The Sound of the Footstep

By Nader Naderpour Los Angeles, November 1991.

Translated by Farhad Mafie June 1996.

From the collection Earth and Time (Zamin va Zaman).  


In the large desert I am going through

the heavy steps of someone, in the heart of night,

travel with me and my shadow.


When I look back timorously

nobody is there except the wind and the tree,

one drunk, the other out of touch.


Exasperated, I ask myself:

if the one who accompanies me is not Satan,

then who is it whom I cannot see?


No answer, the desert is empty,

the mountain behind the tree is all alone.

And what I hear is:

The sound of someone’s weighty footsteps

Who is closest to me.


My eye, once again

endeavoring to find its identity,

is looking toward what is behind:

The moon on the depths of the horizon

is like a mask which the sun has pulled over its face

till in the heart of the night it starts its banditry again.

I am telling myself:

This is the same thing that every night

travels toward the end of the world with me.


Ah, you, the fallen shadow on the earth!

If, during the shining of the dawn,

you still continue walking along with me:

The footsteps of thousands of nights

with footsteps of hundreds of days

you would see on earth.

This sight would tell you

that this body, the sounds of whose footstep frightened you,

is "death" in the form of another day.


List of Poems in English

Copyright © 2003 by Farhad Mafie.  All rights reserved.   

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