Poet Deen Gaffoor's translated poems

Poet Dean Gaffoor lives in the Maruthamunai area, Sri Lanka. He has published some books, such as 'Croton Alahi', 'Sotkalil sulalum Pirapanjam'. His poems have been translated into English and Sinhala recently. The following four poems have been translated by the Indian translator N.Sirivatsa. 


I was feeling the heat
in a big space.
My feathers shrank
before the desire of a vulture
that drew circles around me.
I hid inside a familiar forest.
The bush asked me
to sit blindfolded
in the shade of a tree.
The worried wind
shoved me along.
In a sound that drilled through darkness
a thousand pages of dreams were torn.
A firefly went rubbing its back
to ensure nothing gruesome happens
in the Moon that smiled slowly.
My feathers shrank
before the desire of a vulture
that drew circles around me.

I waited for a sky
to spread inside me.
I did not think of it
as a sky
like the usual sky.
In the usual sky,
will be a Moon;
stars will blossom and sparkle;
a blue mat will lay spread,
the Sun will rise and shine
through the day.
For the days that pass
with the scene of children
conversing with
inside me,
hands covering eyes,
ears plugged,
frying mud snacks,
heaping sand,
breaking bottle gourd
and so on,
I waited for a sky
to spread inside me.
Dark clouds surround
the sky that has not spread.
I am in search of the sky
that has not spread.
I search inside the horizon.
Dear sea! Your sand is sufficient
for me to conceive a poem.

I will hover near mother's feet
for her call.
To purchase a koththu of rice,
I will ask for ten percent charges.
To get kerosene and something else,
I will ask to buy the red toffee
that makes the mouth ruddy.
I will carry
a load of firewood
without bothering about the weight
like a lorry.
I will not blame Umma
even if a drop of blood
were to seep from a scratch
on the hand holding the load.
I will dig a pit in our own land
in quest of white sand.
I will heap dirt and play
imagining it to be beach sand.
I will call the wind too,
make and give it a kite.
I will season a browned coconut frond
by the side of the well
and weave a thatch,
a lesson taught by grandmother
on the front porch,
how to make a fence.
I will peel the bark off portia stalks
and tie the poles.
As long as I did what Umma asked,
there was no cane waiting to punish.
At the corner of the eyelid,
even today mother would have
a chore to be done.

At midnight,
a poem spurred up.
An aching in the chest
drew the poem back.
I searched for a piece of paper
to wipe that off
and fumbled for a pen
to wash off.
the chirping
of the lizard
that leapt
on my face
when the electric light
was switched on,
the spurred up poem

Source: Deen Gaffoor
Translated by: N.Srivatsha

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  1. பேரன்பும் நன்றியும் மகிழ்ச்சியும்.