Nabakanta Barua

(26 December 1926 – 14 July 2002 / Guwahati / India)

Silt - Poem by Nabakanta Barua

The fire of the palaash has gone out now.
In the saal and sotiyaan woods
Spring-storms of days past —
Days of the Burmese invasion.
How many dreams fell who keeps count?
On the Banks of the Kolong, Kopili, Diju
Grandfather’s bones.
The wild lily sprouts through
Grandmother’s heart.

What did the clouds say,
Give, give more, give your all,
Plant trees by the road, open a high school,
The dear traveler is always on the road,
Heave a sigh
Let the water speeding through roofs
Flood out the cells of dead spiders
Let our silt fertilize the banks of the Kolong.

In the furrows of our grandson’s new farmstead
We shall wake.
In our fossils they will read
Amusing tales
of those who remember past births.

In the lane where dreams are blind
we stay there. In the gutters
their future.

[ Translated by Pradip Acharya ]

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Poem Submitted: Friday, June 15, 2012

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