Two Poems by Biren Gogoi

Smile in the Face of a Stone

The bright green of the hills and mountains
Was once under the control 
Of the forest alone.

Stone faces were smiling 
Pictures were seen in their eyes. 

We cried out
And we heard 
The raging storm of the sky and the wind
Streams and rivers overflowed 
Trees and the brushwood sang.

Smile in the face of the stone 

Boat of the body,the body's companion 
Can one stay away from the other 
Land and water?

The stone smiles taking into itself 
Happiness and sorrows 
Of a hundred years.
Flowers Know When to Blossom Forth 

Flowers Know 
When to blossom forth.

The child knows
How to laugh in joy
And to cry in pain.
With lips and hands
It measures love 
In the mother's breast. 

We are helpless poets 
Digging day and night 
Into the heart of time
To see flowers bloom and drop off.

Many people donot know
What the flowers know 
The time to bloom.

Yet many others donot know
For what sorrows 
The jasmine blooms and drops
During the night.

Translated by Ananda Bormudoi

Click here to read the original Assamese poems.

Biren Gogoi is a contemporary Assamese poet based in Dibrugarh. He has five collections of poems to his credit.

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