Poems by Akhil Kumar Mishra

Konaraka

a poem by

Akhil Kumar Mishra

Much has been drawn
In the shifting sands of time
And simmering surfaces of stone.

Peddlers,
Or Fashionable Travelers
May stop at Konarka*
Alike, amid stones
That have stood the test of Time.

Overwhelmed
By the lack of Success
One is uneasy ever among Friends
.
Time loses focus
Yesterday and Today
And lost in thought.

Stones reveal history
As one comprehends
Their joys and sorrows.

I imagine Konaraka
In the lap of Chandrabhaga**
Now absconding.

In the stretching sands
The dead, faltering
Ask questions.
A sea of sorrowful tears
Reaches out to the past.

Deep scares
On Konaraka
Strike fear in my tearful heart.

They say a lotus blooms
In every stone;
With each breath
One may touch the sky.

Still,
Konaraka makes me cry-
The further I go,
The louder the call in my ears,
Of pleasant fantasy
Our culture in Konaraka
Sculpted tales of desire.

Now remain
Only rains and silences,
Jealousy hidden desires
Between sandcastles.
Shattered rocks grope
For mere shadows of men.
The soulful poetry of Konaraka
May occasionally be heard
In the thoughtful silence.

* the world famous Sun Temple, situated on the Eastern India (Orissa)
is a wonder for all art lovers throughout the globe.

** it is a river, which flows near Konaraka.
The epic story is that Chandrabhaga was a beautiful angel
whom the Sun God desired and subsequently followed.
To escape from the mighty Sun,
Chandrabhaga ran away and vanished.
The present day research says that the river Chandrabhaga
was flowing very close to the Konarka temple.
Now it has shifted its course.

(Original poem in Oriya : Translated by Sharat Chander)

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Shimla

a poem by

Akhil Kumar Mishra

The sky overflowed
With swirling clouds
And the Sun
Played hide and “seek”.

But the human mind was impure, strange
In the filth of our impersonal lives
And hence
We reached Shimla.

Sunset in the hills
Faltering memories
Of Kapilash, Meghasan*
Not easy to recollect
Day and night full with
Dreams and nature.

Trees, houses and people
Extended, Timeless.

Such indeed
Was morning and evening in Shimla
Apparitions of shadowy experiences.

Nature beckons me,
A golden valley appears
Beneath the wavy profile.

A hesitant hand, like a hunter
Tender, on an adolescent bosom under a frock
The sting of frank desire.

Street after street
We ogle at fresh addictions
Documenting decisions and choices,
From vantage points.

One noisy crowd
Of bazaar, Restaurants and makeshift shops
Follow another
As we loose ourselves
Among self-centered people.

Far away
I wander
A different gathering
The sound of silence.

*Hills in Orissa, India

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The Night

a poem by

Akhil Kumar Mishra

It was a night
The night without scorpions
Still a sting lurked there
A cry away from humanity.

Is it so?
If you have a chance to come in the Day
You come in the middle of the night.

But the night is there,
When you come
Day gets extended into nights
And nights into day.

It is still debated
Who came in the night
And who invited.

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The Road Ahead

a poem by

Akhil Kumar Mishra

Does the Road end
After some distance?

When we set out
There were some people with us
People lively and changing
Feeling and expressing.

Our interactions unfolded a drama
In which we played our parts.

On reflection
Fellow travellers on the road,
Fall back or move forward.

The road ahead gives way
To the melancholy of a painted town.

The years that hold the key to age
Melt away.
Fellow travelers go their own preferred way.

The road is desolate-
And end is reached.
The road’s or mine?

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For a old Lover

a poem by

Akhil Kumar Mishra

Where are you now?
Even as I search every corner of earth
you are not found
No possibility of reaching you.

Do you know
I am not short of means,
To search you I have telephone, computer
And my own identity.

You came,
like a nocturnal July dream
You cast a hurt mystical spell of relationships.

Dreams change
guise wishfully each night
(in your absence).
Dreams are aimless
Therefore
Nobody asks for their address.

Walking down the road I hear
You are happy in a distant town.

I fail to recollect,
I go beyond recollection
Your image is barely recalled today.

Sometimes I see a dreamy fantasy
In the lap of a man, your pliant body
A snake swaying, under shade
Of night dark and door chained.

Oh! my lover
Is this not how you define
Social love?

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The Last Man

a poem by

Akhil Kumar Mishra

The last man
it seems
always reaches last.

People come and talk
and go in their own directions.

The last man is
always there
to listen, to clap.

He is the last man to speak
to a menless audience;
But when he speaks
thousands claps heard together.

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One Midday in Bhubaneswar

a poem by

Akhil Kumar Mishra

It was August 6th…
A dirty brown sky
Neither sunny nor rainy
Body bathes in sweat.

A crowded bus from Cuttack to Puri
Elbows of girls’
With protruding bosoms
Nub you gently.

Does anyone search for old friends at midday?
A lock on every door
A different sorrow…
In each helplessly lonely house.

Laxmisagar,
A vain search for auto-rickshaw
The town bus from Kalpana square doesn’t come here
My feet, well acquainted,
To the roads they move,
Mausima Mandir, BJB College,
Unit 9 and the busy crowd of Unit 6.

