She asks me
What is a poem?
Her shapely nose,
Her lips like two slices of water melon,
Her eyes reflecting clear blue sky,
Her thick hair like dark grey clouds,
Her horizon-like forehead
Frolicking of children,
Gossiping old women,
Cheering buddies gathered to spend an evening together,
Waiting travellers with carry-on bags in hand,
Strolling couples in a park, picnickers,
Are all features of a poem.
Lively sunlight warming the sanitorium stairs,
A nude poster,
A gypsy girl,
Ramble through a wonderland,
Laughter at an amusement park,
Still blue lake,
Scream of herons slipping on the rocks,
Thunder of a water fall,
Symphony of four seasons,
Song of pure rains,
Silent hunch of rainbow, arching over all,
Children of Bosnia
All are words of a poem.
Prior to gang rape
Women were preambles to poems,
Now they are complete poems.
Suppressed scream of a prisoner
In torture chamber
Is also a poem.
The blood ablaze
In the snow clad valley of Kashmir
Is fast becoming a poem.
Death of the starving in Somalia is a poem.
Coffin of the peace keeping soldier
Is a real-life poem.
She asks me, what is a poem?
Shall I tell her
That her poem inscribing fingers are too a poem
And her handwriting,
Her handsome portrait,
Her brown sandal
Even destiny under her feet
Are a poem.
She is a poem to me clad in mauve.
Still she asks me
What is a poem?
(1992, Translated from Urdu by Samina Amjad, Translation reviewed by Lillian Thomas)
Topic(s) of this poem: children, kashmir, love and art, peace, poem
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.