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Bhaben Barua

Hands Of Darkness

The feel of your hands
Comes like the cold.
On the asphalt road at night,
In disjointed bits of song.

The feel of your hands
Between the teeth of a dog
Clenched on to a scrap of leather.

In your hands
The quivering of yellow leaves;
The sound of glass breaking in the wind,
In your hands.

The fearful blue notes of the ocean
Descend, leaning on your hands,
And roll on to my body.

In the miles of solitude
Fenced in by barbed wires
Just the sound of the wind,
Just the sound of the wind.

In an expanse of blue waters
Through the breathing of serpents
In your hands
Blooms the lotus of deathless sleep

The moonlight glitters
On the barbed wires.

The Weight Of The Lead

Search, search in the bosom of night
With your hands outstretched
Those hands where time keeps moving.

Search in the mirrors at daytime
With your fingers in the reflection of your face;
Where darkness keeps moving.

All along descending relentlessly
Is a heavy load of lead.

Your face is dark,
In your hands is the weight of lead.

Translated by D. N. Bezboruah


Down the very heart
Of a wide expanse of waters
Lies a music of transparence
Of unfathomable sorrows.

Amidst the reeds lie drawn there
In lines vibrant with hummings
The transparent sorrows.

Scattered there lie one or two rotten fruits.

Everything becomes transparent in that depth.

Everything gets measured ---
The pressure of hands, the waves of light,
the speed of darkness...

Underneath the commotions of storms ---
That music of transparence !

The Voice Of Whiteness

It's the voice of whiteness --- a blue-throated restless silence :
That's upon the peaks of life, and of death too;
Found through meaninglessness at intervals --- in lanes and bylanes, over hills and mountains.

It comes with the sun and the rains; the human colour added ---
Through the hours, through the seasons --- to the endless, senseless motions of nature;
A rainbow drawn upon the forehead by the sun --- and the rains.

Perhaps, it is what love is or the greenery of conjugality :
Touches, warmth, the murmur of memories, the pressure of enamoured fingers;
Perhaps, it is the friendship full of waiting, the blue flute of life.

Perhaps, it's the victorious flashes of the apples crushed upon the teeth of Time;
The glitter of emptiness filled with broken glasses; the ever-awake wind
Moving --- through darkness --- over deaths and snows.
Over the grasses and the scorched fields, over the flowers and pyres ---
Full of a duality --- it's the form of meaning of desire and emtyness.
Lonely, crowdful, marked with sweat and blood --- wavy, greyish.
It's a secret voice coming through the ages, through light and darkness.
In the villages, in the cities --- amidst the foul vapours, greediness,
The wildness of the uncivilised --- pained and iron-like it's the voice of whiteness...

Translated by Emdad Ullah


He keeps humming
on the moments of the midday---
      hung out on the clothes-lines.

In his bosom
is an expanse of grass---
his hummings keep it vibrating.

In his fingers
are the flames of a green fire :
they come floating on his hummings.

Far and far off
treading on the flutes---
in the winds he stays.

Further and further
He goes trembling---
humming and humming.

Translated by Lalit Saikia


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