by Mohan Rana
Woods on either side: light along the path down the middle.
Woods on either side and loud laughter: path silent down the middle.
Woods on either side, and screams: path unmoved down the middle.
Woods on either side, bathed in dreams: the path released from sleep.
This vision trembles on the eyes like the mirroring surface of water.
A face bent over it is startled
at the world shimmering
in those shut, moist eyes:
like a compass, the love inside you
takes you on an unfamiliar path
and the truth releases you.
Open out your clenched palms.
The wind can't hide inside them,
nor light either.
They have made their own prison.
I want, suddenly, to see your face:
then to be surprised.
From Dhoop ke Andhere men, In the Darkness of the Sun
The literal translation of this poem was made by Lucy Rosenstein
The final translated version of the poem is by Bernard O'Donoghue
© Poetry Translation Centre 2004-2013