Friday, 11 March 2011

'Dusk to Dusk' - Afghan poems

The painting is inspired by one I found on the internet of an old Afghan man.

I originally came across the poems in a booklet produced in Coventry by Afghan Refugees called 'Dusk to Dusk'. These are Pushtoon poems - 'By blood...' by Amad Shah Durrani (1747-73) and 'The knowing man' by Khushal Khan Khattak (1613-90) There is a timelessness about both the picture of the old man and the poems ....


Sta pa lara ke biley zalmey sarona

Kaharo da dunya malkona der shi

Zama her na shi da sta khokaley baghona

Da Delhi takht herawom chi rapa yad shi

Da khpal khukaley pakhtoonkhwa da ghra sarona

Da raqeeb da jhwand mathah ba tar pa tar kram

Chi pa thoro pakhtana ka guzarona

Ka thamam dunya yaw khwata bal khwa ye

Zama khwah de sta khalee tash dagarona

Ahmad sha ba sta qader Kher na ka

Ka wana si da thamam jahan malkona

By blood, we are immersed in love of you.
The youth lose their heads for your sake.
I come to you and my heart finds rest.
Away from you, grief clings to my heart like a snake.
I forget the throne of Delhi
when I remember the mountain tops of my Afghan land.
If I must choose between the world and you,
I shall not hesitate to claim your barren deserts as my own.


The knowing man knows
About himself
From inward looking comes
The knowledge of the Most Holy

Ignore the person
Reciting verses from the Qu'ran,
But lacking in a fearing heart
And fellow feeling.

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