Varnamala : Contemporary Oriya Poetry

 
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HARAPRASAD PARICHA PATNAIK
 

THE SOLITARY SELF


That is perahaps the first meeting.  
For calm appearance of the sea  
that swallows layers of civilization  
her words  
only in her trembling top-like breasts.  

She thinks  
for the kitten waiting on window sill  
stretched flat on its belly like the sunlight  
the pregnant cow would turn  
into a frightened mouse,  
the dark clouds would come flying  
into the folds of her eye  
like my solitary self.  

Have you heard  
the stories of vague greatmen?  
Red, the horizon  
red like fresh blood, have you seen?  
The echo of wind  
from the breaking mast of a ship?  

For the sorrow without anxiety  
for the lotus of a rotten pond  
for the lovely cloth of a familiar old lady  
all the ecstasy,  
folded desires  
like a mirage of the sky  
like a white dream  
and very close to us.  


Translation :
The poet  

BESIDE THE RIVER MAHANADI


Little above Mahanadi  
like a holyman in white  
the moon watches  
even like a constable.  

The clouds of a last spring  
her sorrows, maybe  
the crumbling ant-hills.  

As the lonely bed of a princess  
this cold sand  
that both of you cannot warm.  

Go near the old bony bridge  
the train crawls slowly,  
and the sensuous moments.  

In the still, solitary afternoon  
waves of illusion  
embrace the hot sand.  

Grazing, an old cow asks the age of the sand  
against the cheerful green around  
The water in her eyes lost in them.  
  

Translation :
The poet  

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