कविता – प्रार्थना कि निशी – लक्ष्मी प्रसाद देवकोटा

लक्ष्मी प्रसाद देवकोटा

लक्ष्मी प्रसाद देवकोटा


क.

पलक निमीलित आज निशि,
प्रार्थना छन् सलिलदृशी !

ख.

दुइटा उडुकण ढुल्कन्छन्
बादलपरेला छिचली !

ग.

निश्चल, निस्पन्द !
श्वासबन्द !

घ.

क्षणकन पार्छिन् अनन्त–दर्पण !
अर्पण !

ङ.

निभिरहेछ संसार उनको !
उडिरहेछ नीरव,
दुइटा पखेटा क्रन्दनको !

च.

बज्दछ अश्रुतबीच मसिनो
मनको तार !
अन्तर–श्वसनकनको परी प्रहार !
“ए ! सुन्दर !
एक किरण !
अमृत मुहार ! ……….”

छ.

जीवन घडीजस्तो छ !
व्यष्टि, समष्टि !
घडीका सूईका दुई हात
जोर्छिन् शिरमा, रात !
आँखा मुदी,
माग्छिन् प्रभात !

The Suicide’s Soliloquy Abraham Loncoln 

Here, where the lonely hooting owl 

Sends forth his midnight moans, 

Fierce wolves shall o’er my carcase growl, 

Or buzzards pick my bones. 
No fellow-man shall learn my fate, 

Or where my ashes lie; 

Unless by beasts drawn round their bait, 

Or by the ravens’ cry. 
Yes! I’ve resolved the deed to do, 

And this the place to do it: 

This heart I’ll rush a dagger through, 

Though I in hell should rue it! 
Hell! What is hell to one like me 

Who pleasures never know; 

By friends consigned to misery, 

By hope deserted too? 
To ease me of this power to think, 

That through my bosom raves, 

I’ll headlong leap from hell’s high brink, 

And wallow in its waves. 
Though devils yell, and burning chains 

May waken long regret; 

Their frightful screams, and piercing pains, 

Will help me to forget. 
Yes! I’m prepared, through endless night, 

To take that fiery berth! 

Think not with tales of hell to fright 

Me, who am damn’d on earth! 
Sweet steel! come forth from your sheath, 

And glist’ning, speak your powers; 

Rip up the organs of my breath, 

And draw my blood in showers! 
I strike! It quivers in that heart 

Which drives me to this end; 

I draw and kiss the bloody dart, 

My last—my only friend!

My Childhood Home I See Again – Abraham Lincoln 

My childhood’s home I see again, 
And sadden with the view; 

And still, as memory crowds my brain, 

There’s pleasure in it too. 
O Memory! thou midway world 

‘Twixt earth and paradise, 

Where things decayed and loved ones lost 

In dreamy shadows rise, 
And, freed from all that’s earthly vile, 

Seem hallowed, pure, and bright, 

Like scenes in some enchanted isle 

All bathed in liquid light. 
As dusky mountains please the eye 

When twilight chases day; 

As bugle-tones that, passing by, 

In distance die away; 
As leaving some grand waterfall, 

We, lingering, list its roar– 

So memory will hallow all 

We’ve known, but know no more. 
Near twenty years have passed away 

Since here I bid farewell 

To woods and fields, and scenes of play, 

And playmates loved so well. 
Where many were, but few remain 

Of old familiar things; 

But seeing them, to mind again 

The lost and absent brings. 
The friends I left that parting day, 

How changed, as time has sped! 

Young childhood grown, strong manhood gray, 

And half of all are dead. 
I hear the loved survivors tell 

How nought from death could save, 

Till every sound appears a knell, 

And every spot a grave. 
I range the fields with pensive tread, 

And pace the hollow rooms, 

And feel (companion of the dead) 

I’m living in the tombs. 
II 
But here’s an object more of dread 

Than ought the grave contains– 

A human form with reason fled, 

While wretched life remains. 
Poor Matthew! Once of genius bright, 

A fortune-favored child– 

Now locked for aye, in mental night, 

A haggard mad-man wild. 
Poor Matthew! I have ne’er forgot, 

When first, with maddened will, 

Yourself you maimed, your father fought, 

And mother strove to kill; 
When terror spread, and neighbors ran, 

Your dange’rous strength to bind; 

And soon, a howling crazy man 

Your limbs were fast confined. 
How then you strove and shrieked aloud, 

Your bones and sinews bared; 

And fiendish on the gazing crowd, 

With burning eye-balls glared– 
And begged, and swore, and wept and prayed 

With maniac laught[ter?] joined– 

How fearful were those signs displayed 

By pangs that killed thy mind! 
And when at length, tho’ drear and long, 

Time smoothed thy fiercer woes, 

How plaintively thy mournful song 

Upon the still night rose. 
I’ve heard it oft, as if I dreamed, 

Far distant, sweet, and lone– 

The funeral dirge, it ever seemed 

Of reason dead and gone. 
To drink it’s strains, I’ve stole away, 

All stealthily and still, 

Ere yet the rising God of day 

Had streaked the Eastern hill. 
Air held his breath; trees, with the spell, 

Seemed sorrowing angels round, 

Whose swelling tears in dew-drops fell 

Upon the listening ground. 
But this is past; and nought remains, 

That raised thee o’er the brute. 

Thy piercing shrieks, and soothing strains, 

Are like, forever mute. 
Now fare thee well–more thou the cause, 

Than subject now of woe. 

All mental pangs, by time’s kind laws, 

Hast lost the power to know. 
O death! Thou awe-inspiring prince, 

That keepst the world in fear; 

Why dost thos tear more blest ones hence, 

And leave him ling’ring here?

Poem -Hymn III: All That Pass By, To Jesus Draw Near – John Wesley 

All that pass by, To Jesus draw near, 

He utters a cry, Ye sinners, give ear! 

From hell to retrieve you He spreads out his hands; 

Now, now to receive you, He graciously stands. 
If any man thirst, And happy would be, 

The vilest and worst May come unto me, 

May drink of my Spirit, Excepted is none, 

Lay claim to my merit, And take for his own. 
Whoever receives The life-giving word, 

In Jesus believes, His God and his Lord, 

In him a pure river Of life shall arise, 

Shall in the believer Spring up to the skies. 
My God and my Lord! Thy call I obey, 

My soul on thy word Of promise I stay, 

Thy kind invitation I gladly embrace, 

Athirst for salvation, Salvation by grace. 
O hasten the hour! Send down from above 

The Spirit of power, Of health, and of love, 

Of filial fear, Of knowledge and grace, 

Of wisdom and prayer, Of joy and of praise; 

The Spirit of faith, Of faith in thy blood, 

Which saves us from wrath, And brings us to God, 

Removes the huge mountain Of indwelling sin, 

And opens a fountain That washes us clean.

 Poem – Hymn II: Come, Sinners, To The Gospel Feast – John Wesley

Come, sinners, to the gospel feast, 

Let every soul be Jesu’s guest; 

Ye need not one be left behind, 

For God hath bidden all mankind. 
Sent by my Lord, on you I call, 

The invitation is to ALL: 

Come, all the world; come, sinner, thou! 

All things in Christ are ready now. 
Come, all ye souls by sin opprest, 

Ye restless wanderers after rest, 

Ye poor, and maimed, and halt, and blind, 

In Christ a hearty welcome find. 
Come, and partake the gospel feast; 

Be saved from sin; in Jesus rest; 

O taste the goodness of your God, 

And eat his flesh, and drink his blood! 
Ye vagrant souls, on you I call; 

(O that my voice could reach you all!) 

Ye all may now be justified, 

Ye all may live, for Christ hath died. 
My message as from God receive, 

Ye all may come to Christ, and live; 

O let his love your hearts constrain, 

Nor suffer him to die in vain! 
His love is mighty to compel; 

His conquering love consent to feel, 

Yield to his love’s resistless power, 

And fight against your God no more. 
See him set forth before your eyes, 

That precious, bleeding sacrifice! 

His offered benefits embrace, 

And freely now be saved by grace. 
This is the time; no more delay! 

This is the acceptable day, 

Come in, this moment, at his call, 

And live for him who died for all.
by John Wesley

Poem – Hymn I: O For A Thousand Tongues To Sing – John Wesley

O for a thousand tongues to sing 

My great Redeemer’s praise, 

The glories of my God and King, 

The triumphs of his grace! 
My gracious Master and my God, 

Assist me to proclaim, 

To spread through all the earth abroad 

The honours of thy name. 
Jesus! the name that charms our fears, 

That bids our sorrows cease; 

‘Tis music in the sinner’s ears, 

‘Tis life, and health, and peace. 
He breaks the power of cancelled sin, 

He sets the prisoner free; 

His blood can make the foulest clean, 

His blood availed for me. 
He speaks, and, listening to his voice, 

New life the dead receive, 

The mournful, broken hearts rejoice, 

The humble poor believe. 
Hear him, ye deaf; his praise, ye dumb, 

Your loosened tongues employ; 

Ye blind, behold your Saviour come, 

And leap, ye lame, for joy. 
Look unto him, ye nations, own 

Your God, ye fallen race; 

Look, and be saved through faith alone, 

Be justified by grace. 
See all your sins on Jesus laid: 

The Lamb of God was slain, 

His soul was once an offering made 

For every soul of man. 
Awake from guilty nature’s sleep, 

And Christ shall give you light, 

Cast all your sins into the deep, 

And wash the Æthiop white. 
With me, your chief, ye then shall know, 

Shall feel your sins forgiven; 

Anticipate your heaven below, 

And own that love is heaven.
by John Wesley

Poem – Hymn: Thou Hidden Love Of God – John Wesley

Thou hidden love of God, whose height, 

Whose depth unfathom’d no man knows, 

I see from far thy beauteous light, 

Inly I sigh for thy repose; 

My heart is pain’d, nor can it be 

At rest, till it finds rest in thee. 
Thy secret voice invites me still, 

The sweetness of thy yoke to prove: 

And fain I would: but tho’ my will 

Seem fix’d, yet wide my passions rove; 

Yet hindrances strew all the way; 

I aim at thee, yet from thee stray. 
‘Tis mercy all, that thou hast brought 

My mind to seek her peace in thee; 

Yet while I seek, but find thee not, 

No peace my wand’ring soul shall see; 

O when shall all my wand’rings end, 

And all my steps to thee-ward tend! 
Is there a thing beneath the sun 

That strives with thee my heart to share? 

Ah! tear it thence, and reign alone, 

The Lord of ev’ry motion there; 

Then shall my heart from earth be free, 

When it hath found repose in thee. 
O hide this self from me, that I 

No more, but Christ in me may live; 

My vile affections crucify, 

Nor let one darling lust survive; 

In all things nothing may I see, 

Nothing desire or seek but thee. 
O Love, thy sov’reign aid impart, 

To save me from low-thoughted care: 

Chase this self-will thro’ all my heart, 

Thro’ all its latent mazes there: 

Make me thy duteous child, that I 

Ceaseless may Abba, Father, cry! 
Ah no! ne’er will I backward turn: 

Thine wholly, thine alone I am! 

Thrice happy he who views with scorn 

Earth’s toys, for thee his constant flame; 

O help that I may never move 

From the blest footsteps of thy love! 
Each moment draw from earth away 

My heart that lowly waits thy call: 

Speak to my inmost soul, and say, 

I am thy love, thy God, thy all! 

To feel thy power, to hear thy voice, 

To taste thy love, be all my choice.

Poem – Cigarettes And Whiskey And Wild, Wild Women – Anne Sexton

(from a song) 
Perhaps I was born kneeling, 

born coughing on the long winter, 

born expecting the kiss of mercy, 

born with a passion for quickness 

and yet, as things progressed, 

I learned early about the stockade 

or taken out, the fume of the enema. 

By two or three I learned not to kneel, 

not to expect, to plant my fires underground 

where none but the dolls, perfect and awful, 

could be whispered to or laid down to die. 
Now that I have written many words, 

and let out so many loves, for so many, 

and been altogether what I always was— 

a woman of excess, of zeal and greed, 

I find the effort useless. 

Do I not look in the mirror, 

these days, 

and see a drunken rat avert her eyes? 

Do I not feel the hunger so acutely 

that I would rather die than look 

into its face? 

I kneel once more, 

in case mercy should come 

in the nick of time.

Poem – Clothes – Anne Sexton

Put on a clean shirt

 before you die, some Russian said. 

Nothing with drool, please, 

no egg spots, no blood, 

no sweat, no sperm. 

You want me clean, God, 

so I’ll try to comply. 
The hat I was married in, 

will it do? 

White, broad, fake flowers in a tiny array. 

It’s old-fashioned, as stylish as a bedbug, 

but is suits to die in something nostalgic. 
And I’ll take 

my painting shirt 

washed over and over of course 

spotted with every yellow kitchen I’ve painted. 

God, you don’t mind if I bring all my kitchens? 

They hold the family laughter and the soup. 
For a bra 

(need we mention it?) , 

the padded black one that my lover 

demeaned 

when I took it off. 

He said, ‘Where’d it all go? ‘ 
And I’ll take 

the maternity skirt of my ninth month, 

a window for the love-belly 

that let each baby pop out like and apple, 

the water breaking in the restaurant, 

making a noisy house I’d like to die in. 
For underpants I’ll pick white cotton, 

the briefs of my childhood, 

for it was my mother’s dictum 

that nice girls wore only white cotton. 

If my mother had lived to see it 

she would have put a WANTED sign up in the 

post office 

for the black, the red, the blue I’ve worn. 

Still, it would be perfectly fine with me 

to die like a nice girl 

smelling of Clorox and Duz. 

Being sixteen-in-the-pants 

I would die full of questions.

Poem – Cinderella – Anne Sexton

You always read about it: 
the plumber with the twelve children 

who wins the Irish Sweepstakes. 

From toilets to riches. 

That story. 
Or the nursemaid, 

some luscious sweet from Denmark 

who captures the oldest son’s heart. 

from diapers to Dior. 

That story. 
Or a milkman who serves the wealthy, 

eggs, cream, butter, yogurt, milk, 

the white truck like an ambulance 

who goes into real estate 

and makes a pile. 

From homogenized to martinis at lunch. 
Or the charwoman 

who is on the bus when it cracks up 

and collects enough from the insurance. 

From mops to Bonwit Teller. 

That story. 
Once 

the wife of a rich man was on her deathbed 

and she said to her daughter Cinderella: 

Be devout. Be good. Then I will smile 

down from heaven in the seam of a cloud. 

The man took another wife who had 

two daughters, pretty enough 

but with hearts like blackjacks. 

Cinderella was their maid. 

She slept on the sooty hearth each night 

and walked around looking like Al Jolson. 

Her father brought presents home from town, 

jewels and gowns for the other women 

but the twig of a tree for Cinderella. 

She planted that twig on her mother’s grave 

and it grew to a tree where a white dove sat. 

Whenever she wished for anything the dove 

would dropp it like an egg upon the ground. 

The bird is important, my dears, so heed him. 
Next came the ball, as you all know. 

It was a marriage market. 

The prince was looking for a wife. 

All but Cinderella were preparing 

and gussying up for the event. 

Cinderella begged to go too. 

Her stepmother threw a dish of lentils 

into the cinders and said: Pick them 

up in an hour and you shall go. 

The white dove brought all his friends; 

all the warm wings of the fatherland came, 

and picked up the lentils in a jiffy. 

No, Cinderella, said the stepmother, 

you have no clothes and cannot dance. 

That’s the way with stepmothers. 
Cinderella went to the tree at the grave 

and cried forth like a gospel singer: 

Mama! Mama! My turtledove, 

send me to the prince’s ball! 

The bird dropped down a golden dress 

and delicate little slippers. 

Rather a large package for a simple bird. 

So she went. Which is no surprise. 

Her stepmother and sisters didn’t 

recognize her without her cinder face 

and the prince took her hand on the spot 

and danced with no other the whole day. 
As nightfall came she thought she’d better 

get home. The prince walked her home 

and she disappeared into the pigeon house 

and although the prince took an axe and broke 

it open she was gone. Back to her cinders. 

These events repeated themselves for three days. 

However on the third day the prince 

covered the palace steps with cobbler’s wax 

and Cinderella’s gold shoe stuck upon it. 

Now he would find whom the shoe fit 

and find his strange dancing girl for keeps. 

He went to their house and the two sisters 

were delighted because they had lovely feet. 

The eldest went into a room to try the slipper on 

but her big toe got in the way so she simply 

sliced it off and put on the slipper. 

The prince rode away with her until the white dove 

told him to look at the blood pouring forth. 

That is the way with amputations. 

They just don’t heal up like a wish. 

The other sister cut off her heel 

but the blood told as blood will. 

The prince was getting tired. 

He began to feel like a shoe salesman. 

But he gave it one last try. 

This time Cinderella fit into the shoe 

like a love letter into its envelope. 
At the wedding ceremony 

the two sisters came to curry favor 

and the white dove pecked their eyes out. 

Two hollow spots were left 

like soup spoons. 
Cinderella and the prince 

lived, they say, happily ever after, 

like two dolls in a museum case 

never bothered by diapers or dust, 

never arguing over the timing of an egg, 

never telling the same story twice, 

never getting a middle-aged spread, 

their darling smiles pasted on for eternity. 

Regular Bobbsey Twins. 

That story.

Poem – Cockroach – Anne Sexton

Roach, foulest of creatures, 

who attacks with yellow teeth 

and an army of cousins big as shoes, 

you are lumps of coal that are mechanized 

and when I turn on the light you scuttle 

into the corners and there is this hiss upon the land. 

Yet I know you are only the common angel 

turned into, by way of enchantment, the ugliest. 

Your uncle was made into an apple. 

Your aunt was made into a Siamese cat, 

all the rest were made into butterflies 

but because you lied to God outrightly- 

told him that all things on earth were in order- 

He turned his wrath upon you and said, 

I will make you the most loathsome, 

I will make you into God’s lie, 

and never will a little girl fondle you 

or hold your dark wings cupped in her palm. 
But that was not true. Once in New Orleans 

with a group of students a roach fled across 

the floor and I shrieked and she picked it up 

in her hands and held it from my fear for one hour. 

And held it like a diamond ring that should not escape. 

These days even the devil is getting overturned 

and held up to the light like a glass of water.

Poem – Dawlish Fair – John Keats

Over the hill and over the dale, 

And over the bourn to Dawlish– 

Where gingerbread wives have a scanty sale 

And gingerbread nuts are smallish. 

Rantipole Betty she ran down a hill 

And kicked up her petticoats fairly; 

Says I I’ll be Jack if you will be Gill– 

So she sat on the grass debonairly. 
Here’s somebody coming, here’s somebody coming! 

Says I ’tis the wind at a parley; 

So without any fuss any hawing and humming 

She lay on the grass debonairly. 
Here’s somebody here and here’s somebody there! 

Says I hold your tongue you young Gipsey; 

So she held her tongue and lay plump and fair 

And dead as a Venus tipsy. 
O who wouldn’t hie to Dawlish fair, 

O who wouldn’t stop in a Meadow, 

O who would not rumple the daisies there 

And make the wild fern for a bed do!

 

Poem – His Last Sonnet – John Keats

Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art! – 

Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night, 

And watching, with eternal lids apart, 

Like Nature’s patient sleepless Eremite, 

The moving waters at their priestlike task 

Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores, 

Or gazing on the new soft fallen mask 

Of snow upon the mountains and the moors – 

No -yet still steadfast, still unchangeable, 

Pillowed upon my fair love’s ripening breast, 

To feel for ever its soft fall and swell, 

Awake for ever in a sweet unrest, 

Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath, 

And so live ever -or else swoon to death.

Poem – An Extempore – John Keats

When they were come into Faery’s Court 

They rang — no one at home — all gone to sport 

And dance and kiss and love as faerys do 

For Faries be as human lovers true — 

Amid the woods they were so lone and wild 

Where even the Robin feels himself exil’d 

And where the very books as if affraid 

Hurry along to some less magic shade. 

‘No one at home’! the fretful princess cry’d 

‘And all for nothing such a dre[a]ry ride 

And all for nothing my new diamond cross 

No one to see my persian feathers toss 

No one to see my Ape, my Dwarf, my Fool 

Or how I pace my Otaheitan mule. 

Ape, Dwarf and Fool why stand you gaping there 

Burst the door open, quick — or I declare 

I’ll switch you soundly and in pieces tear.’ 

The Dwarf began to tremble and the Ape 

Star’d at the Fool, the Fool was all agape 

The Princess grasp’d her switch but just in time 

The Dwarf with piteous face began to rhyme. 

‘O mighty Princess did you ne’er hear tell 

What your poor servants know but too too well 

Know you the three great crimes in faery land 

The first alas! poor Dwarf I understand 

I made a whipstock of a faery’s wand 

The next is snoring in their company 

The next the last the direst of the three 

Is making free when they are not at home. 

I was a Prince — a baby prince — my doom 

You see, I made a whipstock of a wand 

My top has henceforth slept in faery land. 

