Monday, 18 February 2013

Father In A Dream

I was recently at a poetry workshop and I must admit I was fairly embarrassed at myself. I lack the wisdom and expertise to rate or write a good poem. I had been to the library the other day and I came across this lovely poem called "Father In A Dream" by acclaimed painter and poet Ghulam Mohammed Sheikh. It has been translated from Gujarati by the poet himself and Saleem Peeradina. It is sourced from an anthology "Signatures" which has translations of 100 Indian poets.

Father In A Dream

Father I saw you again, yesterday
thousands of miles away from home, here on the shore
Of the Baltic where I lie asleep.
You stood by my bed in this strange land
in the same patched, wrinkled coat
you wore when you reconciled quarrelling brothers.
On grandfather's death you must have stood exactly like this
holding the lonely old man's shrivelled hand.

When did you migrate from Kathiawar
to join the refugees of Crimea?
Leaving behind the Bhogavo river, crossing Bhadar,
Climbing bastions of Roman forts
with a postman's bag on your shoulder,
You descended down here.
And look at the cemetery has followed in your wake.
(Why do I see your grave in every burial ground?)
Brothers come shadowing your trail.
(Is the dispute not settled yet?)

And there, on the edge of the horizon,
supported by a cane, Mother struggles through the glaze
of her cataract to locate my bed.
Mother, I too have lost my sight.
The childhood I thought I held
in the palm of my hand, has just fallen.
Somewhere under this bed. 

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