A human being
is not symmetrical.
— Srečko Kosovel
I gently touch you nownot the way I did
eleven years ago —
not with that yearningfor faith and peace,
but with a private prayer
for inner calm, care,stillness; and
for forgiveness and love.
The gleaming hand-wornshine on Jerusalem stone,
where the public merges
with the private,where prayer and passion
collide and unite —
where a certain kindof kindness changes
to another kind —
where a certain kindof passion changes
to another kind
of desire. It isa blessing of time —
eleven years is a lifetime.
As I tried once againto wedge in
a piece of coded-paper
into the cracksand joins of The Wall,
another paper piecebehind the new one
resisting my approach.
I tried to force it in —the more I tried
the more impossible it got.
Failing, I now tried totake out the old paper
that prevented my will,
take out that pieceto resize
my own new prayers —
but the longingof past years resisted
to dislodge the old.
I prised outthe old folded sheet —
it looked weathered
and yellowlike the local stone’s
I opened it —it was the same one
I had put in
eleven years ago.Time had preserved
preserved my wishes.Was I the same then
as I am now?
Was the feeling thenmore sincere
Passion for lifenever wanes for some.
like old lovebalance
their inherent truths.
Here, gun-slung soldiers,pilgrims, children,
and men in black garb —
move forwardsand backwards —
their axis, their waist —
a symmetrythat instils and heightens
their own faith —
a symmetryI cannot hope
to aspire to,
as I am —like Kosovel’s man —
~ Sudeep Sen
Sudeep Sen is widely recognised as a major new generation voice in world literature and ‘one of the finest younger English-language poets in the international literary scene’ (BBC Radio). His poems have been translated into twenty-five languages, and have appeared in numerous major international magazines and anthologies. He is the editorial director of AARK ARTS and the editor of Atlas.
In January 2013, Sen was invited to the Nobel Laureate Week in St Lucia to present the prestigious Derek Walcott Lecture and read his own poetry. A special commemorative edition of his work, ‘Fractals: New & Selected Poems|Translations’ 1978-2013, was released by Derek Walcott himself.