POEMS OF ISMAIL
Telugu language is very rich regarding literature. We are presenting an important poet of Telugu – Ismail. Dr V Kondal Rao’s translations. I hope Kritya’s readers will enjoy the poems of these poets.
Having been told
“We should learn from our experiences”,
I dug open the buried,
Brought back the remains.
Lo! When I assembled
The soft and the hard
They resembled the form of a strange creature.
Said extinct five lakh years ago.
One beautiful belle placing a secret in my hand
Disappeared as quickly as she visited and smiled.
Having fixed it in my hand
Nursed to sprout into a plant, grow into a tree
Climbing its branches, extending into the horizons
I am traveling miles and miles in an unending search, infinite
ME; Stream! O Stream!!
How are you able to sing daily
In that tone of an in-echoing string.
Stream! See! My life is full of stones
How would they melt if I don’t sing?
I am just a swirl-whirl of a dry leaf to her love-A storm.
But this storm is different.
It parts as if not apart.
Takes a dip down like a frown
Returns to the tree like a part again.
AFTER THE HANDS ARE BURNT.
I came to you to pick your shimmer-shines of smiles.
But they pricked me all over.
I thought “All that glistens is soft like a waft”.
I know what should be in, out.
All that I know.
Why is this here, neither “In”, nor “Out”?
It was said.
In her childhood
The doll that she much loved
She threw into the fire pit of patriotism.
When she grew
She threw the nation itself she much loved
Into the fire
For the sake of herself
TREE – MY IDEAL.
Like the bird
Off its bow Ä the tree
Roaming and roving as an arrow oblivious of its aim.
Like the insect
Struck into the earth
As a screw in the cork
In the course of splitting the crust.
Half-insect, in-fixed into the earth.
Half-bird, out-shooting into the sky.
THE TREE THE PARROTS FLOCKED.
At some twitter-twitter outside
I looked out of my window
Wondering at what it could be.
There it was, the tree
All by itself outstretched as ever.
Wherefrom was that sound then
That prattle like stir-whisper?
Lo! The Parrots! My Discovery!
The whole lot of them, a tree-full!
What a fun it was to look at, a kaleidoscopic run
Through those mushy leaves!
As I traced them one after the other with their wobbling cones
Glistening like split-fires, sapphires
It dawned on me that
No, not a tree but an Epic it was
A book of profound verses.
MAN. 0 MAN!
Man, 0 Man!
See the bird that flies over the sky.
Knows no borders,
Stays not like the stay put,
Lays not a border line around.
Man, 0 Man!
See the tree
That has made the birds learn flying.
What is the language in which it sprouts?
The tongue in which it blossoms?
What is the language of the lips of the beloved that sip?
The speech of the hands that around each other unlock
Underneath the extending shades of the
Extents of the casuarina tree.
Man, 0 Man!
See the butterflies, “The Theethers”
The variegated bees and the birds
That swim in the greeneries Ä
The blithe spirits.
Are they not the same Ä their languages
Wherever be they be?
Man, 0 Man!
Sweet shall be sweet sour the sour.
They don’t turn into some other
Addressed in a language some other.
Like my poetry
I don’t know
Whether I am carrying it or it is carrying me.
Between the sky and the road
The wheels roll and rotate in the middle.
Much of it in the sky
Just a little over the land.
After we reach home
Like the airs of the airy eve-teasers, dreaming dandys
Losing much of their much made of valour like a vapour
Dangling one wheel on the land, floating one in the dream
Retires, resolving to go to sleep
Like myself and my poetry.
LEFT BANK, PARIS
One hurls the angler into the river “Seine”
And sits by its shore.
An effort to catch the fish
Fishing in the depths of his eyes.
On the other side of the shore
The effort of the Notre Dame Cathedral
To catch something with its steeple.
On this side of the shore abetting the road
An artist hides having hurled his brush into the paint box.
Don’t know, what subtle and sublime creature to catch?
What for, the watch?
Do you remember the nights that we spent in plains
Away from the habitations,
far away from the inhabitants.
