Naked Thoughts

JK Bank

My love provides this desert with
Your lovely hair’s luxuriant shade.
Time and gain your memory
Knocks wildly at the door of my heart.
Who would for ages live alone? —
It’s not with that wish we were born.

When the wind had idle sport with the lamp,
Trembling seized the lights of heaven.
Being helpless, for the mind lives close,
The heart put a lid on its agony.
Hate never will know softened lips;
Love is blest with streams of tears.


Old goblets are too small for thought —
I wish some better form were found,
Else I might sell, not sing love’s yearnings,
And follow only in others’ wake.
Who says man can’t be found here now?
Then what are these? Only ghosts?
The brocade of words is not to be had,
And naked thoughts just waste away.

The dog wears a collar of gold —
O how your barking thrills my heart!

In this city of sad decay
Even a fluttering heart is a treasure.

Translated from the Kashmiri by Trilokinath Raina