Satis Shroff with two masked figures from the Alemannic Fasnet in Freiburg, Germany

I tried to please everyone,

And became myself estranged.

No one was mine, I belonged to everyone.

सबैलाई रिजाउ भन्दा,

आफै त तर्किएछु।

मेरा कोही भएनन्,

सबैको म भय छु।

The Symphony of the Morning (Satis Shroff)

I discern the recurring chirps

And whistles

Of the birds in the vast foliage

Of an oak tree,

A German Eiche.

Whistles, chirps, hoots

And melodious symphony,

Like the incessant waves

Slashing on the shores of the Atlantic.

A single bird gives the tact,

A strong monotonous chirp.

The others follow suit,

Not in unison

But still in harmony.

You notice so many melodies

When you eavesdrop,

In the quiet comfort of your bed.

The natural symphony of the morning:

Adagio, crescendo,

It’s all there

For your fine ears.

* * *


Autumn leaves dancing in the sky,

Gleaming as the sunlight

Caresses them.

Out in the distance,

The blue Schwarzwald,

With its melange

Of conifer and decidious trees,

Bursting out in autumnal rhapsody.

Guarded by the tall pine trees,

Like sentinels,

Overlooking an amphitheatre.

Its spurs and hidden valleys,

Inhabited by Allemanic denizens,

So long as time can tell.

To the south

The four languidly moving white blades

Of modern windmills,

With their blinking lights

Overlooking Rosskopf.

And far to the East,

The fairy-tale towns

Of Buchenbach and St. Peter.

Is this not Heaven on Earth?

The lush green grass in the meadows,

Has long been cut,

The hay already stacked in the barn.

I gather Löwenzahn for our rabbits,

Tasty salad for humans,

A delight for hares and rabbits.

Frau Frutiker greets me warmly,

Offers Schwarzwälder specialities.

She plays the flute,

Her husband Clemens

The trumpet

At the Buchenbacher Musikverein.

Autumn in Kappel,

A personification

Of serenity and tranquillity.

Medieval Freiburg

O, FREIBURG (Satis Shroff)

O, Freiburg! March 24,1599 was the day.

Three women were sentenced as witches and killed.

To think this town organized a reception,

For Marie Antoinette on May 4, 1770

It also deported its 375 Jewish citizens

On October 1940 to Gurs and Auschwitz.

As if in a heavenly wrath,

Freiburg was reduced to rubble and ashes,

Heaven seemed to be glowing;

Clouds began to melt and burn over the town.

A scenario within twenty minutes,

Created by the Royal Air Force.

Twenty minutes that were burnt

Into the collective memory of the Freiburger.

Frau Adolph and my mother-in-law still talk

About it when we have a coffee afternoon

With Schwarzwäldertorte.

Frau Adolph says: ‘ Freiburg was razed to the ground.

Stones, roof-bricks, broken glass, kaput windows

Singed curtains, burnt books, files in smithereens.

A traumatic nightmare.’

But I’m proud Freiburger have developed,

Both mentally and socially,

For today we are the hosts of Syrian war refugees.

In the nineties we made skinheads take off their Springerstiefel,

Life Asians entering a sacred temple.

We’ve developed a heart for humanity,

That is worthy of emulation.

Tolerance, togetherness, mutual respect,

That’s my university town Freiburg.

Where partner cities are welcome,

From Matsuyama, Isfahan, Guilford,

Madison and Barcelona.

Where war refugees find a safe haven,

And experience a culture of welcome.

Historischen Kaufhaus, Münsterplatz, Freiburg



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