All the bigwigs in our village
Took refuge in the mercy
Of Fortune.

It came to such a situation that
If we locked our house and left,
Before we reached the goal,
At least ten fifteen Fortunes
Would come looking for us.

I noticed
How quietly
Does this Fortune make its entry.

Earlier, it was so noisy.
“Tomorrow tomorrow tomorrow”
The sing song chant
Was amusing.

Slowly, Tomorrow became Today.
“Today today today”
How many times have I joined the chant!

Now,
How forlornly
How silently
Does Fortune arrive!
It has lost its speech.

It has contempt for itself.
It has shrunk into itself
More than the ex-serviceman
Standing in guard before an ATM.

Where did Fortune’s voice vanish?

Does it mean that Fortune has no voice?
That Fortune itself has ceased to exist?



Kuzhur Wilson / Trans by Ra Sh
Trans by Ra Sh
Kuzhur Wilson Jan 29
Was crossing the road
It is not like crossing anything else
A Trailer
Might partition into pieces
Or a Hummer,
In a second, make one a nonentity
Or a tin can of a vehicle
Take away your hand or leg.
Even if your last wish,
In case you have to die in an automobile crash,
Is that it should be the red lancer car you are very fond of,
Which court will listen?
On the other side of the road, there is a neem tree
Its dark green leaves are visible.
No, cannot see the bitterness,
But it is possible it is.

I have to cross the road.
Then
I have to stand a bit under the green on the other side
Those birds have to run away (no, not fly!)
And come back just the way they went.

What then? It is, after all, the road that was crossed,
Which is something!


While crossing the road, came a Trailer
Whose driver was a Tamilian

A Hummer came,
In which there was a father, his friend,
Mother and two kids

The kid was singing loudly
The friend was thinking about his girl friend

A rickety old tin can of a vehicle too came
It was full of wine bottles
For the next century

What then?
Trailer was divided into many pieces
Hummer made one a nonentity in a second
The old vehicle took away two hands, one leg, and two ears.

Now the one who looks this way from the other side:
Is it the one who reached the other side,
Or the one who was standing here,
Or the one who crossed the road,
Or the one who has to return?
Translation : Anitha Varma
Kuzhur Wilson Jan 21
We have a family tomb. Elder brother bought it for dad. I renovated it when mom slept for the last time. It is pleasant to go there and stay for a while.

I have never seen dad and mom in bed together. Now, it’s nice to watch them do so. A tranquil feeling.

If I do not die in a distant land I too will sleep in this tomb. Gives me a nice kick to think so. Also a sick feeling that I cannot be there to watch myself.

I picked up a candle and lit it on my tomb. Gathered some flowers from the ground and strew them on it. Stuck incense sticks all around, Knelt down before the dead me.

Then, The familiar ones in the cemetery rose up To ask me when I had come over. Someone from among us got up and left without answering.

Behold, a girl runs along the alley in front of the cemetery.
Kuzhur Wilson

Trans by Ra Sh
Kuzhur Wilson Mar 2016
Dear gold

In the body of a woman
you attain elegance
lying chained to the hip
fatigue like

Endless are the times
when earlobes and foot
seduced me without you

Mere threads of yellow
will do better than you

There's a cuteness
seeing you
swing from a single ear

Nose studs, with a stare
have stung me sleepless.
The ones made of rolled
gold too

But, dear gold
You become gold
when you are pawned

Like the revolutionary
who becomes more revolutionary
when hanged

Like the soldier
who gets shot and becomes
a soldier even more

Dear gold in the pawn shop
My gold, dear gold


Translated by Binu Karunakaran
Kuzhur Wilson Dec 2015
Yesterday
Was in the ecstasy
Of realizing that
We were
Those two
On earth
Who liked bitter gourd curry
Cooked with coconut milk ….

Remember?
Think it was
In the sixth life.
We were
Two nascent bitter guards
On the pandal
Spread in the northern corner
Of the farmland
Belonging to a grandmother
In a village in Mississippi
Who used to attend to the orchards
Sitting in a wheelchair.

We had
Watched earth
And peeked
At the sky
Hanging from the same stalk
The scar left
From your tight clasp on my thigh
Scared
After spotting a double tailed pest
Is still there.

The pleasure of that pain
Makes me tearful now.

I am like the faces
In the house of deceased
Sobbing
At times  
Bursting into tears
The next moment
Holding back
After a while.

Sometimes
I am all the faces
In the house of the dead
Tears have
Nothing to do with them.

Sometimes
The wedding house
Will laugh and laugh
Till its cheeks hurt.

Just like you.

My dear bitter guard,
When will we
Go back to that
Pandal in Mississippi
Where we had pulsated
From a single stalk?

Aren’t we the ones
To offer obsequies
To that grandmother
Who looked after us
With pots
Of wholehearted love?



Translator - Shyma P


Shyma P : Works in Payyanur College, Payyanur. Translator and film critic. Has translated poems and articles in Malayalam Literary Survey, The Oxford India Anthology of Malayalam Dalit Literature, online magazines like Gulmohar, Readleaf Poetry as well as scripts and subtitles for short films.
Pandal - natural roof made by plants

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