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A Question to the New Year

by Aziz Isa

New Year has come, the old year has passed,

A page of life has been torn out.

I ask myself quietly-

Where has the value of life gone?

I have passed forty years ...

But have not yet achieved my desire.

I live stretching out my hand towards hope-

Placing myself close to my suffering people.

On this rainy night I sink into melancholy,

I throw the year behind me and bid it farewell.

For the love of my homeland I am a wanderer,

Following the desert caravan towards our destination.

Always on my mind, “Answer to the Years”,

If you know that cry of hope for the Uyghurs.

Oh years, don’t be proud, don’t mock us,

We live for our country. That is your answer!

I wander on the bank of the Thames,

The church bells ring loud.

I send my greetings of freedom by the birds,

My heart erupts for my country ...

I live far away, my country is strange to me,

But it occupies the gloomy garden of my soul.

How can I enjoy happiness and ease-

Without seeing freedom for my country.

No place to go, no close friend,

I have shelter in London but my soul is numb.

My breath flows in Uyghur-

My path is full of regret.

A sea of people around me,

Though they greet me I do not know them.

A busker stands under the bridge-

His music catches my mood.

Colourful fireworks salute the New Year,

In the Tarim an old man weeps under an oil lamp.

“Happy New Year” say my friends,

Ignoring the hooting of the owl.

Amidst the sea of people I am alone,

Forced to speak another tongue.

Who are the Uyghurs? Who am I? They don’t know.

Bitterness in my heart, pain in my soul.

No difference between day and night,

London’s eye turns, spreading its light.

The busy clock ticks ...

I force myself to bid farewell to the old year!

1st January 2013, London

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