Looking closely

The world doesn’t burn out of hatred,
it burns out of the varied acts of indifference-

of how we refuse to see what we must see,
of how we refuse to learn what we must learn

Nothing ever makes a difference,
or may be everything does in its own crooked ways

I looked at and then looked away-
the tattered clothes on shivering bodies
lying shamelessly under the bridge
on one of the coldest January nights

I looked at and then looked away-
the streets of rioting mob claiming
forsaken identities and amidst it,
my life and the inconveniences of running daily errands

I looked at and then looked away-
smog filled dreams of a burgeoning city,
and a child’s inability to fathom
stories of a star-studded sky

You looked at and then looked away-
my hopeful eyes awaiting the spring
where we left each other last,
the gardens we planted and rooms we adorned
within the fragile walls of our invincible hearts

You looked into all of that-
an era that never changed into anthing else,
And then never looked back

And the world nearly ended
between looking at and looking away

I hope you look closely.


एक सरसराहट

एक ये नदी है जो बहती रहती है
अपने तट को खोजती रहती है
समुन्दर की कल्पना में रस्ते उफनती है,
भटकते-भटकते दूसरी नदियों में घुल बैठती है

एक ये चिड़िया है जो बरखा में भी घोंसला बुनती है
टहनियां चुनती हैं, दरबदर घरों की छतों में छांव ढूंढती है
और फिर बरखा रुकने पर, अपने ही घोंसले को
कीचड़ में मिला देखती है

और एक ये मेरा मन है, तेरे आने की खबर को तरसता है
मौसम बदलते है, और तेरे गुलशन की आस देखता है
ख्वाबों को एक नयी उड़ान देनी की चाह रखता है!

कुछ बेदर्दी का अफसाना ज़माना फुसफुसाता चला गया
कुछ तनहा रातों की शिकायतें बढ़ती चली गयी 
मेरी खुश किस्मती थी, जो हवा के झोके से
तेरी खुशबू मेरी रूह से आ टकराई 
यूँ तुझमे खुद ही को फना करके,
मैं ज़माने को ग़ज़ल-ए-इबादात बना चला !


तुम नसीब की बात करते हो,
हम उम्मीद की राह चलते है

तुम दिल से इश्क़ की बग़ावत करते हो,
हम टूटे दिल का भी जश्न मनाते है

तुम देख के अनदेखा कर देते हो,
हम देख के चुपके से दिल मे बसा देते है

तुम समय के साथ चलते हो,
हम थमे हुए समय की धड़कन बन जाते है

फ़र्क बस इतना है मेरे दोस्त,

तुम आईना देखते हो,
हम आहिस्ता आईना दिखाया करते है!

When giving is all we have

One river gives
Its journey to the next.

We give because someone gave to us.
We give because nobody gave to us.

We give because giving has changed us.
We give because giving could have changed us.

We have been better for it,
We have been wounded by it—

Giving has many faces: It is loud and quiet,
Big, though small, diamond in wood-nails.

Its story is old, the plot worn and the pages too,
But we read this book, anyway, over and again:

Giving is, first and every time, hand to hand,
Mine to yours, yours to mine.

You gave me blue and I gave you yellow.
Together we are simple green. You gave me

What you did not have, and I gave you
What I had to give—together, we made

Something greater from the difference.

~Alberto Rios

why do people find each other

Why do people find each other, at all?
What brings them to each other?
I’m tired of the rush, the rush around love.
The rush that ends with seeking,
a seeking for healing.
The rush that makes people need people,
than want them.

Sometimes I suspect a cosmic conspiracy-
the voice breaking over the sound of waves,
the heart pivoting in directions of the
sparse summer breeze, the moon lurching
in incandescence of the sorrows of the past,
roads sleepwalking into an uncertain hope-
little bit of everything appears unnatural.

You can tell, there are more things at work,
disrupting the usual course of a man’s
behaviour-that’s where they’ve met them.

You can now tell, there are more things to be blamed.

I believe

I believe in steep drop-offs, the thunderstorm across the lake
in 1949, cold winds, empty swimming pools,
the overgrown path to the creek, raw garlic,
used tires, taverns, saloons, bars, gallons of red wine,
abandoned farmhouses, stunted lilac groves,
gravel roads that end, brush piles, thickets, girls
who haven’t quite gone totally wild, river eddies,
leaky wooden boats, the smell of used engine oil,
turbulent rivers, lakes without cottages lost in the woods,
the primrose growing out of a cow skull, the thousands
of birds I’ve talked to all of my life, the dogs
that talked back, the Chihuahuan ravens that follow
me on long walks. The rattler escaping the cold hose,
the fluttering unknown gods that I nearly see
from the left corner of my blind eye, struggling
to stay alive in a world that grinds them underfoot.

~Jim Harrison