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Sunday, February 5, 2017

Umesh Solanki: Poems

Translated by Gopika Jadeja
Indian Literature: November-December, 2016


(Poet's note: Vonghu , in dialect of Sabarkantha, is a natural canal through which rain water makes its way to a lake or a river.When dry, it is a place , where the villagers go to relieve themselves.At times, hidden parts of the vonghu are also sometimes used as a space for intimate relations)

Bend after bend after bend
So many bends,
even a snake would tire.
One such bend of many bends.
On the bend a fence of thor
dripping milk.

The thick of the untouched forest
dressed in the beauty
of Adivasi women.

Near the thor,
at times thick,
at times thin
arching over the bend
a babool bush.

Struggling to seep through the babool
the afternoon sun
hangs from the bush as fruit.
Some sunlight pushes
through to the sand
losing its strength.
On the weal sunlight
you come and sit.
i sit touching you
Then you lay down
Yout foot turning 
the chamboo over.

The rusted chamboo falls over.
Water longs for sand
in a gulp, it swallows the sand.
The sand contained a strange death,
water dies in an instant.

Leaning on my elbow
I wind a lock of your hair
around my finger.
Sweetly shy,
you turn your face away.
I say your lovely eyes,
only your face visible,
are a tigress sitting quiet
in a cave of the white mountains.
You break out laughing.
Your breaking into laughter
like water spilling onto the sand
from the chamboo.

A baby boar wanders from the bend,
i pick up a clod pf earth.
You quietly stay my hand,
the clod alips to the earth
the boar disappears
into the bend.

I look into your eyes.
Looking I lose myself.
Suddenly, a deer runs through my eyes
in a long leap , it enters yours.
Turning your face  to the left
you close your eyes for a while.

I glance away, and at a distance,
see a little baby donkey.
"Such a dear little..."
A clod of earth hits the little donkey
its whole body shakes in fear.
i see that shiver take over your face
then a slow release of breath
which strikes against my eyes.

You take my face in your hnds
mixing a little smile
in your pain,you say:
"You are beautiful, like the little donkey."
My body shivers, turns to tears
and drops from the eyes.
The little donkey stands there.

The voghun is
a fistful of earth.

Nirikshak: 16 February, 2016


Damned earth struck to the soles of my feet.
The small sky placed on my head weighs down.
The river sands rasp breathlessly , again and again.
Ponds, arrogant, cracked.
A pigeon has laid eggs at the bottom of the well.

When do i go looking for life now?

Nirdhar, 16 May, 2016


Half an hour of dawn
that arrives each day of the week
Bent, on the knees
knees pressing to the stomach.

And yet
bend again.

The sounds of saru, dhuniya, buckets.
Gathering with sounds, tiredness.

Nirdhar , May 2016