Sunday Poem: Love In The Lines Of The Gun 

The original poem in Odia by Kedar Mishra has been translated into English by Sailen Routray

I have not come to this city of perfumes
to pluck flowers for you.

My eyes are lost in the sky of the birds
that you released from your cage.
The tongue that used to howl its love for you

now beats drums for productions of popular plays.

The villain wrings the neck
of a live, fluttering desi chicken.
The drops of blood scatter
across the spread of your village
and my fragrant city.

Are you still not in receipt
of the letter that consumed
the October of my blood?
Did the last flower of the earth
that I plucked for you
manage to touch your plaits?
Did you get my lonesome message
from the trunk of that wayward cloud?

Today you sit with your back
glued to the wall
like a gun in a secret gathering.
I spend the last flickering light of my life
trying to learn ways of pulling your trigger;
I want to hold you tight against my chest today
and to finally make you fire.
Only if firing you was as easy as firing a bullet.

I have not come to this city of perfumes
to pluck flowers for you.


(Kedar Misra (b. 1971) is a leading poet in Odia and has published several collections including Shunya Abhisara (2003), Raga Kedar (2008), Premara Dura Geeta (2014), and ‘E Nuhen Mora Desha’ (2020).

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