Poetry in Translation

LENIN IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD

a trans creation after Iqbal, by Rafiq Kathwari

God
Aha! Comrade Ulyanov—
Welcome! Or I should say,
Dobro Pozhalovat!

Lenin
You’re alive? But “God is dead,” they said.

God
I inhabit men’s heart, passion’s home,
and for a brief moment
the gods themselves swayed to your tune.

Lenin
So, this is the source of the babble in churches.

God
Command and Control,
Shock and Awe,
@NoGodButGod.

Lenin
I need a drink…

God
Heaven is not your local pub,
but we’ve a house white on tap,
Water of Life. Glass or Goblet?

Lenin
Shot glass. Neat.

God
Think of it as Korsvodka.
Red blush on your cheeks—
it’s not rouge. Is it?

Lenin
When will the boat of Capitalism sink?

God
When church spires soar above skyscrapers,
when the guardians of the guardians
blast hell to heaven.

Lenin
When? O Architect of Destiny. When?

God
Too early to tell,
a hundred years from now perhaps
when Deceit is the New Enlightenment.

Lenin
They drink your blood and preach equality.

God
When pompous patronising puffed-up
pitiful venomous vicoius toads
trump democracy.

Lenin
“…all go in the dustbin of history…”

God
When Beijing becomes the Brussels of the East
and ships hoist a gold star on red
as they float above a plastic sea.

Lenin
Bless the bitter proletariat.

God
When the communist sell
to the capitalist the rope
with which he will hang himself.

Lenin
Boja Moi! You’re echoing me.

God
Don’t mock me, Tovarish Ulyanov,
You’re merely a speck of dust.
Poka.

by Rafiq Kathwari / @brownpundit / rafiqkathwari.com
for Karen Dowling

Notes
Dobro Pozhalovat — Welcome!
Добро пожаловать

Boja Moi— Oh my God!
Боже мой

Tovarish — Comrade
Товарищ

Poka — Bye
Пока

Like what you're reading? Don't keep it to yourself!
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on Reddit
Reddit
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Email this to someone
email