Rajee Seth, Mughal Garden and The Sky Said, Translated from the Hindi by Arlene Zide and the Poet



Mughal Garden



We agree

The flowers are yours

The fruit are yours

The blades of lush grass are yours

The sentries are yours too.


We agree

That sky captured

within the four-sided courtyard is yours.

The wind that comes and knocks against its boundary walls

thatís yours too.


But you need to know

The roots are ours

The nourishing compost

is ours



All the sunlight in that chunk of sky in your courtyard  ó

                                that sky is ours

the light is ours.



The water flowing down from the hills is ours

The wind carrying seeds is ours

All the rest of the earth 

                        is ours.





The Sky Said



The sky said:

                It wouldnít stay in water, not on land

                not on the rusty earth, not in the basti

                not in the city, not in the jungle

                not on the trees, not in the houses

                not in the body,  not in the mind

                not choosing anything,  never leaving

                It would remain intrepid

                                complete,    everywhere


The house said:

                Iíll cut you in two  

                shut the door

                and make you stand outside.


The water said:

                Iíll keep you within me

                turn you into

                a mere reflection.


The basti said:

                Iíll make you my roof.


The earth said:

                Iíll hold you up

                in my arms


The tree said:

                Iíll shoot straight up

                and split your chest.


The mind said:

                You are abstract



The body said:

                I donít want anything



The sky laughed out loud:

                lightning flashed


                The rain started pouring

                            everywhere,   on everyone.

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Rajee Seth

Arlene Zide



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