The valley of Shigar (English translation)

Asalm u alaikum (good morning) Traveler,
The K2 is impassable and yet –
It is necessary to go on the highest glacier of the world
Sidha song (straight ahead)
We drown in a rain of jerky impulses
To hear the reproaches of the men retayr (retired)
The river takes its source in the glaciers

To reach the Arabian Sea
A sharp azab (pain) in the legs
To trace the road in the middle of the glacial tongues
The kharsigar (jewelers) melted all their gold
To show us the road to Chitral
The Muztagh Tower looks at us
An injiner (engineer) makes a barbecue
At the edge of a lake greyed by the dirty cotton of the wind
The wheat is dried in August
The snola (flower festival in Tibet) is celebrated in Balti

« Red roses make you want to live
(13th verse of the poem sung for the occasion)

I may be cut off from the world
In this mountain village
But I understand the beauty of these songs
And the sweetness of the legends of yesteryear
But the rocky towers are foggy

The valley of Shigar hides a pearl
A Buddhist monastery on which the moon
Spits out flashes of golden oil
The whitewashed walls yesterday
Were repainted with henna in one night

Take me to the fort on the rock
I’m a little drunk, a little skyonjan (lazy)
There’s a hotel turned into a sarpha (cool) stopover
And a swimming pool built of flaming earth
Follow me to Ladakh, the red country (Mar Yol)
Where the crystals light up the purple blinds
In crumpled lace beats

[[Traveler, tell me why
I see your reflection under the surface of kha (snow)
Of all the frozen lakes I cross —
And your smile in the undulations of the grass
Your laughter in the tired folds of the roses]]
I don’t even have halwa (dessert) left
Not even a crumb of pistachio
To console me for your absence

This little village of Shimshal
Receives the burning light of a skardu (star)
The pastures absorb the caress of the morning sun
The apricots are reflected in the icy water

A monk contemplated the clear water
For sixty days and sixty nights
He waited for the surface to become murky
To tear his gaze from the invisible lake!

He merged with the mountain
The smoke wisps surrounded him like a halo of time
And a blue bird perched
On the spot where he stood
In front of the lake of Attabad,
A hundred meters back from the moist water
A hundred meters from the frozen, dead water.

The monk left without a word
The sky was red with tepidity
The trees shook in the east wind
And the bird landed on the lake;

The water had frozen, my Traveler,
The K2 is impassable and yet –
It is necessary to go on the highest glacier of the world
I am a little drunk with love, a little skyonjan (lazy)
Follow me to Ladakh, to the red country (Mar Yol)
Where the crystals light up the purple blinds
In beats of crumpled laces

Note: The Balti language, considered the ancient form of the Tibetan language, is spoken by about 770,000 speakers in Tibet, China, Bhutan, Nepal and India, and in Pakistan (400,000 people)

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