They Have Carried It Away

By Naresh Saxena

Look
It has fallen in my courtyard
Chopped down
My Neem tree has fallen

The swing of my mates has fallen
Fallen too, the cradle of my son

The birds are flying away
Their chirps are flying away
Look a nest is falling
Look
They have brought a saw and an axe
And a rope to tie with
Look how its shadow trembles
The shadow of its leaves
That cured my wounds

Look how its bark is slit
The edge sinks into the bark
It sinks into my songs
Sinks into my prayers
Into my wounds, the axe sinks

My son has counted the money
My own son

Look his grandpa has sealed the deal
They have carried it away
The way one carries an unclaimed corpse
Dragged away
This is how they carried
The sun and shade, morning and evening of the patio
The chirping of birds
Carried away the seasons
The friendship the joys and sorrows
All of life, till now
They carried away.

Translated by Sanjeev Kaushal

Sanjeev Kaushal eaches English at IGIPESS, University of Delhi, India. He is a Hindi poet and translator. His collection of poems titled ‘Ungaliyon Mein Parchhaiyan’ has been published by Sahitya Academy, New Delhi. His poems have appeared in various reputed Hindi magazines. His translations of German poetry titled ‘Khwahish Hai Namumkin Kee’ and ‘November Kee Dhoop’ have also been published.

Naresh Saxena is one of the finest Hindi poets, both popular and critically acclaimed. He has received several prestigious awards, including Pahal Samman, Nagarjun Puraskar, and the UP government’s Sahitya Bhushan Samman. His work has been brought out by well-known Hindi publishers, Bharatiya Jnanpith and Rajkamal Prakashan.

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