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اب تو آنکھوں سے پلایا جاۓ
ان کی زلفوں پے لٹایا جاۓ
لمس میں ان کے بجلیاں صدہا
پس کہ خرمن کو جلایا جاۓ
میں عدم میں ،وہ منتظر میرا
کاش اک بار جگایا جاۓ
غاصبوں نے قلم بھی  چھین لیا
اب کے نشتر ہی اٹھایا جاۓ
بھر گیا دل تری کرامت سے
اب نہ اعجاز دکھایا جاۓ
پس کہ کہنے کو کیا رہا باقی
نام ارسل کا مٹایا جاۓ
Sagar May 19
बेवजह मुस्कुरा रहे हो सागर, कुछ तो वजह है..
क्या बताए मियाँ? ये इश्क, ताजा़ ताज़ा है..
अब खुदा की मर्जी का किसको अंदाजा है..
पर इतना ऐतबार है, कि ये जज्बात पाकिजा़ है..
Picnic
by Parveen Shakir
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

My friends laugh elsewhere on the beach
while I sit here, alone, counting the waves,
writing and rewriting your name in the sand ...



Confession
by Parveen Shakir
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Your image overwhelmed my vision.
As the long nights passed, I became obsessed with your visage.
Then came the moment when I quietly placed my lips to your picture ...



Rain
by Parveen Shakir
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Why shiver alone in the rain, maiden?
Embrace the one in whose warming love your body and mind would be drenched!
There are no rains higher than the rains of Love,
after which the bright rainbows of separation will glow with the mysteries of hues.



My Body's Moods
by Parveen Shakir
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I long for the day when you'll be obsessed with me,
when, forgetting the world, you'll miss me with a passion
and stop complaining about my reticence!
Then I may forget all other transactions and liabilities
to realize my world in your arms,
letting my body's moods guide me.
In that moment beyond boundaries and limitations
as we defy the conventions of veil and turban,
let's try our luck and steal a taste of the forbidden fruit!



Moon
by Parveen Shakir
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

All of us passengers,
we share the same fate.
And yet I'm alone here on earth,
and she alone there in the sky!



Vanity
by Parveen Shakir
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

His world is so simple, so very different from mine.
So distinct—his dreams and desires.
He speaks rarely.
This morning he wrote: "I saw some lovely flowers and thought of you."
Ha! I know my aging face is no orchid ...
but how I wish I could believe whatever he says, however momentarily!

Keywords/Tags: Perveen Shakir, Urdu, translation, Pakistan, love, passion, picnic, beach, vision, confession, rain, rainbow, hues, forbidden fruit, body, ***, orchid, mrburdu



