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.

 

II

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

Alone.

 

III

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.

 

IV

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

Of divinity;

 

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

Green mosses;

 

Birds and butterflies,

Slanting in the sunshine

Come alive

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

OT 2Omer 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.