Day after Day I turn
Day after day I turn
Where no turning goes;
Then some knowledge stops me
Where I stand, or lack of it, I don’t know.
Where is that inward play I used to know?
Not here, where every prickling wish into doubt
Or confusion grows; every thorn and shred of bone
That grasps, or bites, or thrusts, leave me more
In the brooding mimicry of stone, the soft black
Cinders swirl; the thin, rasping sounds belong to me,
My breath it is that tears through the howling wind,
Harping on these twigs the same old tune.
A slag-heap, dead and floating, that’s what it is,
Each death, a renewal, every rebirth a renegade
Frolicking round and round the unfolding layers
Of the rippling air—
Layer after layer, the darkness brings forth light.
Hic Vigilans Somniat
Then, to be awake in the sound and harmony
Is to be deluged by the flowing murmurs
A host of god-lings enduring this captivity
Ripen into a molten core
And burst out of silence
Clamouring for attention;
That which we call “brain cells”
Achieve fusion with the blood
And trysting within the heart
Become as mindful as the tender
Birds and butterflies,
Slanting in the sunshine
And every wing, feather, leaf and bough
Stands out in vivid relief
Talking from world to world, with the boundless potential
Of spirit passing into spirit;
I shudder and they laugh,
“Hic vigilans somniat”—“He dreams awake”.
About the Poet
Omer Tarin is a well-known poet and scholar from South Asia with numerous literary and academic publications. He is presently based in Northern Pakistan, where apart from his literary pursuits he also runs a small non-profit research and educational institute.