Cleric

A wispy strand of awakedness

Coffee’s vain effort

Washed away by a surge of stupor

Me, left adrift unsurely,

Between hazy non-sleep and incomplete dreams

Clouds drift unsurely,

Their shadows paint

A willy-nilly mottled afternoon

A nondescript day continues to slide

A translation of ैं

At times, the one facing the mirror is me. At others, I am my reflection

Sometimes the dreamer, at others, the dream

An amusing spectacle sometimes, and an amused spectator at others

A children’s playground, or in the gallery of watchers at others

A pointer once, or a target sometimes

Removed from the crowd at times, and marching with the times, at times

I go, at times, where the story takes me,

At other times, I get back to writing an endless song

The dust of the wilderness, or the shelter sometimes

I am the wandering once, and the destination at others

Me, an overflowing carafe, or sometimes, a wineglass lying empty

रू-ब -रू-ए-आइना कभी मैं, कभी खुद ही अक्श अपना

कभी ख्वाब-नोश मैं, कभी खुद ही एक सपना

कभी हूँ मैं तमाशा, और कभी मैं तमाशाई

कभी बाज़ीचा-ए-अतफाल मैं, कभी नाज़रीनों में मैं

कभी मैं इशारा, और कभी निशाना

कभी भीड़ से अलग मैं, कभी हमनफ़स-ए-ज़माना

कभी जा रहा हूँ वहाँ जहां ले चले फ़साना

और कभी लिक्खुं इक बेइन्तिहाँ तराना

कभी गर्द-ए-दश्त हूँ मैं, कभी हूँ मैं आशियाना

कभी हूँ मैं गर्दिश, और कभी मैं ठिकाना

कभी लबलबाता सागर, तो कभी खाली पड़ा पैमाना

We lost humor
Then we lost love
Then we lost poetry

The stray cat
Watched television
As the idiom of loss
Was replayed

We, too, witnessed its death,
The passing away of a revolution
We watched each rerun
Long after it ceased to be fun

Tattered toupe tablecloth interlaced
With somber winter’s frayed edges

Then the music retreated
Then the truth was lost

And then,
We lost the war

नहीं मरणासन्न है ये पौधा
जीवन की झलक दिख रही है मुझे
सींचे जा रहा हूँ, यकीं है मुझे,
मुनाफे का है ये सौदा

ये भी एक नज़रिया है,
मेरे जीने का जरिया है

हक़ीक़त हो कहीं
मेरी राय है यही
तुम ना कहना,
बीच दोनों के दरिया है

Sleepless for hours,
kept thinking,
of You.

Then, suddenly,
out like a light,
kept dreaming,
of You.

Now, awake,
a hand stretches out,
looking,
for You.

Sniff, sniff,
a faint smell,
of You.

Happy, you are around,
I stay in bed,
thinking,
of You.