Vignettes of a South African Township called Mdantsane

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Poetry of Liu Xiaobo 2


Longing to Escape

for my wife

abandon the imagined martyrs
I long to lie at your feet, besides
being tied to death this is
my one duty
when the heart’s mirror-
clear, an enduring happiness

your toes will not break
a cat closes in behind
you, I want to shoo him away
as he turns his head, extends
a sharp claw toward me
deep within his blue eyes
there seems to be a prison
if I blindly step out
of with even the slightest
step I’d turn into a fish.

Published in Pen American Centre
Pen Drawing by Amitabh Mitra


  1. Wow Amitabh.Another good piece of drawing from you...usha

  2. My Fear is Complete

    I don’t have a friend

    As I travel the night

    Lurking creatures rustle

    Half hidden from sight

    Self imposed enemies

    And forms of delusion

    Create the fear

    That feeds my confusion

    I flee in a panic

    To find my way home

    My distrust and my greed

    Assure I’m alone

    Falling shadows

    Creep cross my path

    Pointing black fingers

    They all start to laugh

    They know that I’m totally

    Lost to myself

    The joker of spades

    Is what I’ve been dealt

    With aching bones

    And too heavy a load

    I’m alone and confused

    At a fork in the road

    As I try to decide

    Which path will be right

    I can’t catch my breath

    And I’m losing my sight

    I limp in pain

    On down the road

    My mind is dim

    And my spirit is cold

    A black throated wind

    Blows cross my heart

    I wish for a new day

    To make a new start

    I’d treat my new friends

    With loving compassion

    To help those in need

    Would become my passion

    But I lived my life

    As cold as the stones

    Stacked up to cover

    A pile of bones

    Selfish worms

    Ate the flesh in this grave

    And now myself

    I can’t even save

    I can’t even stand

    My own constitution

    And burning in hell

    I’ll pay restitution

    My demons will smile

    Because they know they have won

    As they pierce me with swords

    As hot as the sun

    Burning swords

    Of truth and justice

    Slice away all

    After which I had lusted

    Why could not I be happy?

    With all I’d been blessed

    With deceitful passion

    I stole from the rest

    But now in the distance

    I see my temporal home

    Where I hoard all my objects

    And I’m always alone

    I can’t believe

    That with all I had stole

    I can’t begin to fill

    This hole in my soul

    I unlock the gate

    And turn to the right

    My logic and reason

    Have fled into the night

    I hear wings flapping

    Was it that of a dove?

    How could I miss it before?

    What I needed was love

    I hobble up

    The crumbling old stairs

    In this cold realm

    Where nobody cared

    Through the door

    And into my place

    Where empty nothingness

    Fills up the space

    With eyes of deception

    And lips of deceit

    With myself as my enemy

    My fear is complete