Jayanta Mahapatra

22 October 1928 - / Cuttack / India

The Moon Moments

The faint starlight rolls restlessly on the mat.
Those women talking outside have clouds passing across their eyes.
Always there is a moon that is taking me somewhere.
Why does one room invariably lead into other room?

We, opening in time our vague doors,
convinced that our minds lead to something never allowed before,
sit down hurt under the trees, feeding it simply because
it is there, as the wind does, blowing against the tree.

Yet time is not clairvoyant,
and if it has the answer to our lives, proud
in its possession of that potential which can change our natures,
beating the visions of childhood out of us,

the socialism and the love,
until we remain awkwardly swung to the great north of honour.
What humility is that which will not let me reveal the real?
What shameful secret lies hidden in the shadows of my moon?

All these years; our demands no longer hurt our eyes.
How can I stop the life I lead within myself-
The startled, pleading question in my hands lying in my lap
while the gods go by, triumphant, in the sacked city at midnight?
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