Abdul Ghani Khan - Poetry

I do not need your red, sculpted lips,
Nor hair in loops like a serpent's coils,
Nor a nape as graceful as a swan's,
Nor narcissus eyes full of drunkenness,
Nor teeth as perfect as pearls of heaven,
Nor cheeks ruddy and full as pomegranates,
Nor a voice mellifluous as a sarinda,
Nor a figure as elegant as a poplar,
But show me just this one thing,
My love,
I seek a heart stained like a poppy flower - pearls by millions I would gladly cede, for the sake of tears borne of love and grief - entreaty.


Adapted from writings of Abdul Ghani Khan - a Pashto poet. Translation and adaptation by Nahida Ahmed, student at Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi.