The Last Poem

– Saratchandra Shenoi

(English translation from the Konkani original by poet himself)

As like a flash of lightening upon a dark sky,
When the last poem comes forth, bright and blinding,
I shall not take up the pen,
Nor ask for a piece of paper –

As like the scene of a dream reappearing
Before my waking eyes,
When the last poem appears a-shimmering,
It would not reach my lips,
I would not recite its lines –

As like the morning breeze playing in the garden,
As like the rainbow appearing and vanishing,
As like nature at dusk, lost in her own beauty,
When the last poem shines forth,
I shall not attempt to touch it,
I shall not pluck words from it –

As like soothing raindrops in mid-summer
When the last poem condenses within,
Wings will grow upon my back,
I shall fly, and I shall float,
Weightless, I shall swim
Upon the waves of the Wind –

As like the slow smile blossoming through
Ebbing tears upon the face of a weeping child,
When the last poem dawns within,
I shall forget myself
And stand entranced,
Wingtips a-touching,
Lo, I shall become the poem!

saratchandrashenoi@gmail.com

अन्तिम कविता

मूल कोंकणी : शरतचंद्र शेणै
हिन्दी परिभाषा : अमृतलाल मदान

अन्तिम कविता कौंधती है औचक यूं मस्तिष्क में
ज्यों धनेरे बादलों में दिपती चकाचौंध है
इसके लिखने हेतु मुझे लेखनी ना चाहिए
ना ही मुझको चाहिए पृष्ठ कागज का कभी !

जागते नयनों के आगे स्वप्न आ आ नाचते
किंतु अन्तिम कविता जब प्रकटेगी इनके सामने
मेरे अधरों तक नहीं पहुँचेगी इसकी रश्मियाँ
गुनगुना पाऊँगा उसकी पंक्तियाँ भी मैं कहां !

जिस तरह करती हवाएँ सुबह की अठखेलियाँ
मत्त और उन्मत्त आकर के किसी उपवन में जब
जिस तरह किसी इन्द्रधनु के सप्त सुंदर मोर रंग
डूब जातें हैं कभी तो तैर आतें है कभी |

जिस तरह जब साँझ की वेला बिखरती है छटा
दूर क्षितिजों पर सिंदूरी सात्विक सौंदर्य की
अन्तिम कविता ऐसे आ चमकेगी मेरे रूबरू
छू नहीं पाऊँगा उसको, शब्द तोडूँगा नहीं |

जिस तरह बरखा की बूंदें तृप्त करती हैं धरा
जेठ की तपती दुपहरी में कभी जब रिमझिमा
पंख बन उग आएगी कविता तो मेरी पीठ पर
तैरता लहरें हवा की मैं उडूंगा रूई-घन सा !

रो रहे ज्यों बाल मुख पर मंद हंसी सी फूटती है
आंसुओं के बीच फूटेगी वो कविता भी मेरी
भूल जाऊँगा समय को यूँ खडा मैं मुग्ध सा
खुद ही बन जाऊँगा कविता, पंख धरती को छुवा !

saratchandrashenoi@gmail.com

THE DOVES OF MY EYES

Poem in Odia: Guruprasad Mohanty

English Translation: Jayanta Mahapatra

Guruprasad Mohanty

The doves of my eyes strike against

the steel of the sky,

and repulsed, return to earth,

where, each day you wait alone

to discover the many meanings of life and death.

 

When the words, with their little palms,

touch the body of the motionless sands,

running through the grey heat of noons

I seek ancestral memories in your flesh.

 

You whisper the secrets of leaf and grass,

of cliffs and woods, moss and shell,

in forlorn nights through the tatter of clouds

the myths of the moon sailing to its death.

 

As you retrieve the ruined body of April

drifting helplessly in the whirlpools of sand,

it seems you love me and want me to come,

but where is your soul? and where my body?

 

And when the doves of my eyes return,

ripping the sky’s wrongs, it is time’s river

that flows through the weariness of your flesh

and carries my dreams along.

 

Leaves fall, unheard, in the quiet noon,

and the sun respires in silence.

