Six Poems by Ilango Krishnan

3 min readFeb 13, 2022


A lazy sunday morning translation of six poems by Ilango krishnan.

Praise the Sunday

We feel fulfilled today
today is holiday
today is celebration
today is solace
today is rest

today, our sun
will not be a lamp
in anyone’s bedroom
fills the playing grounds
children play with glee
Our women’s faces
bloom like a divine flower
We will bathe only if we want
we will leave the houses only if we wish
we don’t have to see the roads
The traffic signals, the traffic police, and
the buffaloes won’t disturb us
We can share loving words with our neighbours
humans will look like humans
we can look at the sky
we can talk to the trees before our house
we can enjoy watching the birds
we can play with children not our own
we can do the work we want to
The roads to libraries, parks, beach and theatres
will open today
Happiness everywhere, celebrations
glee and comfort

We love today
we live today
we want to live like today
we are today
today is our meditation
today is our god
let the world anchor in today

Coffee river

Your city
is situated on the banks
of coffee river
The plants that grow
on the banks, return to coffee color
when they dry
In the lips
that smell of coffee
the coffee language rolls
Everything is coffee
in the coffee colored land
sun and moon light
sticks like coffee
lightning tastes
bitter like coffee

Yayati, is there a stomach to drink the coffee river?
Yayati, is there a boat to cross the coffee river?
Yayati, is there time after we cross the coffee river?


A hunter with bag full of arrows
his heart shrunken at the thought of using an arrow
A moment, when hunger was sharper than arrows
he noticed a coucal
He chased it all day
it went from branch to branch, hiding from him
he wandered through the forest
walking between the dried leaves
shuffling in empty wind
when he entered the bamboo forest
filled with flowers that attract poisonous snakes with shining bodies
the full moon was above him.
He saw the coucal
perching on the moon
He shot an arrow at it and waited
the arrow evaded him
and kept flying in the direction of the directionless space like a coucal.

Little Girl in Boots

How long will the little girl hobble
It makes the picture of this rainy evening
more gory
A while back, I saw
her shiny black boots making noise
calf muscles shaking softly
she was prancing along
- moving by walking and jumping
which belongs only to the pulsating youth-
Something got stuck in her boots
a small stone or
a piece of wood or
a little block of iron
she tried to shake it off
she walked and stopped and hobbled
she struggled to insert a finger inside her boots and failed
how hard it is
Who put her feet inside boots
that cannot be removed
In this never-ending road
how far must she go
to reach home


I started waiting, and
I am now seeing
you in every face.
Though the one
on the cold shadow
of the balltree showering flowers
is not you, I play a game with myself
thinking it’s you
what if it is you.
As I walk closer
my cellphone rings
It is not you either
But I feel excited as if it is you
A gentle breeze
my heart is flooded
Eyes overflow
I see the woman under the tree
who is someone else.
Should this sorrow
be handed over to me with such certainty.

For that

I came for that
Single bottle of alcohol

The city is devastated
Burial grounds everywhere
Still I came
I came for that

Poisonous serpents on the ground
The way before me was hell
Still I came
I came for that

Volcanoes in the hills
Burning ghosts on the bushes
Still I came
I came for that

Devilish waves in the sea
Crocodiles on the shore
Still I came
I came for that

Tigers in the forest
Demons on every tree
Still I came
I came for that

Poison in the wind
Thunder on the sky
Still I came

I came for that
Single bottle of alcohol

Prabhakar Barwe — Untitled




Writ-er, Translator, Eternally wondering what’s so special about yellow flowers, living in the wastelands between Tamil and English!