|SOUBHAGYA KUMAR MISRA
OF DEFERRED SPEECH
The sun has quite a few things to say.
But it hops from a bend in the river
to a downstream bathing place
where there are no bathers,
from there to yellow Aswattha leaves,
and then to malignant tumours in ovaries.
It thus squanders its time,
and when evening comes
it sets, without having said a thing.
The river has quite a few things to say.
But it flows on and on,
trying to inscribe the sun's wasted life
on the restless paper of its waters.
Its time terminates
in the incompetence of an obese ocean.
It's always impossible
to say even an infinitesemal part
of what one intended to say.
The soil, for example,
swells with the intent to speak
and, ultimately, disintegrates.
The day's light
hovers around the stamen of flowers,
around the raised hoods of snakes,
but in the end settles on the wings of a kite
and disappears into the immeasurable void.
This, probably, is the destiny of the poet.
Before he can relieve the mule of grammar
of sacks filled with intended speech,
crows descend and sit in a circle
around the cleansed wound.
Afraid? Should I leave?
Heard from both sides, always
and still no one comes near
from among those who ask and those who hear.
Do I stand in the interior dark
that I wouldn't feel fright or fear?
True, that on many disturbing mornings
I have noticed the alarm
in fresh tyre-marks on the wet earth;
just crushing the fruit in my fist
and admitting my hunger
have made me forgetful.
Such darkness that even the sky is invisible,
only innumerable stars
they have slipped away
from that imperious cloud's hold,
the one who circles the leafless tree.
I don't wish to see anyone at all;
at a dangerous moment, certain words
are so full of arrogance
that they only strut insolently
in dark lanes.
Be seated wherever you are
by the window
simply don't notice the sins I commit.