Fever\Temperature

“Why isn’t our poetry black
like the the exploding eyeballs
Why doesn’t our poetry sing victorious-
songs from the depths of the forest-
like the irrepressible Niagara
Why doesn’t our poetry gush
with a red swollen face-
like the Amazon in the season of rain”

Attempted translation from Malayalam of Satchidanandan’s “Pani”

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On a feverish evening,
Sitting beside my little daughter’s fever sick bed
We talked louder and louder,
despite her mother’s distressed silence,
that filled the room, about
the heat cycles of ten thousand years,
the earth shaking new songs spreading across continents,
the insane fighter planes of Palestine, melted
and crafted in the hot sun
the rapacious shadow that suddenly swept across the
blushing skies and the hoisted winds of Chile
the striped poems of Mississippi’s black panthers.

Sitting beside my little daughter’s fever sick bed

*****************************************************

Every place was feverish
Even the talkative pharmacists went dumb
Even they had fever

*****************************************************
Sitting beside my little daughter’s fever sick bed
facing each other
You reminded me of the old times.

Home, kids.
Elusive murmur of those old dreams.
I then said “Stop the old story of love,
now is a time of distress and weapons”

“You are stubborn, you grew horns in cruelty,
you burn fire in your eyes, and
you write undecipherable verse”

-Yeah! You are the best judge
My children will hate me.
See the people who pretend they know, are
the ones who know only how to pretend.

Everything had fever:
Men, trees, rivers, everything

*****************************************************

“Why isn’t our poetry black
like the the exploding eyeballs
Why doesn’t our poetry sing victorious-
songs from the depths of the forest-
like the irrepressible Niagara
Why doesn’t our poetry gush
with a red swollen face-
like the Amazon in the season of rain”
– He asked me, sipping the sugarless coffee

I didn’t have to say anything but
turn my gaze on to that termite ridden
map on the wall.
On to the densely populated desolation
of that tiny peninsula, where history
deposited all the toxic waste from
its unending stream.

I asked him back-
‘like do you still love this land’
as if I was asking whether
dewdrops still fall on leaves

‘….but not this India,
not this valley of skeletons.
In the depth of this pyre,
between these cities of bones,
these forgetful hills,
these palace bells,
is there still a fire to be kindled?’

Sitting beside the fever sick bed

********************************************

See, love is not any of these things.
It is somewhere near the pointed end of the spear
that a hunter readies for the wild boar.
Somewhere in the feverish soul of may be Fujiyama,
may be Alps, may be Everest, or
let it be the Calvary hills.

These feather like eyelids,
lean fingers, tiny nipples,
Ha, which is the densest forest
the highest mountain, the deepest ocean?

Sitting beside my little daughter’s fever sick bed

***************************************************************

Do not stop the Prince who leaves the palace.
Unless disease, poverty and death
leads him to a peepul tree.

In the peepul’s trunk cavity,
keep a poisoned arrow:
Even if he cannot bring down suffering with that arrow
he can atleast bring himself down and
save the world from shaving its head.

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