Bridge to Global Literature

Let’s all remember that more and more poetry gets lost without earnest attempts at translation.Read poetry here to get a glimpse of the rhythms and resonances of languages you don’t know.

Poems by Bidyut Bhusan Jena

Sep 18, 2021 | Poetry | 0 comments


How I wish to be erased and
seep through the earth as the first one
of creation, colliding with no word,
no meaning or no theory hovering
like vultures over the corpse of trsna.

I wish to see how different this page
looked from the blank page of creation
before the oceans were carved out
and mountains erected to reach out
to a nowhere and nowhen.

To see how grief is bred amid the
drifting away of the unrelated,
brought together for a moment to
ferment a potion, which still brews
behind every scene, would be a
desire I would risk harbouring.

Oblivious to thought, I would walk
along the shores and ranges and
across the terrains of time without the
thought of a no-longer and not-yet.

And if we crossed paths then,
we would love without reducing
it to a platitude – a facade for all that
it is not, and then, only then, we
may understand why, for ages, the cuckoo
has been singing alone in the grove.


The Peripheral

Old poets are like
abandoned utility poles of
once important parts of
bustling cities.

Primeval remnants against
indifferent space, they don’t
wait for any epiphany to
be stitched to them.

Prehistoric cryptograms,
they allow seasons to clothe
them in moss, creepers, nests and
homeward birds of idle afternoons.

When they grow, old poets
turn into radios, letterboxes,
antique landline phones or ceibas
of a half-remembered land.


The Non-dual

I am the eye on the edge
of the manuscript of time;
I am the rain drumming on
your night without rhyme.

I am the curve where ennui
halts to gasp for breath;
I am the corpse that fails to
cross your lies of faith.

I am the being before this
planet’s editing;
I am that bird, which knew
how to sing.

I am that tavern where the
alleys of your sins meet;
I am that fermented void,
missing your heartbeat.


Primitive Craving

The lamp stares at the corner,
where a spider web hangs
with last year’s dust on it.

The corner is still like the
brooding eyes of old cows
that gaze into the unknown
calling up orphaned longings
of bygone ages.

On moonless nights, after
the noises of the city lie weary
under the pavements,
a primitive craving quickens
in the spider web.



At the window of a sleepless night
the moonlight smells of the surplus grief
of the poet from Gali Qasim Jan who
breathed beads of pearl into poverty.

After soaking the metaphors in a
bucket of wine, you push the curtain
to one side of the window and see
his eyes and high hill topi
smeared across a waning horizon.


Bidyut Bhusan Jena writes in English and Odia. Some of his poems and other pieces have appeared in various literary magazines, journals and newspapers like Muse India, Erothanatos, Rock Pebbles, The Hans India, The Eastern Times and The Sambad. His poetry collections – Pages (2019) and A Letterbox Across Time (2020) have been published by Writers Workshop and Hawakal Publishers respectively. Some of his forthcoming publications are in the fall/winter 2021 issue of KNOT Magazine and ROCK PEBBLES’ Anthology respectively. He is from a village by the river Kharasrota (fondly Kharasua) in Odisha. Currently he teaches literature and philosophy at Christ Deemed to be University, Bangalore Central Campus.


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