We Will not Surrender our City to Death / Poem by Dr. Jawaz Jaffri

Poem by Dr. Jawaz Jaffri
 
 
We Will not Surrender our City to Death
 
Death
Ambushed right under my nose
And kept watch near this fragrant being
I eyed those pink lips wistfully
And went about inventing my bedding
With thorns of Loneliness
 
I am alive
With the solitude of my share
Solitude
Crawls between the walls and doors
And isolation keeps watch
Beyond our front doors
 
My cordial hands
Once devoted to building bridges of love
Are drying lying beside me
The lamp of consummation fears the wind
But i will desire her union
Lying in my grave
In wait of one last ray of sun through a crack
 
My blood entertains the urge
For the longest kiss on those invigorating lips
But there’s a skyhigh grim wall of fear between us
I lick it to death every night
But it begins to loom large
With the first rays of the new sun
 
I saw the pale countenance of my children
One last time with eyes moist
And in the backyard I cried
Leaning against the wall de lament
Vacant streets write letters
To my children
But they’re standing beyond the wall
Conversing with death
“we will not surrender our city to death”
 
I sit in my melancholic room
Inventing distances between people
 
Silence not laughter echoes in my courtyard
Solitude not people live in my neighbourhood
 
All the voices around me are dead
The old god
Sitting in the seventh heaven
Is busy designing coffins
 
Death
Is a breath away
Looks like a greedy crow towards our fresh bodies
The hand of death
Brands our bodies
Our fertile bodies are a fodder for death
The wind and the earth together will consume them
And the worn out sky
Will shed tears on our untimely death
And the consoling birds
Will lament in our memory
 
Translated by Sarah Ali Khan
 

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