Desolation: A Poem by Munir Momin

Translated from Balochi by Fazal Baloch

Courtesy: Creative Commons
Why didn’t you bring along the fire, 
embers of pain or snow clouds?
Perched on the green meadow,
I wonder if it’s a bird or its silhouette,
looking all alone at the city 
of its solitude 
like a handful of breeze 
someone held frozen in his hand.
If you move a few steps westward,
you’ll see life is a flock of birds
in a playful flight above
the surface of water.

Today, the eventide yielded 
my exhausted soul as
an empty vessel of melodies
and a wound inflicted by stillness
wrapped in a melancholy haze.
Today there lingers nothing
between the heaven and earth, 
neither a gaze, nor a scene, 
nor even I --
no call, no gimmick
to thrive in solitude.

Ages after
the wind seemed to have come to life again,
so did the statue of solitude.
It raised its eyes 
and saw the wind carry an epistle as
the cloud melted in its crystalline eyes.

O, pigeon!
If a tyrant monarch
forces upon me 
his quietude, pain and solitude
I, in that very moment will
join the ranks of a fierce legion
and mark for myself a grave
in the battlefield.

Munir Momin is a contemporary Balochi poet widely cherished for his sublime art of poetry. Meticulously crafted images, linguistic finesse and profound aesthetic sense have earned him a distinguished place in Balochi literature. His poetry speaks through images, more than words. Momin’s poetry flows far beyond the reach of any ideology or socio-political movement. Nevertheless, he is not ignorant of the stark realities of life. The immenseness of his imagination and his mastery over the language rescues his poetry from becoming the part of any mundane narrative. So far Munir has published seven collections of his poetry and an anthology of short stories. His poetry has been translated into Urdu, English and Persian.  He also edits a literary journal called Gidár.

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.



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