What Do I Possess

By Rajib Borah

What do I possess
Except a few words?
They are also either borrowed or inherited.
What belongs to everybody
Does not belong to me alone.
I own what belongs to me exclusively.
Who can survive
Beyond sunshine shower and wind?

Life is no arithmetic and yet
Time passes as I am engrossed in doing sums.
Saving from want and plenty
I am growing skeptical of the future
As I go ahead that also eludes
Leaving me in insipid present.
I shall sing a melodious song in future
Song today is ignored in the process.

We shall be remembered only after death
The grateful actors wait for that day
They donnot name us when we are alive
They equate naming with defeat.
They make room for the companions
They assert rights over words
What remains after that
To belong to me?

Translated by Ananda Bormudoi

Rajib Borah is an Assamese poet, novelist and critic. He teaches Assamese literature in Nazira College, Sivsagar.

Click for the original Assamese poem.

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