He was a Prince the Fool, a grown up Prince 

But he has never been a King’s son since 

He fell a snoring at a faery Ball 

Your poor Ape was a Prince and he poor thing 

But ape — so pray your highness stay awhile 

‘Tis sooth indeed we know it to our sorrow — 

Persist and you may be an ape tomorrow — 

While the Dwarf spake the Princess all for spite 

Peal’d the brown hazel twig to lilly white 

Clench’d her small teeth, and held her lips apart 

Try’d to look unconcerned with beating heart. 

They saw her highness had made up her mind 

And quaver’d like the reeds before the wind 

And they had had it, but O happy chance 

The Ape for very fear began to dance 

And grin’d as all his uglyness did ache– 

She staid her vixen fingers for his sake 

He was so very ugly: then she took 

Her pocket mirror and began to look 

First at herself and [then] at him and then 

She smil’d at her own beauteous face again. 

Yet for all this — for all her pretty face 

She took it in her head to see the place. 

Women gain little from experience 

Either in Lovers, husbands or expense. 

The more their beauty the more fortune too 

Beauty before the wide world never knew. 

So each fair reasons — tho’ it oft miscarries. 

She thought her pretty face would please the fa[e]ries. 

‘My darling Ape I wont whip you today 

Give me the Picklock sirrah and go play.’ 

They all three wept but counsel was as vain 

As crying cup biddy to drops of rain. 

Yet lingeringly did the sad Ape forth draw 

The Picklock from the Pocket in his Jaw. 

The Princess took it and dismounting straight 

Trip’d in blue silver’d slippers to the gate 

And touch’d the wards, the Door full courteously 

Opened — she enter’d with her servants three. 

Again it clos’d and there was nothing seen 

But the Mule grasing on the herbage green. 

End of Canto xii. 
Canto the xiii. 

The Mule no sooner saw himself alone 

Than he prick’d up his Ears — and said ‘well done! 

At least unhappy Prince I may be free — 

No more a Princess shall side saddle me 

O King of Othaiete — tho’ a Mule 

‘Aye every inch a King’ — tho’ ‘Fortune’s fool.’ 

Well done — for by what Mr. Dwarfy said 

I would not give a sixpence for her head.’ 

Even as he spake he trotted in high glee 

To the knotty side of an old Pollard tree 

And rub’d his sides against the mossed bark 

Till his Girths burst and left him naked stark 

Except his Bridle — how get rid of that 

Buckled and tied with many a twist and plait. 

At last it struck him to pretend to sleep 

And then the thievish Monkies down would creep 

And filch the unpleasant trammels quite away. 

No sooner thought of than adown he lay 

Sham’d a good snore — the Monkey-men descended 

And whom they thought to injure they befriended. 

They hung his Bridle on a topmost bough 

And off he went run, trot, or anyhow–

Poem – A Galloway Song – John Keats

Ah! ken ye what I met the day 

Out oure the Mountains 

A coming down by craggi[e]s grey 

An mossie fountains — 

A[h] goud hair’d Marie yeve I pray 

Ane minute’s guessing — 

For that I met upon the way 

Is past expressing. 

As I stood where a rocky brig 

A torrent crosses 

I spied upon a misty rig 

A troup o’ Horses — 

And as they trotted down the glen 

I sped to meet them 

To see if I might know the Men 

To stop and greet them. 

First Willie on his sleek mare came 

At canting gallop — 

His long hair rustled like a flame 

On board a shallop. 

Then came his brother Rab and then 

Young Peggy’s Mither 

And Peggy too — adown the glen 

They went togither — 

I saw her wrappit in her hood 

Fra wind and raining — 

Her cheek was flush wi’ timid blood 

‘Twixt growth and waning — 

She turn’d her dazed head full oft 

For there her Brithers 

Came riding with her Bridegroom soft 

And mony ithers. 

Young Tam came up an’ eyed me quick 

With reddened cheek — 

Braw Tam was daffed like a chick — 

He coud na speak — 

Ah Marie they are all gane hame 

Through blustering weather 

An’ every heart is full on flame 

Ah! Marie they are all gone hame 

Fra happy wedding, 

Whilst I — Ah is it not a shame? 

Sad tears am shedding.

Poem – Celia – Alexander Pope.

Celia, we know, is sixty-five, 

Yet Celia’s face is seventeen; 

Thus winter in her breast must live, 

While summer in her face is seen. 
How cruel Celia’s fate, who hence 

Our heart’s devotion cannot try; 

Too pretty for our reverence, 

Too ancient for our gallantry!

Poem – Argus – Alexander Pope

When wise Ulysses, from his native coast 

Long kept by wars, and long by tempests toss’d, 

Arrived at last, poor, old, disguised, alone, 

To all his friends, and ev’n his Queen unknown, 

Changed as he was, with age, and toils, and cares, 

Furrow’d his rev’rend face, and white his hairs, 

In his own palace forc’d to ask his bread, 

Scorn’d by those slaves his former bounty fed, 

Forgot of all his own domestic crew, 

The faithful Dog alone his rightful master knew! 
Unfed, unhous’d, neglected, on the clay 

Like an old servant now cashier’d, he lay; 

Touch’d with resentment of ungrateful man, 

And longing to behold his ancient lord again. 

Him when he saw he rose, and crawl’d to meet, 

(‘Twas all he could) and fawn’d and kiss’d his feet, 

Seiz’d with dumb joy; then falling by his side, 

Own’d his returning lord, look’d up, and died!

Poem – Farewell To London – Alexander Pope

Dear, damn’d distracting town, farewell! 

Thy fools no more I’ll tease: 

This year in peace, ye critics, dwell, 

Ye harlots, sleep at ease! 
Soft B– and rough C–s adieu, 

Earl Warwick made your moan, 

The lively H–k and you 

May knock up whores alone. 
To drink and droll be Rowe allow’d 

Till the third watchman’s toll; 

Let Jervas gratis paint, and Frowde 

Save three-pence and his soul. 
Farewell, Arbuthnot’s raillery 

On every learned sot; 

And Garth, the best good Christian he, 

Although he knows it not. 
Lintot, farewell! thy bard must go; 

Farewell, unhappy Tonson! 

Heaven gives thee for thy loss of Rowe, 

Lean Philips, and fat Johnson. 
Why should I stay? Both parties rage; 

My vixen mistress squalls; 

The wits in envious feuds engage: 

And Homer (damn him!) calls. 
The love of arts lies cold and dead 

In Halifax’s urn: 

And not one Muse of all he fed 

Has yet the grace to mourn. 
My friends, by turns, my friends confound, 

Betray, and are betrayed: 

Poor Y–r’s sold for fifty pound, 

And B–ll is a jade. 
Why make I friendships with the great, 

When I no favour seek? 

Or follow girls, seven hours in eight? 

I us’d but once a week. 
Still idle, with a busy air, 

Deep whimsies to contrive; 

The gayest valetudinaire, 

Most thinking rake, alive. 
Solicitous for others’ ends, 

Though fond of dear repose; 

Careless or drowsy with my friends, 

And frolic with my foes. 
Luxurious lobster-nights, farewell, 

For sober, studious days! 

And Burlington’s delicious meal, 

For salads, tarts, and pease! 
Adieu to all, but Gay alone, 

Whose soul, sincere and free, 

Loves all mankind, but flatters none, 

And so may starve with me.

Poem – On Wishes – Mahmoud Darwish

Don’t say to me: 

Would I were a seller of bread in Algiers 

That I might sing with a rebel. 

Don’t say to me: 

Would I were a herdsman in the Yemen 

That I might sing to hte shudderings of time. 

Don’t say to me: 

Would I were a cafe waiter in Havana 

That I might sing the victories of sorrowing women. 

Don’t say to me: 

Would I worked as a young laborer in Aswan 

That I might sing to the rocks. 

My friend, 

The Nile will not flow into the Volga, 

Nor the Congo or the Jordan into the Euphrates. 

Each river has its source, its course, its life. 

My friend, our land is not barren. 

Each land has its time for being born. 

Each dawn a date with a rebel.

Poem – I Come From There – Mahmoud Darwish

I come from there and I have memories 

Born as mortals are, I have a mother 

And a house with many windows, 

I have brothers, friends, 

And a prison cell with a cold window. 

Mine is the wave, snatched by sea-gulls, 

I have my own view, 

And an extra blade of grass. 

Mine is the moon at the far edge of the words, 

And the bounty of birds, 

And the immortal olive tree. 

I walked this land before the swords 

Turned its living body into a laden table. 

I come from there. I render the sky unto her mother 

When the sky weeps for her mother. 

And I weep to make myself known 

To a returning cloud. 

I learnt all the words worthy of the court of blood 

So that I could break the rule. 

I learnt all the words and broke them up 

To make a single word: Homeland…..

Poem – A Noun Sentence – Mahmoud Darwish

A noun sentence, no verb 

to it or in it: to the sea the scent of the bed 

after making love … a salty perfume 

or a sour one. A noun sentence: my wounded joy 

like the sunset at your strange windows. 

My flower green like the phoenix. My heart exceeding 

my need, hesitant between two doors: 

entry a joke, and exit 

a labyrinth. Where is my shadow—my guide amid 

the crowdedness on the road to judgment day? And I 

as an ancient stone of two dark colors in the city wall, 

chestnut and black, a protruding insensitivity 

toward my visitors and the interpretation of shadows. Wishing 

for the present tense a foothold for walking behind me 

or ahead of me, barefoot. Where 

is my second road to the staircase of expanse? Where 

is futility? Where is the road to the road? 

And where are we, the marching on the footpath of the present 

tense, where are we? Our talk a predicate 

and a subject before the sea, and the elusive foam 

of speech the dots on the letters, 

wishing for the present tense a foothold 

on the pavement …

Poem – Hope – Mahmoud Darwish

Still there is on thy saucers remains of honey Kick out the flies so that you can protect the honey 

Still there is on their vines clusters of grapes 

O, guarders of vines, drive foxes out, 

Therefore, grapes will be ripe healthy. 

Still there is at thy houses mat and door 

Close up the way of wind away out of thy children 

Perhaps they can sleep 

Wind is very cold and you should close doors. 

Still there is effluent blood in their hearts, 

You may keep it and don’t throw away 

A new fetus is still unborn waiting the dawn 

Still there is at thy hearth remains of firewood 

Still there is coffee and a bundle of blaze

Poem – Misgiving – Robert Frost 

All crying, ‘We will go with you, O Wind!’ 

The foliage follow him, leaf and stem; 

But a sleep oppresses them as they go, 

And they end by bidding them as they go, 

And they end by bidding him stay with them. 
Since ever they flung abroad in spring 

The leaves had promised themselves this flight, 

Who now would fain seek sheltering wall, 

Or thicket, or hollow place for the night. 
And now they answer his summoning blast 

With an ever vaguer and vaguer stir, 

Or at utmost a little reluctant whirl 

That drops them no further than where they were. 
I only hope that when I am free 

As they are free to go in quest 

Of the knowledge beyond the bounds of life 

It may not seem better to me to rest.

Poem – Bond and Free – Robert Frost

Love has earth to which she clings With hills and circling arms about- 

Wall within wall to shut fear out. 

But Thought has need of no such things, 

For Thought has a pair of dauntless wings. 
On snow and sand and turn, I see 

Where Love has left a printed trace 

With straining in the world’s embrace. 

And such is Love and glad to be 

But Thought has shaken his ankles free. 
Thought cleaves the interstellar gloom 

And sits in Sirius’ disc all night, 

Till day makes him retrace his flight 

With smell of burning on every plume, 

Back past the sun to an earthly room. 
His gains in heaven are what they are. 

Yet some say Love by being thrall 

And simply staying possesses all 

In several beauty that Thought fares far 

To find fused in another star.

Robert Frost

Robert Frost  Mar 26, 1874 - Jan 19, 1963

Robert Frost
Mar 26, 1874 – Jan 19, 1963

Robert Lee Frost was an American poet. He is highly regarded for his realistic depictions of rural life and his command of American colloquial speech. His work frequently employed settings from rural life in New England in the early twentieth century, using them to examine complex social and philosophical themes. A popular and often-quoted poet, Frost was honored frequently during his lifetime, receiving four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry. 
Early years 
Robert Frost was born in San Francisco, California, to journalist William Prescott Frost, Jr., and Isabelle Moodie. His mother was of Scottish descent, and his father descended from Nicholas Frost of Tiverton, Devon, England, who had sailed to New Hampshire in 1634 on the Wolfrana. 
Frost’s father was a teacher and later an editor of the San Francisco Evening Bulletin (which afterwards merged into the San Francisco Examiner), and an unsuccessful candidate for city tax collector. After his father’s death in May 5, 1885, in due time the family moved across the country to Lawrence, Massachusetts under the patronage of (Robert’s grandfather) William Frost, Sr., who was an overseer at a New England mill. Frost graduated from Lawrence High School in 1892. Frost’s mother joined the Swedenborgian church and had him baptized in it, but he left it as an adult. 
Despite his later association with rural life, Frost grew up in the city, and published his first poem in his high school’s magazine. He attended Dartmouth College long enough to be accepted into the Theta Delta Chi fraternity. Frost returned home to teach and to work at various jobs including delivering newspapers and factory labor. He did not enjoy these jobs at all, feeling his true calling as a poet. 
Adult years 
In 1894 he sold his first poem, “My Butterfly: An Elegy” (published in the November 8, 1894 edition of the New York Independent) for fifteen dollars. Proud of this accomplishment he proposed marriage to Elinor Miriam White, but she demurred, wanting to finish college (at St. Lawrence University) before they married. Frost then went on an excursion to the Great Dismal Swamp in Virginia, and asked Elinor again upon his return. Having graduated she agreed, and they were married at Harvard University[citation needed], where he attended liberal arts studies for two years. 
He did well at Harvard, but left to support his growing family. Grandfather Frost had, shortly before his death, purchased a farm for the young couple in Derry, New Hampshire; and Robert worked the farm for nine years, while writing early in the mornings and producing many of the poems that would later become famous. Ultimately his farming proved unsuccessful and he returned to education as an English teacher, at Pinkerton Academy from 1906 to 1911, then at the New Hampshire Normal School (now Plymouth State University) in Plymouth, New Hampshire. 
In 1912 Frost sailed with his family to Great Britain, living first in Glasgow before settling in Beaconsfield outside London. His first book of poetry, A Boy’s Will, was published the next year. In England he made some important acquaintances, including Edward Thomas (a member of the group known as the Dymock Poets), T.E. Hulme, and Ezra Pound. Pound would become the first American to write a (favorable) review of Frost’s work. Surrounded by his peers, Frost wrote some of his best work while in England. 
As World War I began, Frost returned to America in 1915. He bought a farm in Franconia, New Hampshire, where he launched a career of writing, teaching, and lecturing. This family homestead served as the Frosts’ summer home until 1938, and is maintained today as ‘The Frost Place’, a museum and poetry conference site at Franconia. During the years 1916–20, 1923–24, and 1927–1938, Frost taught English at Amherst College, Massachusetts, notably encouraging his students to account for the sounds of the human voice in their writing. 
For forty-two years, from 1921 to 1963, Frost spent almost every summer and fall teaching at the Bread Loaf School of English of Middlebury College, at the mountain campus at Ripton, Vermont. He is credited as a major influence upon the development of the school and its writing programs; the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference gained renown during Frost’s tenure there.[citation needed] The college now owns and maintains his former Ripton farmstead as a national historic site near the Bread Loaf campus. In 1921 Frost accepted a fellowship teaching post at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he resided until 1927; while there he was awarded a lifetime appointment at the University as a Fellow in Letters. The Robert Frost Ann Arbor home is now situated at The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. Frost returned to Amherst in 1927. In 1940 he bought a 5-acre (2.0 ha) plot in South Miami, Florida, naming it Pencil Pines; he spent his winters there for the rest of his life. 
Harvard’s 1965 alumni directory indicates Frost received an honorary degree there. He also received honorary degrees from Bates College and from Oxford and Cambridge universities; and he was the first person to receive two honorary degrees from Dartmouth College. During his lifetime the Robert Frost Middle School in Fairfax, Virginia, and the main library of Amherst College were named after him. 
Frost was 86 when he spoke and performed a reading of his poetry at the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy on January 20, 1961. Some two years later, on January 29, 1963, he died, in Boston, of complications from prostate surgery. He was buried at the Old Bennington Cemetery in Bennington, Vermont. His epitaph reads, “I had a lover’s quarrel with the world.” 
Frost’s poems are critiqued in the “Anthology of Modern American Poetry”, Oxford University Press, where it is mentioned that behind a sometimes charmingly familiar and rural façade, Frost’s poetry frequently presents pessimistic and menacing undertones which often are not recognized nor analyzed. 
One of the original collections of Frost materials, to which he himself contributed, is found in the Special Collections department of the Jones Library in Amherst, Massachusetts. The collection consists of approximately twelve thousand items, including original manuscript poems and letters, correspondence, and photographs, as well as audio and visual recordings

Poem – Citizen Of The World – joyce Kilmer

No longer of Him be it said 

“He hath no place to lay His head.” 
In every land a constant lamp 

Flames by His small and mighty camp. 
There is no strange and distant place 

That is not gladdened by His face. 
And every nation kneels to hail 

The Splendour shining through Its veil. 
Cloistered beside the shouting street, 

Silent, He calls me to His feet. 
Imprisoned for His love of me 

He makes my spirit greatly free. 
And through my lips that uttered sin 

The King of Glory enters in.

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou 4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014

Maya Angelou
4 April 1928 – 28 May 2014


Born Marguerite Ann Johnson on April 4, 1928 was an American author and poet who has been called “America’s most visible black female autobiographer” by scholar Joanne M. Braxton. She is best known for her series of six autobiographical volumes, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. The first and most highly acclaimed, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), tells of her first seventeen years. It brought her international recognition, and was nominated for a National Book Award. She has been awarded over 30 honorary degrees and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for her 1971 volume of poetry, Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘Fore I Diiie.

Angelou was a member of the Harlem Writers Guild in the late 1950s, was active in the Civil Rights movement, and served as Northern Coordinator of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Since 1991, she has taught at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina where she holds the first lifetime Reynolds Professorship of American Studies. Since the 1990s she has made around eighty appearances a year on the lecture circuit. In 1993, Angelou recited her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration, the first poet to make an inaugural recitation since Robert Frost at John F. Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961. In 1995, she was recognized for having the longest-running record (two years) on The New York Times Paperback Nonfiction Bestseller List.

With the publication of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Angelou was heralded as a new kind of memoirist, one of the first African American women who was able to publicly discuss her personal life. She is highly respected as a spokesperson for Black people and women. Angelou’s work is often characterized as autobiographical fiction. She has, however, made a deliberate attempt to challenge the common structure of the autobiography by critiquing, changing, and expanding the genre. Her books, centered on themes such as identity, family, and racism, are often used as set texts in schools and universities internationally. Some of her more controversial work has been challenged or banned in US schools and libraries.

Poem – Love’s Lantern – Joyce kilmer

(For Aline) 
Because the road was steep and long 

And through a dark and lonely land, 

God set upon my lips a song 

And put a lantern in my hand. 
Through miles on weary miles of night 

That stretch relentless in my way 

My lantern burns serene and white, 

An unexhausted cup of day. 
O golden lights and lights like wine, 

How dim your boasted splendors are. 

Behold this little lamp of mine; 

It is more starlike than a star!

Poem – Easter Week – Joyce Kilmer

1 “Romantic Ireland’s dead and gone, 

2 It’s with O’Leary in the grave.” 

3 Then, Yeats, what gave that Easter dawn 

4 A hue so radiantly brave? 
5 There was a rain of blood that day, 

6 Red rain in gay blue April weather. 

7 It blessed the earth till it gave birth 

8 To valour thick as blooms of heather. 
9 Romantic Ireland never dies! 

10 O’Leary lies in fertile ground, 

11 And songs and spears throughout the years 

12 Rise up where patriot graves are found. 
13 Immortal patriots newly dead 

14 And ye that bled in bygone years, 

15 What banners rise before your eyes? 

16 What is the tune that greets your ears? 
17 The young Republic’s banners smile 

18 For many a mile where troops convene. 

19 O’Connell street is loudly sweet 

20 With strains of Wearing of the Green. 
21 The soil of Ireland throbs and glows 

22 With life that knows the hour is here 

23 To strike again like Irishmen 

24 For that which Irishmen hold dear. 
25 Lord Edward leaves his resting place 

26 And Sarsfield’s face is glad and fierce. 

27 See Emmet leap from troubled sleep 

28 To grasp the hand of Padraic Pearse! 
29 There is no rope can strangle song 

30 And not for long death takes his toll. 

31 No prison bars can dim the stars 

32 Nor quicklime eat the living soul. 
33 Romantic Ireland is not old. 

34 For years untold her youth shall shine. 

35 Her heart is fed on Heavenly bread, 

36 The blood of martyrs is her wine.

Poem – A Blue Valentine – Joyce Kilmer

(For Aline) 
Monsignore, 

Right Reverend Bishop Valentinus, 

Sometime of Interamna, which is called Ferni, 

Now of the delightful Court of Heaven, 

I respectfully salute you, 

I genuflect 

And I kiss your episcopal ring. 
It is not, Monsignore, 

The fragrant memory of your holy life, 

Nor that of your shining and joyous martyrdom, 

Which causes me now to address you. 

