Annual of Urdu Studies, v. 6, 1987 p. 68.


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Safdar Mir

POEMS

City of the Dead

The darkness wakens:

Among the graves the wind wanders, whispering . . . This is the city of those who were, and are not;

Bright stars that gazed on them once now murmur songs of them;

Mounting like a breaker, memory of them comes back,

Whose powdered dust the years have blown about,

Whose cracked skulls gleam like bubbles through the darkness . . .

Among the graves the wind wanders, whispering.

Over the roofs the wind wanders, whispering . . . This is the city of those who are, and were not:

The city of those who are, and yet are not. What life is theirs? all darkness, only darkness;

Darkness, all darkness— By day darkness, by night;

Darkness, all darkness . . .

Call Him who on the last day shall make dry bones live,

For here too only fleshless skeletons sleep.

From motionless depths of the sea of darkness let Him raise them up

Into the ocean of light whose thunderous tides bear mountains down!

Call Him! . . . Who is this that makes dry bones live?

Among the graves the wind wanders, whispering.

Dawn

The chill lament of the nightingale's dark music Eddies away once more into the distance, And azure, scarlet, golden notes Burst from the strings of Time's old harp. Walls sunk beneath coils of silvery vapor Emerge into cool crystal air,

68


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