Sumitra Mishra


Sumitra Mishra




It was a midnight clear and pure

An hour to fly free into the deep

The moon dazzled in her velvety silver

The star fairies were all gone to sleep.



Awake I lay in the fourposter bed,

Music buzzing in the disc of my soul

I felt the trance in the chilled apron of air

The silence shot me into a divine spell.


I heard the palpitation of the winking stars

Of the Earth’s heart revolving on her axis

Nature’s breathing through the somber leaves

Spreading the perfume of mystic divine bliss.


Gazing at the mysteriously hooded night sky

It’s cobalt blue coat flashing the blinking stars

I felt my despair of this material world evaporate

As the moon beams led me to the heavenly stairs.



Night Thoughts


Don’t you think

Nights are crazier than days?


Long winter nights

Swelling with marigold and dew drops

Drive the mind into dreamy sleepiness.


Short summer nights

Shrunk at the shores of dry lawns

Torment with sweat and power cuts.


Soaking rainy nights

Singing tunes of pathos or joy

Swerve the bereaved hearts of lovers.


Flavored autumn nights

Sprinkling amour and aroma of shefali

Drive the moony minds into frenzied desires.


The pull of darkness

Is stronger on desire and dement

The sun light dispels fear

The living world appears friendly.


Night’s dark canopy

Attracts the evil and the devil

Day light nourishes

Life, love, hope, joy and motion.

So am I afraid of the night

And the owls hooting at night

Let me live in light and delight, please!



The Red Moon


Did you ever notice

How the big Red moon

Looked angrily at the Mother Earth

On that full moon night

Shocked by the rowdy rollers of the Sea

Rushing wildly to unfurl

The green robe of our Mother Earth?


He was dank mad and angry

Drunk with the wine of revenge,

You know why?


Our Mother Earth

Is his mother too,

He worships her

Revolving around her

Like a satellite power station

Or a surveillance sputnik

He shields her from the alien attack.


But what can He do

If we carelessly spoil her veil

The spheres of atmosphere

Her garment, the green silk gown

Or suck away her blood, the rivers,

Devastate her body with heaps of rubbish

Choke her with trash, and litters of polythene waste?


He understands

His Mother is being suffocated

Not an alien enemy, but her own children

Like crazy lunatic nuts looting, molesting

Gagging and smothering their benign mother

Shouldn’t a son be angry, morose and vengeful?


I know, and all of us know

Revenge and spite are wild manners

Rather macabre maladies which

Paralyze the neurons of reason

And play anguished notes

On the strings of the hearts full of hatred.


I wonder

From where from did the moon

Catch this ailment and how?


Did He inherit it in its genes like us?

Or did the virus enter His bruised body

Through the black clouds and the virulent wind?


See, even the clouds

Fail to cover the angry Red moon

The magnanimous sky

Now behaves like a hungry tiger

All red; claws, teeth, the gaping mouth

Waving whips of lightning

And roaring like the thunder

To vindicate the Red moon’s agony.


I always liked the Queen moon

With her heart of gold

The sky her chariot

And the stars her horses

She roamed the universe

To dispel sorrow and darkness

Her amber lips smiling at the lilies

She soaked Mother Earth with her silver beams.


How I hate this Red moon

For it reminds me of the angry faces

Of the malignant in Nature and in men

Red turns the benevolent Nature to a malevolent witch

And the merciful man to an inhuman devil.



Midnight Moon


Oh, Midnight moon! I wonder,

What hidden mysteries are in your breast?


Your powers I can never fathom;

When you call the tides from the ocean

They rise and fall, dance and prance

At your behest, like the tawny fisher’s boat.


Are you an enchantress,

You set my lover’s heart ablaze!

 What hidden power has your fulgent beams?


When you call the rains from the clouds,

 They answer through the mighty thunder;

When you wax and wane from week to week,

The heavens stir and stars wander in fear!


When you cause the tidal waves to flow,

You wane in glory and larger grow,

I rack my shallow brain to understand

The secret power you hide in your cool frame

 But in vain, you play hide and seek to enchant

As among the shadowy trees I run and run!



The Moonless Night


Groaning under the blanket of darkness

The moonless night

Crept slowly over the fence of darkness

Climbed the high walls of my palace

And walked into my bed crossing the garden

In obscure shapes and shadows,

Pushing unsettling thoughts into my mind

And poking chilling fears

Into the turbulent pool of my heart.


The clouds of my emotion

Blackened, surly,


Raced like cavalries of dark clouds across the sky.


A nightmarish battle ensued

Between the screaming ghosts of the past

And the pounding desires of the present

Confronting the dark disguised shapes,

Raking the skeletons from 

The red coffins of memory,

The ghosts jumped into my brain.


These moonless nights, therefore

I desperately despise.




DR. SUMITRA MISHRA, BHUBANESWAR, INDIA. Researcher, scholar, bilingual writer Dr. Sumitra Mishra is a retired English Professor from Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India. She taught English language and literature to postgraduate students in different colleges and universities in Odisha, for 38 years. She did her Ph.D. in ELT and she has successfully guided 8 scholars to obtain their Ph.D. degrees in English. Sumitra Mishra was a teacher by profession but she is a writer by hobby. She has written poetry, story, essays, articles, short and long plays which have been published in various magazines and e-zines in Odia and English. To her credit, she  has seven published anthologies of English poetry titled “Penelope’s Web”, “Flames of Silence” and “The Soul of Fire”, “The Red Moon”, “Roses and Bruises”, “Still the Stones Sing”; a short story collection titled “ Reminiscence” .She has also translated two books from English to Odia,  “Kritadastwara Bara Barsha”, a translation of the slave American novel “Twelve Years A Slave” by Solmon Northup; and “Batabrukhya Chhayare” ,a book containing translation of twenty stories written by Padma Vibhushan R.K. Narayan.. Besides she has twelve books published in her mother tongue Odia, five volumes of poetry named “ Udas Godhuli”, “Mana Murchhana”, “ Pritipuspa” , “Barsha Bithika”;”Antardhwani” three full-fledged plays named “Pathaprante”, “Batyapare” ,”Bisthapana”; four volumes of short story collections named “Ahata Aparahna”, “Nishbda Bhaunri”, “Panata Kanire Akasha”,”Karona Kabale” to her credit.

Dr. Mishra is a life member of Odisha Lekhika Sansad, and the Asst. Editor of a Women’s magazine in Odia named “Smruti Santwona”. Presently she is living in Bhubaneswar with her husband Professor Dr. Gangadhar Mishra, Retired Director of Higher Education, Odisha.

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