But since this is your august festival, Monsignore, 

It seems appropriate to me to state 

According to a venerable and agreeable custom, 

That I love a beautiful lady. 

Her eyes, Monsignore, 

Are so blue that they put lovely little blue reflections 

On everything that she looks at, 

Such as a wall 

Or the moon 

Or my heart. 

It is like the light coming through blue stained glass, 

Yet not quite like it, 

For the blueness is not transparent, 

Only translucent. 

Her soul’s light shines through, 

But her soul cannot be seen. 

It is something elusive, whimsical, tender, wanton, infantile, wise 

And noble. 

She wears, Monsignore, a blue garment, 

Made in the manner of the Japanese. 

It is very blue — 

I think that her eyes have made it more blue, 

Sweetly staining it 

As the pressure of her body has graciously given it form. 

Loving her, Monsignore, 

I love all her attributes; 

But I believe 

That even if I did not love her 

I would love the blueness of her eyes, 

And her blue garment, made in the manner of the Japanese. 
Monsignore, 

I have never before troubled you with a request. 

The saints whose ears I chiefly worry with my pleas 

are the most exquisite and maternal Brigid, 

Gallant Saint Stephen, who puts fire in my blood, 

And your brother bishop, my patron, 

The generous and jovial Saint Nicholas of Bari. 

But, of your courtesy, Monsignore, 

Do me this favour: 

When you this morning make your way 

To the Ivory Throne that bursts into bloom with roses 

because of her who sits upon it, 

When you come to pay your devoir to Our Lady, 

I beg you, say to her: 

“Madame, a poor poet, one of your singing servants yet on earth, 

Has asked me to say that at this moment he is especially grateful to you 

For wearing a blue gown.”

Poem -Negligent Mary – Ann Taylor 

AH, Mary! what, do you for dolly not care? 

And why is she left on the floor? 

Forsaken, and cover’d with dust, I declare; 

With you I must trust her no more. 
I thought you were pleased, as you took her so gladly, 

When on your birthday she was sent; 

Did I ever suppose you would use her so sadly? 

Was that, do you think, what I meant? 
With her bonnet of straw you once were delighted, 

And trimm’d it so pretty with pink; 

But now it is crumpled, and dolly is slighted: 

Her nurse quite forgets her, I think. 
Suppose now–for Mary is dolly to me, 

Whom I love to see tidy and fair– 

Suppose I should leave you, as dolly I see, 

In tatters, and comfortless there. 
But dolly feels nothing, as you do, my dear, 

Nor cares for her negligent nurse: 

If I were as careless as you are, I fear, 

Your lot, and my fault, would be worse. 
And therefore it is, in my Mary, I strive 

To check every fault that I see: 

Mary’s doll is but waxen–mamma’s is alive, 

And of far more importance than she.

Poem – Greedy Richard – Ann Taylor 

‘I THINK I want some pies this morning,’ 

Said Dick, stretching himself and yawning; 

So down he threw his slate and books, 

And saunter’d to the pastry-cook’s. 
And there he cast his greedy eyes 

Round on the jellies and the pies, 

So to select, with anxious care, 

The very nicest that was there. 
At last the point was thus decided: 

As his opinion was divided 

‘Twixt pie and jelly, being loth 

Either to leave, he took them both. 
Now Richard never could be pleased 

To stop when hunger was appeased, 

But would go on to eat still more 

When he had had an ample store. 
‘No, not another now,’ said Dick; 

‘Dear me, I feel extremely sick: 

I cannot even eat this bit; 

I wish I had not tasted it. ‘ 
Then slowing rising from his seat, 

He threw his cheesecake in the street, 

And left the tempting pastry-cook’s 

With very discontented looks. 
Just then a man with wooden leg 

Met Dick, and held his hat to beg; 

And while he told his mournful case, 

Look’d at him with imploring face. 
Dick, wishing to relieve his pain, 

His pockets search’d, but search’d in vain; 

And so at last he did declare, 

He had not left a farthing there. 
The beggar turn’d with face of grief, 

And look of patient unbelief, 

While Richard now his folly blamed, 

And felt both sorry and ashamed. 
‘I wish,’ said he (but wishing’s vain), 

‘I had my money back again, 

And had not spent my last, to pay 

For what I only threw away. 
‘Another time, I’ll take advice, 

And not buy things because they’re nice; 

But rather save my little store, 

To give to those who want it more. ‘

Poem – My Mother – Ann Taylor

Who sat and watched my infant head When sleeping on my cradle bed, 

And tears of sweet affection shed? 

My Mother. 

When pain and sickness made me cry, 

Who gazed upon my heavy eye, 

And wept for fear that I should die? 

My Mother. 
Who taught my infant lips to pray 

And love God’s holy book and day, 

And walk in wisdom’s pleasant way? 

My Mother. 
And can I ever cease to be 

Affectionate and kind to thee, 

Who wast so very kind to me, 

My Mother? 
Ah, no! the thought I cannot bear, 

And if God please my life to spare 

I hope I shall reward they care, 

My Mother. 
When thou art feeble, old and grey, 

My healthy arm shall be thy stay, 

And I will soothe thy pains away, 

My Mother.

Poem – The Cow – Ann Taylor

Thank you, pretty cow,

 that made Pleasant milk to soak my bread, 

Every day and every night, 

Warm, and fresh, and sweet, and white. 
Do not chew the hemlock rank, 

Growing on the weedy bank; 

But the yellow cowslips eat; 

They perhaps will make it sweet. 
Where the purple violet grows, 

Where the bubbling water flows, 

Where the grass is fresh and fine, 

Pretty cow, go there to dine.

Poem – India – Taslima Nasrin

(to Sumit Chakrabarty) India is not just India, even from before I was born, 

India has been my history. 

My history, carved into two by daggers of animosity and hatred, running breathlessly towards uncertain possibilities, 

with the terrible crack at the core, 

History bloodstained, history turned death. 

It is this India that has given me language, 

Has enriched me with culture 

And powerful dreams. 

This India can, if it so desires, snatch 

My history away from my life, 

My homeland from my dream. 

But why should I let it drain me dry only because it so desires? 

Hasn’t India brought forth those noble souls, 

Who place their hands today on my tired shoulders, 

On the abandoned shoulders of this helpless, orphaned soul? 

These hands, longer than the land, stretched beyond space and time, 

Gives me warmly cherished security against all worldly cruelties. 

Madanjeet Singh, Mahasweta Devi, Muchukund Dube—they are my homeland today, 

Their hearts my true country. 
[This poem was written while Taslima was forced to live in confinement in an undisclosed location in Delhi from 22 November 2007 to 19 March 2008. Samik Bandapadahya translated this poem from her book PRISONERS POEMS]

Poem – India – Taslima Nasrin

(to Sumit Chakrabarty) India is not just India, even from before I was born, 

India has been my history. 

My history, carved into two by daggers of animosity and hatred, running breathlessly towards uncertain possibilities, 

with the terrible crack at the core, 

History bloodstained, history turned death. 

It is this India that has given me language, 

Has enriched me with culture 

And powerful dreams. 

This India can, if it so desires, snatch 

My history away from my life, 

My homeland from my dream. 

But why should I let it drain me dry only because it so desires? 

Hasn’t India brought forth those noble souls, 

Who place their hands today on my tired shoulders, 

On the abandoned shoulders of this helpless, orphaned soul? 

These hands, longer than the land, stretched beyond space and time, 

Gives me warmly cherished security against all worldly cruelties. 

Madanjeet Singh, Mahasweta Devi, Muchukund Dube—they are my homeland today, 

Their hearts my true country. 
[This poem was written while Taslima was forced to live in confinement in an undisclosed location in Delhi from 22 November 2007 to 19 March 2008. Samik Bandapadahya translated this poem from her book PRISONERS POEMS]

Poem – Mosque, Temple – Taslima Nasrin

Let the pavilions of religion be ground to bits, 

let the bricks of temples, mosques, guruduaras, churches 

be burned in blind fire, 

and upon those heaps of destruction 

let lovely flower gardens grow, spreading their fragrance. 

let children’s schools and study halls grow. 
For the welfare of humanity, now let prayer halls 

be turned into hospitals, orphanages, universities, 

Now let prayer halls become academies of art, fine art centers, 

scientific research institutes. 

Now let prayer halls be turned to golden rice fields 

in the radiant dawn, 

Open fields, rivers, restless seas. 
From now on, let religion’s other name be humanity.

Poem – Now The Hungry Lion Roars – William Shakespeare

From “A Midsummer-Night’s Dream,” Act V. Scene 2 
PUCK sings: 

NOW the hungry lion roars, 

And the wolf behowls the moon; 

Whilst the heavy ploughman snores, 

All with weary task fordone. 

Now the wasted brands do glow, 

Whilst the screech-owl, screeching loud, 

Puts the wretch that lies in woe 

In remembrance of a shroud. 

Now it is the time of night, 

That the graves, all gaping wide, 

Every one lets forth his sprite, 

In the churchway paths to glide: 

And we fairies, that do run 

By the triple Hecate’s team, 

From the presence of the sun, 

Following darkness like a dream, 

Now are frolic; not a mouse 

Shall disturb this hallowed house: 

I am sent with broom before 

To sweep the dust behind the door.

Poem – The Room In Which I Am Forced . . . – Taslima Nasrin 

The room in which I now live has a closed window, 

A window that I cannot open at will. 

The window’s covered with a heavy curtain that I cannot move at will. 

I live in a room now, 

Where I cannot open the door at will, cannot cross the threshold. 

I live in a room, where the only other living inhabitants are 

Two sickly lizards on the wall. No man or any creature resembling a man is allowed here. 

I live in a room where I find it a great strain to breathe. 

There’s no sound around, but for banging your head against the wall. 

Nobody else in the world watches, expect the couple of lizards. 

They watch with eyes wide open, who knows if they feel the pain—Maybe they feel it. 

Do they too cry, when I cry? 

I live in a room where I don’t want to live, 

A room where I am forced to live, 

A room where democracy forces me to live for days unending, 

In a room in the dark, in incertitude, with a threat hanging, 

In pain, breathing with difficulty, democracy forces me to live, 

In a room where secularism drains me away of life, dropp by drop. 

In a room my dear India forces me . . . 

I do not know if all those over busy men or creatures that look like men will have a couple of seconds to spare to turn to 

The lifeless lump that comes out of the room some day,

A rotten, greasy lump, a lump of bones. 

Will death be release? It’s death perhaps that sets one free, 

Free at last to cross the threshold. 

The lizards will stare away the whole day, 

Maybe they too will feel sad. 

Someone will bury me, maybe a government man, 

Wrapped in the flag of democracy, in the soil of my dear India . 

I’ll find a home there at last, with no threshold to cross, 

I’ll find a home there where breathing will be easy. 
[This poem was written while Taslima was forced to live in confinement in an undisclosed location in Delhi from 22 November 2007 to 19 March 2008. Samik Bandapadahya translated this poem from her book PRISONERS POEMS]

Poem – The Riddle Of The World – Alexander Pope

Know then thyself, presume not God to scan 

The proper study of Mankind is Man. 

Placed on this isthmus of a middle state, 

A Being darkly wise, and rudely great: 

With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side, 

With too much weakness for the Stoic’s pride, 

He hangs between; in doubt to act, or rest; 

In doubt to deem himself a God, or Beast; 

In doubt his mind and body to prefer; 

Born but to die, and reas’ning but to err; 

Whether he thinks to little, or too much; 

Chaos of Thought and Passion, all confus’d; 

Still by himself, abus’d or disabus’d; 

Created half to rise and half to fall; 

Great Lord of all things, yet a prey to all, 

Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurl’d; 

The glory, jest and riddle of the world.

Poem – To Lady Mary Wortley Montagu – Alexander Pope.

I. 

In beauty, or wit, 

No mortal as yet 

To question your empire has dared: 

But men of discerning 

Have thought that in learning 

To yield to a lady was hard. 
II. 

Impertinent schools, 

With musty dull rules, 

Have reading to females denied; 

So Papists refuse 

The Bible to use, 

Lest flocks should be wise as their guide. 
III. 

‘Twas a woman at first 

(Indeed she was curst) 

In knowledge that tasted delight, 

And sages agree 

The laws should decree 

To the first possessor the right. 
IV. 

Then bravely, fair dame, 

Resume the old claim, 

Which to your whole sex does belong; 

And let men receive, 

From a second bright Eve, 

The knowledge of right and of wrong. 
V. 

But if the first Eve 

Hard doom did receive, 

When only one apple had she, 

What a punishment new 

Shall be found out for you, 

Who tasting, have robb’d the whole tree?

Poem – Juliet’s Soliloquy – William Shakespeare

 
Farewell!–God knows when we shall meet again. 

I have a faint cold fear thrills through my veins 

That almost freezes up the heat of life: 

I’ll call them back again to comfort me;– 

Nurse!–What should she do here? 

My dismal scene I needs must act alone.– 

Come, vial.– 

What if this mixture do not work at all? 

Shall I be married, then, to-morrow morning?– 

No, No!–this shall forbid it:–lie thou there.– 

What if it be a poison, which the friar 

Subtly hath minister’d to have me dead, 

Lest in this marriage he should be dishonour’d, 

Because he married me before to Romeo? 

I fear it is: and yet methinks it should not, 

For he hath still been tried a holy man:– 

I will not entertain so bad a thought.– 

How if, when I am laid into the tomb, 

I wake before the time that Romeo 

Come to redeem me? there’s a fearful point! 

Shall I not then be stifled in the vault, 

To whose foul mouth no healthsome air breathes in, 

And there die strangled ere my Romeo comes? 

Or, if I live, is it not very like 

The horrible conceit of death and night, 

Together with the terror of the place,– 

As in a vault, an ancient receptacle, 

Where, for this many hundred years, the bones 

Of all my buried ancestors are pack’d; 

Where bloody Tybalt, yet but green in earth, 

Lies festering in his shroud; where, as they say, 

At some hours in the night spirits resort;– 

Alack, alack, is it not like that I, 

So early waking,–what with loathsome smells, 

And shrieks like mandrakes torn out of the earth, 

That living mortals, hearing them, run mad;– 

O, if I wake, shall I not be distraught, 

Environed with all these hideous fears? 

And madly play with my forefathers’ joints? 

And pluck the mangled Tybalt from his shroud? 

And, in this rage, with some great kinsman’s bone, 

As with a club, dash out my desperate brains?– 

O, look! methinks I see my cousin’s ghost 

Seeking out Romeo, that did spit his body 

Upon a rapier’s point:–stay, Tybalt, stay!– 

Romeo, I come! this do I drink to thee.

Poem – Now The Hungry Lion Roars – William Shakespeare

From “A Midsummer-Night’s Dream,” Act V. Scene 2 
PUCK sings: 

NOW the hungry lion roars, 

And the wolf behowls the moon; 

Whilst the heavy ploughman snores, 

All with weary task fordone. 

Now the wasted brands do glow, 

Whilst the screech-owl, screeching loud, 

Puts the wretch that lies in woe 

In remembrance of a shroud. 

Now it is the time of night, 

That the graves, all gaping wide, 

Every one lets forth his sprite, 

In the churchway paths to glide: 

And we fairies, that do run 

By the triple Hecate’s team, 

From the presence of the sun, 

Following darkness like a dream, 

Now are frolic; not a mouse 

Shall disturb this hallowed house: 

I am sent with broom before 

To sweep the dust behind the door.

Poem – Nothing Gold Can Stay – Robert Frost 

Nature’s first green is gold, 

Her hardest hue to hold. 

Her early leaf’s a flower; 

But only so an hour. 

Then leaf subsides to leaf, 

So Eden sank to grief, 

So dawn goes down to day 

Nothing gold can stay.

Poem – A Boundless Moment – Robert Frost

He halted in the wind, and – what was that 

Far in the maples, pale, but not a ghost? 

He stood there bringing March against his thought, 

And yet too ready to believe the most. 
‘Oh, that’s the Paradise-in-bloom,’ I said; 

And truly it was fair enough for flowers 

had we but in us to assume in march 

Such white luxuriance of May for ours. 
We stood a moment so in a strange world, 

Myself as one his own pretense deceives; 

And then I said the truth (and we moved on) . 

A young beech clinging to its last year’s leaves.

Poem -A Time to Talk – Robert Frost

When a friend calls to me from the road 

And slows his horse to a meaning walk, 

I don’t stand still and look around 

On all the hills I haven’t hoed, 

And shout from where I am, What is it? 

No, not as there is a time to talk. 

I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground, 

Blade-end up and five feet tall, 

And plod: I go up to the stone wall 

For a friendly visit.

Poem – A Soldier – Robert Frost 

He is that fallen lance that lies as hurled, 

That lies unlifted now, come dew, come rust, 

But still lies pointed as it plowed the dust. 

If we who sight along it round the world, 

See nothing worthy to have been its mark, 

It is because like men we look too near, 

Forgetting that as fitted to the sphere, 

Our missiles always make too short an arc. 

They fall, they rip the grass, they intersect 

The curve of earth, and striking, break their own; 

They make us cringe for metal-point on stone. 

But this we know, the obstacle that checked 

And tripped the body, shot the spirit on 

Further than target ever showed or shone.

Poem – Lines – John Keats

UNFELT unheard, unseen, 

I’ve left my little queen, 

Her languid arms in silver slumber lying: 

Ah! through their nestling touch, 

Who—who could tell how much 

There is for madness—cruel, or complying? 
Those faery lids how sleek! 

Those lips how moist!—they speak, 

In ripest quiet, shadows of sweet sounds: 

Into my fancy’s ear 

Melting a burden dear, 

How “Love doth know no fulness, nor no bounds.” 
True!—tender monitors! 

I bend unto your laws: 

This sweetest day for dalliance was born! 

So, without more ado, 

I’ll feel my heaven anew, 

For all the blushing of the hasty morn. 

Poem – Fancy – John Keats 

Ever let the Fancy roam, 

Pleasure never is at home: 

At a touch sweet Pleasure melteth, 

Like to bubbles when rain pelteth; 

Then let winged Fancy wander 

Through the thought still spread beyond her: 

Open wide the mind’s cage-door, 

She’ll dart forth, and cloudward soar. 

O sweet Fancy! let her loose; 

Summer’s joys are spoilt by use, 

And the enjoying of the Spring 

Fades as does its blossoming; 

Autumn’s red-lipp’d fruitage too, 

Blushing through the mist and dew, 

Cloys with tasting: What do then? 

Sit thee by the ingle, when 

The sear faggot blazes bright, 

Spirit of a winter’s night; 

When the soundless earth is muffled, 

And the caked snow is shuffled 

From the ploughboy’s heavy shoon; 

When the Night doth meet the Noon 

In a dark conspiracy 

To banish Even from her sky. 

Sit thee there, and send abroad, 

With a mind self-overaw’d, 

Fancy, high-commission’d:–send her! 

She has vassals to attend her: 

She will bring, in spite of frost, 

Beauties that the earth hath lost; 

She will bring thee, all together, 

All delights of summer weather; 

All the buds and bells of May, 

From dewy sward or thorny spray; 

All the heaped Autumn’s wealth, 

With a still, mysterious stealth: 

She will mix these pleasures up 

Like three fit wines in a cup, 

And thou shalt quaff it:–thou shalt hear 

Distant harvest-carols clear; 

Rustle of the reaped corn; 

Sweet birds antheming the morn: 

And, in the same moment, hark! 

‘Tis the early April lark, 

Or the rooks, with busy caw, 

Foraging for sticks and straw. 

Thou shalt, at one glance, behold 

The daisy and the marigold; 

White-plum’d lillies, and the first 

Hedge-grown primrose that hath burst; 

Shaded hyacinth, alway 

Sapphire queen of the mid-May; 

And every leaf, and every flower 

Pearled with the self-same shower. 

Thou shalt see the field-mouse peep 

Meagre from its celled sleep; 

And the snake all winter-thin 

Cast on sunny bank its skin; 

Freckled nest-eggs thou shalt see 

Hatching in the hawthorn-tree, 

When the hen-bird’s wing doth rest 

Quiet on her mossy nest; 

Then the hurry and alarm 

When the bee-hive casts its swarm; 

Acorns ripe down-pattering, 

While the autumn breezes sing. 
Oh, sweet Fancy! let her loose; 

Every thing is spoilt by use: 

Where’s the cheek that doth not fade, 

Too much gaz’d at? Where’s the maid 

Whose lip mature is ever new? 

Where’s the eye, however blue, 

Doth not weary? Where’s the face 

One would meet in every place? 

Where’s the voice, however soft, 

One would hear so very oft? 

At a touch sweet Pleasure melteth 

Like to bubbles when rain pelteth. 

