Maybe with pencil streaks
He can draw a lot of things
First he can draw a mountain then the sun
Raising from the crevice of the mountain
Spluttering snake-like river
Two cleansed, shooting palm-trees in a short distance.

Birds soaring in the sky
Cows grazing in the field
A diminutive walkway
Houses queued up along the walkway
Some flowers in the backyard
A mother and daughter hand in hand
The wonder of his pencil.

Now the gutturals of the mountain are empty
The stomach is empty
The allegorical crevice, a screaming sun
In the allegorical mountain
A river of the dry sand
The residue of a chopped up palm-tree
Near the factory chimney
The birds of burnt wings
A nonexistent walkway in a nonexistent field
The broken residue of a tattered, shoddy house
A mother and a daughter
After being lost and detached
Head to a submerged area
He doesn’t draw anymore now
He has been scraped off the map long ago.

• Translated from Odia by Pitambar Naik*

Pitambar Naik was born in Odisha, India, and obtained his MA from Osmania University. He is an advertising copywriter based in Hyderabad and writes poetry and non-fiction in English. He has been featured in numerous journals such as Brown Critique, Spark Magazine, CLRI, Indian Review, etc. Some of his poems are due to be featured in Bhashabandhan Literary Magazine in the USA, the Kitab, in Singapore and Prachya Review in Bangladesh. He can be reached at moc.liamgnull@retirwkianrabmatip

Kumar Hassan was born and raised in the then Sambalpur district of Odisha in India, a dynamite-like voice in Odia Literature who pens across the genres. The author of 60 books thus far and his creative thirst never quenches. A poet, critic, non-fiction writer in passion and journalist by profession; who is a Sub-Editor for the oldest and largest circulated Odia daily “The Samaj.” A recipient of many awards, fellowships and rewards that include the Odisha Sahitya Akademy award for his poetry. His poems are translated into many Indian and foreign languages such as Russian, French, Spanish, German etc. He lives in Sambalpur and dreams for a just, equal and harmonious world. He can be reached at Read other articles by Kumar.