Two Poems by Geetanjali Borkotoky


I am a Muslim by birth
And you?

The cries of the riot victims
Wash away colours of time
And leave a void in the heart. 

The stone throwers are in ecstacy 
The obscene words shouted aloud
Have driven away sleep.

The sound of the frog jumping into the pond
And the cluttering of the loom
Have been drowned.

Now in Bohag it is time
To stand guard in turn.

All on a sudden a news comes
A newborn baby is found in a dustbin 
An advertisement is published 
Inviting its antecedents.
The Words

The words dazzle in sunshine 
They dazzle in the darkness. 

Everything in the world is relative.

Birth and death
Happiness and sorrow 
Sin and piety 
Smiles and tears. 

Words sometimes become insipid. 

Unwanted reckoning. 

Sometimes they become interesting 
Like gossips after lunch break in office.

Words raise tide
To drown many a man.

Some words are confined in quarantine centres 
Once released
They loiter in the market place.

No word can be buried.

Some words are written on the sand
To be washed away by the waves.

Words are fish in water
The predatory bird scoops
And snatches away.

Words ripen
And are conducted
By evidence.

You cannot tell
The friend from the foe.

The walls have ears
And you have to be careful. 

Everybody is wearing a mask .

Words bring one reward 
One is beheaded for words
You lose your path
When the tongue slips.

Translated by Ananda Bormudoi

Geetanjali Borkotoky is an Assamese poet based in Namrup, Assam. She has one collection of poems to her credit.

Click here for the original Assamese poems.

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