Readings for January - February 2006 | Madhu Bazaz Wangu
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Readings for January – February 2006

Readings for January – February 2006

Keeping Quiet

Pablo Neruda

Now we will count to twelve
And we will all keep still
For once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for a second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
In a sudden strangeness.

Fisherman in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would not look at his hurt hands.

Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
In the shade, doing nothing.

What I want should not be confused
With total inactivity
Life is what it is about.

If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.

Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems to be dead in world
and later proves to be alive.

Now I’ll count up to twelve
And you keep quiet
and I will go.



John Lennon

Imagine there’s no heaven,
It’s easy if you try,
No hell below us,
Above us only sky,
Imagine all the people
living for today…

Imagine there’s no countries,
It isn’t hard to do,
Nothing to kill or die for,
No religion too,
Imagine all the people
living life in peace…

Imagine no possessions,
I wonder if you can,
No need for greed or hunger,
A brotherhood of man,
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…

You may say I’m a dreamer,
But I’m not the only one,
I hope some day you’ll join us,
And the world will live as one.



(Kabir’s Dohas or two-line Hindi poems, are translated in English by Dr. Wangu)

Jaise til mein tel hai, jyon chakmak mein aag
Tera sayeen tujh mein hai, tu jaag sake to jag

The way seed contains the oil, like flint has fire
Your God is within you, awake!

Jyon naino mein putli, tyon malik ghat mahin
Moorakh log na janhin, baahar dhudhan jahin

The way pupil is in the eye, God is within
Ignorant do not know this, they search for Him without

Jab tu aaya jagat mein, jug hanse tu roye
Aise karni kar chhado, tu hanse jug roye

When you arrived into the world, people laughed while you cried
Act in such a way that when you leave, you laugh and people cry

Maala to kar mein phire, jeebh phire mukh mahin
Manua to chahun dish phire, yeh to simran hahin

Hand rotates the rosary, tongue twists in the mouth
Mind rotates to the four directions, this is not meditation.

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