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নোংজু অহিং মমৈ
থমোই হাম্না মীৎকপ থোকচিল্লু’
ইচীক চীকপা অমম্বদা
য়েংথদুনা লৈরম্বগুম
থোঙনাওগি মুশিবা মঙাল থৎ
অমুবা মুর্ত্তি অমা (মহাক শকখঙবরা, খঙদবরা?)–
মোং হাদবা, শকখঙদবা উমংগুম্না শূকপা

অরাপ্পদগি লাকপা খোঞ্জেলগুম
নুংশীৎনা লৈথোক লৈজিন, শূপ্তোক শূপচিন শান্নবির’,
মশেন মরাং য়ৌরকপা ঈশৈগুম, চীরোনগুম
তম্নবগুম, মফি শেম্বগুম ঊনানা নুংশীত্তা…

ঈচেল কংথরবা তুরেল খোঙবান্দা
ঐ ‘সুম চৎখি
অপেৎপা লৈঙোইদা খোঙ্গুন মরী থনমদুনা,
‘সুম য়েংদুনা লৈহৌই ঐ
লৈঙোই শান্ন শান্ননা…

My Fear*

This house is my own house
Father built for me;
This estate is mine, too
Inherited from father’s father.

Now I’m breathless
In this estate—restless,
As if nothing connects me to it—
I’m afraid in this house
As if not my own.

Why is this?
What’s happened?

*Translation of Eigi Akiba, a poem from Birendrajit Naorem’s national Sahitya Akademi Award (2004) winning Manipuri poetry collection Lanthengnariba Lanmi (Man at War). The poem is dated 28 December 2004.

Sri Lekhak 1

Sri Lekhak

Bihari Yengkhom

Yengkhom Bihari

Three poets

 MB Meme

Sri Lekhak 2

Sri Lekhak

Photograph by Doren Mayanglambam of PhtoMax, Kakching. © Thoithoi O’Cottage (April 2014)

Empire of Emptiness


Silent city, unreal like a bad dream
Its beads of noise soaked up by weariness.

Smoky beams splash sunlight on my dusty floor
And shadows of leaves rustling restlessly—
My ancient floor with sets of little footprints;
They bring some sounds distant, some calls distant
They won’t hear my answer any more now.

When another live butt off the ashtray
Hits the floor smoking and rolls to a stop
Its muffled thud rings clear—smoldering thud!
Did it burn out the loose seams of sound
Or bust down a hidden sealed crack to the world?
Small sounds trickle in slowly like strangers
Timid first into a silent world of no sound—
The burnt-out fan creaking possessed in the wind
The wind chime tinkling at the empty porch,
And the sound of my breathing, but no more!
They rather deepen the cut into my soul!

Long shafts of yellow crash onto the floor
The shadows are still rustling on the floor
Voices still calling from the distant past—
I’m curled up in one corner of my room
Observing the emptiness building its empire.

When Trees Overarch


Windy day, lying still on the bank
A quiet dog looks into the water—
A pair of legs limp in the wind
Like the tree’s last autumn leaves.