A real night

Rajesh Joshi
Translated from Hindi

The Sun dreamt of becoming the moon
The moon of becoming a billion stars

Bread fell into a dream of becoming a doe
Jumping around in a forest
I came out of a cave
With a bow and arrows

Suddenly from behind a tree
Prowling
A cheetah caught the doe!

After this the real night came
And nobody had
Anything to dream of.

System in place

We want the system to be in place,
But will it give us any space?
Its arch will measure
And define every step for you.
What will you be
But a creature of the milieu!

We despised the monarch’s throne
As it was erratic
And subject to his fantasies
We’d adjust our tone.
But what have we made ourselves now
– Wound up and all automatic!

at the red lights

at the red lights
cars stop
automatically

it is a green light
for the limping humanity to flood the roads
huddled up moving on the zebra lines

from there a few zombie eyes
stray and pierce the shut windows
of Rolls Royce, Ford, Fiat and Toyota
with their threatening beams

some of them
in drunken fit
use those few seconds
to x-ray us
inside out
to bare us from within
and without
with their eyes
– just their eyes.