gulab khandelwal selected poems


O fortieth sun of my age!
The mid-summer-day of life,
The stretched bow of a tired hunter!
I welcome you,
Straightening myself with new resolves.
Layers after layers of my heart are being revealed,
As if door after door is opening,
As if thousands of mirrors are being reflected in one.
O bright sun of my fortieth birth-day!

I have left those valleys unwillingly
Where saffron-fields of imagination waved lavishly,
And the harvest of dreams
Was reaped without sowing;
Where every pebble was like a gem,
Where every wayside bud was the image of beauty,
Tenderness and glamour,
Where every tree
Resounded with the sounds of the cuckoo.
The numerous streams like so many friends,
The modest vines, the fairies of the grass,
Whose eyes shone like glow-worms seeing me,
Where have they all gone to-day!
As if vanished being afraid of your heat,
O fortieth sun of my age !

I hear the distant bells of a descending caravan,
The trembling sounds sinking in a sea of darkness.
There is still tightness and melody in the strings,
Do not stretch them to the breaking point;
Let not your rays cross the meridian.
O fortieth sun of my age !

Should I paint you in colors
That your youth may become immortal !
Or put you in words that the light of your soul
May shine for ever !
As Helen, standing on the walls of Troy,
Still calls a thousand ships of war,
I will also fix you on this tropic of cancer
O fortieth sun of my age !