Poems by Zira Razi

Zira Razi


Translated from the Malayalam by Ra Sh (Ravi Shanker)



Falaz, honey,
how old are you?

What are the names of
your Abba and Ummi?
Shahid Rizwan, Shahid Jamiha.

Honey, do you know
Mahmoud Darwish?
Who is he?

Honey, shall I give you a book by
Mourid Barghouti?
What for?

Honey, has Edward Said given
candies to you?

Honey, who dressed you up
like this?
Got it from the camp.

Honey, where are you off to
waving this flag?
Because where me and my friend Nasiha play
huge balls that keep falling from the sky.




oye, tickler !
ju don’t try just to be proud and victorious
in jife.

ju shld get humiliated in public.

ju shld live on borrowed money

jur family shld fall apart.

ju shld beg in inbox and whatsapp
from friends for one rupee, five hundred,
a thousand, ten thousand rupees .

ju shld accept the nick name
elephantine fraud.

ju shld know why writers
and cultural mackerel
avoid coming in contact with ju
but hang on to them.

ju shld be called a cheat by a thousand guys.

ju shld be accused (of some crime.)

ju shld be cursed.

ju shld be a book-stealer.

ju shld visit the homes of publishers.

Ju shld snap a photo from any big mall
owner’s shop.

ju shld be a fan of tamil actor Dhanush
famous as the ‘graduate without a job.’

ju shld become a criminal due to
the pressure of circumstances
or without.

ju shld be in jail.

ju shld sleep on the street
hugging sex workers
shld share food with beggars
shld write their poetry

ju shld ask to fuck off
motivation gentlemen
and teachers.

on the topic of aparna balamurali
jud stand aside like a guy who
has an opinion flo..flo…flower.

ju shld believe in the god who
extends his hand regretfully.

ju shld fail miserably and celebrate
with happy steps and do cartwheels
in laughter.

ju shld look at the one and only
tickler jife and spit at it
without missing the target.



Four people
in the manger.
First my Umma.
Second, Razi.
Third, brother.
Fourth, Jesus.

The second one cried
looking at Umma.
Umma wept looking at
the third one.

Only Jesus did not
weep or cry
wiping his nose.

Arrogant that
the manger is
his birth place.

On a rainy day
when the manger
called the four in the manger
as four-legged ones,
there were
three in the house
who did not sleep.

(abba- mother, ummi- father)


About the Author

1986 born Zira Razi has no formal education beyond matriculation. He makes a living (supporting his family) by being a street vendor (of anything from vegetables to plastic slippers) stationed somewhere near the famous Padmanabha Swami temple in Trivandrum. Yet, he has three published collections to his credit, namely Ezhu murikalil (Paridhi Books), Enro (Backlash Books) and Magical Streetism (Sapien Literature). He is a very popular contemporary poet in Kerala.

About the Translator

Ra Sh ( Ravi Shanker.N) is a poet and translator based in Palakkad, Kerala. He has published four collections of poetry, Architecture of Flesh (Poetrywala), Bullet Train and Other Loaded Poems (Hawakal), Kintsugi by Hadni (RLFPA) , Buddha and Biryani (Hawakal) and a chapbook In the Mirror, Our Graves, written jointly with Ritamvara Bhattacharya.  He has also published a play Blind Men Write ( Rubric Publishing.) He is also a translator whose English translations include Mother Forest (Women Unlimited), Waking is Another Dream (Navayana), Don’t Want Caste (Navayana),  Kochiites (Greenex), How to Translate an Earthworm (Dhauli Books) and The Ichi Tree Monkey and new and selected stories of Bama (Speaking Tiger).