Though I’m awake, I dream prophetic verses. I want to sleep and swallow pills galore. They’re bitter, but no more than taken before: Organizations, institutions, persons - They’ve all declared on me a total war For my disturbing peace and quiet, and For my hoarse singing filling this whole land; For their unskilfulness to keep me down, For my not plain repute and wide renown; For my old prison songs that have come flitting On certain shortwave stations of abroad, With notices attached - I think, quite fitting - “Unauthorized by the author...” Oh, my God! What else? It may well be my foreign wife - ’Mongst our maids, I had to seek after a bride. How did I dare to walk an alien way of life? And, after all, why do I’m still alive? They hate me for my songs about the years When we with might and main subdued the Fritzes, For songs about fierce battles, dogfights and blitzes, One never fought, nor been anywhere near. They cry out that I’ve pinched the moon, and will Find something else again, as valuable, to steal. So dirty lies keep chasing one another. With all these blots, I’ll soon be blotto, brothers! But no, I won’t seek consolation in wine - I will Tear up or just cross off my testament and will, And cross myself - my God, protect me from their evil! - And go on writing songs, with all my heart and skill - And in these songs, of course, there will be those Whom I’ll condemn, and those to whom I’ll homage show. Thank all you, who’ve impelled me not to come to terms, I swear to do my best to justify your hopes!
© Akbar Muhammad. Translation, 2016
[Adapted from Sergey Roy’s “I am awake, yet dream prophetic verses...”.]