Friday, September 30, 2005

Cops and Robbers –S .Diwakar


Always

some are policemen,

others thieves.

Thieves steal the moon and hide it.

Policemen hunt for the thieves and hunt for the moon;

they catch the thieves and nail

the moon back into the sky

Thieves steal the heart of a girl.

Policemen hunt for the thieves and hunt for the heart;

they catch the thieves and take

the heart to the girl.

"I don’t need that heart," cries the girl.

But the policemen shove it down her throat,

they tell her it’s their duty.

Thieves steal the sparks from the waves

and hide them in their hearts.

Policemen hunt for the thieves and hunt for the sparks;

they catch the thieves and pour

the sparks back into the waves.

When the sparks fade, the policemen say,

"What can we do? We have done our duty."

Thieves steal whatever they can lay their hands on:

dry leaves, threads of a rainbow,

pieces of smiles, whispers of seasons,

footprints on water…

Yes, they steal whatever they can lay their hands on.

Policemen always chase the thieves.

Sometimes they catch them, sometimes they don’t.

When they don’t catch the thieves,

they sit and polish their boots,

they nail up posters everywhere

that declare, ‘Theft is evil’.

Yet, policemen cannot understand

that whatever the thieves steal

will grow back,

and whatever they snatch from the thieves

will not fit in their places.

Whoever hears of this will immediately become a thief

as some tired thieves

become policemen.

Always

some are policemen,

some are thieves.

Translated from the Kannada by Christopher Merrill

  
  S. Diwakar is an award-winning Kannada poet and fiction writer. He lives in Madras
(Coutesy: Litlemag.com)

      

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