The canopy of thoughts (1) On my barren bosom You'd penned A tender poem A frenzied westerly now blows Within my heart. (2) I stood in front of the gate With my body covered by a wrap of darkness The winds rushed towards me and asked .... For whom are you waiting ? I said Love is supposed to arrive. (3) I try to be inebriated As the whirlwind, As a goblet of wine I want to guzzle Your unembellished love Let the arid desert be soaked By torrential rain.
My hunger-stricken body and a paper-flag For five decades and more I've slept with poverty at the head of my bed My entire life has passed in providing them with food In hauling their weights In carrying out their menial chores I've transformed my life into a rock Now I've grown scrawny, enfeebled is my mind With the touch of coarse hands And with the gruffy tone of voices The world of love Is in utter terror, perhaps has absconded with no trace It's impossible to curse God, after all He can't even be questioned I wonder why has the body been linked To an abyss called the belly Why has a merciless demon been created Called hunger From the emaciated bodies I didn't seek too much of anything I sought only a handful of rice Or a piece of chapatti And heaping on my scrawny-stony body An undesirable pledge And tucking a paper-flag into my fist They said—Cast your vote in this symbol
Translated by Krishna Dulal Barua
Noni Bordoloi is an Assamese poet based in Doomdooma, Tinsukia.
Krishna Dulal Barua is a prominent translator and writer based in Nagaon, Assam. He received the Katha Award for translation in 2005.