Let, then, winged Fancy find 

Thee a mistress to thy mind: 

Dulcet-ey’d as Ceres’ daughter, 

Ere the God of Torment taught her 

How to frown and how to chide; 

With a waist and with a side 

White as Hebe’s, when her zone 

Slipt its golden clasp, and down 

Fell her kirtle to her feet, 

While she held the goblet sweet 

And Jove grew languid.–Break the mesh 

Of the Fancy’s silken leash; 

Quickly break her prison-string 

And such joys as these she’ll bring.– 

Let the winged Fancy roam, 

Pleasure never is at home.

Poem – Bright Star – John Keats

Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art– 

Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night 

And watching, with eternal lids apart, 

Like nature’s patient, sleepless Eremite, 

The moving waters at their priestlike task 

Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores, 

Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask 

Of snow upon the mountains and the moors– 

No–yet still stedfast, still unchangeable, 

Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast, 

To feel for ever its soft fall and swell, 

Awake for ever in a sweet unrest, 

Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath, 

And so live ever–or else swoon to death.

Poem – A Party of Lovers – John Keats

Pensive they sit, and roll their languid eyes, Nibble their toast, and cool their tea with sighs, 

Or else forget the purpose of the night, 

Forget their tea — forget their appetite. 

See with cross’d arms they sit — ah! happy crew, 

The fire is going out and no one rings 

For coals, and therefore no coals Betty brings. 

A fly is in the milk-pot — must he die 

By a humane society? 

No, no; there Mr. Werter takes his spoon, 

Inserts it, dips the handle, and lo! soon 

The little straggler, sav’d from perils dark, 

Across the teaboard draws a long wet mark. 

Arise! take snuffers by the handle, 

There’s a large cauliflower in each candle. 

A winding-sheet, ah me! I must away 

To No. 7, just beyond the circus gay. 

‘Alas, my friend! your coat sits very well; 

Where may your tailor live?’ ‘I may not tell. 

O pardon me — I’m absent now and then. 

Where might my tailor live? I say again 

I cannot tell, let me no more be teaz’d — 

He lives in Wapping, might live where he pleas’d.’

Poem – A Draught of Sunshine – John Keats. 

Hence Burgundy, Claret, and Port, Away with old Hock and madeira, 

Too earthly ye are for my sport; 

There’s a beverage brighter and clearer. 

Instead of a piriful rummer, 

My wine overbrims a whole summer; 

My bowl is the sky, 

And I drink at my eye, 

Till I feel in the brain 

A Delphian pain – 

Then follow, my Caius! then follow: 

On the green of the hill 

We will drink our fill 

Of golden sunshine, 

Till our brains intertwine 

With the glory and grace of Apollo! 

God of the Meridian, 

And of the East and West, 

To thee my soul is flown, 

And my body is earthward press’d. – 

It is an awful mission, 

A terrible division; 

And leaves a gulph austere 

To be fill’d with worldly fear. 

Aye, when the soul is fled 

To high above our head, 

Affrighted do we gaze 

After its airy maze, 

As doth a mother wild, 

When her young infant child 

Is in an eagle’s claws – 

And is not this the cause 

Of madness? – God of Song, 

Thou bearest me along 

Through sights I scarce can bear: 

O let me, let me share 

With the hot lyre and thee, 

The staid Philosophy. 

Temper my lonely hours, 

And let me see thy bowers 

More unalarm’d!

Poem – My World is Pyramid – Dylan Thomas


Half of the fellow father as he doubles 

His sea-sucked Adam in the hollow hulk, 

Half of the fellow mother as she dabbles 

To-morrow’s diver in her horny milk, 

Bisected shadows on the thunder’s bone 

Bolt for the salt unborn. 
The fellow half was frozen as it bubbled 

Corrosive spring out of the iceberg’s crop, 

The fellow seed and shadow as it babbled 

The swing of milk was tufted in the pap, 

For half of love was planted in the lost, 

And the unplanted ghost. 
The broken halves are fellowed in a cripple, 

The crutch that marrow taps upon their sleep, 

Limp in the street of sea, among the rabble 

Of tide-tongued heads and bladders in the deep, 

And stake the sleepers in the savage grave 

That the vampire laugh. 
The patchwork halves were cloven as they scudded 

The wild pigs’ wood, and slime upon the trees, 

Sucking the dark, kissed on the cyanide, 

And loosed the braiding adders from their hairs, 

Rotating halves are horning as they drill 

The arterial angel. 
What colour is glory? death’s feather? tremble 

The halves that pierce the pin’s point in the air, 

And prick the thumb-stained heaven through the thimble. 

The ghost is dumb that stammered in the straw, 

The ghost that hatched his havoc as he flew 

Blinds their cloud-tracking eye. 

II 
My world is pyramid. The padded mummer 

Weeps on the desert ochre and the salt 

Incising summer. 

My Egypt’s armour buckling in its sheet, 

I scrape through resin to a starry bone 

And a blood parhelion. 
My world is cypress, and an English valley. 

I piece my flesh that rattled on the yards 

Red in an Austrian volley. 

I hear, through dead men’s drums, the riddled lads, 

Screwing their bowels from a hill of bones, 

Cry Eloi to the guns. 
My grave is watered by the crossing Jordan. 

The Arctic scut, and basin of the South, 

Drip on my dead house garden. 

Who seek me landward, marking in my mouth 

The straws of Asia, lose me as I turn 

Through the Atlantic corn. 
The fellow halves that, cloven as they swivel 

On casting tides, are tangled in the shells, 

Bearding the unborn devil, 

Bleed from my burning fork and smell my heels. 

The tongue’s of heaven gossip as I glide 

Binding my angel’s hood. 
Who blows death’s feather? What glory is colour? 

I blow the stammel feather in the vein. 

The loin is glory in a working pallor. 

My clay unsuckled and my salt unborn, 

The secret child, I sift about the sea 

Dry in the half-tracked thigh.

Poem – A Winter’s Tale – Dylan Thomas

It is a winter’s tale 

That the snow blind twilight ferries over the lakes 

And floating fields from the farm in the cup of the vales,

Gliding windless through the hand folded flakes, 

The pale breath of cattle at the stealthy sail, 
And the stars falling cold, 

And the smell of hay in the snow, and the far owl 

Warning among the folds, and the frozen hold 

Flocked with the sheep white smoke of the farm house cowl 

In the river wended vales where the tale was told. 
Once when the world turned old 

On a star of faith pure as the drifting bread, 

As the food and flames of the snow, a man unrolled 

The scrolls of fire that burned in his heart and head, 

Torn and alone in a farm house in a fold 
Of fields. And burning then 

In his firelit island ringed by the winged snow 

And the dung hills white as wool and the hen 

Roosts sleeping chill till the flame of the cock crow 

Combs through the mantled yards and the morning men 
Stumble out with their spades, 

The cattle stirring, the mousing cat stepping shy, 

The puffed birds hopping and hunting, the milkmaids 

Gentle in their clogs over the fallen sky, 

And all the woken farm at its white trades, 
He knelt, he wept, he prayed, 

By the spit and the black pot in the log bright light 

And the cup and the cut bread in the dancing shade, 

In the muffled house, in the quick of night, 

At the point of love, forsaken and afraid. 
He knelt on the cold stones, 

He wept form the crest of grief, he prayed to the veiled sky 

May his hunger go howling on bare white bones 

Past the statues of the stables and the sky roofed sties 

And the duck pond glass and the blinding byres alone 
Into the home of prayers 

And fires where he should prowl down the cloud 

Of his snow blind love and rush in the white lairs. 

His naked need struck him howling and bowed 

Though no sound flowed down the hand folded air 
But only the wind strung 

Hunger of birds in the fields of the bread of water, tossed 

In high corn and the harvest melting on their tongues. 

And his nameless need bound him burning and lost 

When cold as snow he should run the wended vales among 
The rivers mouthed in night, 

And drown in the drifts of his need, and lie curled caught 

In the always desiring centre of the white 

Inhuman cradle and the bride bed forever sought 

By the believer lost and the hurled outcast of light. 
Deliver him, he cried, 

By losing him all in love, and cast his need 

Alone and naked in the engulfing bride, 

Never to flourish in the fields of the white seed 

Or flower under the time dying flesh astride. 
Listen. The minstrels sing 

In the departed villages. The nightingale, 

Dust in the buried wood, flies on the grains of her wings

And spells on the winds of the dead his winter’s tale. 

The voice of the dust of water from the withered spring 
Is telling. The wizened 

Stream with bells and baying water bounds. The dew rings 

On the gristed leaves and the long gone glistening 

Parish of snow. The carved mouths in the rock are wind swept strings. 

Time sings through the intricately dead snow drop. Listen. 
It was a hand or sound 

In the long ago land that glided the dark door wide 

And there outside on the bread of the ground 

A she bird rose and rayed like a burning bride. 

A she bird dawned, and her breast with snow and scarlet downed. 
Look. And the dancers move 

On the departed, snow bushed green, wanton in moon light 

As a dust of pigeons. Exulting, the grave hooved 

Horses, centaur dead, turn and tread the drenched white 

Paddocks in the farms of birds. The dead oak walks for love. 
The carved limbs in the rock 

Leap, as to trumpets. Calligraphy of the old 

Leaves is dancing. Lines of age on the stones weave in a flock. 

And the harp shaped voice of the water’s dust plucks in a fold 

Of fields. For love, the long ago she bird rises. Look. 
And the wild wings were raised 

Above her folded head, and the soft feathered voice 

Was flying through the house as though the she bird praised 

And all the elements of the slow fall rejoiced 

That a man knelt alone in the cup of the vales, 
In the mantle and calm, 

By the spit and the black pot in the log bright light. 

And the sky of birds in the plumed voice charmed 

Him up and he ran like a wind after the kindling flight 

Past the blind barns and byres of the windless farm. 
In the poles of the year 

When black birds died like priests in the cloaked hedge row 

And over the cloth of counties the far hills rode near, 

Under the one leaved trees ran a scarecrow of snow 

And fast through the drifts of the thickets antlered like deer, 
Rags and prayers down the knee- 

Deep hillocks and loud on the numbed lakes, 

All night lost and long wading in the wake of the she- 

Bird through the times and lands and tribes of the slow flakes. 

Listen and look where she sails the goose plucked sea,
The sky, the bird, the bride, 

The cloud, the need, the planted stars, the joy beyond 

The fields of seed and the time dying flesh astride, 

The heavens, the heaven, the grave, the burning font. 

In the far ago land the door of his death glided wide, 
And the bird descended. 

On a bread white hill over the cupped farm 

And the lakes and floating fields and the river wended 

Vales where he prayed to come to the last harm 

And the home of prayers and fires, the tale ended. 
The dancing perishes 

On the white, no longer growing green, and, minstrel dead, 

The singing breaks in the snow shoed villages of wishes 

That once cut the figures of birds on the deep bread 

And over the glazed lakes skated the shapes of fishes 
Flying. The rite is shorn 

Of nightingale and centaur dead horse. The springs wither 

Back. Lines of age sleep on the stones till trumpeting dawn. 

Exultation lies down. Time buries the spring weather 

That belled and bounded with the fossil and the dew reborn. 
For the bird lay bedded 

In a choir of wings, as though she slept or died, 

And the wings glided wide and he was hymned and wedded, 

And through the thighs of the engulfing bride, 

The woman breasted and the heaven headed 
Bird, he was brought low, 

Burning in the bride bed of love, in the whirl- 

Pool at the wanting centre, in the folds 

Of paradise, in the spun bud of the world. 

And she rose with him flowering in her melting snow.

Poem – Clown in the Moon – Dylan Thomas

My tears are like the quiet drift Of petals from some magic rose; 

And all my grief flows from the rift 

Of unremembered skies and snows. 
I think, that if I touched the earth, 

It would crumble; 

It is so sad and beautiful, 

So tremulously like a dream.

Poem –  Working Class Hero – Alice Walker.

My brothers knew 

The things you know. 

I did not scorn 

learning them; 

It’s just my mind 

Was busy being trained 
For “Other Things”: 
Poetry, Philosophy, Literature. 

Survival, for a girl. 
But now, 

What a relief 

To see you understand 

The ways 

Of horses 

Their shyness 

& hatred 

Of 

Loneliness: 
That you will not 

Hesitate 

To rescue 

An old horse, 

Dying on 
His feet 

That you will 

Cheerfully 

Wash him, 

Aged 

Incontinent 

Head 

To 

Toe. Missing 

With your bucket 

Rag 

Not 

One 

Hidden 

Crevice 

As he 

Trembles 

& weeps. 
What peace 

To see 

Raising chickens 

Does not 

Mystify you 

and 

Hot water heaters 

& their ways 

Are well known; 

That electricity 

& how it 

Works 

Is something 

Within 

Your grasp. 
That you can 

Get a car 

To run 

By poking 

It in 

A few mysterious 

Places 

Under 

The hood. 
That you can 

Fix a 

Broken 

Anything: battery, truck, stove, 

Door, fridge, lamp, chicken coop hinge 

While teaching me 

The ins and outs 

Of Opera 

Or 

While singing 

Lusty 

Italian 

Tenor 

That 

Shakes 

The walls. 
That you can 

Sit, comfy, 

Unperturbed 

By traffic 

In the womb-like 

Back seat 

Of my 

Aging 

Chariot 

While I drive 

& you 

Ride 

The silver 

Black 

& Golden 

Horses 

Of 

Your 

Trumpet.

Poem – If I was President – Alice Walker

If I was President

 The first thing I would do 

is call Mumia Abu-Jamal. 

No, 

if I was president 

the first thing I would do 

is call Leonard Peltier. 

No, 

if I was president 

the first person I would call 

is that rascal 

John Trudell. 

No, 

the first person I’d call 

is that other rascal 

Dennis Banks. 

I would also call 

Alice Walker. 

I would make a conference call. 

And I would say this: 

Yo, you troublemakers, 

it is time to let all of us 

out of prison. 

Pack up your things: 

Dennis and John, 

collect Alice Walker 

If you can find her: 

In Mendocino, Molokai, Mexico or 

Gaza, 

& head out to the prisons 

where Mumia and Leonard 

are waiting for you. 

They will be traveling 

light. 

Mumia used to own a lot 

of papers 

but they took most of those 

away from him. 

Leonard 

will probably want to drag along 

some of his 

canvases. 

Alice 

who may well be 

shopping 

in New Delhi 

will no doubt want to 

dress up for the occasion 

in a sparkly shalwar kemeez. 

My next call is going to be 

to the Cubans 

all five of them; 

so stop worrying. 

For now, you’re my fish. 

I just had this long letter 

from Alice and she has begged me 

to put an end 

to her suffering. 

What? she said. 

You think these men are the only ones who suffer 

when Old Style America locks them up 

& throws away 

the key? 

I can’t tell you, she goes on, 

the changes 

this viciousness 

has put me through, 

and I have had a child to raise 

& classes to teach 

& food to buy 

and just because 

I’m a poet 

it doesn’t mean 

I don’t have to 

pay the mortgage 

or the rent. 

Yet all these years, 

nearly thirty or something 

of them 

I have been running around 

the country 

and the world 

trying to arouse justice 

for these men. 

Tonsillitis 

hasn’t stopped me. 

Migraine, 

hasn’t stopped me. 

Lyme disease 

hasn’t stopped me. 

And why? 

Because 

knowing the country 

that I’m in, 

as you are destined to learn 

it too, 

I know wrong 

when I see it. 

If that chair you’re sitting in 

could speak 

you would have it moved 

to another room. 

You would burn it. 

So, amigos, 

pack your things. 

Alice and John and Dennis 

are on their way. 

They are bringing prayers from Nilak Butler and Bill Wapepah; 

they are bringing sweet grass and white sage 

from Pine Ridge. 

I am the president 

at least until the Corporations 

purchase the next election, 

and this is what I choose 

to do 

on my first day.

Poem – Expect Nothing – Alice Walker

Expect nothing. Live frugally On surprise. 

become a stranger 

To need of pity 

Or, if compassion be freely 

Given out 

Take only enough 

Stop short of urge to plead 

Then purge away the need. 
Wish for nothing larger 

Than your own small heart 

Or greater than a star; 

Tame wild disappointment 

With caress unmoved and cold 

Make of it a parka 

For your soul. 
Discover the reason why 

So tiny human midget 

Exists at all 

So scared unwise 

But expect nothing. Live frugally 

On surprise.

Poem – What Makes The Dalai Lama Lovable? – Alice Walker

His posture From so many years 

Holding his robe with one hand 

Is odd. 
His gait 

Also. 
One’s own body 

Aches 

Witnessing 

The sloping 

Shoulders 

& Angled 

Neck; 
One hopes 

He 

Attends 

Yoga class 

Or does Yoga 

On his own 

As part 

Of prayer. 
He smiles 

As he bows 

To Everything: 

Accepting 

The heavy 

Burdens 

Of 

This earth; 
It’s 

Toxic 

Evils 

& Prolific 

Insults. 
Even so, 

He sleeps 

Through 

The night 

Like a child 

Because 

Thank goodness 

That is something 

Else 

Daylong 

Meditation 

Assures. 
You could cry 

Yourself to sleep 

On his behalf 

& He 

Has done that 

Too. 
Life 

Has been 

A great 

Endless 

Tearing away 

For 

Him. 
From 

Mother, Father, Siblings, Country, Home. 

And yet 

Clearly 

His mother 

Loved him; 

His brother & sister 

Too: 

Even his 

Not so constant father, 

Who 

When Tenzin was 

A boy 

Shared 

With him 

Delicious 

Scraps 

Of 

Succulent 

Pork. 
He laughs 

Telling this 

Story 

Over half a century 

Later 

To who knows 

How many 

Puzzled 

Vegetarians: 

About 

The way he sat 

Behind 

His father’s chair 

Like a dog, 

Relishing 

Each juicy 

Greasy 

Bite. 
Whenever I see 

The Dalai Lama 

My first impulse 

Is to laugh 

I am so happy 

To 

Lay eyes 

On 

One 

So effortlessly 

Beautiful. 
That balding head 

That holds 

A shine; 

Those wire framed 

Glasses 

That might 

Have come 

From 

Anywhere. 
His look of having given 

All he has. 
He is my teacher; 

Just staying alive. 
Other teachers 

I have had 

Resemble him 

In some way; 
They too 

Were 

Are 

Smart 

And Humble; 

Fascinated 

By Science & things like 

Time, 

Eternity, 

Cause & Effect; 

The Evolution 

Of the Soul. 
A soul 

That 

Might 

Or might not 

Exist. 
They too 

See all of us 

-Banker, murderer, gardener, thief – 

When they look 

Out across 

The world: 
But that is not all 

They see. 
They see our suffering; 

Our striving 

To find 

The right path; 

The one with heart 

We may only 

Have heard 

About. 
The Dalai Lama is Cool 

A modern word 

For 

“Divine” 

Because he wants 

Only 

Our collective 

Health 

& Happiness. 
That’s it! 
What makes 

Him 

Lovable 

Is 

His holiness.

Poem – Torture – Alice Walker 

When they torture your mother plant a tree 

When they torture your father 

plant a tree 

When they torture your brother 

and your sister 

plant a tree 

When they assassinate 

your leaders 

and lovers 

plant a tree 

Whey they torture you 

too bad 

to talk 

plant a tree. 

When they begin to torture 

the trees 

and cut down the forest 

they have made 

start another.

Poem – Desire – Alice Walker

My desire

 is always the same; wherever Life 

deposits me: 

I want to stick my toe 

& soon my whole body 

into the water. 

I want to shake out a fat broom 

& sweep dried leaves 

bruised blossoms 

dead insects 

& dust. 

I want to grow 

something. 

It seems impossible that desire 

can sometimes transform into devotion; 

but this has happened. 

And that is how I’ve survived: 

how the hole 

I carefully tended 

in the garden of my heart 

grew a heart 

to fill it.

Poem – Farewell To London – Alexander Pope

Dear, damn’d distracting town, farewell! 

Thy fools no more I’ll tease: 

This year in peace, ye critics, dwell, 

Ye harlots, sleep at ease! 
Soft B– and rough C–s adieu, 

Earl Warwick made your moan, 

The lively H–k and you 

May knock up whores alone. 
To drink and droll be Rowe allow’d 

Till the third watchman’s toll; 

Let Jervas gratis paint, and Frowde 

Save three-pence and his soul. 
Farewell, Arbuthnot’s raillery 

On every learned sot; 

And Garth, the best good Christian he, 

Although he knows it not. 
Lintot, farewell! thy bard must go; 

Farewell, unhappy Tonson! 

Heaven gives thee for thy loss of Rowe, 

Lean Philips, and fat Johnson. 
Why should I stay? Both parties rage; 

My vixen mistress squalls; 

The wits in envious feuds engage: 

And Homer (damn him!) calls. 
The love of arts lies cold and dead 

In Halifax’s urn: 

And not one Muse of all he fed 

Has yet the grace to mourn. 
My friends, by turns, my friends confound, 

Betray, and are betrayed: 

Poor Y–r’s sold for fifty pound, 

And B–ll is a jade. 
Why make I friendships with the great, 

When I no favour seek? 

Or follow girls, seven hours in eight? 

