Varnamala : Contemporary Oriya Poetry




Suddenly she appears before you  
in a white sari  
and with a basket of jasmines  
in her hands.  
Her reflection ripples  
on the mirror of tear, or sweat.  

What do these patches  
of dead clouds remind us,  
excepting the ruins  
of all the hopes and dreams?  
The wound yet to heal,  
the ache yet to go;  
the peeping moon, althrough.  

The field is rich with paddy,  
the papers are full of plans,  
the creepers at the hedges,  
the river water getting less muddy  
and this is the time  
one feels lonely, orphan-like,  
althrough the day and night.  

Kashatandi flowers grow red  
yet the stain on the hand  
of the assasin does not go away;  
the sun is about to set  
yet there is no sign of return  
of the bird that has flown away  

Here, the notebook of my daughter  
is fragrant with the fresh shefali flowers;  
there, under the ground,  
smoulders the intrigue of a bomb-blast.  

The dark outline of the village  
looks bright with the circus light,  
the peasant is engrossed  
in cleaning his old clothes,  
and glittering the eyes of Mandela  
blessing Mother Teresa a long life  
comes autumn,  
Yes, autumn after autumn.  
Translation :
Rabindra K Swain  

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