Varnamala : Contemporary Oriya Poetry




The wind brings news from some churned sea's deeps  
Waves retell age-old tales, of time  
That tore those golden sails of a merchant  
Who set out to trade in his silver boat,  
Of someone who plundered the sea's pearls, gems and rubies.  

The trees are desolate, the July-rains of tears  
Flood the far reaches of the eye's palace;  
Soon the king leaves for his queen's kingdom  
The prince is away, his wooden sword  
And toy-gun broken on his journey,  
Under the shaky bridge he's found a live cannon.  

The wind brings news, buildings are deserted,  
The selfish Queen Mother shakes off her tears  
Someone has severed the wings of the Flying Horse—
The vast expanse of the silvery sky is soaked in blood,  
Heaven's possessed dancer searches on for tunes.  

Someone's darling gazes on the face of the sea;  
Her mirror of plenty broken, silver shards afloat,  
A gash on her hand, the soul's largesse falls apart.  

In the shadows of casuarinas sand deer play,  
Innumerable waves frolic on the shore;  
The prince has still not returned,his head decapitated,  
Has the tribal youth smeared on his forehead  
The auspicious mark of blood?  

Are the city's scales weighing the jungle's flesh?  
How long will the inhuman keep searching for Man?  

Translation :
Jayanta Mahapatra 

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