with me.

This time things will fall into place;

the road can be the road,

the sky nothing but sky;

the glass of wine, as it should be, the glass of wine.

***

Note: The following translation into English is by Agha Shahid Ali.

Before You Came by Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Before you came,

things were as they should be:

the sky was the dead-end of sight,

the road was just a road, wine merely wine.

Now everything is like my heart,

a color at the edge of blood:

the grey of your absence, the color of poison, or thorns,

the gold when we meet, the season ablaze,

the yellow of autumn, the red of flowers, of flames,

and the black when you cover the earth

with the coal of dead fires.

And the sky, the road, the glass of wine?

The sky is a shirt wet with tears,

the road a vein about to break,

and the glass of wine a mirror in which

the sky, the road, the world keep changing.

Don’t leave now that you’re here—

Stay. So the world may become like itself again:

so the sky may be the sky,

the road a road,

and the glass of wine not a mirror, just a glass of wine.

***

Note: The following translation into English is by Ravi Kopra.

It’s the Color of My Heart by Faiz Ahmed Faiz

When you didn’t come,

things were they should be –

the sky was as far as I could see,

the road to travel by was a road,

the goblet was a glassful of wine.

And now, a glassful of wine,

the road to travel by,

and the color of the sky,

are like the colors of my blood,

flowing from my heart to my liver.

Sometimes golden, like the

shine of your eyes when we meet.

Sometimes grey and saddening like

the sickening feelings of partings.

Other times like colors of old

leaves, of trash, of dry grass,

of red flowers in flower-beds,

of dark sky, of poison, of blood.

Now I see the sky, the road,

the glass full of wine, my wet

robe, my aching nerves in a mirror,

changing moment by moment.

Since you’ve come, please stay.

May the things – the colors, the seasons,

stay as if they were in one place.

May everything be as it used to be –

The sky, as far as I could see,

the road to travel by, a road,

the goblet, brimming with wine.

***

Note: The following translation into English is by Victor Kiernan.

Before You Came by Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Before you came, all things were what they are—

The sky sight’s boundary, the road a road,

The glass of wine a glass of wine; since then,

Road, wineglass, colour of heaven, all have taken

The hues of this heart ready to melt into blood—

Now golden, as the solace of meeting is,

Now grey, the livery of despondent hours,

Or tint of yellowed leaves, of garden trash,

Or scarlet petal, a flowerbed all ablaze:

Colour of poison, colour of blood, or shade

Of sable night. Sky, highroad, glass of wine—

The first a tear-stained robe, the next a nerve

Aching, the last a mirror momently altering….

Now you have come, stay here, and let some colour,

Some month, some anything, keep its own place,

And all things once again be their own selves,

The sky sight’s bound, the road a road, wine wine.

***

Note: The following translation into English is by Shiv K. Kumar.

The Colour of the Moment by Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Before you came, everything was what it is—

the sky, vision-bound

the pathway, the wine-glass.

And now the wine-glass, the pathway, the sky’s tint—

everything bears the colour of my heart

till all melts into blood.

Sometimes the golden tinge, sometimes the hue of the joy of

seeing you,

sometimes ashen, the shade of the dreary moment—

the colour of yellow leaves, of thorn and trash,

of the crimson petals of the flower-beds aglow,

the tint of poison, of blood, of sable night.

The sky, the pathway, the wine-glass—

some tear-stained robe, some wincing nerve,

some ever-revolving mirror.

Now that you’re here, stay onso that so

me colour, some season, some object.

***

Note: The following translation into English is by Frances W. Pritchett.

It’s the Color of My Heart by Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Before you came everything

was what it is:

the sky the limit of sight

the road a road, the glass of wine

a glass of wine.

And now the glass of wine, the road, the color of the sky

are the color of my heart

while it breaks itself down

into blood.

Sometimes a gold color—a color of eyes’ delight

that sooty color, the color of disgus

tthe color of dry leaves, straw, thorns

the color of red flowers in a blazing garden

poison color, blood color, the color of black night.

The sky, the road, the glass of wine

are a sodden cloak, an aching vein,

a mirror changing every moment.

Now that you’ve come, stay—let some color, season, thing

stay in place.

One more time let everything

be what it is:

the sky the limit of sight

the road a road, the glass of wine

a glass of wine.

