Tanka by Ram Krishna Singh in India

Tanka by Ram Krishna Singh in India





Ram Krishna Singh, born, brought up and educated in Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh, India), has been writing poetry in English for about four decades. He has authored over 160 academic articles, 170 book reviews, and 42 books. His recent collections of poems include I Am No Jesus And Other Selected Poems, Tanka and Haiku (English/Crimean Tatar, Romania, 2014), You Can’t Scent Me and Other Selected Poems(New Delhi, 2016), God Too Awaits Light(California, 2017) and Growing Within (English/Romanian, Romania, 2017). 

Widely published and anthologized, and appreciated for his tanka and haiku, R.K.Singh’s poems have been translated into several languages, including Japanese, Greek, Italian, German, French, Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese, Romanian, Crimean Tatar, Bulgarian, Albanian,  Russian, Slovene, Croatian, Farsi, Arabic, Serbian, Esperanto, Hindi, Punjabi, Kannada, Tamil, and Bangla.

His awards and honours include Ritsumeikan University Peace Museum Award, Kyoto, 1999, Certificate of Honour and Nyuusen Prize, Kumamoto, 2000 and 2008, Life time Achievement Award of the International Poets Academy, Chennai, 2009, Prize of Corea Literature, South Korea, 2013, Naji Naaman’s Literary Prize, Lebanon, 2015, and nomination for Pushcart Prize, 2013, 2014.

Known as an Indian English poet, haikuist and ELT/EST practitioner, Dr Singh recently retired as Professor at Indian Institute of Technology–Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad (India). More at: https://rksingh.blogspot.in  ; https://profrksingh.wordpress.com . email: profrksingh@gmail.com 



TANKA:  R.K. SINGH,  India
Translation:  Rika Inami 稲美 里佳


Stars on the earth

these glow worms I want to clasp

into hands and

offer to God as flowers

of my first obeisance


 地上の星々のほたるを手に 我が初めての敬意の花とし神に捧げむ



the wine of love swells

in my vessel dark shadows

recede human dirt

between sound and silence greets

the joy and bliss of spirit


我が器の暗き影のなか 愛の葡萄酒が膨らみ 音と静けさが魂の喜びと祝福を迎えるあわいに 人の穢れよ退け



love’s spirit descends

and melds into her body

lending it new life:

I’m amazed how the unknown

becomes one with her beauty


愛の霊は降りきて汝の体とまじりあい そを新しき命に与えむ: かくて 我 未知なるがもの如何にして汝の美と一つにならんとすかに驚かむ



a serpent twists

its head to face a dragon

on her shoulder:

their tails on breasts in water

swirl to cleanse my kiss on skin


 蛇のとぐろよ 汝の肩にあらばその頭を龍に見せ 水中にあらば胸の上に尾を見せ 肌にあらば我が口づけを浄化せんと渦巻く


tears dry up

leaving no marks where her pain

ends and mine begins

on the face makeup damp

with aching sweat and cold sighs


 涙は乾き 汝の痛みがやみ 汗と冷えた吐息で顔をじっとり濡らし 我が痛みが始ま

るところに 何らの跡を残さず



I thought I would make

tea for her but she was sleeping

I didn’t wake up

our back faced each other

once again cold birthday


 われは汝(な)のために茶を入れんと思いしが 汝(な)は眠り われ覚めず われらは背合わせとなり 再びの冷めた誕生日



smallness of the small

no sharing half-chewed betel–

mischievous whisper

in bed fuzzy sensation

of rudy lips that’s no love


とるに足らないつまらないこと 檳榔を半分噛み分かち合うこともなし ― 愛の無いみだらな唇でベッドが乱れる感覚のなかでの いたずらな囁き 



the tenuity

of her story like hearing

my own confession

without the priest I wonder

if I knew my true voice


我が真の声か否かを問う司祭もなく 我が告白を聞くかのごとく 汝の語りの薄きかな 



no one knows

when the sun will be clouded

or when it will rain

in Ramdhura

women and weather one


誰一人とし いつ太陽が曇り いつ雨が降るかは知らず ランドーラの女と天気にては



a tidal wave

touches the shore to wipe

my naked footprints

and leaves behind some shells

pebbles and memories


潮の波は 岸に触れ我が素足の足跡をぬぐい 貝殻と小石と記憶を残し退きゆく



near the railway track

she squats with hands on her knees

and hides her parts

in half-dark the naked truth

transforms nature into nude


 線路近く 彼女は膝の上に手を置いて うずくまり 裸の真実の半分を隠し 自然をむき出しの裸体に変える




palette and easel

collect dust

in the studio

pained silence of mother


半塗りの パレットとイーゼル ほこりは溜まっている スタジオの中で 母の静けさを描いた 



dreams puzzling

smallness of waking

I can’t live

the child’s circumcision

promise of happiness


 夢は目覚めの卑小さに戸惑い 子の割礼を 幸福の約束を 我為せず



turns off the mood

for prayer in the park

smelly underarm

of a fellow walker

running to reduce weight


公園の祈りのムードの消滅 … 脇の臭いウォーカー仲間が 減量のために走っている



choking air

in a walled colony:

two tired pigeons

perch on overhead tank

whisper pity on us


壁で囲まれたコロニーのなかの息詰まるような雰囲気 高架タンクに止まった2羽の疲れた鳩が 我々を憐み囁きかける



island of rubbish

home to cows, mosquitoes

and homeless mothers

speak wordlessly passersby

unzip to ease and move


 ゴミの島 牛と蚊の家 ホームレスの母親たちは無言で行きずりの人に声をかけ 楽に動けるようににチャックを外す



the snail of traffic

near red light bikes zig-zag

on broken footpaths

at Bannerghatta Road

pedestrians seek safe refuge


 蝸牛(かたつむり)のようなのろのろ交通 … バナーガッタ道路の壊れた歩道橋で 赤信号の頃 バイクはジグザグに動き 歩行者は安全な避難場所を捜す



health horoscope

planetary conspiracy:

rectal bleeding

not healing for months recur

backache with dying libido


健康占星術 惑星の陰謀はかくに: 直腸出血は 幾月も治癒ぜず再発し 死にかけた欲望をともなう腰痛に苦しむ




the cup of remorse–

begging bowl

before the dumb deity

years of noisy silence


自責の念のカップは  空にならず…愚かなる神の前の鉢に 赦しを請いつつ 静寂ざわつき幾歳月



when change comes

things change they say–

sight beyond sight

in the wealthy vacuum

all is well with limping days


変化きたれば 事変わるとう ….大いなる空白のなか 視界を越ゆる眺めは みな 傷つきし片足引きずり日々歩み行くので良し


–Ram Krishna Singh,  Dhanbad, India

Translated into Japanese by Rika Inami

和訳 稲美里佳

5 thoughts on “Tanka by Ram Krishna Singh in India

  1. Thanks Hidenori San and Rika Inami for your generous support to my tanka and introducing my creativity to the Japanese audience. I feel highly obliged to you both.

  2. Dear Singh San, thank you very much for presenting us with your fine works of tanka. We are greatly honoured to share your nice tanka with our readers on the website! Thank you again.

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