The pine forest pales like smoke in the sky.

And I don’t remember when, the doves of my eyes

flew into Ujjain or Cuttack, pursuing you

LANDSCAPE

Original Odia Poem by : Guruprasad Mohanty

English Translation by : Ramakanta Rath

Guruprasad Mohanty

(1924-2004)

Guruprasad Mohanty is regarded as the founder of modernism in Odia Poetry. His poems occupy a unique place in Odia literature. He was awarded Sahitya Akademi award in 1973. He has written only 68 poems in his lifetime

 

How could the gulmohur

preserve its redness

in the unceasing traffic

of automobiles?

 

At some nondescript moment

of some forever-lost century

this redness began its journey

from some first stirring of blood

to the April sunlight of today.

 

This summer day

heaps red dust on the road

meandering across the treeless hill.

Tyres of cars, buses, trucks and jeeps

and the chimneys of the steel plant

belch red dust all the time.

How then can the gulmohur

preserve its own redness?

 

I look out of the window

of the superfast bus

through my sunglasses

and try to comprehend

actual problems of the red colour

and its present-day motives and conduct.

 

Are my looks as stupid

as the look of

the superannuated old chairman

of the Enquiry-Commission

set up after the crowd

took out processions, burnt buses, and

was lathi-charged and fired upon?

 

From its origin in ether

the gulmohur’s redness

has descended on the road.

How could redness continue to be red

amidst all this automobile traffic?

 

Where does this redness go

after the annihilation of its being?

Does it travel to a sad, disarrayed,

unsure and ravaged sunset

in some horizon?

The Elections

Ayyappa Paniker

Ayyappa Panicker

(1930-2006)

Dr.K.Ayyappa Panicker a pioneer of modernism in Malayalam poetry is decorated with many literary awards that stand in the name of great Indian poets, namely  Kabir Samman, Assan Prize, Mahakavi Ullor award,  Vallathol award, Gangadhar Meher National award. He made a very impressive contribution to  Indian literature through his work Indian Narratology which is a study of the art of narration from Vedas to contemporary literature, including oral tradition. He was the Chief Editor of Encyclopedia of Indian Literature published by Sahitya Akademi

White on black is dirt
The whitewash leaves a patch
Washing linen is nuisance
Don’t be upset, O leader!

Is there gold in the hiding place
Is there a place for playing kids
Do you remember waiting for
The autumnal moon and sandal paste

Is it trout that’s caught in the net
Is it salmon outside the net
Don’t you need anything in hand
To wager when you cast the net

It is election time, election time
O come, do come, dear voters
The power that once upon a time
You appropriated among yourselves
We want you to transfer to us
So we ask for your votes
If you give us your votes
Democracy will triumph here!

BULL IN THE CITY

On the main thoroughfare of the city

The bull casually

Perhaps with the memories from the earlier birth

Chewing the cud with half shut eyes

Without moving or shifting

The bull in the heart of the city.

As if it is the right holder of the road

Leaving the responsibility to the times

Heckling the scampering of the civilisation

Stood there that it is the King!

 

Who dares to ask the bull to move

Look how it glances around

Aye! Aye! Motor car!

What is the hurry with you?

Oh! Brother Cyclist!

Careful! The bull wouldn’t budge!

Anti-machinery, proponent of non-violence and a vegetarian

Expert in anti alcoholism

On the main road of the city

Obstructing the passage of the civility

However long like this

This bull can stand!

 

If the bull has no sense

Shouldn’t the man have it?

