The Eighth Day

(Krishna Mohan Jha)

Painting: Rufino Tamayo, Coyote, 1950

(Translation: Rajesh Jha)

Not even one day of the week
is left unblemished
whose hands are clean and heart without blame.

On the bosom of Monday
are strewn the bloody remnants of Hiroshima
there stands the tree, still, unmoved,
like the dark, imposing mushroom of death.

Tuesday is grisly, with the blood of Lorca,
this is the day,
when a poet expanding like an ocean
was killed by the patriots of Spain,
blaming him all the way for God knows what.

And the Wednesday can’t hide
the blot of the riots of Gujarat,
whose rare vegetarian breed,
roasted hundreds of people like kebabs,
because they pray facing west.

The acrid smell of my burning father
envelopes the lungs of Thursday
and the sandalwood body of my Bhaiya,
is still burning in the fire of Thursday.

On 30th January, the one who came rushing,
to the prayer ground,
was felled by the bullets of the three Hindus,
unconscious, he lies soaked in blood,
Friday is still squirming.

Helpless and desperate on Tiananmen Square,
poor Saturday
the victim of boastful claims of equality and fraternity
lies dead, soaked in blood.

And who can forget the reality of the much loved Sunday,
that its colour has become darker and deep,
with the dried blood of people killed in the First World War,
in the prolonged yawn of midday,
its deep stain keeps snoring.

Strung to the seven bloodied days, me
Being a man, yet herded by men, me
skips a step from the needle mending a cloth
steals a pinch from the moment,
the one,
which glitters in the milky eyes of the innocent children,
in the bright sunlight of their wonder and innocence,

Stealthily from the eyes of the world,
in the unfathomable darkness of night,
when even a grave digger lies intoxicated with sleep,
bent on a white sheet, me
slowly chisels,
the eighth day
of the week.

I give my blood to the eighth day,
I gouge out my eyes and give it to the eighth day,
give my bones to the eighth day,
offer my beautiful, not so beautiful life, to the eighth day.

On the little palms of the eighth day,
I keep a few white jasmines,
soaked in dew drops.

On the eyelids of the eighth day,
I plant saplings of kisses drenched in sky
and write poems to keep a vigil
on the eighth day.

(Krishna Mohan Jha, poet and literary critic, is a professor at Assam Central University, Silchar. He writes in Hindi and Maithili. He has published two collections of poems Samay Ko Cheerkar (समय को चीरकर) in Hindi and Ekta Herayel Duniya (एकटा हेरायल दुनिया) in Maithili. He has received several literary awards. His email-

I am grateful to Prof. Ranu Uniyal and Nabina Das for their reading of the translation and offering valuable comments.

आठवां दिन- कृष्णमोहन झा- मूल हिंदी कविता

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