Mohammad Ali Sepanlu
Poems of Iranian Poet,
|I Sing at Thirty Six, Translated
to English by M. Alexandrian
|West of the soft autumn wing,
I stop and greet the evening;
Is the inside freedom of this passing day
So lasting that it can render fruit tomorrow?
Here at the time of sleep in the limbo
It is only me who am drunk, alert,
And I am 36 years old.
Although like trees
I am not fully matured,
And with my leaves and fruit I do not balance,
At the beginning of this year
A realm 30 centuries old,
Is a name in the air
Which engraves by iron tool
On the rocks of our remembrance:
The image of a gray old man,
The ash of his hearth,
A plough, a melody, an extinguished pipe.
Autumn, my solitary season!
Autumn, dead light of distant chandeliers,
Autumn, the burnt fallen eye-lids,
On the path of stars,
The autumn of the dead and young dead people,
In the earring's tower,
The autumn of captains,
The race of black vested opaque Quran readers,
Embarked on everlasting ship of pine,
Till the light of harbors,
Combines with the saffron west,
And the tally officers
Pass, mounted on a cloud.
March more slowly,
Under your feet
The rain of frozen tears of daytime
Is the prism of crystalline marks and in it
The sparkling eye of man is awake,
Not with the helmet of the lost riders,
Neither on account of rider less whips
By seeing the pair of asteroids,
Can one recognize the rotation of the mirror
- The edicts of knighthood - the heritage of museums -
And the kings of Qalian pitchers,
And the tattoo on a sinking ship
On your heart's shore,
Never the orb of death
Can be lighted
With such calculations.
Only at the last moment of the whirlpool,
A light surviving from quicksilver
From the last star,
Will fall over the ramp of the spaceship.
After that, there is nothing,
It is all silence...
Only the tired sound of Gabriel of waters,
The only sound that breaks in the penetration of the mist
These 36 stars which blossomed in shades,
Are early dying flowers of another winter.
|Let's walk over the bridges at nights,
Let's walk from nights towards the lamp,
Tell the rain to wash the trace of roads,
Tell the snow to spread over the bed of the defeated,
It is a new spring.
Behind each window a candle is blazing,
Behind each curtain a beautiful image.
In the throbbing throat of volcano, carrying the Earth's message,
We hear of the earth's heart - a boiling existence -
And surprisingly anxious about the magnitude of water,
And like unfettered energy, it beats like hammer
In the veins of our pulse,
Like the palm the earth is crystal clear,
The earth returns its secrets,
Recognize the crawling of snakes in the reed bed,
I recognize the march of ants towards spring,
I recognize that in this valley - full of tent and light -
The leopard is standing silent and watchful,
The horses sniff the wind.
The point of catastrophe appeared in the eye,
New constellations were born,
Things are happening which we cannot see,
Like the destination of a train which we do not see
And which reaches a dockyard in our heart.
The bread behind the shop,
The moon behind the flowerpot,
A child who is awake
Gazing at the limit of nocturnal game reserve...
|A Sailor of the Dried River
|You too don't know
how many people we were
in this winter chamber.
Still I hear the sea by mistake
which listens to my tale
and silently prints its answer
on the veranda,
and since it spoke by mistake
the rain poured down azure blue
instead of pouring red.
Two butterflies circle behind my black spectacles,
I look by mistake
and behind the opaque window-pane at the backyard
I ride a strange ship.
And we don't know how many we were
in this cabin which
now prepares itself to sail.
The answers have evaporated on the window-panes
and we have become forgotten...
Bozorg Ramhormozi, O captain
again we hear the sound of waves at the shore
and we are seeking you,
O flying sailor!
- Although autumn has filled islands with its auburn hair,
swimming, in its disturbing seclusion,
I comb the pedestrians' hair.
O burnt breeze, I am a sailor of dried river
who mount the lion like his ancestors
and cross through the abandoned hour.
I note down my poems at the margin of cancelled tickets
or old papers bearing hotel letterheads,
and mark down
my temporary travels.
I try to make fair copies of verses
in this short interval
to serve as my motto for the future.
- "What hopes urge you to rain in this season of draught?" -
- "My duty is to rain,
it is not my duty to instill hope."