Grow Deeper Your Roots, O’ Moon

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Grow Deeper Your Roots, O’ Moon

A flight of crows cawed aloud
Grow deeper your roots, O’ Moon
Grow them deeper

How come, from where, this stillness breaks
Where do trees crash in the depth of the night?

Today’s Sunday
And on Tuesday, the beel[1] would
Sink in sand

The fallen leaves find their way to me
And whispers softly into my ears
Can you see your inching demise?

The waters of the Diroi[2] –
There’s sport there of hungry hunger

And can you see drawn in the sands of the river
The vermillion line along the parting of the hair

The children playing in the waters of the Diroi
Alas, they see not their ignorant childhood

A flight of crows cawed aloud
Grow deeper your roots, O’ Moon
Grow them deeper


[1] Beel: ‘Beel’ is the traditional word for Pond in low lying lands. It becomes a small rivulet in lean season. But during rainy season the entire low lying area becomes inundated and takes the shape of a Beel.

[2] Diroi: ‘Diroi’ is a river in the Sivasagar District of Assam.

Translated from Assamese by Dr. Manjeet Baruah

The article was first published at raiot and can be accessed here.

Kamal Kumar Tanti

Dr. Kamal Kumar Tanti is a bilingual poet and writer and writes in English and Assamese languages. His first collection of Assamese poetry Marangburu Amar Pita (Our Father Marangburu), published in 2007, won him the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar in 2012, for Assamese language and Munin Barkotoki Literary Award in 2008. Nimnaborgo Somaaj Oitijya (Subaltern Society's Legacy). He is currently working as Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics of University of Technology and Management, Meghalaya.

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