***

Note: Here is the original poem in Urdu transliterated into English script. If you have the original in Arabic script, or even Devanagiri script, please comment.

tum jo naa aa’e the to har chiiz vahii thii kih jo hai
aasmaaN hadd-e-nazar, raahguzar raahguzar, shiishaah-e-mai,
shiishaah-e-mai

aur ab shiishaah-e-mai, raahguzar, rang-e-falak
rang hai dil kaa mere, “khoon-e-jigar hone tak”
champaa’i rang kabhii, raahat-e-diidaar kaa rang
sur’ma’ii rang kabhii, saa’at-e-bezaar kaa rang

zard pattoN kaa xas-o-xaar kaa rang
surkh phuuloN kaa, dahakte hu’e gulzaar kaa rang
zahar kaa rang, lahuu rang. shab-e-taar kaa rang

aasmaaN, rahguzar, shiishaah-e-mai
koii bhiigaa hu’aa daaman, ko’ii dukhtii hu’ii rag
ko’ii har lahzaah badaltaa hu’aa aa’iinaah hai

ab jo aa’e ho to Thahro kih koii rang, koii rut ko’ii shai
ek jagah par Thahre
phir se ik baar har ik chiiz vahii ho ke jo hai
aasmaaN hadd-e-nazar, rahguzar rahguzar, shiishaah-e-mai,
shiishaah-e-mai

My apologies, Sona by Gulzar

My apologies, Sona.
Journeying through the terrain of my verse
in these rains,
inconvenienced you
Unseasonal are the monsoons here.
The alleyways of my poetry are frequently damp.
Water gathers often in the ditches.
If you trip and fall here, you run the risk
of spraining a foot.

My apologies, however . . .
You were inconvenienced
because the light in my verse is somewhat dim.
The stones at my threshold
are imperceptible, as you pass.
I have often cracked a toenail against them
As for the streetlamp at the crossroads,
it has remained unlit for aeons
You were inconvenienced.
My apologies, my heartfelt apologies.

Note: Salim Arif is the translator of this poem into English. Following is the original in Urdu.

My apologies, Sona in Urdu

Naham Janami by Unknown

There are no celestial beings I know of, there is no God.
Neither heaven nor hell.
Neither a preserver, nor an owner of this universe.
Neither a creator nor a destroyer.
No eternal judge.
There is only the law of causality.
I take responsibilities for my actions and their consequences.
The smallest of creatures have a life-force just like mine.
May I always have such compassion.
May I never cause any harm to anybody.
The truth is multi-faceted, and there are many ways to reach it.
May I find balance in this duality.
I pray, may my karma of ignorance be shed.
May my true self be liberated from the cycle of life and death.
And attain moksha.

Note: This is originally a verse of now extinct Charvaka traditions and the poet is unknown. But it survives in the Gujarati (language) oral traditions. Translated from Gujarati into Prakrit by either Anand Gandhi or Chandrasen. Then translated into English, possibly by Gandhi himself.  Following is the Prakrit version.

नाहं जाणामि कंपि देवं न दईवं, णत्थि इसरो णियन्ता।
णत्थि सग्गभूमि ण णिरयं।
णो जगकत्ता णो विकत्ताय ण य जगईसरो कोवि।
ण रक्खओ ण भक्खओ।
ण य कालाईओ आदित्ठो दन्दनाईओ।
कम्मुणो चेव दण्डं।
हं सयमेव सट्ठा भोत्ता य मे सुहदुह – पियाप्पिअसंजोगाण।
अप्पसरियो जीवो सव्वाण सुहुमतिसुहुमेसु।
नत्थु कोवि कयापि दुहिओ मया।
सया मे इइ संवेअणा।
सच्चस्स मग्गा बहवे, सच्चो य एगरुबो णवरं।
समया मे मणो दुव्विहअवस्थासु।
मम पत्थणा -निज्जरउ अन्नाणकंमं।
शुद्धसासयरुवो हं इइ अत्थु मे सद्दंसणंअन्ते- ण य भवउ चवियं
मे पयं मोक्खमग्गओ ।

The Woman Mending Clothes By Ai Qing

The woman mending clothes sits by the roadside.
When people pass by
Dust rises up,
Dust coats her kerchief,
Dust greys her clothes.

Her baby begins crying,
The child’s tears are dried by the sun;
She does not notice.
Silently she thinks of her home,
Its shelter destroyed by gunfire.
Silently she mends clothes for people,
And lets her child’s eyes,
Those poor reddened eyes,
Stare at the empty basket.

