O I Saw Witchcraft Tonight – Mirabai

O I saw witchcraft tonight
in the region of Braj.
A milking girl going her rounds,
a pot on her head,
came face to face with the Dark One.
My friend, she is babbling,
can no longer say “buttermilk.”
– Come get the Dark One, the Dark One!
A pot full of Shyam! –
In the overgrown lanes
of Vrindavan forest
the Enchanter of Hearts fixed his
eye on this girl,
then departed.
Mira’s lord is hot, lovely
and raven –
tonight she saw witchcraft
at Braj.

poem – the tumult

Spake the suitors, anger-shaken, like a forest tempest-torn,
As Panchala’s courteous monarch came to greet a Brahman-born:

‘Shall he like the grass of jungle trample us in haughty pride,
To a prating priest and Brahman wed the proud and peerless bride?

To our hopes like nourished saplings shall he now the fruit deny,
Monarch proud who insults monarchs sure a traitor’s death shall die,

Honour for his rank we know not, have no mercy for his age,
Perish foe of crownéd monarchs, victim to our righteous rage!

Hath he asked us to his palace, favoured us with royal grace,
Feasted us with princely bounty, but to compass our disgrace,

In this concourse of great monarchs, glorious like a heavenly band,
Doth he find no likely suitor for his beauteous daughter’s hand?

And this rite of swayamtvra, so our sacred laws ordain,
Is for warlike Kshatras only, priests that custom shall not stain,

If this maiden on a Brahman casts her eye, devoid of shame,
Let her expiate her folly in a pyre of blazing flame!

Leave the priestling in his folly sinning through a Brahman’s greed,
For we wage no war with Brahmans and forgive a foolish deed,

Much we owe to holy Brahmans for our realm and wealth and life,
Blood of priest or wise preceptor shall not stain our noble strife,

In the blood of sinful Drupad we the righteous laws maintain,
Such disgrace in future ages monarchs shall not meet again!’

Spake the suitors, tiger-hearted, iron-handed, bold and strong’
Fiereely bent on blood and vengeance blindly rose the maddened throng,

On they came, the angry monarchs, armed for cruel vengeful strife,
Drupad midst the holy Brahmans trembling fled for fear of life,

Like wild elephants of jungle rushed the kings upon their foes,
Calm and stately, stalwart Bhima and the gallant Arjun rose!

With a wilder rage the monarchs viewed these brothers cross their path,
Rushed upon the daring warriors for to slay them in their wrath,

Weaponless was noble Bhima, but in strength like lightning’s brand,
Tore a tree with peerless prowess, shook it as a mighty wand!

And the foe-compelling warrior held that mace of living wood,
Strong as death with deadly weapon, facing all his foes he stood,

Arjun too with godlike valour stood unmoved, his bow in hand,
Side by side the dauntless brothers faced the fierce and fiery band!

Poem – Just for a Moment, Flowers Appear

Just for a moment, flowers appear
on the empty, nearly-spring tree.
Just for a second, wind

through the wild thicket thorns.
Self inside self, You are nothing but me.

Self inside self, I am only You.
What we are together

will never die.
The why and how of this?

What does it matter?

Poem – Jawab E Shik 

Whatever comes out of the heart is effective
It has no wings but has the power of flight
It has holy origins, it aims at elegance

It rises from dust, but has access to the celestial world
My love was seditious, rebellious and clever

My fearless wailing rent through the sky
On hearing it the sun said, ‘Somewhere there is somebody! ‘

The planets said, ‘At the ‘Arsh-i-Bar 

Poem – Krishna Complains About His Older Brother 

O mother mine, Dau (Balram)forever teases me.
you never gave birth to me,

and I was bought in the market.

this is what he tells me

o mother mihne, Dau forever teases me.

fed up of his teasing ways,

I don’t go out to play.

who is your mother?

and who is your father?

again and again he says.

Yasoda’s fair, so also Nanda,

how come you’re so dark?

Dau provokes, the gopas laugh,

and all have such a lark.

me, mother, you want to beat,

but Dau you never even scold,

seeing the anger on Mohan’s face

Yasoda’s joy was untold,

listen Kanha, Balbhadra is naughty,

wicked from his birth,

you’re my son, and I your mother,

I swear by mother cows worth! 

