Breath rests in the veil of dust Formed by dust alone It's a poem only till it remains Pushing the veil of dust When with the dust Mingles a bloated stain Would it be let off by the dust Dust knows not The colours of spring Hence the leafy world Gets blown by the wind Dust you are Dust I am Dust defines life by name With no wind dust never gets blown When dust gets blown Its whereabouts no longer remains With none of us there Neither you nor I
Song of the Crossroads
Nowadays youngsters don't gather At the crossroads squares The evening odour of the crossroads Merged with the air to fade away Now at the crossroads The abuses look for some motor-mouth From the main house In the gossips at the crossroads A fear dwelt in those days Now those old fears Chidings and rebukes keep wafting In the open air of the fields At times of trouble junkies transmit the news Of every mishap at the bend of the road Now not a soul can be found at the crossroads For a little help during cremations For the resolutions at the crossroads Forums-organizations mushroomed Eventually Immigrants grew plump occupying the place In the past no stranger Dared to light a fag Now every word gores the body Sometimes with regard to mothers Sometimes with regard to the mother-tongue And at other times while taking stock of the ethnic crisis Let the crossroads return to those days of the past Let a shriek or two drift apprehensively Let them hear We're alive with the odour of the crossroads In our clasps
Translated by Krishna Dulal Barua
Nripen Goswami is an Assamese poet based in Doomdooma, Assam.