Shorter Poems of Akbar Barakzai

Translated from Balochi by Fazal Baloch

Unfinished Song

Mankind is a beautiful song,
A song unfinished as of yet

Heart and soul of the sacred earth
to conscience it gives voice 

It’s each word and each rhyme
like flowers soft and sublime

A heavenly wine in Nature's cup
like morning breeze it does chime

Someday 'twill touch its finest note
‘twill survive the tides of time

Bestowed by the Mother Nature
A blossom that lasts forever

Not Forever

The rule of chains and fetters
Will last only for today not forever
The age of tyranny and oppression
Will last only for today not forever
All these wealth and riches will liquidate soon
This loot, pillage and plunder
Will last only for today not forever


Even if like a wasteland
it’s all burnt and blazed,
Motherland is but motherland.
I crave not for the land of the sun
and its flowing rivers of light,
Even if it's dark like a dungeon
Motherland is but motherland.

The Anguished Sigh 

The restless sigh! 
Lay trapped in my collapsed chest 
May you become a little songbird 
And in every sad heart find yourself a nest 

Distracted Youth

O, you, the distracted youth!
Why you lament on the shore
Go ahead and embrace the tides
Wherein lies life’s lore

Akbar Barakzai was born in Shikarpur, Sindh in 1939. He is ranked amongst the proponents of modern Balochi literature. His poetry reflects the objective realities of life. Love for motherland, peace and prosperity and dignity of a man are the recurrent themes of his poetry. His love for human dignity transcends all geographical and cultural frontiers. Barakzai is not a prolific poet. In a literary career which spans over half a century, Barakzai has brought out just two anthologies of poetry, Who can Kill the Sun and The Lamps of Heads, but his poetry has depth and reaches out to human hearts with its profundity. Last year, Barakzai rejected the Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) award, quoting  the oppressive policies meted out to his region by the government as the reason.

Fazal Baloch is a Balochi writer and translator. He has translated many Balochi poems and short stories into English. His translations have been featured in Pakistani Literature published by Pakistan Academy of Letters and in the form of books and anthologies. Fazal Baloch has the translation rights to Barakzai’s works and is in the process of bringing them out as a book.



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