Sunday Morning Beggars at Puri

by Bibhu Padhi (December 2015)

I become a mother, a father,

a mistress, a master.


The calls get louder, then

turn into shouts at


no one in particular, perhaps

meant only for the sky


and the gods and goddesses

who might not be here.


The early morning air trembles

with weekly sounds,


settles into an uneasy peace,

bruised with the colours


of sharp, throaty voices

that cut across its rest


and sleep, rush into

its long, eloquent dreams.


Lying on the sofa, I think of

the numerous other voices


that have chosen not to disturb

our Sunday sleep,


maintaining their sounds

for death’s no-sound zone,


listening to an interior speech

that I may not hear,


is lost deliberately.

What has happened to their


ability to speak, to ask for things

we may not own, their


simple questions that will not

find an answer in a world


of common things?

Perhaps they alone


know the answer

but would not speak.




Bibhu Padhi’s tenth book of poems, Midnight Diary, has just been published. He lives with his family in Bhubaneswar, India.


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