By Satish Chander
It's not just milk but crores of sins are white too only, adulterated by a few tears Glass-eyed swans tell me about the color of tears, not the portion of water you're the angels who slipped off a tipsy heaven reveling in the waters, you must have slurped the oceans tell me about the taste of tears in god's deep embrace you must have perspired a little tell me about the scent of tears I, like the dark cloud could rain down a flood on how tears feel It's not just jasmines hand-gloves are white too only, stained by a little blood Having washed your hands, emperors before you crown me with thorns show me a thimbleful of dark blood you are the serpent kings of the primeval jungle you must have bitten the dust, where man got hurt tell me about the taste of the blood that spilled when you caressed the warrior's back as a whip the sandalwood trees must have swooned tell me about the scent of blood Having ascended the cross like a throne, I, on the other hand when asked about the blood will guide your fingers through the holes in my palms Not just the seven colors the four varnas mixed are white too only, darkened by a little filthiness Raised by the crumbs of angarajya to a finer varna, O arch sudras tell me about the color of power from God's feet to his shoulders you've climbed, oppressors manu's dharma in your money purses hoarded, of course, tell me about the taste of power In the scum-laden lake what springs forth doesn't reflect your face tell me about the scent of power I, who you have never considered human if asked about the feel of power shall unpeel its skin, to illustrate.
Naren Bedide's translation of Satish Chander's Telugu poem 'Lost Angels'. The poem first appeared on The Shared Mirror on August 19, 2011. The original post can be accessed here