I us’d but once a week. 
Still idle, with a busy air, 

Deep whimsies to contrive; 

The gayest valetudinaire, 

Most thinking rake, alive. 
Solicitous for others’ ends, 

Though fond of dear repose; 

Careless or drowsy with my friends, 

And frolic with my foes. 
Luxurious lobster-nights, farewell, 

For sober, studious days! 

And Burlington’s delicious meal, 

For salads, tarts, and pease! 
Adieu to all, but Gay alone, 

Whose soul, sincere and free, 

Loves all mankind, but flatters none, 

And so may starve with me.

Poem – Chorus Of Youths And Virgins – Alexander Pope

Semichorus. 

Oh Tyrant Love! hast thou possest 

The prudent, learn’d, and virtuous breast? 

Wisdom and wit in vain reclaim, 

And Arts but soften us to feel thy flame. 

Love, soft intruder, enters here, 

But ent’ring learns to be sincere. 

Marcus with blushes owns he loves, 

And Brutus tenderly reproves. 

Why, Virtue, dost thou blame desire, 

Which Nature has imprest? 

Why, Nature, dost thou soonest fire 

The mild and gen’rous breast? 
Chorus. 

Love’s purer flames the Gods approve; 

The Gods and Brutus bent to love: 

Brutus for absent Portia sighs, 

And sterner Cassius melts at Junia’s eyes. 

What is loose love? a transient gust, 

Spent in a sudden storm of lust, 

A vapour fed from wild desire, 

A wand’ring, self-consuming fire, 

But Hymen’s kinder flames unite; 

And burn for ever one; 

Chaste as cold Cynthia’s virgin light, 

Productive as the Sun. 
Semichorus. 

Oh source of ev’ry social tie, 

United wish, and mutual joy! 

What various joys on one attend, 

As son, as father, brother husband, friend? 

Whether his hoary sire he spies, 

While thousand grateful thoughts arise; 

Or meets his spouse’s fonder eye; 

Or views his smiling progeny; 

What tender passions take their turns, 

What home-felt raptures move? 

His heart now melts, now leaps, now burns, 

With rev’rence, hope, and love. 
Chorus. 

Hence guilty joys, distastes, surmises, 

Hence false tears, deceits, disguises, 

Dangers, doubts, delays, surprises; 

Fires that scorch, yet dare not shine 

Purest love’s unwasting treasure, 

Constant faith, fair hope, long leisure, 

Days of ease, and nights of pleasure; 

Sacred Hymen! these are thine.

Poem – A Young Soldier On Service – Confucius

To the top of that tree-clad hill I go, 

And towards my father I gaze, 

Till with my mind’s eye his form I espy, 

And my mind’s ear hears how he says:– 

‘Alas for my son on service abroad! 

He rests not from morning till eve. 

May he careful be and come back to me! 

While he is away, how I grieve!’ 
To the top of that barren hill I climb, 

And towards my mother I gaze, 

Till with my mind’s eye her form I espy, 

And my mind’s ear hears how she says:– 

‘Alas for my child on service abroad! 

He never in sleep shuts an eye. 

May he careful be, and come back to me! 

In the wild may his body not lie!’ 
Up the lofty ridge I, toiling, ascend, 

And towards my brother I gaze, 

Till with my mind’s eye his form I espy, 

And my mind’s ear hears how he says:– 

‘Alas! my young brother, serving abroad, 

All day with his comrades must roam. 

May he careful be, and come back to me, 

And die not away from his home.’

Poem – A Wife Mourns For Her Husband – Confucius 

The dolichos grows and covers the thorn, 

O’er the waste is the dragon-plant creeping. 

The man of my heart is away and I mourn– 

What home have I, lonely and weeping? 
Covering the jujubes the dolichos grows, 

The graves many dragon-plants cover; 

But where is the man on whose breast I’d repose? 

No home have I, having no lover! 
Fair to see was the pillow of horn, 

And fair the bed-chamber’s adorning; 

But the man of my heart is not here, and I mourn 

All alone, and wait for the morning. 
While the long days of summer pass over my head, 

And long winter nights leave their traces, 

I’m alone! Till a hundred of years shall have fled, 

And then I shall meet his embraces. 
Through the long winter nights I am burdened with fears, 

Through the long summer days I am lonely; 

But when time shall have counted its hundreds of years 

I then shall be his–and his only!

Poem – A Love Song – Confucius 

The moon comes forth, bright in the sky;

 A lovelier sight to draw my eye 

Is she, that lady fair. 

She round my heart has fixed love’s chain, 

But all my longings are in vain. 

‘Tis hard the grief to bear. 
The moon comes forth, a splendid sight; 

More winning far that lady bright, 

Object of my desire! 

Deep-seated is my anxious grief; 

In vain I seek to find relief; 

While glows the secret fire. 
The rising moon shines mild and fair; 

More bright is she, whose beauty rare 

My heart with longing fills. 

With eager wish I pine in vain; 

O for relief from constant pain, 

Which through my bosom thrills!

Poem – A Wife Bemoans Her Husband’s Absence – Confucius

So full am I of anxious thought,

 Though all the morn king-grass I’ve sought, 

To fill my arms I fail. 

Like wisp all-tangled is my hair! 

To wash it let me home repair. 

My lord soon may I hail! 
Though ‘mong the indigo I’ve wrought 

The morning long; through anxious thought 

My skirt’s filled but in part. 

Within five days he was to appear; 

The sixth has come and he’s not here. 

Oh! how this racks my heart! 
When here we dwelt in union sweet, 

If the hunt called his eager feet, 

His bow I cased for him. 

Or if to fish he went away, 

And would be absent all the day, 

His line I put in trim. 
What in his angling did he catch? 

Well worth the time it was to watch 

How bream and tench he took. 

Men thronged upon the banks and gazed; 

At bream and tench they looked amazed, 

The triumphs of his hook.

The Bear Hunt – Abraham Lincoln

A wild-bear chace, didst never see? 

Then hast thou lived in vain. 

Thy richest bump of glorious glee, 

Lies desert in thy brain. 
When first my father settled here, 

‘Twas then the frontier line: 

The panther’s scream, filled night with fear 

And bears preyed on the swine. 
But wo for Bruin’s short lived fun, 

When rose the squealing cry; 

Now man and horse, with dog and gun, 

For vengeance, at him fly. 
A sound of danger strikes his ear; 

He gives the breeze a snuff; 

Away he bounds, with little fear, 

And seeks the tangled rough. 
On press his foes, and reach the ground, 

Where’s left his half munched meal; 

The dogs, in circles, scent around, 

And find his fresh made trail. 
With instant cry, away they dash, 

And men as fast pursue; 

O’er logs they leap, through water splash, 

And shout the brisk halloo. 
Now to elude the eager pack, 

Bear shuns the open ground; 

Th[r]ough matted vines, he shapes his track 

And runs it, round and round. 
The tall fleet cur, with deep-mouthed voice, 

Now speeds him, as the wind; 

While half-grown pup, and short-legged fice, 

Are yelping far behind. 
And fresh recruits are dropping in 

To join the merry corps: 

With yelp and yell,–a mingled din– 

The woods are in a roar. 
And round, and round the chace now goes, 

The world’s alive with fun; 

Nick Carter’s horse, his rider throws, 

And more, Hill drops his gun. 
Now sorely pressed, bear glances back, 

And lolls his tired tongue; 

When as, to force him from his track, 

An ambush on him sprung. 
Across the glade he sweeps for flight, 

And fully is in view. 

The dogs, new-fired, by the sight, 

Their cry, and speed, renew. 
The foremost ones, now reach his rear, 

He turns, they dash away; 

And circling now, the wrathful bear, 

They have him full at bay. 
At top of speed, the horse-men come, 

All screaming in a row, 

“Whoop! Take him Tiger. Seize him Drum.” 

Bang,–bang–the rifles go. 
And furious now, the dogs he tears, 

And crushes in his ire, 

Wheels right and left, and upward rears, 

With eyes of burning fire. 
But leaden death is at his heart, 

Vain all the strength he plies. 

And, spouting blood from every part, 

He reels, and sinks, and dies. 
And now a dinsome clamor rose, 

‘Bout who should have his skin; 

Who first draws blood, each hunter knows, 

This prize must always win. 
But who did this, and how to trace 

What’s true from what’s a lie, 

Like lawyers, in a murder case 

They stoutly argufy. 
Aforesaid fice, of blustering mood, 

Behind, and quite forgot, 

Just now emerging from the wood, 

Arrives upon the spot. 
With grinning teeth, and up-turned hair– 

Brim full of spunk and wrath, 

He growls, and seizes on dead bear, 

And shakes for life and death. 
And swells as if his skin would tear, 

And growls and shakes again; 

And swears, as plain as dog can swear, 

That he has won the skin. 
Conceited whelp! we laugh at thee– 

Nor mind, that now a few 

Of pompous, two-legged dogs there be, 

Conceited quite as you.

Memory – Abraham Lincoln

MY childhood’s home I see again, 

And sadden with the view; 

And still, as memory crowds my brain, 

There’s pleasure in it, too. 
O memory! thou midway world 

‘Twixt earth and paradise, 

Where things decayed and loved ones lost 

In dreamy shadows rise, 
And, freed from all that’s earthly, vile, 

Seem hallowed, pure and bright, 

Like scenes in some enchanted isle 

All bathed in liquid light. 
As dusky mountains please the eye 

When twilight chases day; 

As bugle notes that, passing by, 

In distance die away; 
As, leaving some grand waterfall, 

We, lingering, list its roar- 

So memory will hallow all 

We’ve known but know no more. 
Near twenty years have passed away 

Since here I bid farewll 

To woods and fields, and scenes of play, 

And playmates loved so well. 
Where many were, but few remain 

Of old familiar things, 

But seeing them to mind again 

The lost and absent brings. 
The friends I left that parting day, 

How changed, as time has sped! 

Young childhood grown, strong manhood gray; 

And half of all are dead. 
I hear the loved survivors tell 

How nought from death could save, 

Till every sound appear a knell 

And every spot a grave. 
I range the fields with pensive tread, 

And pace the hollow rooms, 

And feel (companion of the dead) 

I’m living in the tombs. 

Poem – The Swan Flies Away – Kabir 

The Swan Will Fly Away All Alone, 
Spectacle of the World Will Be a Mere Fair 

As the Leaf Falls from the Tree 

Is Difficult to Find 

Who Knows Where it Will Fall 

Once it is Struck with a Gust Of Wind 

When Life Span is Complete 

Then Listening to Orders, Following Others, Will Be Over 

The Messengers of Yama are Very Strong 

It’s an Entanglement with the Yama 

Servant Kabir Praises the Attributes of the Lord 

He Finds the Lord Soon 

Guru Will Go According to His Doings 

The Disciple According to His!

Poem – The Bhakti Path – Kabir 

The bhakti path winds in a delicate way. 

On this path there is no asking and no not asking. 

The ego simply disappears the moment you touch 

him. 

The joy of looking for him is so immense that you 

just dive in, 

and coast around like a fish in the water. 

If anyone needs a head, the lover leaps up to offer 

his.

Poem – The Unrung Ring – Taslima Nasrin 

So many things ring, 

the cells of the body, 

the ankle bells as they dance, 

the silver wrist bangles. 

As the monsoon rains fall on the window 

the glass panes musically ring. 

As clouds clash with clouds 

lightning rings out. 

Dreams ring, keeping time to their beats, 

and, making a havoc internally, 

loneliness rings. 

Only an intimate bell on my door does not ring.

Poem – The Woman Breaking Bricks – Taslima Nasrin

The woman, breaking bricks and sitting on a sidewalk, 

wears a red sari as she breaks the bricks, under the burning sun, breaks the bricks, 

the bronze coloured woman breaks the bricks. 

Twenty-one? But she has seven children back home, looks forty up, 

and all day for ten taka, not enough to buy food for one, let alone seven, 

she breaks the brick. every day, breaks the bricks. 
Seated beside her, resting under an umbrella, a man is breaking bricks, 

all day long breaking bricks, 

a shaded man who earns twenty a day breaking the bricks. 

Of what does he dream, the man breaking the bricks, 

the man sitting under an umbrella, breaking the bricks? 
And of what does she dream, the woman breaking the bricks? 

She has a dream, a dream of having an umbrella, 

of breaking the bricks veiled from the sun, 

of becoming a man one fine morning, 

earning double for breaking the bricks. 
Her dream is her dream, 

but in the morning she is still a woman breaking the bricks, 

no umbrella, not even a torn one, breaking the bricks under the burning sun. 
New roads and tall towers are built with the bricks she broke, 

but the roof on her house was blown away in last year’s storm, 

the water drips through her tent, and she has a dream about buying a tin roof. 
Her dream is her dream, 

but in the morning her tent is soaked with water. 

So she shouts out to her neighbors, to the world, 

I have a dream, I have a dream. But still no umbrella, still no tin roof. 
Look, neighbors spit on her and say, her seven children are hungry, 

she needs oil for her hair, powder for her face! 

Her skin colour darkens daily, 

her fingers harden, harden like the bricks they are breaking. 
So with her hammer she continues, continues breaking the bricks, 

becoming herself a brick, a brick that cannot be broken 

by the sun’s heat, an underfed stomach, a dreaming heart.

Poem – What Cannot Be Said – Mirza Ghalib 

There’s one who took my heart away. But does she own it? I can’t say. 
See her as unjust though I may, 

Is she a tyrant? I can’t say. 
She strides a bloodless battlefield 

Where there’s no battle-axe to wield. 
She keeps a wineless banquet-hall 

Where there’s no bowl to raise at all. 
Although she serves wine ceaselessly, 

Her fingers bring no cup to me. 
Her idol-carving hand is sure, 

But you cannot call her Azer 
When riots quiet down, why must 

You brag of ousting the unjust? 
There will be nothing you can say 

Of the unjust on Judgment Day. 
Within the breast the secret lies 

Which none can ever sermonize. 
How strange a thing it is that throws 

The mind askew till no one knows 
How I Ghalib am no believer 

But can’t be called unfaithful either. 

Poem – Heart It Is, Not A Brick Or Stone – Mirza Ghalib 

Heart it is, not a brick or stone 
Why shouldn’t it feel the pain? 

Let none tyrannize this heart 

Or I shall cry again and again 

Neither the temple, nor the mosque 

Nor on someone’s door or porch 

I await on the path where He will tread 

Why others should compel me to go? 

The illumined grace that lights up the heart 

And glows like the midday sun 

That Self that annihilates all sights 

When then it hides in the mysterious net? 

The amorous glance is the deadly dagger 

And the arrows of emotions are fatal 

Your image may be equally powerful 

Why should it appear before you? 

The rules of life and bonds of sorrow 

In reality are the one manifestation 

Before realizing the ultimate truth 

How can then one attain liberation? 

Love is laden with noble thoughts 

Yet what remains is the carnal shame 

Trust conscience the still little voice 

Why do you want test the rival? 

There the pride of modesty resides 

Here dwells the social morality 

How shall we meet, on which road 

Why should he invite me to the abode? 

True he is an atheist 

Unfaithful and unchaste 

Dear to who is faith and heart 

Why should he then venture there? 

Without the wretched ‘Ghalib’ 

Has any activity come to a halt? 

What then is the need to cry? 

What then is the need to brood?

Poem – Come That My Soul Has No Repose – Mirza Ghalib 

Come that my soul has no repose 
Has no strength to bear the injustice of waiting 
Heaven is given in return for the life of this world 

But that high is not in proportion to this intoxication 
Such longing has come from your company 

That there is no control over my tears 
Suspecting torment, you are indifferent to me 

So no love resides in these clouds of dust 
From my heart has lifted the meaning of pleasure 

Without blossoms, there is no spring in life 
You have pledged to kill me at last 

But there is no determination in your promise 
You have sworn by the wine, Ghalib 

There is no faith in your avowal

Poem – A Thousand Desires – Mirza Ghalib 

Thousands of desires, each worth dying for… Many of them I have realized…yet I yearn for more… 
Why should my killer (lover) be afraid? No one will hold her responsible 

For the blood which will continuously flow through my eyes all my life 
We have heard about the dismissal of Adam from Heaven, 

With a more humiliation, I am leaving the street on which you live… 
Oh tyrant, your true personality will be known to all 

If the curls of my hair slip through my turban! 
But if someone wants to write her a letter, they can ask me, 

Every morning I leave my house with my pen on my ear. 
In that age, I turned to drinking (alcohol) 

And then the time came when my entire world was occupied by alcohol 
From whom I expected justice/praise for my weakness 

Turned out to be more injured with the same cruel sword 
When in love, there is little difference between life and death 

We live by looking at the infidel who we are willing to die for 
Put some pressure on your heart to remove that cruel arrow, 

For if the arrow comes out, so will your heart…and your life. 
For god’s sake, don’t lift the cover off any secrets you tyrant 

The infidel might turn out to be my lover! 
The preacher and the bar’s entrance are way apart 

Yet I saw him entering the bar as I was leaving! 
Thousands of desires, each worth dying for… 

Many of them I have realized…yet I yearn for more

Poem –  Verses Left By Mr. Pope – Alexander Pope.

With no poetic ardour fir’d 

I press the bed where Wilmot lay; 

That here he lov’d, or here expir’d, 

Begets no numbers grave or gay. 

Beneath thy roof, Argyle, are bred 

Such thoughts as prompt the brave to lie 

Stretch’d out in honour’s nobler bed, 

Beneath a nobler roof – the sky. 

Such flames as high in patriots burn, 

Yet stoop to bless a child or wife; 

And such as wicked kings may mourn, 

When freedom is more dear than life.

Poem – Windsor Forest – Alexander Pope

Thy forests, Windsor! and thy green retreats, 
At once the Monarch’s and the Muse’s seats, 

Invite my lays. Be present, sylvan maids! 

Unlock your springs, and open all your shades. 

Granville commands; your aid O Muses bring! 

What Muse for Granville can refuse to sing? 

The groves of Eden, vanish’d now so long, 

Live in description, and look green in song: 

These, were my breast inspir’d with equal flame, 

Like them in beauty, should be like in fame. 

Here hills and vales, the woodland and the plain, 

Here earth and water, seem to strive again; 

Not Chaos like together crush’d and bruis’d, 

But as the world, harmoniously confus’d: 

Where order in variety we see, 

And where, tho’ all things differ, all agree. 

Here waving groves a checquer’d scene display, 

And part admit, and part exclude the day; 

As some coy nymph her lover’s warm address 

Nor quite indulges, nor can quite repress. 

There, interspers’d in lawns and opening glades, 

Thin trees arise that shun each other’s shades. 

Here in full light the russet plains extend; 

There wrapt in clouds the blueish hills ascend. 

Ev’n the wild heath displays her purple dyes, 

And ‘midst the desart fruitful fields arise, 

That crown’d with tufted trees and springing corn, 

Like verdant isles the sable waste adorn. 

Let India boast her plants, nor envy we 

The weeping amber or the balmy tree, 

While by our oaks the precious loads are born, 

And realms commanded which those trees adorn. 

Not proud Olympus yields a nobler sight, 

Tho’ Gods assembled grace his tow’ring height, 

Than what more humble mountains offer here, 

Where, in their blessings, all those Gods appear. 

See Pan with flocks, with fruits Pomona crown’d, 

Here blushing Flora paints th’ enamel’d ground, 

Here Ceres’ gifts in waving prospect stand, 

And nodding tempt the joyful reaper’s hand; 

Rich Industry sits smiling on the plains, 

And peace and plenty tell, a Stuart reigns. 

Not thus the land appear’d in ages past, 

A dreary desart and a gloomy waste, 

To savage beasts and savage laws a prey, 

And kings more furious and severe than they; 

Who claim’d the skies, dispeopled air and floods, 

The lonely lords of empty wilds and woods: 

Cities laid waste, they storm’d the dens and caves, 

(For wiser brutes were backward to be slaves): 

What could be free, when lawless beasts obey’d, 

And ev’n the elements a Tyrant sway’d? 

In vain kind seasons swell’d the teeming grain, 

Soft show’rs distill’d, and suns grew warm in vain; 

The swain with tears his frustrate labour yields, 

And famish’d dies amidst his ripen’d fields. 

What wonder then, a beast or subject slain 

Were equal crimes in a despotick reign? 

Both doom’d alike, for sportive Tyrants bled, 

But that the subject starv’d, the beast was fed. 

Proud Nimrod first the bloody chace began, 

A mighty hunter, and his prey was man: 

Our haughty Norman boasts that barb’rous name, 

And makes his trembling slaves the royal game. 

The fields are ravish’d from th’ industrious swains, 

From men their cities, and from Gods their fanes: 

The levell’d towns with weeds lie cover’d o’er; 

The hollow winds thro’ naked temples roar; 

Round broken columns clasping ivy twin’d; 

O’er heaps of ruin stalk’d the stately hind; 

The fox obscene to gaping tombs retires, 

And savage howlings fill the sacred quires. 

Aw’d by his Nobles, by his Commons curst, 

Th’ Oppressor rul’d tyrannic where he durst, 

Stretch’d o’er the Poor and Church his iron rod, 

And serv’d alike his Vassals and his God. 