Blind Man – Rohit Singh

I saw a blind man, today.

He was trembling on his way.

There, standing.

I started wondering.

I wanted to help him as much as I can.

But how much can I really help that old man? 

I am using all that I have and all that I can get, 

For my life to be set, 

But I am nowhere near to getting that done.

And I am still looking at the sun.
Even if I work all my life, 

I am not sure enough that, 

I can solve his strife.
But there are some, 

Who don’t need to pay to live.

You know where they are from! ! ! 

There they can’t even see any blind man’s strife, 

In their whole life. 

Meri Bhasa Ke Log – Kedarnath Singh 

मेरी भाषा के लोग

मेरी सड़क के लोग हैं
सड़क के लोग सारी दुनिया के लोग
पिछली रात मैंने एक सपना देखा

कि दुनिया के सारे लोग

एक बस में बैठे हैं

और हिंदी बोल रहे हैं

फिर वह पीली-सी बस

हवा में गायब हो गई

और मेरे पास बच गई सिर्फ़ मेरी हिंदी

जो अंतिम सिक्के की तरह

हमेशा बच जाती है मेरे पास

हर मुश्किल में
कहती वह कुछ नहीं

पर बिना कहे भी जानती है मेरी जीभ

कि उसकी खाल पर चोटों के

कितने निशान हैं

कि आती नहीं नींद उसकी कई संज्ञाओं को

दुखते हैं अक्सर कई विशेषण
पर इन सबके बीच

असंख्य होठों पर

एक छोटी-सी खुशी से थरथराती रहती है यह !
तुम झांक आओ सारे सरकारी कार्यालय

पूछ लो मेज से

दीवारों से पूछ लो

छान डालो फ़ाइलों के ऊंचे-ऊंचे

मनहूस पहाड़

कहीं मिलेगा ही नहीं

इसका एक भी अक्षर

और यह नहीं जानती इसके लिए

अगर ईश्वर को नहीं

तो फिर किसे धन्यवाद दे !
मेरा अनुरोध है —

भरे चौराहे पर करबद्ध अनुरोध —

कि राज नहीं — भाषा

भाषा — भाषा — सिर्फ़ भाषा रहने दो

मेरी भाषा को ।

इसमें भरा है

पास-पड़ोस और दूर-दराज़ की

इतनी आवाजों का बूंद-बूंद अर्क

कि मैं जब भी इसे बोलता हूं

तो कहीं गहरे

अरबी तुर्की बांग्ला तेलुगु

यहां तक कि एक पत्ती के

हिलने की आवाज भी

सब बोलता हूं जरा-जरा

जब बोलता हूं हिंदी
पर जब भी बोलता हूं

यह लगता है —

पूरे व्याकरण में

एक कारक की बेचैनी हूं

एक तद्भव का दुख

तत्सम के पड़ोस में । 

Poem – In Praise Of Henna – Sarojini Naidu 

A KOKILA called from a henna-spray: 

Lira! liree! Lira! liree! 

Hasten, maidens, hasten away 

To gather the leaves of the henna-tree. 

Send your pitchers afloat on the tide, 

Gather the leaves ere the dawn be old, 

Grind them in mortars of amber and gold, 

The fresh green leaves of the henna-tree. 
A kokila called from a henna-spray: 

Lira! liree! Lira! liree! 

Hasten maidens, hasten away 

To gather the leaves of the henna-tree. 

The tilka’s red for the brow of a bride, 

And betel-nut’s red for lips that are sweet; 

But, for lily-like fingers and feet, 

The red, the red of the henna-tree.

Poems – Wandering Singers – Sarojini Naidu 

WHERE the voice of the wind calls our wandering feet, Through echoing forest and echoing street, 

With lutes in our hands ever-singing we roam, 

All men are our kindred, the world is our home. 

Our lays are of cities whose lustre is shed, 

The laughter and beauty of women long dead; 

The sword of old battles, the crown of old kings, 

And happy and simple and sorrowful things. 

What hope shall we gather, what dreams shall we sow? 

Where the wind calls our wandering footsteps we go. 

No love bids us tarry, no joy bids us wait: 

The voice of the wind is the voice of our fate.