The Man in the Fallow Land
What is life A distance—a stone’s throw away Fish caught after draining out water And eaten with rice of fresh harvest Happy is the man whose days pass and clothes tear out He talks and sings in sorrow If there is food, he is hungry If food is not found, he is not hungry either. Once you were in a sylvan habitat Once you were a poet of the bawdiness Today you are a farmer to till fallow land as hard as rock in April May finds Ahu stalks ripening in the sun You love yourself Each poor of the world is your son and grandson You hate yourself You are now ruled by an unforgivable pain You have no suffering You have no irony of fate What is life A distance—a stone’s throw away Food for hunger A word in loneliness And yet it is dumb.
I am the Shadow of a Tree
The April Sun is blazing and scorching in my front yard Beneath the trees are the shades Days have gone All my friend and brothers and children who loved their land Left me alone in search of their land I am the shade of a tree.
Translated by Ananda Bormudoi
Cheniram Gogoi is an Assamese poet based in Dibrugarh, Assam. He has two collections of poems to his credit.