***

To read the poem in Telugu:

To read the poem in Tamil:

http://www.akshra.org/%e0%ae%a8%e0%ae%95%e0%ae%b0%e0%ae%a4%e0%af%8d%e0%ae%a4%e0%af%81%e0%ae%95%e0%af%8d-%e0%ae%95%e0%ae%be%e0%ae%b3%e0%af%88/

 

In front of Light

Original in Konkani : N.Balakrishna Mallya
English translation : N.Balakrishna Mallya

O darkness ! Your power will not last long
No! Never , You cannot continue this long
However obstinate you are, you have to run away from here
Be apprised ! from emptiness, surely Light will appear

Your body might be dreadful and thick black
Your suppression might have lasted for so much time
You will disappear in emptiness when Truth appears
Know always ! Light will emerge

The whole world is filled with your frightening stories
As if there is no end to fear, no calmness of mind
Do not lie down lumpishly, return the way you came
Be apprised ! Light will burn any moment

Faced with light, though holding a golden platter
Darkness cannot stand in any of the four directions
When the veil is raised from the face of light
Know that ! Light fills up all

balak.mallya@gmail.com

To read the original of this poem in Konkani please visit :

http://www.akshra.org/दिव्याचे-मुखार/

THE PROCESSION

In Malayalam : Sampreetha 

English Translation: P.K.N.Panicker.

The funeral procession moves on.
Who enquires
(just for the sake of enquiring)
What is death, how?
Whose is the face
and who the relatives?

When I look at,
perceive with my eyes
bereft of consciousness
behind distances run away;
the procession moves on ………

I too move
watching the procession
moving towards the grave
dug by someone……

In this coffin
is the smell of pandanus flowers
Dreams in millions blossom………

Whose shoulders carry my weight
Whose laments get dissolved
in the sweat of the pallbearers
The smell of which flower
is it that continues to peer
into my nostrils…….

Which volcano, which lake
is on the path
Which of them is related to life?
Which is the shade,
the cottage I waited in
watching my thoughts take roots?
When I bid goodbye
why is it that my body
foolishly refuses to look back?
Without searching
into the distances left behind
the eyes remain completely shut……

In this journey
where it hungers not
someone throws in a penny…….
The hands suddenly pulled back
are disciplined
not to catch that in haste…..

How many are the relatives
on this road
beating the drums
dancing nonstop;
How many folded hands
to pay homage
on this day.
Hey the dead!
I am indeed fortunate ……..

***

To read the poem in  Malayalam http://www.akshra.org/%e0%b4%98%e0%b5%8b%e0%b4%b7%e0%b4%af%e0%b4%be%e0%b4%a4%e0%b5%8d%e0%b4%b0/

 

The name of my Heartbeat is India

In Assamese: Nilim Kumar

English Translation: Bibekananda Choudhury

Once

As a kid

I rolled down from bed

And dropped onto the Earth;

And my parents were amazed

As I didn’t cry

They say I gnawed you

On falling onto the Earth

O soil of India!

They say I put you into my mouth

O soil of India!

 

That very day perhaps

You got mingled in my blood

That very day perhaps

The soothing coolness of your soil

Could feel the fire inside me

O India!

The day I rolled down from bed

And rolled onto your bosom

 

I heard of You in the Mahabharata

I memorised you in songs

I beckoned you in prayers

As Bharat Janani

Standing under the Tiranga

We saluted you

Chanting

Bande Mataram!

 

Am carrying you in my hearts

Wherever I go

O India!

 

The turmoil in my blood

The restlessness in my brain

The yearnings of my heart

My illness and misfortunes

The darkness of addiction

My likes and dislikes

My broken dreams

Nothing

Nothing could erase your name

From my soul

O India!

Because

Perhaps that very day

Knowingly-unknowingly

As I put your soil into my mouth

That very day you became food in my stomach

 

Transformed into blood from food

Now that you are reverberating in my heart as heartbeat

 

The name of my Heartbeat is India

The name of my Heartbeat is India

***

To read the poem in Assamese:

http://www.akshra.org/মোৰ-হৃদয়ৰ-ধপধপনিৰ-নাম-ভাৰ/

 

My Childhood

Konkani Original : Sanjiv Verenkar
English Translation :  Prof. Prakash Thali

When I looked at
My small daughter Sneha
pedaling on the cycle
With her tiny feet
My poor childhood
Came back to life
so vivid
There was an occasion
when i saw the grandson of landlord
going round and round
on his cycle in the backyard
I had started elbowing
My mother’ sides
While on her waist
What pains my mother
might have suffered
At that particular time?
Today, I wonder.

verenkar.sanjiv@gmail.com

AKSHRA
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