Conversation in a Solitary Cell

by Shamsur Rahman Faruqi

*handwritten Urdu text by the author, early 1980's*

Pierce the sky through
Come before me, write on my forehead
Scratch yellow lines with your blue pen--
the gleam of peacock feathers
green glitter
the colour of the tiger's rush
golden, or black, or bright
the cruel heart-stopping sting of a cold blast
curtain of colors
see-through breeze or opaque jungle

I, black of body
or victim of whiteness in a wilderness of ice
Ice or blackness, what is it that destroys me?

Be a dream-sleep
make me fly--
be light or stone
break into me
flash through me
shatter me--
my fearful God!

[tang tanhaa))ii me;N baatchiit]
translated by the author and Frances W. Pritchett

*"Ek Nazm Se: Meditations on Urdu Modernism"*, by Geeta Patel, Dawn, Nov. 10, 2013.

 -- S. R. Faruqi index page -- FWP's main page --