Varnamala : Contemporary Oriya Poetry

 
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SOURINDRA BARIK
 

THE CIRCUS BOY


The small boy performs in the circus.  
His thin hands and feet  
are ant-eaten timber  
between living and dying  
only an ignoble truce.  

Even now in his eyes  
the mango grove  
of his village, the fairy tales;  
in his feet the mad intoxication  
of running after butterflies, snapped kites;  
but he performs in the circus  
controlling his hands and feet  
he only performs in the circus.  

His laughter, tears and innocent demands  
are now sweat on his forehead;  
in the emptiness of living  
he is only an articulate  
a truncated tree in the public park  
a burnt-out black grain of rice;  
he is crippled time incarnate.  

The small boy performs in the circus  
in the soft lap of Time  
only a victim, a moth-eaten moment.  
  

Translation :
Sitakant Mahapatra 

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