The Sky Does Not End

Saroj Mohanty's poem in Odia has been translated by Sailen Routray

Those who stayed back on the road,
after having found patches of shade,
I have sent them news,
that I am still on the road,

For this whole stretch,
I have not extended my hand for anyone;
when I have met people,
I have never asked them about the path.

Our horoscopes stretch
on the bloody palm of the hunter.
I have forgotten the faces
of those who used to say,
that our true skeletons
lie in the dark caves of dejection’s mountains.

My feet walk towards my heart:
it has birds
whose wings have caught fire;
it has boats
whose sails have caught the storm.

Can one climb the hills
without having stored
the roar of the tiger in one’s heart?
can one dive into the river
without roasting one’s body
in the green fire of the leaves?

I meet only myself;
in every lane,
in every turn,
with new faces.

It is now that I know:
if one keeps on walking
then roads never end;
even if one kills the wasp in the galipot,
the demon does not die.

It is now that I know,
that darkness never ends.
But, no matter where one goes
there is a crowd of stars;
where the forests end there are rivers;
and where the rivers empty,
there is the sea.

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