Eleven Tanka Poems by Gabriel Rosenstock

By Gabriel Rosenstock

1280px-Hlakungpui_Gate

Photo source: Here

the authorities are alarmed

in the village of Khawbung

there has been a sudden rise

in the number of poets

government advises culling

(Irish Version)

tá imní ar na húdaráis

i sráidbhaile Khawbung

tá méadú tobann tagtha

ar líon na bhfilí ann

ciondíothú orthu! a deir an rialtas

***

Meher_Baba_5

Photo Source: Here

have you noticed, beloved,

Avatar Meher Baba –

am I imagining it –

even his moustache looks happy

I want a moustache like his

(Irish Version)

ar thug tú faoi deara, a stór

Avatar Meher Baba –

an á shamhlú atáim –

tá cuma shásta ar a chroiméal fiú

croiméal mar sin atá uaimse

***

800px-Palimpsest_of_Street_Posters_-_Pondicherry_-_India

Photo Source: Here

one poster upon another

upon another

one thought upon another

upon another and so it goes

beloved, where is the original thought

(Irish Version)

póstaer ar phóstaer

ar phóstaer eile

smaoineamh ar smaoineamh

ar smaoineamh eile is mar sin de

a thaisce, cá bhfuil an bunsmaoineamh

***

image003

Photo Source: Here

mother of Jesus

we have our wires crossed

take pity on us

we know not

what we are doing

(Irish Version)

a Mhuire na nGrás

tá mearbhall orainn

glac trua dhúinn

níl a fhios againn

cad atá ar siúl againn

***

1280px-PosterAgainstCorruptionInIndia

Photo Source: Here

do the maths, they say

i’m up all night, beloved

the figures don’t add up

using the abacus like a rosary

I’m worried – they just don’t add up

(Irish Version)

déan na suimeanna, ar siad

táim ím’ shuí ó d’éirigh an ré

a chuid, tá lúb ar lár ann

an t-abacas mar phaidrín agam

tá lúb ar lár éigin ann cinnte

***

BB&CI-ticket

Photo Source: Here

i am travelling to Victoria Terminus

i hope to meet Victoria there

two words I have for her

Quit India! i practice these words

all the way from Andheri

(Irish Version)

táim ag taisteal chuig Victoria Terminus

ag súil go mbuailfinn le Victoria ann

tá trí fhocal agam di

Fág an Ind! na focail sin á rá agam

an bealach ar fad ó Andheri

***

800px-Visit_India,_a_street_by_moonlight,_travel_poster,_ca._1920

 Photo Source: Here

  do you remember

moonlight slowly following

the oxcart through the street

or the cart following moonlight

our crumbling dreams

(Irish Version)

an cuimhin leat

solas na gealaí go mall

i ndiaidh na damhchairte suas an tsráid

nó an í an damhchairt a lean an solas

ár mbrionglóidí ag titim as a chéile

***

Dumbachary_1935

Photo Source: Here

beloved, are you not weary

of the talkies

where can we find a silent movie

I’ll be honest: I don’t even know

what they’re saying anymore

(Irish Version)

nach bhfuil tú bréan, a shearc

de na scannáin chainte

cá bhfaighimis scannán tostach

beidh mé macánta leat

ní thuigim cad atá á rá acu níos mó

***

Gnanasoundari_Citadel

Photo Source: Here

Mother Mary

if your Son were alive today

would He be an anarchist

or a consultant

for Goldman Sachs

(Irish Version)

a Mhuire Mháthair

dá mbeadh do Mhac beo inniu

an ainrialaí a bheadh ann

nó an mbeadh Sé

ina chomhairleoir ag Goldman Sachs

***

800px-Puttillu

Photo Source: Here

we weep, beloved

because life is a film

we weep because we know

it will soon be over

I see You in old posters

(Irish Version)

caoinimid, a ghrá

mar gur scannán é an saol

caoinimid toisc go dtuigimid

nach fada go mbeidh sé thart

feicimse thú i seanphóstaeir

***

lossy-page1-800px-YVS_Laahiri_Laahiri_Laahiri_Lo_01.tif

Photo Source: Here

may the rain never cease

i take shelter in Your love

may it drown out all other sounds

say my name once more

may the rain never cease

(Irish Version)

nár stopa an bháisteach go deo

téim faoi choimirce do ghrása

báfar gach glór eile

abair m’ainmse arís

nár stopa an bháisteach

Bio:
Gabriel Rosenstock is a bilingual poet, haikuist and tankaist. His latest book is Walk with Gandhi, illustrated by Masood Hussain. Website: https://www.rosenstockandrosenstock.com/

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Read the latest issue of Cafe Dissensus Magazine, “Poetics and politics of the ‘everyday’: Engaging with India’s northeast”, edited by Bhumika R, IIT Jammu and Suranjana Choudhury, NEHU, India.

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