Varnamala : Contemporary Oriya Poetry




The blossoming of a flower 
is not the end-all of things, 
a day will come when someone will pluck it 
to place it somewhere only he knows. 

It seems perfectly worthwhile for us 
to guard it, staying hidden somewhere, 
or else no one will ever know 
when this stealer of flowers 
would come in stealth 
to complete his mission. 

For plucking a flower 
is not such an arduous task 
nor is it such a priceless object 
that we'd worry about it so much. 

Whatever you might say, 
there is some mystery 
behind the plucking of a flower, 
and who can deny the twofold role 
that exists between the flower's blooming 
and its dropping to earth? 

It's unbecoming to keep a watch 
for the flower to bloom, 
for who can tell the moment of flowering? 
Can one say 
that it will rain for certain 
when clouds spread across the sky? 

It's not easy to assert 
there is a last word for everything. 
Simply raise both your palms upward, 
may be you'll find a flower 
falling from somewhere. 

Translation :
Jayanta Mahapatra 


The tree sifts the wind with its clutch. 
The wind leafs in someone's ribs. 
A skeleton lies at close range. 
Dogs and jackals hold a mass dinner 
on your bones. 

The wind remains.Dogs and vultures 
remain. A corpse lies abandoned. 
Whose it is ? Maybe some cow or ox. 

In the distant bamboo grove rattles 
the wind—the ruffian that beats down 

The hunter shot a bird dead with 
his gun.Men were coming along the way. 

The gushing blood dried up on the dead bird's 
body.Who dried it up? 
It is the wind. 

Translation :
Harishankar Acharya 

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