MURDER ON THE AGENDA
I know there is blood on my hands.
I further know my hands will be stained
with much further blood.
But to stand amidst the crowd
and throw bouquets on tyrants
was not my intention of coming here.
They will die someday. So will I.
And therefore, the restlessness of the night of unceasing rains
instils its wildness
into each of my days and each of my nights.
My life, clearly, is contingent on their death.
I shall no doubt die of the shame
of continuing to live unless they die quickly.
Unless they die quickly,
how shall I explain to the moon
the reason why my laughter has become a grimace ?
How shall I explain to that faraway woman
the reason why I turned into a stone?
If they kill me, they will surely manufacture a legend
to prove to people
that my death had become so necessary
that, as soon as I fell, voices in the sky
spoke, loudly and clearly,
their thanksgiving for the assasins.
Whether people believe them or do not
is for them an irrelevent matter.
They have never cared to understand
why citizens of this country pray everyday
that this life of theirs should be the very last
on this planet.
If, on the contrary, I kill them
it will be unnecessary to think up a story.
Even their own widows, in the course of their lament,
will never, never incite their children
to avenge the murder of their fathers.
And as soon as they die, I too shall go away.
But where? I have absolutely no idea.
Maybe that woman's face would lead me on like a star
to some place where the sword I had carried
to kill myself
would at once begin preparing itself
for someone else's murder.
A REQUEST TO THE DEAD
I offer this water to you,
my father, grandfather and great grandfather,
and to you, soldiers and generals
who fought for us and who fought against us
and who were killed by this war.
I stand here, on this battlefield,
and give this water and this rice to you
you must be hungry and thirsty.
Ask for nothing
other than water and rice,
don't add to the long list
of things I was not able to give;
be content with this water and this rice
to wherever you came from.
Consider this: the years
I have spent with you were many;
and this: it will not be long
before I join you wherever you sojourn.
Had I possessed things
other than this water and this rice,
would I have denied them to you
and asked you to return ?
Whatever I have
other than this water and this rice
are surely not appropriate offerings
for departed souls.
True, I traverse everyday of my life
with this baggage of witheld things,
but whenever I look at them
I disintegrate and cry out
with a voice that rends
and the underworld.
Tears fill my eyes
when I make this offering
of water and rice.
I know, when my turn comes,
I shall have neither.
Look, the sun has almost set.
Now, go back to wherever you came from
with the little water and the little rice I gave you.
Look, I myself do not have
either any water or any rice.
Look, I have nothing except the few things
I didn't give
and kept with myself.
THE SOLDIER IN EXILE
Sometimes I wish I should return,
throw this body to the ground before the judges
installed in all the marketplaces of my country,
and tell them, come, hang it
on your gallows of prefabricated words.
Sometimes I wish I should stop hiding among rocks,
and feeding on the sunlight and on the wind,
sail across the ocean's nights and days.
I would then unload all my bones
into the arms of the soil smiling at my homecoming
and tell it I have no further part
in its future.
I however hesitate.
The shores of my country would be inaccessible
with stones dislodged by vengeance and counter-vengeance
and with putrid weeds of mangled interpretations,
all its green and proud forests would have been burnt
by loud proclamations of conquests that never occurred,
its body bleeding,
its railways and roadways and harbours shattered,
enacampments of imported mercenaries
all along the banks of its moist eyes.
All this notwithstanding,
I sometimes wish I should return,
but some other times I do not wish I should return.
Sometimes it seems all my love is a moon
rising every evening and setting every dawn
in the sky above wherever I exist.
Sometimes, however, I wish I should return.