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Bidyut Bhusan Jena

Hampi –II


You stand amid the ruins and

breathe onto their ancient wounds

the ripples of skin.


By turning you into an artist,

Hampi offers the human a chance

to redeem the errors of time.


From across the ruins, Lord Virupaksha

stares at you with his face of eternity –

the seer and the seen melting into seeing. 

Changing Streets


Moving to a new street is leaving

a forever alive canvas behind –

the cobbler stitching the ends of the street,

the beggar exchanging worlds for coins,

the mother waiting across the street for

a pause in traffic to be with her puppy.


Moving to a new street is learning how

light turns into shadows when bent and

how the vendor weaves his dreams across

the clouds on successive windscreens. 

The Beginnings


To become strangers to

each other, we need to fill the

sockets of the trees with sand

and change the sky's template.


Twisting the curls of the rivers

and polishing the edges of the hills,

we need to reposition the moon

after soaking it overnight in the

semi-liquid darkness of the culvert.


After renewing all those

old heartbeats, we need

to cross paths all over again

where the road once bent.

A Prehistoric Tale


I walked away from the bonfire

to crush the stolen stars 

between my palms and scatter

them along your ancient shores.


On that night in Nagercoil I had

caught snatches of an ancient

conversation blazing across the

horizon of my being. 


And when your hand arrived from

across ages floating through the night,

at your fingertips I smelt what had

eluded the fringes of my sight. 

Hukitola – I


Across the waters of waiting

lies Hukitola.


It eludes arrivals and 

accompanies you on the boat

after you forget it 

behind the lighthouse. 


Look back moments after

your boat is off the banks,

and you'll see the crabs outside

their holes to bid you farewell.


When you are midway through

the consecrated waters,

Hukitola regains its mystery and

offers you an inscrutable smile.


If you want to attain it,

ask him to ferry you across

the Hukitola of your being.

A Footnote to Waiting


Wait for the knock

on the door,

for it visits when

you are unprepared.


After a certain page

of night is turned and

streets like cigarette

are burnt,

   some call it

death and others word.


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. 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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