Whom ev’n the Saxon spar’d, and bloody Dane, 

The wanton victims of his sport remain. 

But see, the man who spacious regions gave 

A waste for beasts, himself deny’d a grave! 

Stretch’d on the lawn, his second hope survey, 

At once the chaser, and at once the prey: 

Lo Rufus, tugging at the deadly dart, 

Bleeds in the forest, like a wounded hart. 

Succeeding Monarchs heard the subjects cries, 

Nor saw displeas’d the peaceful cottage rise. 

Then gath’ring flocks on unknown mountains fed, 

O’er sandy wilds were yellow harvests spread, 

The forests wonder’d at th’ unusual grain, 

And secret transport touch’d the conscious swain. 

Fair Liberty, Britannia’s Goddess, rears 

Her chearful head, and leads the golden years. 

Ye vig’rous swains! while youth ferments your blood, 

And purer spirits swell the sprightly flood, 

Now range the hills, the thickest woods beset, 

Wind the shrill horn, or spread the waving net. 

When milder autumn summer’s heat succeeds, 

And in the new-shorn field the partridge feeds, 

Before his lord the ready spaniel bounds, 

Panting with hope, he tries the furrow’d grounds; 

But when the tainted gales the game betray, 

Couch’d close he lies, and meditates the prey: 

Secure they trust th’ unfaithful field, beset, 

Till hov’ring o’er ’em sweeps the swelling net. 

Thus (if small things we may with great compare) 

When Albion sends her eager sons to war, 

Some thoughtless Town, with ease and plenty blest, 

Near, and more near, the closing lines invest; 

Sudden they seize th’ amaz’d, defenceless prize, 

And high in air Britannia’s standard flies. 

See! from the brake the whirring pheasant springs, 

And mounts exulting on triumphant wings: 

Short is his joy; he feels the fiery wound, 

Flutters in blood, and panting beats the ground. 

Ah! what avail his glossy, varying dyes, 

His purple crest, and scarlet-circled eyes, 

The vivid green his shining plumes unfold, 

His painted wings, and breast that flames with gold? 

Nor yet, when moist Arcturus clouds the sky, 

The woods and fields their pleasing toils deny. 

To plains with well-breath’d beagles we repair, 

And trace the mazes of the circling hare: 

(Beasts, urg’d by us, their fellow-beasts pursue, 

And learn of man each other to undo.) 

With slaught’ring guns th’ unweary’d fowler roves, 

When frosts have whiten’d all the naked groves; 

Where doves in flocks the leafless trees o’ershade, 

And lonely woodcocks haunt the wat’ry glade. 

He lifts the tube, and levels with his eye; 

Strait a short thunder breaks the frozen sky: 

Oft’, as in airy rings they skim the heath, 

The clam’rous plovers feel the leaden death: 

Oft’, as the mounting larks their notes prepare, 

They fall, and leave their little lives in air. 

In genial spring, beneath the quiv’ring shade, 

Where cooling vapours breathe along the mead, 

The patient fisher takes his silent stand, 

Intent, his angle trembling in his hand; 

With looks unmov’d, he hopes the scaly breed, 

And eyes the dancing cork, and bending reed. 

Our plenteous streams a various race supply, 

The bright-ey’d perch with fins of Tyrian dye, 

The silver eel, in shining volumes roll’d, 

The yellow carp, in scales bedrop’d with gold, 

Swift trouts, diversify’d with crimson stains, 

And pykes, the tyrants of the watry plains. 

Now Cancer glows with Phoebus’ fiery car; 

The youth rush eager to the sylvan war, 

Swarm o’er the lawns, the forest walks surround, 

Rouze the fleet hart, and chear the opening hound. 

Th’ impatient courser pants in ev’ry vein, 

And pawing, seems to beat the distant plain; 

Hills, vales, and floods appear already cross’d, 

And e’er he starts, a thousand steps are lost. 

See! the bold youth strain up the threat’ning steep, 

Rush thro’ the thickets, down the valleys sweep, 

Hang o’er their coursers heads with eager speed, 

And earth rolls back beneath the flying steed. 

Let old Arcadia boast her ample plain, 

Th’ immortal huntress, and her virgin-train; 

Nor envy, Windsor! since thy shades have seen 

As bright a Goddess, and as chaste a Queen; 

Whose care, like hers, protects the sylvan reign, 

The Earth’s fair light, and Empress of the main. 

Here, as old bards have sung, Diana stray’d, 

Bath’d in the springs, or sought the cooling shade; 

Here arm’d with silver bows, in early dawn, 

Her buskin’d Virgins trac’d the dewy lawn. 

Above the rest a rural nymph was fam’d, 

Thy offspring, Thames! the fair Lodona nam’d; 

(Lodona’s fate, in long oblivion cast, 

The Muse shall sing, and what she sings shall last.) 

Scarce could the Goddess from her nymph be known, 

But by the crescent and the golden zone. 

She scorn’d the praise of beauty, and the care, 

A belt her waist, a fillet binds her hair, 

A painted quiver on her shoulder sounds, 

And with her dart the flying deer she wounds. 

It chanc’d, as eager of the chace, the maid 

Beyond the forest’s verdant limits stray’d, 

Pan saw and lov’d, and burning with desire 

Pursu’d her flight, her flight increas’d his fire. 

Not half so swift the trembling doves can fly, 

When the fierce eagle cleaves the liquid sky; 

Not half so swiftly the fierce eagle moves, 

When thro’ the clouds he drives the trembling doves; 

As from the God she flew with furious pace, 

Or as the God, more furious, urg’d the chace. 

Now fainting, sinking, pale, the nymph appears; 

Now close behind, his sounding steps she hears; 

And now his shadow reach’d her as she run, 

His shadow lengthen’d by the setting sun; 

And now his shorter breath, with sultry air, 

Pants on her neck, and fans her parting hair. 

In vain on father Thames she call’d for aid, 

Nor could Diana help her injur’d maid. 

Faint, breathless, thus she pray’d, nor pray’d in vain; 

‘Ah Cynthia! ah tho’ banish’d from thy train, 

‘Let me, O let me, to the shades repair, 

‘My native shades there weep, and murmur there. 

She said, and melting as in tears she lay, 

In a soft, silver stream dissolv’d away. 

The silver stream her virgin coldness keeps, 

For ever murmurs, and for ever weeps; 

Still bears the name the hapless virgin bore, 

And bathes the forest where she rang’d before. 

In her chaste current oft’ the Goddess laves, 

And with celestial tears augments the waves. 

Oft’ in her glass the musing shepherd spies 

The headlong mountains and the downward skies, 

The watry landskip of the pendant woods, 

And absent trees that tremble in the floods; 

In the clear azure gleam the flocks are seen, 

And floating forests paint the waves with green. 

Thro’ the fair scene rowl slow the ling’ring streams, 

Then foaming pour along, and rush into the Thames. 

Thou too, great father of the British floods! 

With joyful pride survey’st our lofty woods; 

Where tow’ring oaks their spreading honours rear, 

And future navies on thy shores appear. 

Not Neptune’s self from all his streams receives 

A wealthier tribute, than to thine he gives. 

No seas so rich, so gay no banks appear, 

No lake so gentle, and no spring so clear. 

Not fabled Po more swells the poet’s lays, 

While thro’ the skies his shining current strays, 

Than thine, which visits Windsor’s fam’d abodes, 

To grace the mansion of our earthly Gods: 

Nor all his stars a brighter lustre show, 

Than the fair nymphs that grace thy side below: 

Here Jove himself, subdu’d by beauty still, 

Might change Olympus for a nobler hill. 

Happy the man whom this bright Court approves, 

His Sov’reign favours, and his Country loves: 

Happy next him, who to these shades retires, 

Whom Nature charms, and whom the Muse inspires; 

Whom humbler joys of home-felt quiet please, 

Successive study, exercise, and ease. 

He gathers health from herbs the forest yields, 

And of their fragrant physic spoils the fields: 

With chymic art exalts the min’ral pow’rs, 

And draws the aromatic souls of flow’rs: 

Now marks the course of rolling orbs on high; 

O’er figur’d worlds now travels with his eye: 

Of ancient writ unlocks the learned store, 

Consults the dead, and lives past ages o’er: 

Or wand’ring thoughtful in the silent wood, 

Attends the duties of the wise and good, 

T’observe a mean, be to himself a friend, 

To follow nature, and regard his end; 

Or looks on heav’n with more than mortal eyes, 

Bids his free soul expatiate in the skies, 

Amid her kindred stars familiar roam, 

Survey the region, and confess her home! 

Such was the life great Scipio once admir’d, 

Thus Atticus, and Trumbal thus retir’d. 

Ye sacred Nine! that all my soul possess, 

Whose raptures fire me, and whose visions bless, 

Bear me, oh bear me to sequester’d scenes, 

The bow’ry mazes, and surrounding greens; 

To Thames’s banks which fragrant breezes fill, 

Or where ye Muses sport on Cooper’s hill. 

(On Cooper’s hill eternal wreaths shall grow, 

While lasts the mountain, or while Thames shall flow) 

I seem thro’ consecrated walks to rove, 

I hear soft music die along the grove; 

Led by the sound, I roam from shade to shade, 

By god-like Poets venerable made: 

Here his first lays majestic Denham sung; 

There the last numbers flow’d from Cowley’s tongue. 

O early lost! what tears the river shed, 

When the sad pomp along his banks was led? 

His drooping swans on ev’ry note expire, 

And on his willows hung each Muse’s lyre. 

Since fate relentless stop’d their heav’nly voice, 

No more the forests ring, or groves rejoice; 

Who now shall charm the shades, where Cowley strung

His living harp, and lofty Denham sung? 

But hark! the groves rejoice, the forest rings! 

Are these reviv’d? or is it Granville sings? 

‘Tis yours, my Lord, to bless our soft retreats, 

And call the Muses to their ancient seats; 

To paint anew the flow’ry sylvan scenes, 

To crown the forests with immortal greens, 

Make Windsor-hills in lofty numbers rise, 

And lift her turrets nearer to the skies; 

To sing those honours you deserve to wear, 

And add new lustre to her silver star. 

Here noble Surrey felt the sacred rage, 

Surrey, the Granville of a former age: 

Matchless his pen, victorious was his lance, 

Bold in the lists, and graceful in the dance: 

In the same shades the Cupids tun’d his lyre, 

To the same notes, of love, and soft desire: 

Fair Geraldine, bright object of his vow, 

Then fill’d the groves, as heav’nly Myra now. 

Oh would’st thou sing what Heroes Windsor bore, 

What Kings first breath’d upon her winding shore, 

Or raise old warriours, whose ador’d remains 

In weeping vaults her hallow’d earth contains! 

With Edward’s acts adorn the shining page, 

Stretch his long triumphs down thro’ ev’ry age, 

Draw Monarchs chain’d, and Cressi’s glorious field, 

The lillies blazing on the regal shield: 

Then, from her roofs when Verrio’s colours fall, 

And leave inanimate the naked wall, 

Still in thy song should vanquish’d France appear, 

And bleed for ever under Britain’s spear. 

Let softer strains ill-fated Henry mourn, 

And palms eternal flourish round his urn, 

Here o’er the martyr-King the marble weeps, 

And fast beside him, once-fear’d Edward sleeps: 

Whom not th’ extended Albion could contain, 

From old Belerium to the northern main, 

The grave unites; where ev’n the Great find rest, 

And blended lie th’ oppressor and th’ opprest! 

Make sacred Charles’s tomb for ever known, 

(Obscure the place, and un-inscrib’d the stone) 

Oh fact accurst! what tears has Albion shed, 

Heav’ns, what new wounds! and how her old have bled? 

She saw her sons with purple deaths expire, 

Her sacred domes involv’d in rolling fire, 

A dreadful series of intestine wars, 

Inglorious triumphs, and dishonest scars. 

At length great Anna said ‘Let Discord cease!’ 

She said, the World obey’d, and all was Peace! 

In that blest moment, from his oozy bed 

Old father Thames advanc’d his rev’rend head. 

His tresses drop’d with dews, and o’er the stream 

His shining horns diffus’d a golden gleam: 

Grav’d on his urn, appear’d the Moon that guides 

His swelling waters, and alternate tydes; 

The figur’d streams in waves of silver roll’d, 

And on their banks Augusta rose in gold. 

Around his throne the sea-born brothers stood, 

Who swell with tributary urns his flood: 

First the fam’d authors of his ancient name, 

The winding Isis and the fruitful Tame: 

The Kennet swift, for silver eels renown’d; 

The Loddon slow, with verdant alders crown’d; 

Cole, whose clear streams his flow’ry islands lave; 

And chalky Wey, that rolls a milky wave: 

The blue, transparent Vandalis appears; 

The gulphy Lee his sedgy tresses rears; 

And sullen Mole, that hides his diving flood; 

And silent Darent, stain’d with Danish blood. 

High in the midst, upon his urn reclin’d, 

(His sea-green mantle waving with the wind) 

The God appear’d: he turn’d his azure eyes 

Where Windsor-domes and pompous turrets rise; 

Then bow’d and spoke; the winds forget to roar, 

And the hush’d waves glide softly to the shore. 

Hail, sacred Peace! hail long-expected days, 

That Thames’s glory to the stars shall raise! 

Tho’ Tyber’s streams immortal Rome behold, 

Tho’ foaming Hermus swells with tydes of gold, 

From heav’n itself tho’ sev’n-fold Nilus flows, 

And harvests on a hundred realms bestows; 

These now no more shall be the Muse’s themes, 

Lost in my fame, as in the sea their streams. 

Let Volga’s banks with iron squadrons shine, 

And groves of lances glitter on the Rhine, 

Let barb’rous Ganges arm a servile train; 

Be mine the blessings of a peaceful reign. 

No more my sons shall dye with British blood 

Red Iber’s sands, or Ister’s foaming flood; 

Safe on my shore each unmolested swain 

Shall tend the flocks, or reap the bearded grain; 

The shady empire shall retain no trace 

Of war or blood, but in the sylvan chace; 

The trumpet sleep, while chearful horns are blown, 

And arms employ’d on birds and beasts alone. 

Behold! th’ ascending Villa’s on my side, 

Project long shadows o’er the crystal tyde. 

Behold! Augusta’s glitt’ring spires increase, 

And temples rise, the beauteous works of Peace. 

I see, I see where two fair cities bend 

Their ample bow, a new White-ball ascend! 

There mighty nations shall enquire their doom, 

The world’s great Oracle in times to come; 

There Kings shall sue, and suppliant States be seen 

Once more to bend before a British Queen. 

Thy trees, fair Windsor! now shall leave their woods, 

And half thy forests rush into my floods, 

Bear Britain’s thunder, and her Cross display, 

To the bright regions of the rising day; 

Tempt icy seas, where scarce the waters roll, 

Where clearer flames glow round the frozen Pole; 

Or under southern skies exalt their sails, 

Led by new stars, and borne by spicy gales! 

For me the balm shall bleed, and amber flow, 

The coral redden, and the ruby glow, 

The pearly shell its lucid globe infold, 

And Phoebus warm the ripening ore to gold. 

The time shall come, when free as seas or wind 

Unbounded Thames shall flow for all mankind, 

Whole nations enter with each swelling tyde, 

And seas but join the regions they divide; 

Earth’s distant ends our glory shall behold, 

And the new world launch forth to seek the old. 

Then ships of uncouth form shall stem the tyde, 

And feather’d people croud my wealthy side, 

And naked youths and painted chiefs admire 

Our speech, our colour, and our strange attire! 

Oh stretch thy reign, fair Peace! from shore to shore, 

‘Till Conquest cease, and slav’ry be no more; 

‘Till the freed Indians in their native groves 

Reap their own fruits, and woo their sable loves, 

Peru once more a race of Kings behold, 

And other Mexico’s be roof’d with gold. 

Exil’d by thee from earth to deepest hell, 

In brazen bonds shall barb’rous Discord dwell: 

Gigantic Pride, pale Terror, gloomy Care, 

And mad Ambition, shall attend her there: 

There purple Vengeance bath’d in gore retires, 

Her weapons blunted, and extinct her fires: 

There hateful Envy her own snakes shall feel, 

And Persecution mourn her broken wheel: 

There Faction roar, Rebellion bite her chain, 

And gasping Furies thirst for blood in vain. 

Here cease thy flight, nor with unhallow’d lays 

Touch the fair fame of Albion’s golden days: 

The thoughts of Gods let Granville’s verse recite, 

And bring the scenes of opening fate to light. 

My humble Muse, in unambitious strains, 

Paints the green forests and the flow’ry plains, 

Where Peace descending bids her olives spring, 

And scatters blessings from her dove-like wing. 

Ev’n I more sweetly pass my careless days, 

Pleas’d in the silent shade with empty praise; 

Enough for me, that to the list’ning swains 

First in these fields I sung the sylvan strains.

Poem – Weeping – Alexander Pope

While Celia’s Tears make sorrow bright, 

Proud Grief sits swelling in her eyes; 

The Sun, next those the fairest light, 

Thus from the Ocean first did rise: 

And thus thro’ Mists we see the Sun, 

Which else we durst not gaze upon. 

These silver drops, like morning dew, 

Foretell the fervour of the day: 

So from one Cloud soft show’rs we view, 

And blasting lightnings burst away. 

The Stars that fall from Celia’s eye 

Declare our Doom in drawing nigh. 

The Baby in that sunny Sphere 

So like a Phaeton appears, 

That Heav’n, the threaten’d World to spare, 

Thought fit to drown him in her tears; 

Else might th’ ambitious Nymph aspire, 

To set, like him, Heav’n too on fire.

Poem – Two Birds: A Dialogue – Mao Zedong 

The roc wings fanwise,

 Soaring ninety thousand li 

And rousing a raging cyclone. 

The blue sky on his back, he looks down 

To survey Man’s world with its towns and cities. 

Gunfire licks the heavens, 

Shells pit the earth. 

A sparrow in his bush is scared stiff.. 

‘This is one hell of a mess! 

O I want to flit and fly away.’ 

‘Where, may I ask?’ 

The sparrow replies, 

‘To a jewelled palace in elfland’s hills. 

Don’t you know a triple pact was signed 

Under the bright autumn moon two years ago? 

There’ll be plenty to eat, 

Potatoes piping hot, 

Beef-filled goulash.’ 

‘Stop your windy nonsense! 

Look, the world is being turned upside down.’

Poem – Winter Clouds – Mao Zedong

Winter clouds snow-laden, cotton fluff flying, 

None or few the unfallen flowers. 

Chill waves sweep through steep skies, 

Yet earth’s gentle breath grows warm. 

Only heroes can quell tigers and leopards 

And wild bears never daunt the brave. 

Plum blossoms welcome the whirling snow; 

Small wonder flies freeze and perish.

Poem – Yellow Crane Tower – Mao Zedong

Wide, wide flow the nine streams through the land, Dark, dark threads the line from south to north. 

Blurred in the thick haze of the misty rain 

Tortoise and Snake hold the great river locked. 
The yellow crane is gone, who knows whither? 

Only this tower remains a haunt for visitors. 

I pledge my wine to the surging torrent, 

The tide of my heart swells with the waves.

Poem – Bibhishan’s Departure – Valmiki

This to me Bibhishan answered, as with fiery comrades four, Rose in arms the wrathful Raksha and in fury rushed before. 
‘But I spare thee, roval Ravan, angry words thy lips have passed, 

False and lying and unfounded is the censure thou hast cast! 
True Bibhishan sought thy safety, strove to save his elder’s reign,- 

Speed thee now to thy destruction since all counsel is in vain, 
Many are thy smiling courtiers who with honeyed speech beguile,- 

Few are they with truth and candour speak their purpose void of guile! 
Blind to reason and to wisdow, Ravan seek thy destined fate, 

For thy impious lust of woman, for thy dark unrighteous hate, 
Blind to danger and destruction, deaf to word of counsel given, 

By the flaming shaft, of Rama thou shalt die by will of Heaven! 
Yet, O! yet, my king and elder, let me plead with latest breath, 

‘Gainst the death of race and kismen, ‘gainst my lord and brother’s death, 
Ponder yet, O Raksha monarch, save thy race and save thy own, 

Ravan, part we now ever,-guard thy ancient sea-girt throne!’

