Shiv Kumar Batalvi

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

To Be A Bird - Poem by Shiv Kumar Batalvi

I wish that I could be a bird
That I could fly, that I could sing,
That I could touch untouchable peaks,
That I could forget the roads of the world,
And never return.

I would bath luxuriously
Drinking long sips of water.
By the shore of a great lake,
I would sing a halting song.
I would go into a flowering wilderness
Gulp the perfume laden winds.
I would warm in a tight embrace,
The peaks of mountains,
Deadened by centuries of freezing cold.
I wish that I could be a bird.

My nest would be among the mulberry trees,
On in the caper, the mesquite or the cypress.
When the cold east wind blew
The jewelled branches would bend
As if playing, swaying
With their hair flying in the wind.
One day there would be a storm
And all the twigs would all scatter.
Nestless, homeless, I would become,
For the rest of my life I would drink the nectar of sorrow
And live my life in its intoxication.
I wish that I could be a bird.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, March 26, 2012

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