Varnamala : Contemporary Oriya Poetry




In the front  
everything is visible  
yet astonishing  
the sudden deep embrace  
and the unconscious conscience.  

fill up your pocket  
with whatever you get  
fill up the basket  
plucking flowers to your fulfilment  
assume darkness  
to be light  
march on— 
it does not mean anything  
as to which tree is  
without blossom  
which village is  
washed away in the flood.  

The only witnesses to your sin are:  
the deceiving smile  
foolish hypocrites  
torn pieces of papers  
corrupt practitioners  
for recognition  
or begging bowls !  

In the blessed dreams of luxury  
the tireless chhau dance  
as if in the dense boughs  
a thirsty bird twitters  
looking at  
the sudden burst of rain.  
The day, eyes opened,  
the ocean is  
sailing on waves  
uncertainty in the air  
the bright moon  
the promise of a shore  
to anchor. 

The wild waves washed away  
the sand castles  
and threw them back again  
from the lap of the aged mother  
from the earth to the sky  
from the sky to the earth  
in search of freedom  
move restlessly  
from the shade of the Bodhidruma  
to the thirst of jnana yoga.  

The stick of the helpless age  
in hand  
the clock of painted relationship  
on body  
the delight of the greenery  
in the mind  
freedom is a consolation  
in darkness,  
the statue of one's  
smiles and tears  
is recognised in the mirror  
or in a drop of tear  
in someone's eyes.  

Translation :
Sanat Das Patnaik  

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