Jayanta Mahapatra Poems

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1.
Hunger

It was hard to believe the flesh was heavy on my back.
The fisherman said: Will you have her, carelessly,
trailing his nets and his nerves, as though his words
sanctified the purpose with which he faced himself.
...

2.
Her Hand

The little girl's hand is made of darkness
How will I hold it?
...

3.
Grandfather

The yellowed diary's notes whisper in vernacular.
They sound the forgotten posture,
the cramped cry that forces me to hear that voice.
Now I stumble back in your black-paged wake.
...

4.
Dawn At Puri

Endless crow noises
A skull in the holy sands
tilts its empty country towards hunger.
...

5.
Freedom

At times, as I watch,
it seems as though my country's body
floats down somewhere on the river.
...

6.
A Summer Poem

Over the soughing of the sombre wind
priests chant louder than ever;
the mouth of India opens.
...

7.
Ash

The substance that stirs in my palm
could well be a dead man; no need
to show surprise at the dizzy acts of wind.
My old father sitting uncertainly three feet away
...

8.
A Rain Of Rites

Sometims a rain comes
slowly across the sky, that turns
upon its grey cloud, breaking away into light
before it reaches its objective.
...

9.
The Captive Air Of Chandipur-On-Sea

Day after day the drunk sea at Chandipur
spits out the gauze wings of shells along the beach
and rumples the thin air behind the sands.
...

10.
Twilight

An orange flare
lights the pale panes of the hospital
in a final wish of daylight.
It's not yet dark.
...

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