The Other Side of the Purple Waves
Translated by: Dr. Sharef Fayez

On my back, I carry a heavy knapsack
       on perilous trails
I come from a great land, in whose streets
the sun is a common currency
And on the high towers of my land
the torch of freedom is green 
And poplars in the gardens of my land  
       touch the stars of love

I come from a great land, where I am a stranger
       and speak a strange language
I don’t know the language of the gun,
the red bullets and the blood track
And the columns of smoke, blood and explosion
       collide with the rhythms of my poems  
The rhythms of my poems do not rhyme with
       the metallic syllables of rifles and tanks
The rhythms of my poems come from my vibrant soul

The rhythms of my poems respire
       in the growth of a flower in a pot
       in the dance of a bough in the garden
       in the song of a child in the school
       in the smile of a star in the sky
The rhythms of my poems come from
            the brightness of a light in darkness
            the murmur of a spring in a mountain
            the warbling of a bird in a forest
            the dance of a lily in a stream
I come from a great land, where newspapers
       are printed with the ink of the sun
And in the darkest ages of history, one can turn them
into a light to brighten the orchard’s mind
            to see the flowers of truth.

I come from a great land, where newspapers
       have taken over the realm of lies
Therefore, I long for a night-letter
For long I haven’t seen the great figure of truth
       in its small mirrors
For long I have seen people buying from the stands
       lies in bundles to communicate with lies
       and to drown themselves in lies
For long I have seen many poets sailing their paper boats
on the newspapers’ muddy shores
For long I have seen the guardians of the blank verse
standing on the colorful gray towers of infamous letters
measuring the summer heat of jealousy
With borrowed helmets, they have been striking their swords
at all that is lyrical and
throwing stones at the sublime steeple of couplets
And with an unclean prayer renouncing  
the permanent purity of prayer
For long I have seen one who once swelled his black throat
with the night’s strings echoes
letting his voice ring in the sacred spring of the sun
For long I have seen the city sky losing its moon coin in a mist
And the stars, the sky’s virgins, anointed their eyes
with the sunset salve
And nobody knows where the sun has gone
as if that golden boat has hit a huge black rock
at the far end of the purple waves
and dark specters have carried the coffin of its name
to the broken shore of the south.
The windows’ close-minded night
is a stranger to the delicate passing of light
And the shy girls sitting by their lanterns
watch the fall figure of the wind
from behind the seven curtains of darkness
And the shy girls sitting by their lanterns wash
their permanent veil of modesty
in the pitch spring water

And the children hang their smile by the silk ribbon of their tresses.
I am going
And in the most inaccessible moments of freedom
I pour on my face a handful of water
from the most distant spring
that flows from the most distant mountain
And I tie my sad lyrics to the wings of white pigeons
and open the sail of my bosom 
in the direction of mountain gusts
until the settled particles of this wild civilization
go away from the thin vessels of my thought.
Here all the birds know that the fall with its yellow lash of bigotry
has silenced the green song of blooming
on the tongues of grass, bushes and trees
And the milk of life is being poisoned
in the white thought in the breast of the green moments.
And the budding babies from the lap of the tree mother
fall on the ground.
Here all the birds know that the tall Lady Spring
in the market places of the jungle
has auctioned its green garb to the fall winds
Oh wind, wind, wind!
When these wild loose horses, with their scruffy manes,
neigh in life’s green valleys
the pain of green branches
fill my troubled mind’s mirrors
The mirrors of my troubled mind
paint the hard concept of the stone.
I am going, going, going and take my life with me --
this dark space of my rented room.
And I know that none in this city
will ever say to another one: May you come back!
I am going, going, going and sailing the boat of my steps
       on the green ocean deserts.
And I give my hands to the tall branches of the garden
so that with the nocturnal prayer of the tree
I may embrace the sky
And I will talk to love in the language of the loneliest flower.
And I will take water to watch the desert and
fly the pigeons of my voice
over the rooftop of the sun’s pigeon tower.
And with the red throat of anemones
I will sing a song for martyrdom and for faith and
for the capture of the mountain, desert, valley, and river
I will saddle the white horses of memory.
I am hearing the roar of the laughter of ruthlessness
       from the wounded throat of the blind streets.
I know misery and breathe loneliness.
Misery is running through my veins,
Misery is my permanent twin brother.
Misery puts on my shoes and walks with my feet.
Misery plays chess with me and
       I have never told him: Shoo!
Misery is in my house
Misery is playing with my only child and steals its bread
Misery has given to me its blind eyes as a gift.
And I see the world with its blind eyes.
Misery is singing its poems from my throat
And writes at the end of each poem:
       “Pertaw Naderi”

I feel homesick for the sun
If perchance you see him
        ask him if someday he can enter my house
with a glowing face from light.
I will sacrifice the black sheep of expectation.
I will no longer care for the benefit of these shady flowers.
For how long should I pound my fists
on the chest of the brutality wall?
For how long should the horizons silver their mirrors
from the blood of my hands?

I feel homesick for the sun.
For a long time every day
       I have been turning the pages of
the dictionary of my life’s moments
And I see the entries have new ID cards and
they have received permits to live in the land of
       the new meanings and odd concepts.
For example, the red apple means
       the clotting of the red blood cells.
The sun is a Rustem in a dungeon who has passed out
       by guffaws of the demon of death
Life is a repugnant leftover bulging out of the death’s mouth
Democracy rots in the gun’s barrel and it is so great
that it is measured with the expansion
       of a bullet flight.
Luck is a lock on the gate of the magic city
whose key leads one to a great misery
       in the deepest pit of vileness.

I feel homesick for the sun.
I feel homesick for the sun.
I will return to my great land.
I will return to my great land.
I will return to my great land.

Kabul, 1993