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Date of Publish: 2016-09-17

To a Brother

Mridul Haloi

The grass,

beginning to sprout,

in our winter-fields,

abound.

 

Like a seed,

in a granary,

my words

silently slumber.

 

 Does yours too?

 

The mid-day rolling upon

The sundried paddy's mat is

Of those old times itself.

Only the two boys—

Who are running breathlessly

Along the paddy field lanes

Are not us— are like us.

 

 Mangoes are budding

 In our homestead land of those bygone years

The warble of a dove

pierces through the evenfall.

And the baritone you left

to my heart to make inroads

lingers till date..

From where the lamps

of our eyes cannot meet,

You, I know,

Still hear the birdie chirp.

And rummage in the grass

for a lost fig.

 

 And here,

I all alone hunt for

the red dragonfly

that eluded us

after a chase of

seven stretched fields.

 Thick paddies are swinging in our fields

 The sprouts of the preserved words

 In our hearts are restless

Like seeds in the granary

 

Your breath cleaves through my heart.

 

The two boys running after

The red dragonfly

are so much like us of those yester years

 

The same old fly,

and two lads,

get blurred

by two drops of tears

I cannot keep at bay.

(Translation : Jyotirmoy Talukdar)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOME

Mridul Haloi

We have chucked in

the old dwelling

and sitting on the

stainless tiles of a new one,

 

are ruminating upon

the relinquished home

that dad erected before

assigning a sapling the job at its threshold.

And mom as a bride

entered it veiled.

The petals from the sun flew

to the veranda tidied by her,

as she untied her locks

and their umbra.

 

 At the moonlit nights

the sapling branched off

in the reveries of

my genitors.

 

The areca-nut developed calyxes

for many twelvemonths.

The betels mellowed and withered.

 

The home

dad protected with

portals and walls

gradually

aged.

 

We have decamped

from the old home.

The fallen leaves

strewn on its entrance

 

veil the grass

that has lately turned green.

We no more wade across

the threshold to reach

the deserted lodging.

 

With novel colours and beams

our new home gleams.

 

We have knocked together

a new threshold.

Have planted trendy saplings

and fashionable doorways and gateways,

helping it look cosy.

 

 Our veranda is brushed

by the laughters of our boys

like by tides.

 

A fig drops somewhere.

The home too

slowly degenerates.

 

And to fabricate the plinth

of another abode

the boys have left.

 

 In the forecourt

of the old dwelling place,

we root out the

obnoxious weeds.

The ripe leaves fall off

the tree

one after one.

(Translation by Jyotirmoy Talukdar)

 

MANKIND IS BASICALLY EARTH

Jonmoni Das

 

The Sea Do not restrain its waves

The River

Do not restrict its flow

The Earth

Keeps revolving round the Sun

The Sky Always remain the Sky

The bird sits in incubation

With a dream in its eyes

Mankind is basically Earth

Every person’s heart holds

An yearning for fertility

Happiness and sorrows of life

Is the mossy rocky surface

The light removes silently

The veil of darkness Every morning

(Translated by Bibekananda Choudhury)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FLYING SHADOW

Jonmoni Das

When the shadow grows shorter

The noon screams stands erect on its feet,

A bird cries and flies away sprinkling flying shadow...

I think about the dream

I have seen in the dream

And stopping by the rocky

Tell silence quietly many a words

Which I have never told any body.

(Translated by Prakash Bhuyan)

 

The Axle (Dhora)


Kishore Monjit Bora
 

A few days before
My father married my mother
Had brought a pair of wheel
at rupees twelve 'kudi'

He bought the axle
At seventeen 'kudi'
It was not an easy task
To spend so much hard earned money.

The cart ran
The cow path was shortened
Through the rice fields
In the bullock cary covered with a sail
Beautiful evenings came
Thirty-two years ago

Now I am twenty four years old.
The bullock cart is no more.

The pair of wheel exists.
The axle exists.
What is no more? Whst--

The carved bamboo
The myth of a pair of white and red bullocks
Olive coloured streets
The shadow of thatched hut
The attached long whistles of calmness

And--

The whistle of the river bank
The falling sun over the bamboos
A red sun

The restless reapers' mist covered stiff fingers
Have no light
The houses become concrete
The attachment of soul gone away
The axle torn away
The axle of the heart

Where the evening of tea
With a piece of joggery of Filobari
Has gone?

Where has the high flame of 'meji'
Has gone?

The axle has fallen apart, my son
Come,

Let's go home.

