by Raza Rumi
I just learnt through an email by Ajmal Kamal that the eminent poet Zeeshan Sahil is no more. What could be a better way of remembering him than reading his poetry. I found a translation of his poem A Poem For You here –
A Poem for You
The world is the wrong place to live
if one had to live forever.
Each day life
would become more unbearable.
But the happiness of traveling on the bus
and the melting wax from the burning candle
on your dressing table,
and the smoke collecting on your mirror
make up for everything.
The flowers pressed in my book
grow in to jungle dreams.
Your fingers trace many different paths
in the dust on the Formica.
And in the city with many blank street signs
when the night becomes darker,
your uneasy presence makes
the stars unnecessary, the moon redundant,
and the sea superfluous.
Your memory and the mounting pressure around my
make me pray.
Despite the eternal anger of God toward poets,
my prayer always begins with you.
Translated by Raza Ali Hasan and Christopher Kennedy
More poems here; but I am also posting another one entitled Bookworms below.
They do not
take long to go
from one poem to the next.
if it be written over somewhere
and there be no bridge thereafter—but
no one can stop them.
they get to the last leaf
with the names of evergreen flowers.
If the writer of our poems
in some story
meets his beloved
the last time,
or sees her in some play
for the first time,
it does not take them long
to chew up the curtain,
finish off the love.
—Translated by Alamgir Hashmi