The Farmer’s Daughter
Till yesterday I was thinking your body was too hard; your intelligence was solid as the soil shedding the blood and sweat where you can grow plants, bear fruits and bloom flowers but then you never possess the tactics of hoarding the grains in the barn, never your pain oozes like the water your eyes never know the dishonest sun. When the darkness is encompassed in the cleave of the mountain and you hang yourself one day in the bough of a tree without letting someone know I’m a daughter of this country, the daughter of a farmer, I burst out for you when you are thrashed by the rain, but why the lights are expelled from your ways potholes are dug in your way, the four directions are surrounded by barbed wire. When the entire country sleeps in the fear of the virus you awake in pain for reaching rice to every mouth, you remain steadfast and say if you die, die but not because of hunger when you become so strong like the floor making all the trickery futile, you stand up raising your shoulder, I smile even from the periphery of death as I’m the daughter of a farmer. Hunger Hunger blazes on the edge of the train lines hunger blazes on the premises of the temple and in the shanties below the darkened slum in the corner of the hearth place hunger blazes. There’s no sleep in the eyes to extinguish this hunger; nothing can be availed for free here not even a word; to compensate I can give only the fragile body, if you want to take it, I’ll pour it out into your hands—-oh, hunter. How can you understand the torture of hunger? Can a dog understand? When my child spread his hands in uncombed shagged hair or soiled clothes in wriggling pain in hunger, you take back your legs frowning your eyebrows and the same feet spend sleepless nights in my shanty; I can’t see anything in front of hunger, as it snatches food from the mouth of my child; and can sell me—-to the enemy. If it goes, let my body go, if I watch over the body, my death is apparent and then my body will be eaten up by the vultures and crows in the whirlpool of hunger, I’m just a small twig—- quite helpless; hunger forces me into the darkness away from the light; my stomach doesn’t understand anything—-caste, religion or morality which I should refrain from! The Faces Resemble God are not of God's If someday, you are asked to leave the house no matter who the person is spitting a lump of phlegm, come out, no issues purify the tears in the fire holding in your palms make your fist strong, time is very cruel. I’ve not become a shoulder for anyone wherever the daybreaks, he lives there the mild darkness is no less enigmatic than this street alleyway, I threw a fist of moonlight set your feet seeing the speed of the wind your activeness is the thorn in someone’s throat if you are a silly girl, your road goes to hell for sure. Whether you’re a class 9th girl or a girl who has never gone to school whether your age is fifteen or fifty, it doesn’t matter to them; no matter how thick is your cloth the unsatiated tongue can pierce up to the lower abdomen, wherever you go disguised people are watching your way, once you fall in their hands they’d just swallow you; the faces resemble god's are not of god's, just construe soon and return back towards life. War of Life Let the head go off or the chest crack let the last drop of blood drip from the heart every thoughtful war, taking the larger responsibility to descend on a resilient shoulder a war can begin in a house and can go to set the highest mountain peak on earth on fire and can wipe out the lights from all the roads with blooming trees. The outrage goes on flag marching barefoot in silence too, nevertheless, the unwavering courage and a chest like the blood-pooled floor, both are needed if you have to fight then learn how to prolong the war first and the disciplines for it. Whether he takes or gives the head, the knight fights from the front, in his dying and killing he proves heroism, war is not fought from the back nor does it seek a mask or the darkness war lives in the light all the time war is life and life searches for war. *Translated from the Odia by Pitambar Naik* Jiyanti Biswal Behuria: is a poet from Baleswar, Odisha in India. She studied for her BA at Utkal University. Mun Mo Sahita is her debut book of poetry and she has her second book of poetry forthcoming. Pitambar Naik is an advertising professional. His work appears or is forthcoming in The McNeese Review, The Notre Dame Review, Packingtown Review, Rise Up Review, Ghost City Review, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, The Indian Quarterly, and The World That Belongs To Us HarperCollins India among others. The Anatomy of Solitude (Hawakal) is his debut book of poetry. He grew up in Odisha and lives in Bangalore India.