A Grief Outcasted

I know you’re searching for hundreds of reasons

to justify all these killings—whatever.

You know, I’m simply looking for those lives

that are lost forever.

Have you ever let even a small blade

you chanced upon

go unused?

I’m confident of the spoils you collected

during your battles.

But hereafter this story

will be written by the severed thumb

of Ekalavya.[1]

 

 

And the justifications

that you weave

may be true for you,

but for me they’re lies

loftier than the Himalayas.

Now I search for the cries

that were buried under the weight of the Vedas.

I need to trace out

the black bodies crushed under your iron feet

so that all the mornings now be brightened

with a black slogan.

Who cares who am I?

When you never hear the thump of my heart

but always notice the color of my skin?

Who cares what my body is?

When it’s meant to stoop down,

to honor you!

Who cares where I live?

When I am always cast away from the village,

destined to nestle in pitch darkness.

All these lush fields now wear greenery,

borrowing my tears

and nothing remains for me.

I have lost all my breath, forever. 

Who cares how the sun rises here,

when the sunshine, damp with my sweat,

is meant to bloom a rainbow for you only?

Whoever would be me?

When my body is meant only

to be shattered to pieces

and burnt to ash?

Who cares who am I?

When my body is only to be destroyed

and thrown into the gutters!

You cut my breath as rudely, as simply

as you cut my harvest every year.

Don’t say anymore.

Your eyes are red with my blood.

Don’t pat my back

with a dagger that cuts my throat. 

My dear poet!

I know this delicate midnight breeze

keeps you occupied.

How long this slavery to white poems?

 

Poet,

now I’m terrified of white flowers.

In a world where my every step

touches upon a bloodied corpse,

I fear green fields.

Pure blue skies

unnerve me.

I’m sorry, my lord

 

 

My poem is not your slave

it’s a sickle with its head to the sky.

My poem is not a damsel timid in your moonlight

it’s a tiger prowling in a shadowed forest.

To say a final word,

My poem won’t be your grand Constitution

devoted to your happiness

at all costs.

*



[1] A lower-caste character from the great Indian epic Mahabharata. Ekalavaya wants to be the disciple of the great archer Drona who refuses him as a student because of his low caste. Drona promises Arjuna that he will make him the greatest archer on the earth, but Ekalavya surpasses Arjuna, while using a clay image of Drona as his teacher. Arjuna becomes jealous of Ekalavya. To appease Arjuna, Drona goes to Ekalavya and asks him for a gift–as compensation for his teaching, Drona asks for Ekalavya’s thumb. A sincere disciple, Ekalavya cuts off his thumb and presents it to Drona.

Tr: Jessica Athens

Published in: on జనవరి 14, 2008 at 4:16 ఉద.  2 వ్యాఖ్యలు  

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2 వ్యాఖ్యలువ్యాఖ్యానించండి

  1. Excellent sir,
    English lo kuda inta adbutamaina poetry ila vuntundanukoledu.
    Can I ask U to translate this into Telugu,
    or atleast permit me to write it in telugu in my Diary.

  2. Welcome to the blog world.
    Stumbled on this almost by accident.
    Please submit your blog to http://koodali.org so that readers can get regular updates.
    I translated a couple of your old poems into English
    చిన్నప్పటి చెరువు and నాకే జన్మ భూమీ లేదు. Would like to share them with you if you’re interested.
    Once again, welcome to the blog world.


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