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Bal Sitaram Mardhekar

This Is The Order

This is the order
Of a dark world :
A wick of soot
In the heart of darkness.

A black 'plane
Zooms into darkness
Through black air.

There are no signals
Not red, nor green;
One cannot get lost
In the invisible.

Wherever I go
I am my own partner :
My eyes have turned
Into such walls.

Translated by Dilip Chitre

The Track Says

The track says,
"I myself run"
But the sprinter
Is someone else;
The wind claims,
"In my voice
Huge rocks lie."

In the desert
The palm grows wild
With an itch under its scalp;
The aeroplane
Floats in the sky
Arrogant of its odd stride.

Exploding into cries
They claim they have moved
Mountains out of sleep;
Grafting bone upon bone
They grow
A cosmos out of clinics.

Having worshipped stones for God
Now they worship
Humanity through hymns;
As if cultured words could grow
New complexion on their altar !

You have buried the stone,
So, bury bones;
Vermillion has washed out,
So, let blood;
With the noose of ignorance
Around your necks
Live and let live.

The world in the tube
Lives in the tube
The chemical only feigns
Its lover's quarrel;
Useless is the cause of humanity
Hollow sound the trumpets of power

Translated by Dilip Chitre

Skeletons Laugh

skeletons laugh
flesh plaster-off;
even if you try
very hard to hide it,
finally the teeth
must show their water

ask them what kick
they get out of fucking;
promptly they'll point
at an empty hole
where a healthy penis
should have been.

ask them to show
the signpost of their intellect
their heads' drums
will unleash
the laughter of dry nerves

after all, how wide,
if you ask them,
their territory would be
you'll notice something :
a pale apology for
a fleshy bum.

O innocent Shiva !
wherever you are,
open all your three eyes
and at least now turn
to ashes these
standing skeletons.

Translated by Dilip Chitre

Be Gentle When You Come. . .

Be gentle when you come,
brittle are my ribs.
If you hug me hard, my dear,
they'll snap
(oh so gallantly).

But don't hesitate to come just because
my ribs are brittle;
the heart's intentions
can use my ribs
as bamboos for a bier.

Translated by Vilas Sarang

Some Slay, And Some Are Slain. . .

Some slay, and some are slain,
some root into garbage for scraps,
some smelt the lives of others,
and gather sheaves of gold.

Some howl, some wring howls from others,
some drink the breeze and laugh,
some press the wound of Today,
to squeeze out the pus of Tomorrow.

Out of this living, out of this dying,
out of this laughter and howling
will thrust up the fist of Impermanence,
sleeves rolled up for a set-to.

When at last the tussle begins
the forehead of the ages will break,
and beneath the scimitar of Impermanence
the shield of Permanence shall break.

Translated by Vilas Sarang

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