In the benighted landscape of palace ruins,
the blind poplars, in an abortive, elliptical row,
put their foreheads to the moon
listening to the roaring of the south wind,
which brings in the lustful mynahs,
the mimicking mynahs from the plains
chattering of the fifth blighted year
of parched, powdery fields,
of the sun that stays at the meridian,
to nest and mate in the cool of the fallen ramparts.
Deaf to their twitter, their flutter,
the meager peasant from the plains,
who has followed them here, to this place
of elevated to be’s, this palace of ruins,
awaits patiently, amidst this clearing
the dawn of aging ruins.
~ Raza Ali Hasan
Raza Ali Hasan was born in Chittagong, and grew up in Indonesia and Pakistan. After moving to the United States, he received an MFA from Syracuse University. He currently lives in Boulder and has taught at the University of Colorado and Iowa State University. Hasan’s poetry collections include ‘Grieving Shias’ (2006) and ‘67 mogul miniatures’ (2008). In a review of the latter collection, Daniel Dissinger wrote that Hasan “constructs a sprawling world that fits in the palm of your hand.”
Editor’s Note: The Clearing originally appeared in Grieving Shias, and is published here with the kind permission of the poet.