Lonely in Midday Bhubaneswar
Cumbersome Govt. files
Snail through the Secretariat;
Tasteless sinful people
Churn out Orders.
Big mansions
On both sides of the road.
A pretentious world of busy people
Yet the nation advances
With Cars
And an inflated middle-class ego.

We are all men of the footpath
Torn clothes and bundles
Or, like me today,
An unsung bag, the identity
Of a man wretched and defeated.

Midday Bhubaneswar…
Ungrateful love, ungrateful people.

(Translated from Oriya by Sharat Chander)

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A season inattentive

a poem by

Akhil Kumar Mishra

Words went playing hide and seek one day
Mirroring the endless game of sun and cloud
In the garden of the sky.

A season arrived
Carrying the news of
Days dreamy, endless, timeless
Of distant relationships
A town full of endless heartbreaks.

Humming in the wind’s ear,
The deep love of a brown mountain
Fascinated when I flew over,
Silently, you observed
From your confine
The eyes of a wild doe.

I touch your cheek
(The slur of a hundred kisses)
Yet the slur I touch.

An air of restlessness.

A portrait is drawn
Beneath the veil of love.
There comes a flood of desire
And a season perpetuates
As if, an extended morning.

Across well acquainted streets
A green sapling of wounds
Sub-consciously passes
Throwing away all dirt
Of jealousy and Ambition.

A season passed by-
A point of no return.

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The Dog in the Road

a poem by

Akhil Kumar Mishra

The dog barks-
A road full with fellow dogs
Dogs bark at each other
Never listen.

When the road gets crowded
The dog barking gets louder
In the dead of silence-
There are no dogs
There are no barking.

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Poetry Never Ends

a poem by

Akhil Kumar Mishra

Words flow like
a hidden river,
deep inside in the desert of my heart.

I cannot stop asking questions
the dead silence of my past.

Sometimes it so happens
The past is forgotten
only the path to past
fades away at a distance,
unknown faces from the buried past
surround me,
an uneasy calm.

You know
Poetry is like a
Jasmine for tomorrow
contained in the promise of your words.

Poetry starts where everything stops
but hardly ceases when
other currents flow.

Poetry never ends in me
I never end in poetry;
For moments
words take shelter
under a cover,
Just to begin their journey again.

My poetry never ends.

(Translated from Oriya by Anindyo Sengupto)

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The Painted Silence

a poem by

Akhil Kumar Mishra

You had given a word
Promised and assured
That
One day you would come
And spend a night here.

Sorrowful waves rise from the sea
And ripples seem to be tearful.

In your anticipated arrival, I
Gather the sand pebbles from time,
My sand house keeps collapsing;
I try again and again
But it remains incomplete.
I am left with the
Incomplete, impoverished
And helpless shores.
Your hazy footsteps
Like impressions on wax
Remind me that you had come once.

The waves kiss the shores unawares
The sea beckons me in the city
And the city is reflected in the sea.

I had thought
On identifying the faraway horizon
You would run back to me
Like tomorrow’s dream,
In the greenery of my heart.

Alas, my wishes have retraced from
The open Verandah of your clear sky.
I fail often,
In my effort,
A light touch
Can reduce my sand-house to rubbles.

But, for that
Sand-house of mine,
It was decided that
You would come and
Spend a night here.

(Translated from Oriya by Sobhan Kar and Ashutosh Agnihotry)

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Mirroring the Sky

a poem by

Akhil Kumar Mishra

All defeats were mine alone.
I prepared confidently, hopes sky high,
When defeat mocked my dreams.

One day, I accosted the sky,
“In this expanse unending,
Have you yet seen one cheated,
Willfully bound in chains of deceit,
Losing what he should not?”

Wordlessly the sky looked at me,
As if in repent, tearfully.
The sky created the ocean,
And became irrelevant.
The sky only reflects itself,
Never touches the ocean.

Reflects on itself and the ocean,
And then forgets.
We do not meet each other,
The sky goes its own way,
And I remain, in my sorrow.
Daily, we exchange dreams,
And gift tears to each other.
The sky and I,
Are identical.

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Fashion

a poem by

Akhil Kumar Mishra

Very often
a silent communication happens
when the exterior feels new.

It is said
Good clothes open the door and make a man
and strike you.

Desire is always there
To get rid of old dresses, old shoes;
Similar other old things of the world
are discarded.

What the world would be
If nothing new occurs
If you see the same style on your new suitor
which was there when you were a child?

Fashion designs the way to future
a new world of possibilities.

In the newness of things
old relationships are not forgotten
For future reference
Old is designed, fashioned.

How many times we adapt ourselves?
In the ever changing world
Fashion colours
the life we want to live with.

Fashion arrives-
A life is promised
A man is proclaimed.

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A Poem about a Picture

a poem by

Akhil Kumar Mishra

Poetry is a river
where there is no bridge
only a converted reflection.

You are all
the unending dreams of a hurt butterfly,
you descend like evening with intense darkness
to the circle of my memories.

Now in the last garden of time
heavy words are heard of
pensive / silent / unspeaking time.

We had come like words,
frequented ourselves
and flowered our footprints on sands
like questions
in the many unclear, hurt lines
of our body.

Today when you call me
on the utterly silent bed of a false river
I recollect, someday in the past
crowded days were our witnesses.

Today in my hand
millions of poetry flower.
They are not simply poems,
unending talks
in the mountain of wishes.

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