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Colors, familiar and nameless, and their shades
Leave no empty yawn, a strange hole of nothingness
In the factory, its old sooty walls, the grimy machines,
The receptacles, the wastes and even the cracks in its walls
And the tin roof sun beams steaming down through
Like smoky fingers, airy and ghostly

Warm liquid red, live with nimble steel instruments
Busy with the flesh under brooding halogen light
Amid the first bloody breaths and the first welcome cry…
And the last liquid red that follows a stained steel bullet
Which shell-loosened yellow sands suck dry black

Colors have spilled out of the old factory
Gushing out of its wall cracks and roof holes
Broken door panels and glass window panes,
Pushing the colored fingers back out
Like colorful porcupine needles softening into
Roads, houses, trees, travelers spilling out of
And into houses and buildings, buses, cars and trains
And flowing in sunny streets and creeping in black tunnels
Like liquid ants, engaged in rhythms of love
Or swift movements of hatred, and nameless stirs
With no apparent meanings but just life.

Lightning splashes its electric blue—
steaming hot painting

A burnt heart—red and black,
and steaming—
lands into the grave of a crack

Crown and gold coins rain into it
Warm coins shaped like love
Coins red and wet like lips—
Useless riches about the cold queen
Riches after life

empty, unavailable arms
and it remains raining

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)