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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