Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Ratnakar by Saroj Dutta (Chatushkon Magazine, 1952) - a translation

bloodied feathers fall on calm river 
a sky chewed up through chest-smashing calls of parting 
Hunter – the Nishadh – 
He stands, shameless, stoic, stark in laughter,
Inebriation of non-violence in hand, red eyes,

Bandit Ratnakar awakes
sad questions in eyes, he stays awake, stunned by this sudden pain
two eyes of one swan – hurt to death 
– strewn astray by feet
Rishi, speechless in shame, Vedic mantras make no answer

Golden dreams of fortitude in eyes, 
the Hunter has won
From ashes of forgetting rises –
a past, aflame 
Vessels of blood burn in brutal wrath, 
Rishi burns in the hatred of denial

-- Today, by the rice-bereft hut, does she still stay awake?
His lover, her breasts are made of skin – does she hold a baby-skeleton to her?

In peals of laughter the Dasyu poet 
– he tears those false flags of non-anger 
Day of darkness, fulfilled, 
to end by the dimly caving shores

1 comment:

Aruni RC said...

the stark imagery and the death-knell of something, something vast and vague and we should care deeply about instead of click-bait and pokemon go.