Tanka Sequence | Tomorrow’s Creatures by Gabriel Rosenstock

Tomorrow’s Creatures 

A series of tanka in Irish and English, in 5-7-5-7-7 syllables, in response to artwork by Masood Hussain  (Kashmir)

by Gabriel Rosenstock 

 

neacha a thiocfaidh 

an daonnaithe ‘bheidh iontu 

ó – cad atá romhainn 

an bhfuil croí ag an gcibearg 

an dtuigfear Ghalib, Iqbal? 

 

tomorrow’s creatures 

will they be fully human 

oh – what lies ahead 

does a cyborg have a heart 

can it read Ghalib, Iqbal?


Gabriel Rosenstock

 

tráth den saol, a chuid 

saighdiúir cróga ‘bhí ionam 

slí bheatha ‘bea é 

slí bháis chomh maith is baolach 

cailleadh leis na mairbh mé 

 

once upon a time 

i was a fighting soldier 

it was my living 

it was my death, beloved 

with every slain one i died

 

Gabriel Rosenstock

 

féachaim ar an ré 

is fiafraím díom féin, a chuid 

an mbreacfar mapaí 

an athbhreacfar na mapaí 

hé, a chartagrafaí, stop! 

 

i look at the moon, 

beloved, and ask myself 

what maps will be drawn 

redrawn over and over 

mapmakers! will you not cease

 

Gabriel Rosenstock

 

bláthaíonn tú ionam 

osclaíonn do chumhracht m’anam 

dá nádúr féinig 

i bhfolach a bhíos, a chuid 

ortsa, ormsa, ar gach ní 

 

You flower in my mind 

Your fragrance opens my soul 

to its own nature 

I was hiding all along 

from You, myself, everything

 

Gabriel Rosenstock

 

cá bhfuil siad anois 

slogtha sa dorchadas 

 

réaltaí reatha iad 

stróicthe as an bhfirmimint 

a rian geal níl ann níos mó 

 

oh, where are they now 

those that vanished in the night 

fallen stars they are 

 

ripped from heaven one by one 

their silvery trail nowhere

 

Gabriel Rosenstock

 

paráid aitheantais 

 

tá botún déanta acu 

táimse, a thaisce 

gan ainm gan áit dhúchais 

cognaíd a bpinn le himní 

 

the police line-up 

got it all wrong, beloved 

You know the story 

i have no name – never born 

 

they chew their pens in anguish

 

Gabriel Rosenstock

 

cairde ar an tsráid 

agus naimhde ar an tsráid 

taibhsí ar an tsráid 

cé hiad mo chairde, a chuid 

cé na taibhsí, na naimhde 

 

friends are on the street 

enemies are on the street 

ghosts are on the street 

beloved, who are my friends 

who the ghosts, the enemies

 

Gabriel Rosenstock

 


All images by Masood Hussain.

Masood Hussain illustrated the acclaimed book Walk with Gandhi by Gabriel Rosenstock and their recent filmic  collaborations can be viewed at Inner Soul Films.

Gabriel’s most recent title is Outskirts of the Mind, published by Cross-Cultural Communications, New York. You can read more of Gabriel’s work on his photo-haiku website here.

For more original poetry, check out the HeadStuff Poem of the Week and Unbound archives.

To submit to HeadStuff, please read our submission guidelines.

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