Contemporary Kannada Poetry – Ashok Hegde

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Here is the translation of Ashok Hegde’s poem A Morning Picture.

A Morning Picture

* Ashok Hegde

A sleep-interrupted, tea-nauseated chilly morn,
patches of people all over the floor,

in the corner, like a crumpled shirt, a child,
an old woman scratching her dugs in residual drugged sleep,

a teen’s endless cough.
As folk, like the wick extinguished in midnight,

lose the world in their impatience,

you, woman, in lonely expectation waiting…

Come and be a live track,
from your mere touch let
my life rail run full speed, fill each of your
atom with me, untie knots,

drape me in a new dress,

your lips to my lips bring;
drink sins in cupfuls, loot

the cup of my life.

Give to my hands all

mysteries of your body,

place ear to ear so they record each ache,

inhale the sweat smell of my body,

let it spread in this world
in anticipation of a new birth.

Let the snow melt, the rain-moth float,

let the river swell into a sea,

you be fuel to my

fiery lust, burn beyond other births

let hell’s worm be born

Phoenix like in this trashy flesh.

(Translation: Kamalakar)

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