The woman mending clothes sits by the roadside.
The road stretches away endlessly.
She mends socks for some passerby,
And the passerby goes on.

p.s. If you have the original of this poem in Chinese, please comment.

A homeless Sindhi woman by Popati Hiranandani

In Akbar the Great’s durbar,

Anarkali, Queen of Beauty, reigned.

Yet

even she was buried alive.

Delhi, India’s pride, and I,

inheritor of the marvels of Indus architecture.

Yet

even I have been buried alive

homeless in history’s graveyard.

 

Note: This poem was translated into English by Anju Makhija and Menka Shivdasani, with Arjan Shad. Following is the original in Sindhi.

 

18457_org_homeless_sindhi_

 

When I die by Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī

When I die
when my coffin
is being taken out
you must never think
i am missing this world

don’t shed any tears
don’t lament or
feel sorry
i’m not falling
into a monster’s abyss

when you see
my corpse is being carried
don’t cry for my leaving
i’m not leaving
i’m arriving at eternal love

when you leave me
in the grave
don’t say goodbye
remember a grave is
only a curtain
for the paradise behind

you’ll only see me
descending into a grave
now watch me rise
how can there be an end
when the sun sets or
the moon goes down

it looks like the end
it seems like a sunset
but in reality it is a dawn
when the grave locks you up
that is when your soul is freed

have you ever seen
a seed fallen to earth
not rise with a new life
why should you doubt the rise
of a seed named human

have you ever seen
a bucket lowered into a well
coming back empty
why lament for a soul
when it can come back
like Joseph from the well

when for the last time
you close your mouth
your words and soul
will belong to the world of
no place no time

Note: Translated into English by Nader Khalili. Please comment if you have the original in Persian.

In the Stillness of a Word by Amrita Bharati

Both
are so alike –
his earth
my sky
I wanted
to follow him
wherever he went

But our paths
were so different –
he was on one
I on the other
with a line between us –
his
and mine

We
were one
in our soul
But
he walked
on the low peaks of the earth
And I
in the high chasms
of the sky

Maybe
these two paths
will turn
one day
in my poetry
so we may walk together
in the stillness of a word

Note: Translated into English by Lucy Rosenstein and The Poetry Translation Workshop. Following is the original poem in Hindi. 

title

hindi

Poem Without an End by Yehuda Amichai

Inside the brand-new museum
there’s an old synagogue.
Inside the synagogue
is me.
Inside me
my heart.
Inside my heart
a museum.
Inside the museum
a synagogue,
inside it
me,
inside me
my heart,
inside my heart
a museum
Note: Translated by Chana Bloch. If you have the original, please comment.

What Was Told, That by Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī

What was said to the rose that made it open was said

to me here in my chest.

 

What was told the cypress that made it strong

and straight, what was

 

whispered the jasmine so it is what it is, whatever made

sugarcane sweet, whatever

 

was said to the inhabitants of the town of Chigil in

Turkestan that makes them

 

so handsome, whatever lets the pomegranate flower blush

like a human face, that is

 

being said to me now. I blush. Whatever put eloquence in

language, that’s happening here.

 

The great warehouse doors open; I fill with gratitude,

chewing a piece of sugarcane,

 

in love with the one to whom every that belongs!

Here by Gagan Gill

Here:
in her bones
she hides herself
fleeing from her flesh

Here:
she collapses
with grief
escaping from herself

Here:
doubt
claws out
body and soul

Clutching at straws
she searches through
poetry —

this is the very stone
they will touch:

she the fish
and she the non-fish

Both will sink
here:
in this very place

Note: Translation into English by Lucy Rosenstein and the Poetry Translation Workshop at http://www.poetrytranslation.org/ Following is the original in Hindi.

here by Gagan Gill in the original Hindi language

Untitled by Unknown

And still,

after all this time,

the Sun has never said to the Earth,

“You owe me.”

Look what happens with love like that.

It lights up the sky.

Note: The poet for this poem is controversial. It was first published in the book “The Gift: Poems by Hafiz” by Daniel Ladinsky. Ladinsky does not read or write Farsi (Persian) but claims he translated Hafiz’s poems from another english translation. Some people believe these poems are actually written by Ladinsky, and have nothing to do with Hafiz. Some believe they are written by him, and inspired by Hafiz but are not written by Hafiz originally.

