An Intriguing Game The steps come forward Quietly, surreptitiously. Wading through the water hyacinth Squelching across the bog The steps come forward. Piercing through the forest, Crossing the rickety bamboo bridge Of dead rivulets The steps come forward. Small hutments crop up overnight Stealthily, Sliding, groping Climbing the walls of darkness. Some guide the crowd Others stand alert. And then the hungry JCBs go on a rampage... The excavators roar And the new addresses cringe and wither. The addresses disappear When the day breaks. Darkness engulfs the forest And the steps Familiar or unfamiliar Again come forward. A neighbourhood, a village Springs up In the wink of an eye, And spreads out on the barren land, The forest Like swarms of locusts. The JCBs roar again Gnashing their teeth The hutments cringe in fear And the addresses disappear. What sprouts up in the night Withers in the day What withers in the day Sprouts up in the night. The game continues... The intriguing game In collusion with time and opportunities.
Translated by Nayan Jyoti Hazarika
Mira Thakur is a prominent Assamese poet based in Guwahati. She has several collections of poems to her credit.
Nayan Jyoti Hazarika is an Assistant Professor, Department of English, Duliajan College, Assam.