What the Poet Sees
by Michael R. Burch

What the poet sees,
he sees as a swimmer
~~~underwater~~~
watching the shoreline blur
sees through his breath’s weightless bubbles ...
Both worlds grow obscure.

Published by ByLine, Mandrake Poetry Review, Poetically Speaking, E Mobius Pi, Underground Poets, Little Brown Poetry, Little Brown Poetry, Triplopia, Poetic Ponderings, Poem Kingdom, PW Review, Neovictorian/Cochlea, Muse Apprentice Guild, Mindful of Poetry, Poetry on Demand, Poet’s Haven, Famous Poets and Poems, and Bewildering Stories
What Happened to Them?
by Nasir Kazmi
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Those who came ashore, what happened to them?
Those who sailed away, what happened to them?

Those who were coming at dawn, when dawn never arrived ...
Those caravans en route, what happened to them?

Those I awaited each night on moonless paths,
Who were meant to light beacons, what happened to them?

Who are these strangers surrounding me now?
All my lost friends and allies, what happened to them?

Those who built these blazing buildings, what happened to them?
Those who were meant to uplift us, what happened to them?

NOTE: This poignant poem was written about the 1947 partition of India into two nations: India and Pakistan. I take the following poem to be about the aftermath of the division.

Climate Change
by Nasir Kazmi
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The songs of our silenced lips are different.
The expressions of our regretful hearts are different.

In milder climes our grief was more tolerable,
But the burdens we bear today are different.

O, walkers of awareness's road, keep your watch!
The obstacles strewn on this stony path are different.

We neither fear separation, nor desire union;
The anxieties of my rebellious heart are different.

In the first leaf-fall only flowers fluttered from twigs;
This year the omens of autumn are different.

This world lacks the depth to understand my heartache;
Please endow me with melodies, for my cry is different!

One disconcerting glance bared my being;
Now in barren fields my visions are different.

No more troops, nor flags. Neither money, nor fame.
The marks of the monarchs on this land are different.

Men are not martyred for their beloveds these days.
The youths of my youth were so very different!

Nasir Kazmi Couplets

When I was a child learning to write
my first scribblings were your name.
―Nasir Kazmi, translation by Michael R. Burch

When my feet lost the path
where was your hand?
―Nasir Kazmi, translation by Michael R. Burch

Everything I found is yours;
everything I lost is also yours.
―Nasir Kazmi, translation by Michael R. Burch

Syed Nasir Raza Kazmi (1925-1972) was a renowned Urdu poet and playwright. His poetry continues to be used in Pakistan Television (PTV) shows and in Indian Bollywood films. Keywords/Tags: Nazir Kazmi, Urdu, translation, ghazal, couplet, love, pain, grief, melancholy, mrburdu
Intimacy
by Rahat Indori
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

I held the Sun, Stars and Moon at a distance
till the time your hands touched mine.
Now I am not a feather to be easily detached:
instruct the hurricanes and tornados to observe their limits!



The Mad Moon
by Rahat Indori
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Stars have a habit of showing off,
but the mad moon sojourns in darkness.



Body Language
by Rahat Indori
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Your body’s figures are written in cursive!
How will I read you? Hand me the book!



Insatiable

by Rahat Indori
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

This mighty ocean, so deep and vast!
If it sates my thirst, how long can it last?



Honor
by Rahat Indori
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Achievements may fade but the name sounds strong;
walls may buckle but the roof stays on.
On a pile of corpses a child stands alone
and declares that his family still lives on!



Dust in the Wind
by Rahat Indori
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

This is how I introduce myself to questioners:
Pick up a handful of dust, then blow...



Dissembler
by Rahat Indori
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

In your eyes this, in your heart that, on your lips something else?
If this is how you are, speak to someone else!



Rumor (M)ill
by Rahat Indori
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

I heard rumors my health was bad;
prying people made me ill.



The Vortex
by Rahat Indori
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

I am the river whose rapids form a vortex;
You were wise to avoid my banks.



Homebound
by Rahat Indori
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

If people fear what they meet at every turn,
why do they ever leave the house?

Keywords/Tags: Rahat Indori, Urdu, translation, Bollywood, love, intimacy, stars, moon, ocean, sea, river, eyes, heart, lips, dust, family, mrburdu
The Condition of My Heart
by Munir Niazi
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

There's no need for anyone else to get excited:
The condition of my heart is not the condition of hers.
But were we to receive any sort of good news, Munir,
How spectacular compared to earth's mundane sunsets!



Mystery
by Munir Niazi
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

She was a mystery:
Her lips were parched ...
but her eyes were two unfathomable oceans.



I continued delaying ...
by Munir Niazi
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

I continued delaying ...
the words I should speak
the promises I should keep
the one I should dial
despite her cruel denial

I continued delaying ...
the shoulder I must offer
the hand I must proffer
the untraveled lanes
we may not see again

I continued delaying ...
long strolls through the seasons
for my own selfish reasons
the remembrances of lovers
to erase thoughts of others

I continued delaying ...
to save someone dear
from eternities unclear
to make her aware
of our reality here

I continued delaying ...

Keywords/Tags: Munir Niazi, Urdu, Punjabi, translation, Pakistan, Lahore, love, love hurts, heart, heartbreak, condition, mystery, pashto, relationship, delay, delays, delaying, mrburdu
My Apologies, Sona
by Gulzar
