A Prayer

by Shamsur Rahman Faruqi

*handwritten Urdu text by the author, early 1980's*
(first poem in ganj-e so;xtah )

Before Death the Jester
hidden behind his veil of flowers and flower-beds
clad in his ancient gown all patched of a hundred colours
Daubs  my doors and walls, my house and garden, with soot
and trembling panting bodies change to a no-shape shape
or become un-real shadows like actors in a play
Before the Ocean, moving its magic lips
Spell-binds the moon-lit night and shatters
it to fragments
Before a tiny particle death-ly
and dazzling brighter more than a thousand suns and moons
bursts out from the upper storey of the sky and falls
on Earth's head, before it rips
Open the heart of the rosy-cheeked half awake half asleep little doll,
Before any of this happens, give me leave
to die.

translated from the Urdu by the author, 2008

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