Sunday, September 10, 2006


Mahendra Bora
Translated from original asomiya
by Dibyajyoti Sarma

There’s light here, a little light of peace that evening will erase away
Two buds of oleanders, a little intimation of love that will ebb away in tide of time

There’s a village here lined by betel groves, gorgeous
There will be a town here soon, covered by black smoke
Soften by a farmer’s sweat
In that field
There will open up a small movie-house.
Swathed with hyacinth flowers
The farmhouse near the pond
May at best be a police-station or a shop
Train’s whistle will bring the dawn of night’s end
Grafted orchids will notify the coming of spring
These are small, ordinary news of the birth of a town
A clothe woven with yarns of sorrow and desire
Which way went away the sour-sweetness of blueberries
This place was a dream once wrapped in the magic of bamboo-flower, dragonflies
It all went away in vapour with the golden yarn of blessed mother

Know it very well that one day the wheels of machines will
Take away
Little petals of poems that grew in the mind’s soil of poor people

Behind the woods there is a bridge there
Behind the bridge a town
Where people still enjoy small talks
Grave news heat up tea cups
The clerk of which office got how much bribe
Who got what gifts for which young lass
Where a small shop of leafy vegetables can also be a door of living
On the heart of that town one day rang the city’s sacred tune
Hawkers gave out the news there would be a capital soon
Paan shops would be busy in evening radio
Hanging on the sky there will be hotel
Night’s stay for foreign tourists
No accidental death of any poets can
Make anybody sad
At the most schools will get a half-day’s leave
Passing news of a city
Tear drops on glasses a group of gamblers
Share death of some old tart
The highway will be smooth like mirrors and at best two feet wide
Four times will be narrower people’s mind dammed by business brain
Yet —
Yet there is trust in friendship
And a bunch of gladiolus flowers
On the flowerpot of a tea-stall
Will sparkle with a handful of smile of spring days

Ever-revolving is this soiled earth ever continuous is man’s mind
Like that bursting brook under the magic shadow of that palm tree
And like the child in the nursery behind that
One day she become young
Climbing the stairs of age
Who knows when the liquid drops of palms turned parched
When began the murmuring of the bees

Perhaps that’s the truth; perhaps the truth is to
Ebb away in that brook like a paper boat
The truth is the fall of that gold dust
From the holes of a clenched fist
Yet is this a waste
Foggy myths of a meaningless life
Somewhere in that ever-ebbing, there must really be
A small islet
Shelter to the fast moving mind
Where the watch hands on table cannot create ripples on time
Know that the flowers that bloom in spring will bloom forever
Time’s wings cannot flap there
And —
Grandfather’s lap and grandmother’s desirous kiss
Will remain the same
That warm love coated with the dust of time
No need for a printed book to understand the price of that love
Which way it rises and falls
A little scent of flowers and a little beauty of togetherness
In life this only cannot be altered by the lines of agedness
That love, the flower is like un-flickering flame, stone image of Buddha
The star’s light on the forehead of a blessed woman
— The primal comfort of life.

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