Two Poems by Sarifa Khatoon Chowdhury

Copper Coloured Time has been Slowly Changing

Copper coloured time has been slowly changing 
I have not heard the melody from a flute for a long time. 
Suddenly there was a sound 
A bird in the bougainvillea. 

My vision touched
Each leaf in the forest
So cool so smooth 
The song of the papiya resonates. 
I have received it as a blessing. 
It has been raining today.

A Zero Sticks to a Zero

I never belonged any day to anybody.

They told me 
You are our daughter
Our heart beat 
Our dream 
And it was not true. 
And yet that assurance 
Helped me to travel a long distance.
And then there were none.

I was told
You are my beloved 
My dear wife
A mother a house wife
I was overwhelmed. 

But those were dialogues 
From a play.

You are a poet 
A writer 
An artist 
Our inspiration. 
On my supposed death
Mournings condolences bouquets 
Burning of incense. 

That was the most
Improbable of incidents. 

I was desperately in search of a river 
And I heard the warbling of a river
I went near
But it was all sand.

I was thirsty
And I heard again that warbling
And I went close to it
With my palms cupped 
But those were all pebbles. 

Actually nobody belongs to nobody else 
Rivers are all dry.
The fields and forests
Are all discoloured paintings.
Every day is a sum
Right or wrong for life
A zero sticking to a zero.

Translated by Ananda Bormudoi

Sarifa Khatoon Chowdhury is an Assamese poet and novelist based in Doomdooma, Assam. She has two collections of poems to her credit. She is a Consulting Editor of PWF.

Click here to read the original Assamese poems.

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