Don’t look for the way

to heaven in holy books.

Ask instead the extinct plants

and beasts.

Orphans know it;

some sparrows too.

The blind know it;

some sorrows too.

It is not those in golden crowns

that attain heaven,  but

the mad women with their

tiaras of leaves and rags.

Then too the ripe jack fruit leaves

drunk with the evening breeze

playing their copper  lyre

as they float and fly,

herds of clouds who have

lost their shepherds,

and dust soaring up from waste-heaps

with dreams of gold.

There is a coral tree on

each step to heaven;

with their thorns

they put to trial every century of man,

ask for the numbers of the

slain and the maimed.

We will have to leave back

all the  beliefs we had held dear;

our answers are denied entry.

On the way to heaven are

the dense forests of the questions

we failed to ask on earth,

the rushing cataracts of

instincts we ruthlessly suppressed,

our silent selves that we had

abandoned on the wayside

to please someone.

Since there is no Time here

our hair does not turn grey in its slow fire,

years do not leave their

plough-marks on our face

knowledge does not weigh us down.

No desire that hurts, no hope that scalds .

There are no doors that are only half-open,

no complaining graveyards,

no souls screaming for a body to be reborn.

Here we take our baby steps against

the dance of death, we boldly sing

the songs we were scared to sing.


is nothing but

the life we never lived,

and are still scared of  living.


You are  a door; and I am

the sandals outside

You are  a poem; and I am

the line  struck off

You are the sky: and I am

a star long ago dead

You are the flower on this shore; and I am

the wind on the other.

You are a forest of the frigid zone   and I am

a tree from the tropics

You are a book written in another tongue; I am

an alien to your signs.

We met, in Heaven,

like two deities

We should part, on earth,

like two humans.  

( Translated from Malayalam by the poet )


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