Today, I present three poems by three poets from Nepal.
‘Shaky Pears’ by Nirmal Kumar Thapa
Nirmal Kumar Thapa from Nepal is a unique poet and famous for his spiritual blend and contemporary life to present in his poetic graph. His dozens of previous book work welcomed gracefully. Nirmal’s recent work is Crystal Vs Nirmal. He lives in Kathmandu with the memory of former friend Dulphon (Dog) and crafts daily in words.
Living in letters is not as cold as you lived in the body
Images of ages changes
hence your sainthood is the same
An immortal sense you left behind is alive.
I can listen to your footsteps
Silence bloomed in the riverside
Felt cold to see the dancing ducks
And lifted the rainy days.
I entered your land of origin,
A new man standing right there with old robes
Rightly said, this is your birth room,
“In fact, this is your parents’ bed
Where the master seed was planted”
The aroma of old pines trees flavored my soul,
Time paused somewhere in between these walls and windows, but I can feel your eyes,
With the view seen from the window,
Same clouds shower gentle drops of love
Compassion bound into verses
Hiding the self in pairs of sonnets
Drama is still going on,
As if someone is trying to erase
The immense beauty of play,
How can he do so!
Once a play played by players
The only play remains and players disappear
I am no more here,
Simply disappear and dissolve into you,
I know these walls may fall down someday and these windows and doors too
Still, my Astro Ones recall those unsung melodies
Whispers closely sitting next to you
With mortal curtains
Woodland would seal the house
And sealed my memories forever.
Nirmal Kumar Thapa (Stratford-Upon-Avon)
‘The Guests’ by L B Chettri
LB Chettri, who was in Defense Services for 18 years (1967-1985) before coming to the education sector, joined Tribhuwan University as an Assistant Lecturer in 1987 and retired as Associate Professor in 2005. He was also a Campus Chief for four years at a Tribhuwan University Campus. Several of his English poems have been published in literary magazines such as ‘Grey Sparrow’ and ‘Snow Jewel’, Boston, America. His publications include a poetry collection ‘Bheed Ma Harayeko Manchhe – The Lost Man In a Crowd’ and three short story collections ‘In the country of Trishanku’ and ‘In the country of Indramaya’ and ‘Bratbhang’.
‘Old-age Home in the Countryside’ by Prollas Sindhulia
Prollas Sindhulia has about a dozen of works to his credit, including books of poetry and essays. He also edits Kathalika, a tri-monthly magazine based on fiction. Mr. Sindhuliya is renowned in Nepal for his progressive poems that deeply negotiate with the changing time and situation. He invests special sympathy and cares for the left-out, poor, neglected and marginalized people, who do not find space in the national and social schemes of relations, privilege, and progress. His poems are infused with deep emotions, universal concerns and search for peace, gender, and social equality and progress.
‘Old-age Home in the Countryside’ is a poem that earned Mr. Prollas a gold medal at the national poetry festival, organized by Nepal Academy, a premier literary and cultural institution founded by the Government of Nepal.
Old-age Home in the Countryside
We, the old couple, are alone in the village
Our kids are away
There are no grandchildren
That chirp like birds at daybreak
There are flowers
At the edge of the front yard
But we no longer have the juvenile eyes
To pick them;
Fruits hanging on this guava tree
Where, together with birds, the kids swung and grew
Have been for years
Ripening and falling aground on their own accords
The dusk sleeps
In all its emptiness
As does the dawn in utter vacuity
Leaving behind on the hills
The sun over the hilltops
Our children have become orphans in the city
They do come—
Show faces crushed by scarcity
They urge, “Come with us;
We will give you life
Like that of a prisoner.”
They dream of growing in vases
That bloom and send out fragrance
Reeking all over the woods;
To the birds that are never tired of awakening the village
They allure of cages
How could these hills and slopes
Flatlands and meadows
Forests and the resting mounds
And hearts that never exhaust on getting shared
All get adjusted in town
Where they own a piece of land
A tiny fraction of a hectare
There is no wanting of the basics here
We keep moving
Watching the birds’ nests in the shrubs
— They hatch nestlings
—Feed them from their own beaks
—Help them fly from bough to bough
And hang on the same bough
Their last breaths
But never expect anything
From their little nestlings
My wife nurtures a desire
To die while still dressed in red
At times, I am besieged by fear
Lest I should fly off, forsaking colours from her life
Concealing the sobbing knots of such terrors
I sometimes murmur:
“You led our entry into this home;
It’s my turn to lead the exit.”
No matter how old I am now
Same is the odour of sweat
Which are immune to drying
Same is the gush of tears
No matter how many winters they have withstood!
We still jest with each other’s petty plights
And get startled with the same
Yet, we shall never abandon this temple
And move elsewhere
As long as we are alive
I, her sole Pashupati*
Am still here;
She, my sole Guhyeshwari
Is here too.
*Pashupati is the other name for Lord Shiva, who carried the dead body of his wife Sati Devi, in spite of knowing that it would decay and fall. Guhyeshwari is a shrine in Kathmandu where a part of Sati Devi’s petrified body fell, and a deity emerged. At both Pashupati and Guhyeshwari, there are famous temples today.
Translated by Mahesh Poudyal.
Presented by Dr Sangita Swechcha
Dr Sangita Swechcha is a Communications Professional, Researcher, and a Fiction writer. She has over 15 years of experience in international communications and media relations. She is a Guest Editor for Global Literature in Libraries Initiative (GLLI) and coordinating ‘Nepali Literature month’ – November 2019. She is a novelist and a writer who has written a novel ‘Pakhalieko Siundo‘, a joint collection of stories ‘Asahamatika Pailaharu’ and a collection of short stories ‘Gulafsangako Prem’ in Nepali.
Forthcoming in English translations in 2020 in e-book formats first: A novel ‘Pakhalieko Siundo’ and a collection of short stories ‘Gulafsangako Prem’, titled in English as ‘The Rose: An Unusual Love Story’ (looking for international publisher/s for publishing print versions of these books). Her twitter handle: @SangyShrestha. Email: email@example.com Connect on Facebook.