Varnamala : Contemporary Oriya Poetry




The language in which you address me  
is not yours,  
the language in which I respond you  
is not mine.  
We have sold  
our ornaments, tongue, winter-clothes  
and the wish to offer gifts;  
we have lost  
our palms.  
Only the language knows  
why we are getting split  
within ourselves,  
why we ask the mason  
to construct a wall  
in the middle of the house.  
When you extend your hands  
you touch my dress.  
Extending my hand  
I feel you are only another dress.  
Eager to store scores  
like unwritten letters  
our existence.  
Only the language knows  
why do our footprints turn back,  
betrayed and frightened,  
from the road we travelled by together.  
Blowing off dust from all faces  
peeling the plasters  
off all the houses,  
I search,  
unhindered like a river,  
free of grammar.  
Like roots medicinal,  
like pollen life-giving,  
like our burn-mark:  
that language.  
Don't tell me,  
that language is now displayed  
in some exhibition.  

Translation :
Rabindra K Swain  

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