Two poems by Ahmad Shamlu

Translated from Farsi by Sheida Dayani

Ahmad Shamlou (1925-2000)

The Secret

A secret was with me;

I told the mountain.

A secret was with me;

I told the well.

On the lengthy path,

Alone and lonesome,

I told the black horse

I told the stones…

With my old secret

At last I arrived.

I uttered no words

You uttered no words;

I was shedding tears

You were shedding tears.

Then I sealed my lips

You read from my eyes…

The Fish

Never has been my heart,

I think,

So crimson and warm:

At the worst seconds

Of this deadly night,

I feel,

Thousands of founts of sun

Spout with certitude

in my heart.

In every corner

Of this salt-desert of despair,

Thousands of vivacious woods,

I feel,

Grow sudden out of ground.

You! My lost certitude!

You runaway fish!

Slipping in and out

Of lakes of mirror!

A filtering pond am I;

Now with the sorcery of love,

Seek a way towards I

From the lakes of mirror!

Never has been my hand,

I think,

This gay and grand:

With a waterfall of crimson tear

in my eye

I feel,

Breathes a dusk-less sun of an anthem.

In every vein of mine

With every beat of my heart,

I feel,

Chimes now the awakening of a caravan.

She entered through the door one night

Nude as the water’s soul;

Her breasts: two fish,

Hands, holding a mirror,

Her hair: moss-smelling,

Twisted as moss.

At the threshold of despair,

Cried I:

“My found certitude!

Of you,

I will not let go of you.”

Posted on Al Jadaliyya

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