Varnamala : Contemporary Oriya Poetry




Under the sky  
a two-feet land.  
On it a small hut  
that shudders in cold,  
sizzles in hot summer,  
collapses in rain.  
I feed it with my tears and blood,  
make a dough of my flesh  
and cover the rafters  
of my marble-like ribs  
with my skin that has  
withstood all these years.  

In it  
my dreams flutter  
like butterflies,  
memories harden  
in the pillow  
my head rests  
and my future sleeps  
inside the languages of silence.  

The sighs,  
the smell of gunpowder,  
a trickle in the dead river  
and a circle of poetry  
around the cold hearth  
are my identity.  

It does not matter  
if at all any one knows me or not.  
The day's sunshine,  
the night's stars  
the hunger of heart  
and the marine songs  
know me,cuddle me.  

I know, one day  
this geography  
will end up in smoke.  
I know, one day  
this life will fly off like a bird.  

Because I know all these,  
I know you all,  
relate to you,  
love you.  
digging and ploughing your arid land,  
I sow seeds  
and look for the harvest.  

Translation :
Rabindra K Swain  

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