Note:
1. Kudi means Rs. 20/-.
2. Meji means a pile or column of split fire-wood or straw erected on the bank of a river or tank for burning on the early morning of the Magh Bihu.

(Translated from original Assamese(Dhora) by prof. Gitali Saikia )

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sun(Surya)

Kishore Monjit Bora

A clod of earth
Harappa's blood on earth

The dance of a peacock
Arrested in the marks of a gravel
Is cloud's youth

The sun how
Ancient it is
Yet eternally young
Perennially young women

The Sun is Harappa Mohenjodaro
The Sun is life-flavoured soil
The menstruating earth

In a brass pitcher
Engraving circles
The slender fingers of the Sun?

 

Translated by prof. Chandan Borgohain, Dept. of English, Sibsagar
College, Joysagar.

 

Incognito

Gautam Priyam Mahanta

 

"Miyan, aap toh shyar nikle!"

 

Slaughtering the last bit of innocence for the day's quota,

The butcher's knife in my hand was caught off guard.

And I denied being a poet, abusing my imaginary namesake who's defaming me.

 

The price of this oxygen mask of survival is thousand key depressions per minute.

Isn't then, poetry a costly luxury, a suffocation!

 

"Have you seen puppet play Janab? Are the puppets ever lauded?"

Losing our faces behind crude masks, our faded out faces that signfy nothing anymore.

A Tiananmen ban on our dust sprayed eyes, our frozen lips.

 

I took my cell-phone out of my pocket and switched it off in strategic defence.

Delaying the inevitable is a form of survival, arguably.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love is a Mortal Word

Gautam Priyam Mahanta

 

II ONE II

 

Letting loose a butterfly from a fenced terrain, he runs

To catch the dry colours the barbed wire sought from its wings...

The colours vanish, in two wet eyes of hope.

 

Feeding grasses softer than butterfliese,

How the lawn gave the landmines his thirteen cows!

Comes the cowherd to watch faint green,

Seeds of grass that survived death.

 

Taping his bansuri in a muted present,

He wands his compensatory cattle to grow, faster.

 

|| TWO ||

 

Clad in blue sky, they shook my hand, and cheked.

Taking my pen for a sharpened knife,

They took it away, and showed me the way to you.

 

Devoid of words, I limped,

Vulnerable as ever, I limped forward.

 

You showed me your Suryavanshi lineage,

And hugged.

I wept in your father's lounge.

 

The night, when I vowed to parachute,

Withdrew the entire airbase from our hillock.

An empty railway platform greeted my bleeding feet miles away.

 

It was dawning, it blinded me.

 

SURYODOY AND SURUJMUKHI

Pratim Baruah

 

(1)

I went down to the plains

 

In the foothills

Every evening

Sat a mart

 

I returned to see

The camps in shambles

Congrealed blood-stairs spattered all over

 

(2)

Light prevail

Followed by darkness

 

Darkness

Then light again

 

Day night

Night day

 

Last year we missed the sound of rain

This year too

And next year too...

 

Days advanced to nights

Nights advanced to days

 

(3)

Water gushes in shattering the walls

Water rushes in eroding the plinths

 

Somewhere dearth of water wrests away lives

While somewhere water itself wrests away lives

(4)

Just s single blanket for winter

If one pulls it, the other shivers from cold

If the other pulls it...

 

The wintry mist seeps in

Through the chinks in the walls

 

(5)

Amid the congealed stains of blood

The wife of my friend

Slain by bullets last night

Deliver a pair of twins

 

Everyone together name them

Suryodoy and Surujmukhi

 

Suryodoy- Dawn

Surujmukhi- Sunflower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POEM

Pratim Baruah

(1)

Now winter shall descend

With dense fog

I'll keep first day of snow-fall

 

As I'd waited one day

For your first kiss

 

(2)

I sat to pen a pome

With you in mind

 

How do I begin!

Where do i end!

 

As I kept pondering

Two tear-drops fell

On the blank page

 

I understood

My love was true!

 

(3)

It was a Sunday

And as per regulation

The shops remained closed

 

It was evening time

I entered the market's interior

Through the alleys between the closed shops

 

And I beheld Binanda Uncle

Who had died some days before

Entering the market with a bag in hand

Limping on a walking-stick

 

(4)

In the middle of the right

The cry of the ailing infant

With begging hands

Waiting all day long on the pavement

Seem to come drifting in the wind

How many times drifting in the wind

 

How many times would I repeat

Love ought to be

Man's eternal religion

 

Translated to English by Krishna Dulal Baruah

 

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