The Evening News and the Roof of the World

by Mohan Rana

While light for us is fading
elsewhere it is brightening.
We can think of the dusk
as we walk among the park trees
that stand still with arms folded.

Somewhere else there was rain
while here it grew colder.
The airs mingled to bring together
tired voices.
We must get home before dark.

We stopped to watch the light
being dusted from the sky,
and I want us to be a tall tower
to see round the horizon
whose hand it was that dimmed the light.

While we watch the official evening news
the world will wash its bleary face.
The century will end with no grand epic
though we will spend its final days of peace
to fanfares. There was a time
when the day's spring and the evening's fall
were something to think about:

as if the Stone Age was a short while ago.
Then in a dream I saw that, though we were
on the highest roof in the world,
the stars were still far away
and the darkness had no end.


13.7.1992
From Jaise Janam Koii Darwaazaa, As if Life Were a Door

 

The literal translation of this poem was made by Lucy Rosenstein

The final translated version of the poem is by Bernard O'Donoghue

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