Pradeep Biswal: Poetry (Voices Within 2021)

Pradeep Biswal is a bilingual poet writing both in English and Odia and is credited with six collections in Odia and two in English published during last four decades. Two anthologies in Hindi carrying his translated poems have also been published. His poems have been included in many prestigious anthologies including those published by NBT and Sahitya Akademi. After retirement from IAS recently, he is staying with his family in Bhubaneswar. He can be contacted at pbiswal804@gmail.com


A Slice of Moon for You 

Tonight I wish 
To present you
A slice of moon 
That can brighten 
Your space in sky
Keeping away 
The darkness
Engulfing you.
I have no idea 
How do you look
During these days
Since we met 
Long back
In a distant city.
You had a pizza 
On your plate
Seemingly moon shaped 
And you were delighted 
By the sight 
As if you held 
A slice of moon 
In your hand.
Yes I promise 
Tonight I will give you 
A slice of moon 
You cherished that day.
Come with me 
Hold my hand 
Look at the sky 
How marvellous 
It looks tonight 
The thin clouds 
Floating across 
The blinking stars 
And the bright moon
A slice is ready for you 
Raise your hand 
Catch hold the piece 
You desire most
To brighten your own.
***


A Road to Hathras

It’s not a straight one 
But a zigzag way
To reach there
No matter who you are 
You may face hurdles 
To have a glimpse 
Of the village 
Now turned famous 
Thanks to the media 
Gone mad for a few days.
Reaching there
You may encounter 
Hushed up silence 
Frightened eyes
Plagued by insomnia 
And apprehensions.
The hapless girl
Got gang raped
Crushed and maimed 
By the beasts
Nobody came 
To her rescue 
The God in deep slumber 
The rulers in defensive 
Her cries and tears
Could move no one 
She closed her eyes 
In silent protest.
They placed her 
On the funeral pyre 
In dead of the night 
No one could see
And as if nothing 
Had happened.
Silence is so lethal
Tears are so toxic 
The golden Lanka 
Is a flicker away 
A Sita is reborn 
Just wait and see.
***


Collecting the Scars

Scars are no stars
Yet they shine in the dark
Remind the turns of life
The turbulent times 
And the bruises 
Inflicted on the body and soul. 
The ordeals of the journey 
Stay vivid in the mind
Stepped on so many 
Thorns and petals 
Laid on the ground 
Oozing blood at times.
The shells never define
A soulful heart 
When the breath 
Is taken away 
You are reborn 
In a new avatar.
The scars disappear 
For a moment 
The stars shine 
As never before.
***


Living In The Shadows 

I am now living 
In the shadows 
Of my past 
What I was 
What I did 
How far I moved.
A time comes
In one’s life 
Future looks bleak 
Past remains 
As the only solace 
To live in the present.
Trees grow 
From a tiny seed
To be a big one
Then branches 
Dry up one by one
The leaves turn grey
And finally one day 
A thunderstorm 
Shatters it
To the ground.
Life is so cruel 
And crazy at times 
Nobody can escape 
From its clutches.
Fear of loss
Limits the landscape
The horizon 
Narrows down.
Rise and fall 
Life and death 
Go side by side 
Like twins 
To meet the ultimate 
But when no one is sure.
***


A Shade of Grey

A shade of grey 
Is there in everyone’s life
At times visible
Sometimes not so
The heart is crushed 
Under its load. 
The tears get frozen 
The wound never heals 
Days in the calendar
Move assiduously 
No one can erase 
The memories of the past.
A half moon is hanging
Atop the debadaru tree
Like a half baked
Loaf of bread.
Life moves on 
Like the figures change fast
In an electronic watch 
You hardly notice 
How swiftly it advances 
Towards the infinity. 
The shades gradually expand
In dimensions and degrees 
The contour changes
Beyond recognition.

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