The Indian Way By Jayanta Mahapatra

The Indian Way The long, dying silence of the rain over the hills opens one’s touch, a feeling for the soul’s substance, as for the…

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Grandfather By Jayanta Mahapatra

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…

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The Captive Air Of Chandipur On Sea By Jayanta Mahapatra

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…

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Freedom By Jayanta Mahapatra

Freedom At times, as I watch, it seems as though my country’s body floats down somewhere on the river. Left alone, I grow into a…

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Twilight By Jayanta Mahapatra

Twilight An orange flare lights the pale panes of the hospital in a final wish of daylight. It’s not yet dark. In the chiildren’s ward…

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Dawn At Puri By Jayanta Mahapatra

Dawn At Puri Endless crow noises A skull in the holy sands tilts its empty country towards hunger. White-clad widowed Women past the centers of…

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The Vase By Jayanta Mahapatra

The Vase The strong south wind hits our faces again, it’s October; sunsets are fiery red and the waters of wells are clear already- there…

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Dhauli By Jayanta Mahapatra

Dhauli Afterwards when the wars of Kalinga were over, the fallow fields of Dhauli hid the blood-spilt butchered bodies. [originally ‘red-smeared voiceless bodies’] As the…

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Taste For Tomorrow By Jayanta Mahapatra

Taste For Tomorrow At Puri, the crows. The one wide street lolls out like a giant tongue. Five faceless lepers move aside as a priest…

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Ash By Jayanta Mahapatra

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….

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The Moon Moments By Jayanta Mahapatra

The Moon Moments The faint starlight rolls restlessly on the mat. Those women talking outside have clouds passing across their eyes. Always there is a…

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A Summer Poem By Jayanta Mahapatra

A Summer Poem Over the soughing of the sombre wind priests chant louder than ever; the mouth of India opens. Crocodiles move into deeper waters….

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Sanskrit By Jayanta Mahapatra

Sanskrit Awaken them; they are knobs of sound that seem to melt and crumple up like some jellyfish of tropical seas, torn from sleep with…

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A Rain Of Rites By Jayanta Mahapatra

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…

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Hunger By Jayanta Mahapatra

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…

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Main Temple Street By Jayanta Mahapatra

Main Temple Street Children, brown as earth, continue to laugh away at cripples and mating mongrels. Nobody ever bothers about them. The temple points to…

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Her Hand By Jayanta Mahapatra

Her Hand The little girl’s hand is made of darkness How will I hold it? The streetlamps hang like decapitated heads Blood opens that terrible…

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Summer By Jayanta Mahapatra

Summer Not yet. Under the mango tree The cold ash of a deserted fire. Who needs the future? A ten-year-old girl combs her mother’s hair,…

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