Varnamala : Contemporary Oriya Poetry




The sun sets behind the hills,  
songs swell, cattle plod their way home  
and dream-boats float on  
the flood of flute-tune;  
the sun sets behind the hills and beyond  
the cliffs and crests.  

The pine woods lengthen their shadows  
like giraffe stretching its neck  
and the wayfarer sings on his way home,  
and one can hear  
the strains of a plaintive flute  
in the mottled shadows beyond the hills.  

You come stealthily tiptoeing  
crossing the marshland and ferns,  
leaping over fields and fence.  
You come tinkling the ankle-bells  
like the incorporeal soul,  
you come to play to spraying colour with my blood  
so that you can forget who you are.  

All ways are lost,  
all memories are wiped clean  
all words dissolve in the blood gush  
of this sunset  
and the accursed night seems never to end.  

The sun sets behind the hills  
and shadows lengthen growing dense;  
the wayfarer breaks down in a cold apathy.  
The lonely shadow walks, losing its legs;  
hands cannot clasp the shadows of one's own  
and the sunset spreads a shoreless sea of pain  
unfathomed, unplumbed.  

Translation :
P. Asit   

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