Poem – Bharat’s Entreaty And Rama’s Reply – Valmiki 

‘Speak, my true, my faithful Bharat,’ so the righteous Rama cried, 

‘Wherefore to this jungle dwelling hast thou from Ayodhya hied, 
Speak, my fond and loving brother, if our father bade thee come, 

Leaving throne and spacious empire in this wilderness to roam? 
Heir and Regent of Kosala! Dost thou tend our father well, 

And obey the lofty mandate from his royal lips that fell, 
And the ancient Dasa-ratha, glorious still in regal might, 

Doth he pass his bright life’s evening in each pure and holy rite? 
Doth my mother, Queen Kausalya, still for Rama wet her eye, 

And the gentle Queen Sumitra for her banished Lakshman sigh, 
Doth the peerless Queen Kaikeyi pass her days in duties fair, 

Guard her Bharat’s mighty empire, tend him with a mother’s care? 
Is each holy rite and homage to the Gods and Fathers done, 

Is the honour due to elders rendered by each duteous son, 
Do thy warriors guard thy kingdom as of yore with matchless skill, 

And with counsel deep and duteous do thy min’sters serve thy will? 
Rich thy fields in corn and produce fed by rivers broad and deep, 

Rich thy green unending pastures with the kine and fattened sheep, 
Tend the herdsman and his cattle, tend the tiller of the soil, 

Watch and help with all thy bounty workmen in their peaceful toil, 
For the monarch’s highest duty is to serve his people’s weal 

And the ruler’s richest glory is to labour and to heal! 
Guard thy forts with sleepless caution with the engines of the war, 

With the men who shoot the arrow and who drive the flying car, 
Guard Kosala’s royal treasure, make thy gifts of wealth and food, 

Not to lords and proud retainers, but to worthy and the good! 
Reader justice pure and spotless as befits thy royal line, 

And to save the good and guiltless, Bharat, be it ever thine, 
For the tears of suffering virtue wither like the thunder levin, 

And they slay our men and cattle like the wrath of righteous heaven, 
Fruitful be thy lore of Veda, fruitful be each pious rite, 

Be thy queen a fruitful mother, be thy empire full of might!’ 
Weeping, weeping, Bharat answered Dasa-ratha’s eldest son, 

‘Dasa-ratha walks the bright sky, for his earthly task is done! 
For impelled by Queen Kaikeyi to the woods he bade thee go, 

And his spotless fame was clouded and his bosom sank in woe, 
And my mother, late repenting, weeps her deed of deepest shame, 

Weeps her wedded lord departed, and a woman’s tarnished fame! 
Thou alone canst wipe this insult by a deed of kindness done, 

Rule o’er Dasa-ratha’s empire, Dasa-ratha’s eldest son, 
Weeping queens and loyal subjects supplicate thy noble grace, 

Rule o’er Raghu’s ancient empire, son of Raghu’s royal race! 
For our ancient Law ordaineth and thy Duty makes it plain, 

Eldest-born succeeds his father as the king of earth and main, 
By the fair Earth loved and welcomed, Rama, be her wedded lord, 

As by planet-jewelled Midnight is the radiant Moon adored! 
And thy father’s ancient min’sters and thy courtiers faithful still, 

Wait to do thy righteous mandate and to serve thy royal will, 
As a pupil, as a brother, as a slave, I seek thy grace, 

Come and rule thy father’s empire, king of Raghu’s royal race!’ 
Weeping, on the feet of Rama, Bharat placed his lowly head, 

Weeping for his sire departed, tears of sorrow Rama shed, 
Then he raised his loving brother with an elder’s deathless love, 

Sorrow wakes our deepest kindness and our holiest feelings prove! 
‘But I may not,’ answered Rama, ‘seek Ayodhya’s ancient throne, 

For a righteous father’s mandate duteous son may not disown, 
And I may not, gentle brother, break the word of promise given, 

To a king and to a father who is now a saint in heaven! 
Not on thee, nor on thy mother, rests the censure or the blame, 

Faithful to his father’s wishes Rama to the forest came, 
For the son and duteous consort serve the father and the lord, 

Higher than an empire’s glory is a father’s spoken word! 
All inviolate is his mandate,-on Ayodhya’s jewelled throne, 

Or in pathless woods and jungle Rama shall his duty own, 
All inviolate is the blessing by a loving mother given, 

For she blessed my life in exile like a pitying saint of heaven! 
Thou shalt rule the kingdom, Bharat, guard our loving people well, 

Clad in wild bark and in deer-skin I shall in the forests dwell, 
So spake saintly Dasa-ratha in Ayodhya’s palace hall, 

And a righteous father’s mandate duteous son may not recall!’

Poem – Ayodrya, The Righteous City – Valmiki 

Rich in royal worth and valour, rich in holy Vedic lore, 

Dasa-ratha ruled his empire in the happy days of yore, 
Loved of men in fair Ayodhya, sprung of ancient Solar Race, 

Royal rishi in his duty, saintly rishi in his grace, 
Great as INDRA in his prowess, bounteous as KUVERA kind, 

Dauntless deeds subdued his foemen, lofty faith subdued his mind! 
Like the ancient monarch Manu, father of the human race, 

Dasa-ratha ruled his people with a father’s loving grace, 
Truth and Justice swayed each action and each baser motive quelled 

People’s Love and Monarch’s Duty every thought and deed impelled, 
And his town like INDRA’S city,-tower and dome and turret brave- 

Rose in proud and peerless beauty on Sarayu’s limpid wave! 
Peaceful lived the righteous people, rich in wealth in merit high, 

Envy dwelt not in their bosoms and their accents shaped no lie, 
Fathers with their happy households owned their cattle, corn, and gold, 

Galling penury and famine in Ayodhya had no hold, 
Neighbours lived in mutual kindness helpful with their ample wealth, 

None who begged the wasted refuse, none who lived by fraud and stealth! 
And they wore the gem and earring, wreath and fragrant sandal paste, 

And their arms were decked with bracelets, and their necks with nishkas graced, 
Cheat and braggart and deceiver lived not in the ancient town, 

Proud despiser of the lowly wore not insults in their frown, 
Poorer fed not on the richer, hireling friend upon the great, 

None with low and lying accents did upon the proud man wait 
Men to plighted vows were faithful, faithful was each loving wife, 

Impure thought and wandering fancy stained not holy wedded life, 
Robed in gold and graceful garments, fair in form and fair in face, 

Winsome were Ayodhya’s daughters, rich in wit and woman’s grace 
Twice-born men were free from passion, lust of gold and impure greed, 

Faithful to their Rites and Scriptures, truthful in their word and deed, 
Altar blazed in every mansion, from each home was bounty given, 

‘Stooped no man to fulsome falsehood, questioned none the will of Heaven. 
Kshatras bowed to holy Brahmans, Vaisyas to the Kshatras bowed 

Toiling Sudras lived by labour, of their honest duty proud, 
To the Gods and to the Fathers, to each guest in virtue trained, 

Rites were done with true devotion as by holy writ ordained, 
Pure each caste in due observance, stainless was each ancient rite, 

And the nation thrived and prospered by its old and matchless might, 
And each man in truth abiding lived a long and peaceful life, 

With his sons and with his grandsons, with his loved and honoured wife. 
Thus was ruled the ancient city by her monarch true and bold, 

As the earth was ruled by Mann in the misty days of old, 
Troops who never turned in battle, fierce as fire and strong and brave, 

Guarded well her lofty ramparts as the lions guard the cave. 
Steeds like INDRA’S in their swiftness came from far Kamboja’s land, 

From Vanaya and Vahlika and from Sindhu’s rock-bound strand, 
Elephants of mighty stature from the Vindhya mountains came, 

Or from deep and darksome forests round Himalay’s peaks of fame, 
Matchless in their mighty prowess, peerless in their wondrous speed, 

Nobler than the noble tuskers sprung from high celestial breed. 
Thus Ayodhya, ‘virgin city,’-faithful to her haughty name,- 

Ruled by righteous Dasa-ratha won a world-embracing fame, 
Strong-barred gates and lofty arches, tower and dome and turret high 

Decked the vast and peopled city fair as mansions of the sky. 
Queens of proud and peerless beauty born of houses rich in fame, 

Loved of royal Dasa-ratha to his happy mansion came, 
Queen Kausalya blessed with virtue true and righteous Rama bore, 

Queen Kaikeyi young and beauteous bore him Bharat rich in lore, 
Queen Simitra bore the bright twins, Lakshman and Satruglina bold, 

Four brave princes served their father in the happy days of old!

Poem – A Little Mistake – Henry Lawson 

Tis a yarn I heard of a new-chum ‘trap’ 
On the edge of the Never-Never, 

Where the dead men lie and the black men lie, 

And the bushman lies for ever. 

’Twas the custom still with the local blacks 

To cadge in the ‘altogether’— 

They had less respect for our feelings then, 

And more respect for the weather. 
The trooper said to the sergeant’s wife: 

‘Sure, I wouldn’t seem unpleasant; 

‘But there’s women and childer about the place, 

‘And—barrin’ a lady’s present— 
‘There’s ould King Billy wid niver a stitch 

‘For a month—may the drought cremate him!— 

‘Bar the wan we put in his dirty head, 

‘Where his old Queen Mary bate him. 
‘God give her strength!—and a peaceful reign— 

‘Though she flies in a bit av a passion 

‘If ony wan hints that her shtoyle an’ luks 

‘Are a trifle behind the fashion. 
‘There’s two of the boys by the stable now— 

‘Be the powers! I’ll teach the varmints 

‘To come wid nought but a shirt apiece, 

‘And wid dirt for their nayther garmints. 
‘Howld on, ye blaggards! How dare ye dare 

‘To come widin sight av the houses?— 

‘I’ll give ye a warnin’ all for wance 

‘An’ a couple of ould pair of trousers.’ 
They took the pants as a child a toy, 

The constable’s words beguiling 

A smile of something beside their joy; 

And they took their departure smiling. 
And that very day, when the sun was low, 

Two blackfellows came to the station; 

They were filled with the courage of Queensland rum 

And bursting with indignation. 
The constable noticed, with growing ire, 

They’d apparently dressed in a hurry; 

And their language that day, I am sorry to say, 

Mostly consisted of ‘plurry.’ 
The constable heard, and he wished himself back 

In the land of the bogs and the ditches— 

‘You plurry big tight-britches p’liceman, what for 

‘You gibbit our missuses britches?’ 
And this was a case, I am bound to confess, 

Where civilisation went under; 

Had one of the gins been less modest in dress 

He’d never have made such a blunder. 
And here let the moral be duly made known, 

And hereafter signed and attested: 

We should place more reliance on that which is shown 

And less upon what is suggested.

Poem – A Dirge of Joy – Henry Lawson

Oh! this is a joyful dirge, my friends, and this is a hymn of praise; 
And this is a clamour of Victory, and a pæan of Ancient Days. 

It isn’t a Yelp of the Battlefield; nor a Howl of the Bounding Wave, 

But an ode to the Things that the War has Killed, and a lay of the Festive Grave. 

’Tis a triolet of the Tomb, you bet, and a whoop because of Despair, 

And it’s sung as I stand on my hoary head and wave my legs in the air! 

Oh! I dance on the grave of the Suffragette (I dance on my hands and dome), 

And the Sanctity-of-the-Marriage-Tie and the Breaking-Up-of-the-Home. 

And I dance on the grave of the weird White-Slave that died when the war began; 

And Better-Protection-for-Women-and-Girls, and Men-Made-Laws-for-Man! 
Oh, I dance on the Liberal Lady’s grave and the Labour Woman’s, too; 

And the grave of the Female lie and shriek, with a dance that is wild and new. 

And my only regret in this song-a-let as I dance over dale and hill, 

Is the Yarn-of-the-Wife and the Tale-of-the-Girl that never a war can kill. 
Oh, I dance on the grave of the want-ter-write, and I dance on the Tomb of the Sneer, 

And poet-and-author-and-critic, too, who used to be great round here. 

But “Old Mother Often” (“Mother of Ten”) and “Parent” escaped from the grave— 

And “Pro Bono Publico” liveth again, as “Victis,” or “Honour the Brave.” 
Oh, lightly I danced upon Politics’ grave where the Friend of the Candidate slept, 

And over the Female Political Devil, oh wildly I bounded and leapt. 

But this dance shall be nothing compared with the dance of the spook of the writer who sings 

On the grave of the bard and the Bulletin’s grave, out there at the Finish of Things!

Poem – A Prouder Man Than You – Henry Lawson

If you fancy that your people came of better stock than mine, 
If you hint of higher breeding by a word or by a sign, 

If you’re proud because of fortune or the clever things you do — 

Then I’ll play no second fiddle: I’m a prouder man than you! 
If you think that your profession has the more gentility, 

And that you are condescending to be seen along with me; 

If you notice that I’m shabby while your clothes are spruce and new — 

You have only got to hint it: I’m a prouder man than you! 
If you have a swell companion when you see me on the street, 

And you think that I’m too common for your toney friend to meet, 

So that I, in passing closely, fail to come within your view — 

Then be blind to me for ever: I’m a prouder man than you! 
If your character be blameless, if your outward past be clean, 

While ’tis known my antecedents are not what they should have been, 

Do not risk contamination, save your name whate’er you do — 

`Birds o’ feather fly together’: I’m a prouder bird than you! 
Keep your patronage for others! Gold and station cannot hide 

Friendship that can laugh at fortune, friendship that can conquer pride! 

Offer this as to an equal — let me see that you are true, 

And my wall of pride is shattered: I am not so proud as you!

Poem – Faces In The Street – Henry Lawson 

They lie, the men who tell us in a loud decisive tone 
That want is here a stranger, and that misery’s unknown; 

For where the nearest suburb and the city proper meet 

My window-sill is level with the faces in the street — 

Drifting past, drifting past, 

To the beat of weary feet — 

While I sorrow for the owners of those faces in the street. 
And cause I have to sorrow, in a land so young and fair,

To see upon those faces stamped the marks of Want and Care; 

I look in vain for traces of the fresh and fair and sweet 

In sallow, sunken faces that are drifting through the street — 

Drifting on, drifting on, 

To the scrape of restless feet; 

I can sorrow for the owners of the faces in the street. 
In hours before the dawning dims the starlight in the sky 

The wan and weary faces first begin to trickle by, 

Increasing as the moments hurry on with morning feet, 

Till like a pallid river flow the faces in the street — 

Flowing in, flowing in, 

To the beat of hurried feet — 

Ah! I sorrow for the owners of those faces in the street. 
The human river dwindles when ’tis past the hour of eight, 

Its waves go flowing faster in the fear of being late; 

But slowly drag the moments, whilst beneath the dust and heat 

The city grinds the owners of the faces in the street — 

Grinding body, grinding soul, 

Yielding scarce enough to eat — 

Oh! I sorrow for the owners of the faces in the street. 
And then the only faces till the sun is sinking down 

Are those of outside toilers and the idlers of the town, 

Save here and there a face that seems a stranger in the street, 

Tells of the city’s unemployed upon his weary beat — 

Drifting round, drifting round, 

To the tread of listless feet — 

Ah! My heart aches for the owner of that sad face in the street. 
And when the hours on lagging feet have slowly dragged away, 

And sickly yellow gaslights rise to mock the going day, 

Then flowing past my window like a tide in its retreat, 

Again I see the pallid stream of faces in the street — 

Ebbing out, ebbing out, 

To the drag of tired feet, 

While my heart is aching dumbly for the faces in the street. 
And now all blurred and smirched with vice the day’s sad pages end, 

For while the short large hours' toward the longersmall hours’ trend, 

With smiles that mock the wearer, and with words that half entreat, 

Delilah pleads for custom at the corner of the street — 

Sinking down, sinking down, 

Battered wreck by tempests beat — 

A dreadful, thankless trade is hers, that Woman of the Street. 
But, ah! to dreader things than these our fair young city comes, 

For in its heart are growing thick the filthy dens and slums, 

Where human forms shall rot away in sties for swine unmeet, 

And ghostly faces shall be seen unfit for any street — 

Rotting out, rotting out, 

For the lack of air and meat — 

In dens of vice and horror that are hidden from the street. 
I wonder would the apathy of wealthy men endure 

Were all their windows level with the faces of the Poor?

Ah! Mammon’s slaves, your knees shall knock, your hearts in terror beat, 

When God demands a reason for the sorrows of the street, 

The wrong things and the bad things 

And the sad things that we meet 

In the filthy lane and alley, and the cruel, heartless street. 
I left the dreadful corner where the steps are never still,

And sought another window overlooking gorge and hill; 

But when the night came dreary with the driving rain and sleet, 

They haunted me — the shadows of those faces in the street, 

Flitting by, flitting by, 

Flitting by with noiseless feet, 

And with cheeks but little paler than the real ones in the street. 
Once I cried: `Oh, God Almighty! if Thy might doth still endure, 

Now show me in a vision for the wrongs of Earth a cure.’ 

And, lo! with shops all shuttered I beheld a city’s street, 

And in the warning distance heard the tramp of many feet, 

Coming near, coming near, 

To a drum’s dull distant beat, 

And soon I saw the army that was marching down the street. 
Then, like a swollen river that has broken bank and wall, 

The human flood came pouring with the red flags over all, 

And kindled eyes all blazing bright with revolution’s heat, 

And flashing swords reflecting rigid faces in the street. 

Pouring on, pouring on, 

To a drum’s loud threatening beat, 

And the war-hymns and the cheering of the people in the street. 
And so it must be while the world goes rolling round its course, 

The warning pen shall write in vain, the warning voice grow hoarse, 

But not until a city feels Red Revolution’s feet 

Shall its sad people miss awhile the terrors of the street — 

The dreadful everlasting strife 

For scarcely clothes and meat 

In that pent track of living death — the city’s cruel street.

Poem – A Bush Girl – Henry Lawson 

She’s milking in the rain and dark, 

As did her mother in the past. 

The wretched shed of poles and bark, 

Rent by the wind, is leaking fast. 

She sees the “home-roof” black and low, 

Where, balefully, the hut-fire gleams— 

And, like her mother, long ago, 

She has her dreams; she has her dreams. 

The daybreak haunts the dreary scene, 

The brooding ridge, the blue-grey bush, 

The “yard” where all her years have been, 

Is ankle-deep in dung and slush; 

She shivers as the hour drags on, 

Her threadbare dress of sackcloth seems— 

But, like her mother, years agone, 

She has her dreams; she has her dreams. 
The sullen “breakfast” where they cut 

The blackened “junk.” The lowering face, 

As though a crime were in the hut, 

As though a curse was on the place; 

The muttered question and reply, 

The tread that shakes the rotting beams, 

The nagging mother, thin and dry— 

God help the girl! She has her dreams. 
Then for “th’ separator” start, 

Most wretched hour in all her life, 

With “horse” and harness, dress and cart, 

No Chinaman would give his “wife”; 

Her heart is sick for light and love, 

Her face is often fair and sweet, 

And her intelligence above 

The minds of all she’s like to meet. 
She reads, by slush-lamp light, may be, 

When she has dragged her dreary round, 

And dreams of cities by the sea 

(Where butter’s up, so much the pound), 

Of different men from those she knows, 

Of shining tides and broad, bright streams; 

Of theatres and city shows, 

And her release! She has her dreams. 
Could I gain her a little rest, 

A little light, if but for one, 

I think that it would be the best 

Of any good I may have done. 

But, after all, the paths we go 

Are not so glorious as they seem, 

And—if t’will help her heart to know— 

I’ve had my dream. ’Twas but a dream.

Poem –  Having Crossed The River – Kabir 

Having crossed the river, 

where will you go, O friend? 

There’s no road to tread, 

No traveler ahead, 

Neither a beginning, nor an end. 

There’s no water, no boat, no boatman, no cord; 

No earth is there, no sky, no time, no bank, no ford. 

You have forgotten the Self within, 

Your search in the void will be in vain; 

In a moment the life will ebb 

And in this body you won’t remain. 

Be ever conscious of this, O friend, 

You’ve to immerse within your Self; 

Kabir says, salvation you won’t then need, 

For what you are, you would be indeed.

सत्य संदेश – लेखनाथ पौड्याल 

थोत्रो पाटी उज्यालो, मलिन तृणकुटी, कन्दरा झन् उज्यालो

भिक्षा भारी उज्यालो, अझ वन वनको साग सिस्नु उज्यालो।

फयाङ्लो गुन्द्री उज्यालो, वर पर घुम्दा जीर्ण कन्था उज्यालो

तृष्णाको तुच्छ जालो मनबीच नभए जो मिल्यो सो उज्यालो।।

कालो मन्दाकिनीको जल, जलनिधिका मोतिको ज्योति कालो

कालो सौदामिनीको चहक सब शरच्चन्द्रको कान्ति कालो।

कैलाश श्रेणि कालो झलमल गर्ने शु्र्यको बिम्ब कालो

यो सारा सृष्टि कालो मनबिच छ भने दम्भ दुर्भाब कालो।।

मत्ता हात्ती हलुङ्गो, विकट जलधिका ह्वेल माछो हलुङ्गो

जङ्गी बेडा हलुङ्गो, विकट कटकटे रेलगाडी हलुङ्गो।

शैलश्रेणी हलुङ्गो, पृथुतम पृथिवी-पिण्ड सारा हलुङ्गो

यो व्रह्माण्डै हलुङ्गो, जब सब मनको तिर्सना लाग्छ टुङ्गो।।

दोषी माता पिताका बचन गुरुजनादेश नि:शेष दोषी

सत्यात्मा मित्र दोषी गृह परिजनको चाल देखिन्छ दोषी।

पत्नीको प्रेम दोषी अमृतमय मीठा वेदका वाक्य दोषी

यो सारा सृष्टि दोषी विधिवश छ भने आफ्नो दृष्टि दोषी।।

जस्तो मानी धनीका नगिच हरघडी टप्प जोडेर हात

छाती खोलेर गर्छौ हृदय बुझि सदा नम्रता साथ बात।

दु:खीका साथ उस्तै विनयसित सदा मर्म सम्झेर बोल

गर्नै पर्दैन फेरि ब्रत, जप, तपले स्वर्गको मोल तोल।।

Poem – Brother I’ve seen Some – Kabir

Brother, I’ve seen some 
Astonishing sights: 

A lion keeping watch 

Over pasturing cows; 

A mother delivered 

After her son was; 

A guru prostrated 

Before his disciple; 

Fish spawning 

On treetops; 

A cat carrying away 

A dog; 

A gunny-sack 

Driving a bullock-cart; 

A buffalo going out to graze, 

Sitting on a horse; 

A tree with its branches in the earth, 

Its roots in the sky; 

A tree with flowering roots. 
This verse, says Kabir, 

Is your key to the universe. 

