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Translated from the Odia by Pitambar Naik


The Dalkhai Song on TV 

My daughter remains unmalleable 

to let her solve mathematics

my mother is in the backyard 

of her dementia 

thinking to sync with the history of that

blooming guava tree.

My wife chases me to renovate our 

redundant intimacy in our grey hairs 

and thickening wrinkles.

My father is in the lotus posture 

in karma yoga, everyone in their 

own orbit pursuing insanely 

to see the time halt.

And I’m rushing to the clamouring 

telephone only to hear 

the passing of the lecherous god!

But there’s the Dalkhai song on TV.

The Spider

Bones and blood shake hands 

from two different geographies 

even a mighty king

could flee the warfield 

cry and laughter are 

just like the flower and the thorn, 

some saints say.

You long to let the tongue 

touch the nose 

but only to stoop down the head 

there’s no place as such 

that a spider can’t knit a weave 


from a royal palace to 

the house of a shepherd



My son goes to school 

                                             in the city 

where the eye and kidney rackets

are rampant.

My daughter’s bank 

                    PO exam hits the aisle of fear,

letting my daughter board

the train

          I return home at 12 in the night.

My wife suffers from 


a disease that restricts her breathing 

and confiscates her world.

A stray dog outside 

                    has gone berserk

as I step out I’m 

engulfed by a killing fear.

Manoranjan Sahoo is an award-winning poet. He writes in Odia and contributes to various Odia journals regularly. He is the author of three collections of poetry—Apadebata (2000), Khalihatare (2009) and Kicchi Kabita Kichhi Nirabata (2022). Translations of his work are forthcoming or have appeared in journals and anthologies such as The Bayou Review (University of Houston-Downtown), Carmina Magazine, Mad Swirl, i-70 Review, Prachya Review, Fury Species, an anthology of translation of Odia Poetry of Resistance, Barnamala, an anthology of translation of Odia poetry (by poets born between 1900-2000 years) and Unnayan among others. He was born and raised in Indupur, Kendrapara, Odisha.

Pitambar Naik is an advertising professional and award-winning writer. When he’s not creating ideas for brands, he writes and translates poetry. His recent work has appeared in JMWW, Singapore Unbound, Ellipsis Literature and Art, The McNeese Review, The Notre Dame Review and elsewhere. He’s the author of two books of poetry, The Anatomy of Solitude (2019) and Fury Species, a translation of Odia Poetry of Resistance (2023) and now working on his next two collections of poetry simultaneously. He grew up in the Kalahandi district of Odisha and now lives in Hyderabad.

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