Eternal Struggle

Kaifi Azmi

My dreams lie all shattered
Now the pieces fly about, injuring
My eyes
A welcome incision this,
Faith’s dark web had enveloped
My eyes
I could only see that which was shown to me
A prisoner, I could utter
Only that which was told to me
This indeed being the case
Then one day the crimson paradise lay devastated
If demolition had to happen
How come there is concern for me
Blood shoots from my eyes
Oh how am I to draw out tears?

In this world, used to death since time immemorial
History piles up figures of corpses
Day after day
Just when we had alighted from the lofty trees
Had merely placed our first steps on the earth
Then a deluge overtook this vast expanse.

Draft of poem, circa January 1993, New Delhi.
Translated from the Urdu by Mehmood Farooqi.

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