Varnamala : Contemporary Oriya Poetry

 
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AMARESH PATNAIK
 

THE STEPS


Self-propelled resolves the fireball—the earth 
heaped in the cold storage : 
shimmer the two eyes of the fish, 
cloud, the dry teats of a canine female, 
drinks to the dregs 
the dark. 
Sex-tear wets the soul. 
boiling in winter, rain and cold. 

God, 
the Supreme Lord of Life and Death, 
Time has expired : 
Who,our own, is left alive? 
Heart or sorrow? Crematorium or the Cell ? 

Vasectomy indulged in self-preservation, 
test-tube babies keep on taking birth, 
hunger digests hunger, 
thirst is immortal. 

Love saturates the bloody balloon, 
soul, in its vacuum, 
perforce creates the Cleavage and the Pupa—
the family symbols of the bipeds. Pyramids 
scan the transformation of form and qualities 
of civilisation sans feelings of sex. 

Its existence will be dissolved, 
leaving memories 
like those of Dinosaur, Amphioxus, 
with biologists alone. 
A new leaf of civilisation is opened in the planet 
as if a fresh poster gets pasted 
on a cinema poster again. 
  

Translation :
Manmohan Thakore 

MORNING


Then it will be morning 
and birds will sing; 
in the polluted harbour 
I will anchor to safety 
and look at the sky, 
when it will be morning. 

Sirens sound 
the call of war 
the whole body burns 
no light no darkness 
no ship no drumbeats 
shall I go out to the street ? 

Layers of the dust of sorrow 
harden to stone 
splitting open that stone 
new crops will smile. 
I will drink milk from the breasts of the earth 
I will kiss everybody's heart 
I will distribute the nirmalya of love, 

When will it be morning ? 
  

Translation :
Sitakant Mohapatra  
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