A Note (Notatka) by Wislawa Szymborska

Life is the only way

to get covered in leaves,

catch your breath on the sand,

rise on wings;

to be a dog,

or stroke its warm fur;

to tell pain

from everything it’s not;

to squeeze inside events,

dawdle in views,

to seek the least of all possible mistakes.

An extraordinary chance

to remember for a moment

a conversation held

with the lamp switched off;

and if only once

to stumble upon a stone,

end up soaked in one downpour or another,

mislay your keys in the grass;

and to follow a spark on the wind with your eyes;

and to keep on not knowing

something important.

Note: Translated from the Polish by Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh. If you have the original, please comment.

Agnes’ song by Lee Chang-dong

How is it over there?
How lonely is it?
Is it still glowing red at sunset?
Are the birds still singing on the way to the forest?
Can you receive the letter I dared not send?
Can I convey…
the confession I dared not make?
Will time pass and roses fade?
Now it’s time to say goodbye
Like the wind that lingers and then goes,
just like shadows
To promises that never came,
to the love sealed till the end.

To the grass kissing my weary ankles
And to the tiny footsteps following me
It’s time to say goodbye
Now as darkness falls
Will a candle be lit again?
Here I pray…
nobody shall cry…
and for you to know…
how deeply I loved you
The long wait in the middle of a hot summer day
An old path resembling my father’s face
Even the lonesome wild flower shyly turning away
How deeply I loved
How my heart fluttered at hearing faint song
I bless you
Before crossing the black river
With my soul’s last breath
I am beginning to dream…
a bright sunny morning…
again I awake blinded by the light…
and meet you…
standing by me.

Note: This poem is originally in Korean. If you have the original version, please leave a comment. Also, I’m not sure if Lee Chang-dong wrote the poem, if you can confirm, please let me know.

Must Escape by Farzaneh Khojandi

At last the word for scream bursts into my notebook.
Damn this sick society
where shadows boast about their own size.
No one understands the absence of the sun.
No one knows that this brightness
is just pretending to be dawn.
No one understands the absence of meaning
in the guises of the chameleon.
These hollow ghosts
with their gorgeous clothes
and dazzling pendants on long chains,
and breadth perfumed with the scent of Europe –
from the pulpit of time, with fancy words
they talk deceit as if it were truth.
I am offended by them, offended
by the pretentiousness of the very small.
I am offended by myself, too:
I just don’t understand enough
about the weakness of form and the courage of meaning.
Why do I make conversation with nothing
and stitch my words into the hems of the mediocre
like margin prayers or footnotes.
Must escape
must run away to simplicity,
must elevate the best,
must become another example of the sun.
O darling, what can I say, for even you,
choose a dim light-bulb over daylight,
even you with your perceptive glance,
no longer see the absence of the sun.

Note: Above English translation from the original by Jo Shapcott. Following is the original.

After Midnight (तीसरा पहर) by Mohan Rana

I saw the stars far off –
as far as I from them:
in this moment I saw them –
in moments of the twinkling past.
In the boundless depths of darkness,
these hours
hunt the morning through the night.

And I can’t make up my mind:
am I living this life for the first time?
Or repeating it, forgetting as I live
the first moment of breath every time?

Does the fish too drink water?
Does the sun feel the heat?
Does the light see the dark?
Does the rain too get wet?
Do dreams ask questions about sleep as I do?

I walked a long, long way
and when I saw, I saw the stars close by.
Today it rained all day long and the words were washed away
from your face.

Note: Translated from the Hindi by Bernard O’Donoghue. Following is the original.

मैंने तारों को देखा बहुत दूर
जितना मैं उनसे
वे दिखे इस पल में
टिमटिमाते अतीत के पल
अँधेरे की असीमता में,
सुबह का पीछा करती रात में
यह तीसरा पहर

और मैं तय नहीं कर पाता
क्या मैं जी रहा हूँ जीवन पहली बार,
या इसे भूलकर जीते हुए दोहराए जा रहा हूँ
सांस के पहले ही पल को हमेशा !

क्या मछली भी पानी पीती होगी
या सूरज को भी लगती होगी गरमी
क्या रोशनी को भी कभी दिखता होगा अँधकार
क्या बारिश भी हमेशा भीग जाती होगी,
मेरी तरह क्या सपने भी करते होंगे सवाल नींद के बारे में

दूर दूर बहुत दूर चला आया मैं
जब मैंने देखा तारों को – देखा बहुत पास,
आज बारिश होती रही दिनभर
और शब्द धुलते रहे तुम्हारे चेहरे से