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

My apologies, Sona,
if traversing my verse's terrain
in these torrential rains
inconvenienced you.

The monsoons are unseasonal here.

My poems' pitfalls are sometimes sodden.
Water often overflows these ditches.
If you stumble and fall here, you run the risk
of spraining an ankle.

My apologies, however,
if you were inconvenienced
because my dismal verse lacks light,
or because my threshold's stones
interfered as you passed.

I have often cracked toenails against them!

As for the streetlamp at the intersection,
it remains unlit ... endlessly indecisive.

If you were inconvenienced,
you have my heartfelt apologies!



Come!
by Gulzar
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Come, let us construct night
over the monumental edifice of silence.
Come, let us clothe ourselves in the winding sheets of darkness,
where we'll ignite our bodies' incandescent wax.
As the midnight dew dances its delicate ballet,
let us not disclose the slightest whispers of our breath!
Lost in night's mists,
let us lie immersed in love's fragrance,
absorbing the musky aromas of our bodies!
Let us rise like rustling spirits ...



Old Habits Die Hard
by Gulzar
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The habit of breathing
is an odd tradition.
Why struggle so to keep on living?
The body shudders,
the eyes veil,
yet the feet somehow keep moving.
Why this journey, this restless, relentless flowing?
For how many weeks, months, years, centuries
shall we struggle to keep on living, keep on living?
Habits are such strange things, such hard things to break!



Inconclusive
by Gulzar
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A body lies on a white bed—
dead, abandoned,
a forsaken corpse they forgot to bury.
They concluded its death was not their concern.
I hope they return and recognize me,
then bury me so I can breathe.

Keywords/Tags: Gulzar, Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi, Triveni, translation, life, death, love, ghazal, couplet, mrburdu
Perhaps
by Momin Khan Momin
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

The cohesiveness between us, you may remember, or perhaps not.
Our solemn oaths of faithfulness, you may remember, or perhaps forgot.
If something happened that was not to your liking,
the shrinking away that produces silence, you may remember, or perhaps not.
Listen, the sagas of so many years, the promises you made amid time's onslaught,
which you now fail to mention, you may remember, or perhaps not.
These new resentments, those old rehashed complaints,
these lighthearted and displeasing stories, you may remember, or perhaps forgot.
Some seasons ago we shared love and desire, we shared joy ...
That we once were dear friends, you may have, perhaps, forgot.
Now if we come together, by fate or by chance, to express old loyalties ...
Our every shared breath, all our sighs and regrets, you may remember, or perhaps not.



Being
by Momin Khan Momin
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

You are so close to me
that no one else ever can be.

NOTE: There is a legend that the great Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib offered all his diwan (poetry collections) in exchange for this one sher (couplet) by Momin Khan Momin. Does the couplet mean "be as close" or "be, at all"? Does it mean "You are with me in a way that no one else can ever be?" Or does it mean that no one else can ever exist as truly as one's true love? Or does this sher contain an infinite number of elusive meanings, like love itself?



Being (II)
by Momin Khan Momin
loose translation by Michael R. Burch

You alone are with me when I am alone.
You are beside me when I am beside myself.
You are as close to me as everyone else is afar.
You are so close to me that no one else ever can be.

Keywords/Tags: Translation, Urdu, Momin Khan Momin, love, close, closeness, unity, farness, afar, memory, remembrance, forgetfulness, remember, forget, forgot, time, silence, mrburdu
Translations of Urdu couplets by Mir Taqi Mir

Sharpen the barbs of every thorn, O lunatic desert!
Perhaps another hobbler, also limping by on blistered feet, follows me!
―Mir Taqi Mir, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

My life is a bubble,
this world an illusion.
―Mir Taqi Mir, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Selflessness has gotten me nowhere:
I neglected myself far too long.
―Mir Taqi Mir, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

I know now that I know nothing,
and it only took me a lifetime to learn!
―Mir Taqi Mir, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Love's just beginning, so why do you whine?
Why not wait and watch how things unwind!
―Mir Taqi Mir, loose translation by Michael R. Burch

Keywords/Tags: Translation, Urdu, couplets, Mir Taqi Mir, Meer Taqi Meer, desert, feet, life, world, illusion, selflessness, neglect, knowledge, learn, learning, love, India, Indian, mrburdu
Couplets
by Jaun Elia
translations by Michael R. Burch

I am strange—so strange
that I self-destructed and don't regret it.
―Jaun Elia, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The wound is deep—companions, friends—embrace me!
What, did you not even bother to stay?
―Jaun Elia, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

My nature is so strange
that today I felt relieved when you didn't arrive.
―Jaun Elia, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Night and day I awaited myself;
now you return me to myself.
―Jaun Elia, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Greeting me this cordially,
have you so easily erased my memory?
―Jaun Elia, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Your lips have provided thousands of answers;
so what is the point of complaining now?
―Jaun Elia, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Perhaps I haven't fallen in love with anyone,
but at least I convinced them!
―Jaun Elia, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

The city of mystics has become bizarre:
everyone is wary of majesty, have you heard?
―Jaun Elia, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Keywords/Tags: Jaun, Elia, couplets, Urdu, translation, nature, strange, strangeness, love, memory, mrburdu
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