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Flavor for lips,
Color for eyes,
Smell for the nose,
Of narcissus and clove.
Hope for the heart,
Spirit and longing;
Sarod for the ear,
Jingle and strum.
For me élan,
Life and light;
A few voices
Of life’s colors.
Crack-a-crackle of fire,
Pitter-patter of rain,
Ach, ach of yearning,
Oh, oh of longing,
Shish, shish of passion,
Ooh, ooh of loving,
The eternal no, no
And yes, yes of a darling.
Giggle-gaggle of laughter,
Crack-a-cackle of cheer,
Tin-tinkle of anklets,
Babble-bubble of a rill,
Swash n’ gobble of water,
Whispering whistle of wind,
‘Stop, stop,’ of a sweetheart,
Froth n’ foam of the foe,
Swish, swish of lashes,
Whiz, whiz of bullets,
Crack-a-crackle of chillum,
A butterfly’s flitter,
Boom-boom of the drum,
Twang-twang of the rabab,
Gurgle-gargle of the cup,
Sizzle, sizzle of the kebab,
Slurp, slurp of the mouth,
Sigh! Sigh! of the beloved,
Chuck-a-chuckle of a chukar,
Coo-coo of a pigeon,
‘Stop, stop!’ of the lover,
‘Fie, fie,’ she goes on;
Squeak, squeak of the pen
On and on, this dicourse.

Hyderabad Jail – 1948

Translated from Pashto by Taimur Khan

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