If you can figure it out.

Poem – Between The Poles Of The Conscious – Kabir

BETWEEN the poles of the conscious and the unconscious, there has the mind made a swing: Thereon hang all beings and all worlds, and that swing never ceases its sway. 

Millions of beings are there: the sun and the moon in their courses are there: 

Millions of ages pass, and the swing goes on. 

All swing! the sky and the earth and the air and the water; and the Lord Himself taking form: 

And the sight of this has made Kabîr a servant.

Poem – Abode Of The Beloved – Kabir

Oh Companion That Abode Is Unmatched, 

Where My Complete Beloved Is. 
In that Place There Is No Happiness or Unhappiness, 

No Truth or Untruth 

Neither Sin Nor Virtue. 

There Is No Day or Night, No Moon or Sun, 

There Is Radiance Without Light. 
There Is No Knowledge or Meditation 

No Repetition of Mantra or Austerities, 

Neither Speech Coming From Vedas or Books. 

Doing, Not-Doing, Holding, Leaving 

All These Are All Lost Too In This Place. 
No Home, No Homeless, Neither Outside or Inside, 

Micro and Macrocosm Are Non-Existent. 

Five Elemental Constituents and the Trinity Are Both Not There 

Witnessing Un-struck Shabad Sound is Also Not There.
No Root or Flower, Neither Branch or Seed, 

Without a Tree Fruits are Adorning, 

Primordial Om Sound, Breath-Synchronized Soham, 

This and That – All Are Absent, The Breath Too Unknown 
Where the Beloved Is There is Utterly Nothing 

Says Kabir I Have Come To Realize. 

Whoever Sees My Indicative Sign 

Will Accomplish the Goal of Liberation.

नेपाली कथा – सिंह र खरायो

कुनै ठाउँमा एउटा ठूलो वन थियो । वनमा बाघ, सिंह, भालु, हात्ती, गैंडा, खरायो, जरायो, बाँदर आदि थिए । सिंहचाहिँ वनको राजा थियो । सिंहले मनपरी ढङ्गले वनका जनावर मारेर खान्थ्यो ।
एकदिन सबै जनावर एकै ठाउँमा भेला भए । सिंहको आहारा हुन पालैपालो जाने सल्लाह भयो । यो कुरो जनावरहरुले सिंहलाई पनि भने । सिंह पनि दिनदिनै सिकारको खोजीमा जानुनपर्दा खुसी भयो ।

जनावरहरु आ-आफ्ना पालामा सिंहको आहारा हुन जान थाले । एकदिन एउटा खरायोको पालो आयो । “मर्नका लागि किन छिटो जाने ?” भनेर खरायो सिंहकहाँ ढिलो गयो ।

अबेरसम्म केही खान नपाउँदा सिंहलाई खुब भोक लागेको थियो । उसलाई जनावरदेखि निकै रिस उठेको थियो । उसले खरायोलाई देख्नासाथ गर्जेर सोध्यो, “किन यति ढिलो आइस् ?”

खरायोले नरम भएर भन्यो, “महाराज! मलाई हजुरजस्तै सिंहले बाटामा समायो । उसले मलाई खान लागेको थियो । मैले ऊसँग हजुरकहाँ भेट गरेर आउने बाचा गरेँ । अनि मात्र म यहाँ आउन सकेँ ।”

सिंहले अझै गर्जेर भन्यो, “मेरो राज्यमा अर्को सिंह कसरी आयो ? त्यो कहाँ छ, मलाई देखाइहाल् । म त्यसलाई जिउँदो छोड्दिनँ ।”

खरायोले “जो हुकुम महाराज” भनेर सिंहलाई आफू आएको बाटो लिएर गयो । खरायोले सिंहलाई एउटा इनार देखायो । उसले सिंहलाई भन्यो, “महाराज! त्यो यही इनारमा लुकेको छ ।”

सिंहले इनारभित्र हेर्‍यो । उसले इनारमा अर्को सिंह देख्यो । उसलाई त्यो सिंह देखेर रिस उठ्यो । सिंह त्यसलाई मार्न इनारमा हाम फाल्यो । मुर्ख सिंहले आफ्नै छाया पनि चिनेन । ऊ इनारमा डुब्यो ।

जनावरहरुलाई अब सिंहको डर भएन । उनीहरु रमाएर बाँच्न पाउने भए । सबैले खरायोलाई स्याबासी दिए । 

Poem – Chewing Slowly – Kabir 

Chewing slowly, 

Only after I’d eaten

My grandmother, 

Mother, 

Son-in-law, 

Two brothers-in-law, 

And father-in-law 

(His big family included) 

In that order, 

And had for dessert 

The town’s inhabitants, 

Did I find, says Kabir, 

The beloved that I’ve become 

One with.

Poem – Where Do You Search Me – Kabir 

Moko Kahan Dhundhere Bande 
Mein To Tere Paas Mein 

Na Teerath Mein, Na Moorat Mein 

Na Ekant Niwas Mein 

Na Mandir Mein, Na Masjid Mein 

Na Kabe Kailas Mein 

Mein To Tere Paas Mein Bande 

Mein To Tere Paas Mein 

Na Mein Jap Mein, Na Mein Tap Mein 

Na Mein Barat Upaas Mein 

Na Mein Kiriya Karm Mein Rehta 

Nahin Jog Sanyas Mein 

Nahin Pran Mein Nahin Pind Mein 

Na Brahmand Akas Mein 

Na Mein Prakuti Prawar Gufa Mein 

Nahin Swasan Ki Swans Mein 

Khoji Hoye Turat Mil Jaoon 

Ik Pal Ki Talas Mein 

Kahet Kabir Suno Bhai Sadho 

Mein To Hun Viswas Mein 

English Translation: 

Where do you search me? 

I am with you 

Not in pilgrimage, nor in icons 

Neither in solitudes 

Not in temples, nor in mosques 

Neither in Kaba nor in Kailash 

I am with you O man 

I am with you 

Not in prayers, nor in meditation 

Neither in fasting 

Not in yogic exercises 

Neither in renunciation 

Neither in the vital force nor in the body 

Not even in the ethereal space 

Neither in the womb of Nature 

Not in the breath of the breath 

Seek earnestly and discover 

In but a moment of search 

Says Kabir, Listen with care 

Where your faith is, I am there.

Poem – Why was Cupid A Boy – William Blake 

Why was Cupid a boy, 

And why a boy was he? 

He should have been a girl, 

For aught that I can see. 

For he shoots with his bow, 

And the girl shoots with her eye, 

And they both are merry and glad, 

And laugh when we do cry. 

And to make Cupid a boy 

Was the Cupid girl’s mocking plan; 

For a boy can’t interpret the thing 

Till he is become a man. 

And then he’s so pierc’d with cares, 

And wounded with arrowy smarts, 

That the whole business of his life 

Is to pick out the heads of the darts. 

‘Twas the Greeks’ love of war 

Turn’d Love into a boy, 

And woman into a statue of stone– 

And away fled every joy.

कविता – किसानको रहर – लक्ष्मी प्रसाद देवकोटा 

सानो छ खेत, सानो छ बारी, सानै छ जहान 

नगरी काम, पुग्दैन खान, साँझ र बिहान ।।

 बिहानपख झुल्किन्छ घाम देउराली पाखामा 

असारे गीत घन्किन्छ अनि सुरिलो भाकामा ।। 

काँधको शोभा हलो र जुवा हातमा कोदाली 

जीवन धान्न गर्नु नै पर्ने उकाली ओराली ।।

 छुपु र छुपु हिलोमा धान रोपेर छोडौँला 

बनाई कुलो लगाई पानी आएर गोडौँला ।।

भनेर सानी पटुकी रातो बाँधेर झरेकी

धमिलो खोला बाढीले होला कसरी तरेकी !

 गालामा साना पसिना दाना मोतीझैँ खुलेकी

घाम र पानी भोक र तिर्खा कसरी भुलेकी ।  

सुसेली हाली बयेली खेल्छ बतास रातमा

जूनले पोख्छ शीतका थोपा धानका पातमा ।।

 सुनौला बाला झुलेर होला भुइँलाई छोएको

फलेको हाँगो कहिले छ र ननुही रहेको ?  

हिमाल हाँस्छ मिलाई सेता दाँतका लहर

किसान बनी जहान पाल्ने यो मेरो रहर ।।

Poem – A Love Poem for Anyone – John Tansey 

For you, the hapless peruser, 

who happens to thumb upon this page, 

along a dusty shelf of books. 

Was not haphazard at all; 

For the page found your thumb 

as it was fated to be, 

as the effect finds the cause 

and the cause finds you. 

the heart bleeding reader. 
If you would these words for you 

then will it so. 

for the subjective was never anyone 

but the objective was always you, 

the sensual stranger, 

the romanticizing, lusty lover 

who never turned my corner.

Poem – A Gift From The Romantic – John Tansey 

t is in the subtlety 

And not the blunt insult, 

The threat and not the onslaught; 

The implied and not the explicit. 

It is in the first gleaning, 

remembered scents of Spring 

And not the direct, 

Overhead heat of Summer. 

The autumnal dread 

And not the dead of Winter; 

The sweet dream of sleep 

And not the bleak morning after. 

When somewhere between the gift, 

And it’s crumpled paper wrapping, 

Lie an infinity 

Of finite things to be chosen: 

But of a thousand choices 

if I must choose one, 

I would settle, instead, 

For the choice and forego the choosing

दन्त्य कथा – गोपाल प्रसाद रिमाल 

दन्त्यकथाकी राजकुमारी र एक गरीब !

कसरी तिनका ठूला लाम्चिला आँखाहरु

एक जोडी ताराझैं माथिबाट तल झरे

र त्यो गरीबको हृदयमा स्वर्गीय जलन सल्काइदिए ?

फेरि कसरी हिलोको कमलमा परेका

दुई थोपा शीतजस्ता गरीबका आँखामा

स्वर्गले आफ्नो छाया देख्यो ?

ताज्जुबको कुरा छ,

तर यो मीठो कुरा दिन

दन्त्यकथा कन्जुसी गर्दछ

दन्त्यकथा खालि यत्ति भन्छ:

उनीहरुको प्रेम पर्‍यो !

हो, पानी झैं पर्‍यो होला

अनि आगो झैं बल्यो होला ।

राजपथको छोटो हेराहेरमा

मर्यादाशीला राजकुमारीको हेराइ, चलाइबाट तेरो भोक मेट्न

जलन सेलाउने के कुरा पाउँछस् र तँ

स्वर्गको ढुकुटी नै पाएझैं गरेर शरद्को बादलझैं

शिर उच्चा गर्दै हिँड्छस्, ए गरीब !

के तँ फेरि साउनको बादलझैं निचोरिन्नस् ?

भेटको असम्भावनाले पत्थर भएर तेरो मुटु किच्तैन ?

आँधीको बिजुली भएर

तेरो बादलझैं बर्सने छातीलाई कोपर्दैन ?

यस्तो मीठो दर्दको कुरा दिन

दन्त्यकथा कन्जुसी गर्दछ ।

कथाको गरीब गम्भीर छ,

जादूले अर्कै भएजस्तो छ

ऊ हावाजत्तिकै हलुका भएर राजकुमारीको खोपीमा पुग्दछ

उनीहरुको बिहे हुन्छ । 

Poem – A Gift For The Romantic – John Tansey 

A Gift for the Romantic 
It is in the subtlety 

And not the blunt insult, 

The threat and not the onslaught; 

The implied and not the explicit. 

It is in the first gleaning, 

remembered scents of Spring 

And not the direct, 

Overhead heat of Summer. 

The autumnal dread 

And not the dead of Winter; 

The sweet dream of sleep 

And not the bleak morning after. 

When somewhere between the gift, 

And it’s crumpled paper wrapping, 

Lie an infinity 

Of finite things to be chosen: 

But of a thousand choices 

if I must choose one, 

I would settle, instead, 

For the choice and forego the choosing… 

Poem – A Cup of Tea – John Tansey

My brains chemicals 
affords a few moments from my mood 

to rinse out a dirty pot 

pour some cold water 

from a spout 

and turning to the stove, 

light a low flame 

find a tin cup 

two tea bags, honey and some cream 
and I wait… 
Water sizzling around the rim, 

I pull a sleeve over my hand 

lift the hot handle 

warm water pours in the cup 

and dipping the tea bags up and down 

stir them around 

and let it steep 
again, I wait…

Poem – Temple, London (For Maggie Hindley) – Yuyutsu Sharma

Wind howled 

like the trumpet of a fierce Kali 

rushed in through 

the Temple Tube Station 

to slap my face 

to smother the flame 

of my breath 

and blind my vision 

as I soared 

floaing up the steely slope 

of the ecsclators 

in spirit of reaching 

a hillside shrine 

that our goddesses 

always prefer to live on. 
Once up 

out of the Station 

in the freezing cold 

as I exerted to push 

my overcoat up 

my shaking frame 

I saw her there 

on the wet pavement 

out alone in the open 

with a swollen black eye 

and an issue of The Big Issue 

held like a trophy, 

a sacrificial rooster 

against her sagging breast.

Poem – The Fewa Lake – Yuyutsu Sharma 

From the shoulder of a hill 

from a garden restaurant where 

exhausted tourists lie, massaging 

hysteric limbs of a nightmare, 

from dingy tea-shop 

of a grandma, crying from 

the smoke of her charred dreams, 

from the balcony 

of a hut where a blonde Buddhist nun 

sleeps with a local drug addict, 

from Naudada, 

from Lumle, from the luminous sheets 

of the windows of a racing car 

or like a despot 

of once a famished principality, Sarangkot, 

from an airplane 

with nose of snobbery ticking 

the gleaming summits of fishtail 

from the colorful pages 

of a coffee table book, 

from the fury of the goddess 

who created the lake to avenge 

the unkind inhabitants of the valley, 

from the sunken sockets 

of a porter’s eyes where 

magnificent draggers of Himal have grown, 

from the obscene columns 

of a magazine on frozen peaks of Himal, 

printed from the evil ink donated 

by some treacherous NGO, 

from the bedroom of trekking couple, 

about to reach an orgasm in unison, 

from the bleeding eye of a folksinger 

in love with local Sahu’s daughter, 

from the prow of a ferry 

scurrying over surface to measure its secrets, 

from the tip of the fishtail 

where lamblike sun bounces defunct, 

from the unfinished draft 

of this poem that I tear off 

to look at the blue 

of the Eye-lake, Fewa.

Poem – Sagarmatha – Yuyutsu Sharma 

The turquoise lake

that longs to belong to the ocean 

trapped to see 

dazzling face of the Everest. 

The climbers from the world over 

come to see their haggard faces 

in the clear light of her crystal eyes 

before facing the forehead of the Sky 

Glacial 

A hope 

that someday I shall sprout 

like a tree 

on the edge of a remote hillside. 

A hope 

someday a Queen-of-the-Night 

shall bloom in my chest 

and suck all the smoke 

I have inhaled 

in these malignant cities. 

A hope that someday 

a just born brook shall clean 

and wash 

bacteria of greed in me. 

A hope that someday 

a Buddha meditating in the niche of a cairn 

by the heap of the city 

garbage shall shake his limbs 

and walk away towards a village of eternity 

to take another birth 

to save me 

from the shame of becoming a glacier.

Poem – River – Yuyutsu Sharma

Between your marble 

shoulders and my hairy chest 
the river roaring, 

tears, tears, tears… 
Between your mellowing 

mouth and my scented tongue 
a night of flames 

and flesh, flesh, flesh … 
Between your hefty thighs 

and my throbbing hands 
clouds drunk 

from the forests of rhododendrons. 
Between your almond eyes 

and my warm mouth 
rain dropping like pearls 

on the plump leaves of the jungle. 
Between your shimmering skin 

and my dark hair grass greener 
than the greenest parakeet 

growing yellowish from incessant rain. 
Between your nights by 

the impotent pillow of your husband 
and my crazed headpiece 

a poem of spring that shall fill my deep wounds, 
sprouting flowers, flowers, flowers … 
Between your tulips 

and my fragrant pen 
a brain-fever bird’s 

crazed cry, mad, mad, mad… 
Between the sparkle 

of your teeth and my sleep 
a rain coming 

like roar of a starving steam 
in the starless 

summer gloom of the night. 
Between your melon breasts 

and thirst of my soft lips 
the rage of the river 

battering its head against the magic mountains. 
Between your decisions 

and my flickering lamps 
the river mad 

you, you poet, you bastard, go away!

Poem – Mules – Yuyutsu Sharma

On the great Tibetan 

salt route they meet me again 
old forsaken friends… 
On their faces 

fatigue of a drunken sleep 
their lives worn out, 

their legs twisted, shaking 
from carrying 

illustrious flags of bleeding ascents. 
Age long bells clinging 

to them like festering wounds 
beating notes 

of a slavery modernism brings: 
cartons of Iceberg, mineral water bottles, 

solar heaters, Chinese tiles, tin cans, carom boards 
sacks of rice 

and iodized salt from the plains of Nepal Terai. 
Butterflies of 

the terraced fields know their names. 
Singing brooks tempests 

of their breathless climbs. 
Traffic alert 

and time-tested, they climb 
carrying 

dreams of posh peacocks 
pamphlets 

of a secret religious war 
filth 

of an ecologist’s sterile semen 
entire kitchen 

for a cocktail party at the base camp 
defunct development 

agenda of guilty donors 
the West’s weird visions 

lusting for an instant purge. 
Stone steps 

of the mountains embossed 
on their drugged brains, 

like lines of aborted love 
scratched 

on the historic rocks of waterspouts. 
Starry skies 

of the dozing valleys know 
the ache 

of their secret sweat. 
Sunny days 

along the crystal rivers 
taste 

of their bleeding eyes. 
Greatest fiction 

of the struggling lives lost, 
like real mules 

clattering their hooves on the flagstones, 
in circling 

the cruel grandeur 
of blood thirsty 

mule paths around the glacial of Annapurnas.

Poem – Glacier – Yuyutsu Sharma

A hope 

that someday I shall sprout 
like a tree 

on the edge of a remote hillside. 
A hope 

someday a Queen-of-the-Night 
shall bloom in my chest 

and suck all the smoke 
I have inhaled 

in these malignant cities. 
A hope that someday 

a just born brook shall clean 
and wash 

bacteria of greed in me. 
A hope that someday 

a Buddha meditating in the niche of a cairn 
by the heap of the city 

garbage shall shake his limbs 
and walk away towards a village of eternity 

to take another birth 
to save me 

from the shame of becoming a glacier.

Poem – “Nature” Is What We See – Emily Dickinson

668 

“Nature” is what we see— 

The Hill—the Afternoon— 

Squirrel—Eclipse—the Bumble bee— 

Nay—Nature is Heaven— 

Nature is what we hear— 

The Bobolink—the Sea— 

Thunder—the Cricket— 

Nay—Nature is Harmony— 

Nature is what we know— 

Yet have no art to say— 

So impotent Our Wisdom is 

To her Simplicity.

Poem – “Heaven”—Is What I Cannot Reach! – Emily Dickinson  

239 
“Heaven”—is what I cannot reach! 

The Apple on the Tree— 

Provided it do hopeless—hang— 

That—”Heaven” is—to Me! 
The Color, on the Cruising Cloud— 

The interdicted Land— 

Behind the Hill—the House behind— 

There—Paradise—is found! 
Her teasing Purples—Afternoons— 

The credulous—decoy— 

Enamored—of the Conjuror— 

That spurned us—Yesterday!

Poem – “Heaven” Has Different Signs&Mdash, To Me – Emily Dickinson 

575 
“Heaven” has different Signs—to me— 

Sometimes, I think that Noon 

Is but a symbol of the Place— 

And when again, at Dawn, 
A mighty look runs round the World 

And settles in the Hills— 

An Awe if it should be like that 

Upon the Ignorance steals— 
The Orchard, when the Sun is on— 

The Triumph of the Birds 

When they together Victory make— 

Some Carnivals of Clouds— 
The Rapture of a finished Day— 

Returning to the West— 

All these—remind us of the place 

That Men call “paradise”— 
Itself be fairer—we suppose— 

But how Ourself, shall be 

Adorned, for a Superior Grace— 

Not yet, our eyes can see—