Those Breads : Poems by Rashmirekha Borah

The poems have been translated from Axomiya by Biswajit K. Bora 

Those Breads

I shall plant those breads in the ridge in my yard
take care of the saplings growing luxuriantly
the boughs will yield a lot of breads one day
and when the cowherds try to pluck those breads
the breads will tell them a story

I shall bring the plentiful breads
to the Sunday market
and when the mothers buy those breads to their hearts’ content
and put those on their children’s plates
the breads will tell them one more story

I shall keep half of those in a wickerwork basket
and become the keeper
I shall sow those when rain falls breaking apart the sky
the breads will grow aplenty
engulfing the fields the breads will bloom aplenty
swallowing the sky the breads will fly

No more will people die
walking a thousand miles in a sapping sun
no more will people die
as pieces of corpses on the rail lines
no more will people die
from car crashes, from hunger, from thirst
of maladies

I shall plant those breads in my blood
and until those breads grow aplenty on the boughs
I shall continue to perish
from a curse
of those breads

The Untiring Multitude

Without any of us beholding
A forest is walking alongside the multitude heading home in throngs
Without any of us knowing
The blood oozing from their torn toe nails keeps marking the path

The child born on the road partway has learnt tactics of war in the womb without any of us knowing it
The mother has been awake since then without committing an old error again

The people cut through on the rail lines partway are alive in somebody’s blood
They are sharpening their sickles in the smithy without any of us knowing it
Those who fell down on the road partway have bequeathed their bones
Somebody is forging thunderbolts out of those bones without any of us knowing it

Stitching their torn and worn soles this untiring multitude will storm toward the capital one day
Without any of us knowing a path is wide awake contemplating that day

 

The poems were written during the initial stage of the abruptly announced lockdown as a measure to control the COVID-19 pandemic, which gave birth to a crisis for the migrant workers in residing in various states in India. The poems have been translated from Axomiya by Biswajit K. Bora. 

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Rashmirekha Borah Written by:

Rashmirekha Borah is a Guwahati based activist, author and poet.

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