Living Out Their Lives in the Jungle

We present this work in honor of the poet’s 110th birthday.

Nagarjun
Indian
1911 – 1998

 

Bhado, glistening
The night of the new moon

What is this sapphire gleam
Scattering its blessings in the jungle
How wondrous is this gift
That, too, in the auspicious rainy season
It seems that they, alone, will triumph
In the arena where power flaunts itself
There are thousands, hundreds of thousands
Who can count them, innumerable are they
Together they glow and shine
Who can say – they burn and perish
Living out their lives in the jungle

These fireflies are lit from within
One moment shining, the next extinguished
How wondrous is this gift
That, too, in the auspicious rainy season
Their triumph is certain
In the arena of the final pilgrimage
Do not call them ‘wretched’
Listen, these are creatures of light
Living out their lives in the jungle

Bhado, glistening
The light of the new moon

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