I am a rain that nobody wants.
Even the streets don't understand me.
I am the past perfect tense
and deep down inside me are buried
the ghosts of anonymous travellers,
of infamous seadogs and all of the dead.
I am a certain word small children fear
and which the poets have forgotten.
I'm Buddha's face in Bamiyan,
stolen, sold on from my homeland,
and I am a corpse, knocked down
in Stockwell, ignored by the binmen.
The literal translation of this poem was made by Hamid Kabir
The final translated version of the poem is by Nick Laird
© Poetry Translation Centre 2004-2013