p
o
e
m
s

It feels nice

To sit under a tree.

It leads to

The internal world.

 

In the internal world

Is the internal forest.

Roots and more roots,

A forest of roots.

Roots growing out of roots,

And more coming out of them.

 

On the topmost branch

Of a root

Sits the internal bird

Making internal sounds.

I keep losing my way

In the forest, keep finding it.

 

There are in roots no flowers or leaves,

Spring is my season, not autumn.

This is why the flowers have bloomed,

A few,

Just as I wanted them to.

 

It feels nice to be back

In the outside world.

 

To find the way to it,

Sit under a tree.

 

Translated from the Hindi by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra.

 

Vinod Kumar Shukla is the author of four novels and several collections of poetry in Hindi. He lives in Raipur, India, where he taught at the Indira Gandhi Agricultural University.

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