Shiv Kumar Batalvi

(23 July 1936 - 7 May 1973 / Punjab / British India)

Pinch Of Separation - Poem by Shiv Kumar Batalvi

My songs are like eyes
That sting with the grains of separation.
In the middle of the night ,
They wake and weep for dead friends.
Mother, I cannot sleep.

Soaked in perfume,
But the pain does not recede.
I foment them
With warm sighs,
Yet they turn on me ferociously.

And need guidance myself.
Who can advise him?
Mother, would you tell him,
To clench his lips when he weeps,
Or the world will hear him cry.

Tell him, mother, to swallow the bread
Of separation.
He is fated to mourn.
Tell him to lick the salty dew
On the roses of sorrow,
And stay strong.

Who are the snake handlers
From whom I can get another skin?
Give me a cover for myself.
How can I wait like a jogi
At the doorstep of these people
Greedy for gold?

Listen, o my pain,
Love is that butterfly
Which is pinned forever to a stake.
Love is that bee,
From whom desire,
Stays miles away.

Love is that palace
Where nothing lives
Except for the birds.
Love is that hearth
Where the colored bed of fulfillment,
Is never laid.

Mother, tell him not to
Call out the name of his dead friends
So loudly in the middle of the night.
When I am gone, I fear
That this malicious world,
Will say that my songs were evil.

Mother, o mother
My songs are like eyes
That sting with the grains of separation.
In the middle of the night ,
They wake and weep for dead friends.
Mother, I cannot sleep.


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Poem Submitted: Monday, March 26, 2012

Poem Edited: Tuesday, March 27, 2012


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