Translated from Urdu by Kathrine Sowerby
Time for night to spread its wings —
soon it will be dark and hard to find
the faintest light, not counting the sun
and the moon. But the farthest point
of this barren land seems to sparkle.
Decorations hung in trees and lamps
throw their glow every step of the way,
leaving me with your unwanted words.
You chose to turn towards the light
and now you must decide either way.
But remember, in the middle of the night
moonlight is enough for me. Single stars
light the way, a firefly guides me
in the right direction.
My friend, even the darkest nights
come to an end. Day breaks and floods
with light and then, if you come back
carrying hundreds of fireflies, hundreds
of stars, the moon in one hand, galaxies
in the other, you won’t be welcomed
even by me.
So, don’t lose yourself in the glare of the world.
Don’t leave it until night is over and the sun
is shining in the sky.
~ Afshan Sajjad
Afshan Sajjad is an educator and poet. She is currently the Head of the Urdu Department at Lahore American School, where she has been teaching High School students for the past eight years. She has widely published her poetry in Urdu magazines, and is the author of an Urdu poetry book, ‘Jo Dil Pe Guzarti hai.’ She holds a master’s degree in Urdu from Punjab University, Lahore.
Kathrine Sowerby is a Glasgow-based poet with a background in fine art. A graduate of Glasgow School of Art’s MFA programme and Glasgow University’s MLitt in Creative Writing, she has been a runner up in the Edwin Morgan and the Wigtown Poetry Competitions and received a 2012/13 New Writers Award from the Scottish Book Trust. Kathrine co-runs tell it ‘slant’, Glasgow’s poetry bookshop, and curates and makes ‘fourfold’, a pocket-sized publication.