Varnamala : Contemporary Oriya Poetry

 
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PRAMOD KUMAR MOHANTY
 

MEMORY


The bird sings in false notes.  
No fish in the river, no star in the sky.  
No dawn breaks  
No hope, no curse,  
Nothing.  
No letter,  
Not even the barest sign of an address.  
Everywhere scattered ink-drops  
Like wrong acts of life.  
The bird sings in false notes.  

No more through eyes  
Memory now seeks other avenues.  
Where the black pigeon flaps its wings  
The deceptive moon betrays the morning,  
Where the wide steps of the wind  
Disturb the waters of the river.  
Which Midas touch  
Turns memory into tears ?  

Memory is the squarefoot of time  
And the capital is a city of tears.  
Memory is regular like time  
And each clock has a punishing look.  

The ticking clock  
Love's eternal enemy, the graveyard of memory.  
Memory : the squarefoot of time  
And the city only a city of tears.  

Everywhere  
Drops of void absence  
Like the empty girls' commonroom in summer vacation.  

Alas, the bird sings false notes, false notes.  
  
  
Translation :
Jayanta K. Biswal 

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