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H.S. Shivaprakash, translated from the Kannada by the poet

Lost and Found in Havana

(for Deyanira)

I was lost a moment ago
Like a precious ring lost in the river
Like my beloved lost in the market
Like my guru lost on the island of man-eaters
Like my only child in a forest
Bursting with starving lions
Like a passport lost in a far-off country
Like my youth lost in sleepless lonely nights
Like a glorious dream I lost
In wakefulness

But your fragrant affection
And your homely home-city
Brought me
Back to myself from oblivion
Yes, I have found myself through you
And have started recovering
My lost oceans, islands, cities,
Palaces, temples,
And my half-complete poems

Note: this poem was previously published in India in 2019 as a part of the collection Like Earth to Stars: Poems 2008-2014, Poetrywala, an imprint Paperwall Media & Publishing Pvt. Ltd.

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