Were not that, we
Who moved over the planks of the sky
Like the chess pawns?
Do you remember
In the love play
Having cast our organs as the bates of passion
It was we, who moved the stars themselves as the play pawns
Throughout the nights.
Where have they gone my darling? Those nights!
The breezes that blew the bugles for us day by day
Don’t do it today.
But the play goes on, the bugles too bugle
Only the players change, the playing.
How to catch the golden glides of those shimmering cheeks
To sift, shift them to a canvass
The gleams too, the glitters
The shimmers, the shin-shines of clothes adorning the arms,
Of nestling necklaces glistening like the golden laces around?
First of all, invite the darkness of the night, the dead dark.
Inflict a few incisions of melancholy in them.
From the wounds so inflicted
The golden color blood wood ooze
Through the gold colour clothes.
Now, the shines would effuse from them to instill, to infuse.
A strange artist of the art of Le Art Ä no Art.
More erasive than raisive.
Removes the bonds that bind and blind our eyes.
Creates space for his brush.
From then on
Our eyes learn
How to put on the new goggles
A new art indeed to look for, to look on.
If a “Yaksha” comes with a bag of coins
Asks me whether I would like to have money or Honey (my son)
I would break his head with a stone
Take money to give it to Honey.
ASSES IN ANANTHAPUR.
Two asses, maybe a combine.
One standing this side, another that side
As if in a trance.
“Who knows which way wisdom would dawn”,
They decide to man both the sides, North and the South
One at one end, another at another.
Suddenly, the one manning the South bursts out into a neigh
Coming back to its original position
Running for some time round and round around.
The second one would neither move nor ask
As to what happened for the other one to so happen
Knowing full well that wisdom would only dawn
From this but not from that end.
THE SONG OF LIBERTY.
The insect binds the bird
That flies across the sky.
The pins of the clock bind the sun
That would not otherwise stop even for a mini- second
The arms of the sea bind the moon
That fleets across as the blocked, the enlockcd.
The turns of the road bind the wheels
That roll themselves around.
The scorching waves of summer bind
The tongue that wouldn’t stop to brag like a nag.
The canal the mute binds the dusk, the sunset
The withered, the smothered, the wrinkles beset.
The roots of the, earth bind the strains of rains
Like the groping fingers in the dark for the ushered in.
The mast of the ship binds the arrow speed of the air
Sweeping in like the shaking, breaking, unmaking.
This man binds that, that man binds this
“Humanity” binds both with a winding rewinding strain.
The eye gaped
Like a pit just dug in the graveyard.
I am a body, unattended like an orphan
Dragged to a corner for want of a `filler’.
Ask any of the blessed ones
Who can fill my eye
For at least an hour.
If someone takes my plea kindly
I will rise to the sky to pardon all the sinners
Like the Christ braving a new birth to save.
Only when you are bare,
Only when for your robes you hardly care
You are mine,
Otherwise of the world.
I will tear the world into pieces someday
Spear `them’ to end up in threads, shreds.
The name of this scoundrel is Ravi.
As soon as the day breaks on him to wake
He creates an illusion.
On a span of hand as small and short as the palm
He means to settle all the beings, all of them as if on a platter.
Awaking them all from their slumber.
In his view, there are only two classes-
The haves, the have-nots.
All my properties are only my two bags.
Even then he won’t let off, keep quiet
Until he mixes
Divides them, among all.
Dragging them, mixing, admixing
He fixes each one’s shares and parts
Giving mine too as a part.
I couldn’t understand so far
Whether we should call him the Naxalite or the Sarvodite.
Maybe both, maybe they are the same
Though not called by the name, the very same.
That girl sped like a speed Äspark.
Plucking off the thorn from her bosom
Called “The World”
Pinned under pain on her, with an alpin.
In the market yard of timber
Logs lie pasted red at the ends
Looking like war-slit bodies,
With one difference
If the other ones are not taken to the graveyard
To lay them to rest
They would decompose, shrink and sink
The more they are let off, to be lone, alone
The more they become seasoned, the merrier, the happier
The more musical, the cultural
A `finery’ to home as furniture.