An Anthology of Contemporary Nepali Poetry

Manju Kanchuli

Boating to Alcatraz

A sound of silence
With words of windows and rocks
Surrounded by blue hills of water-
I am coming to you
In a chariot of ripples
With a heart within
In a heart of boat
I can sense you but not reach
I can see you but not touch

My fingers numb
My mind looks dumb
Flying up seagulls shade me
From the heat of Sun
Wind whispers with me the smell
Of your day to day scene
Alcatraz! I see your wide eyes
Big and beautiful; shape and size
But I can't reach your hands
It's because a big river between us!

Glass Spikes

Sometimes with someone else's wind in your retina
You come draped in it as your shirt
I visualize through those unspoken words
Its transparency
I smell the swirl on the surface,
Mist and fog in the middle,
That harrows my synapses with pain
In that way spikes of broken glass smile back with tears

And speak feelings: "Now you can't see your face in me
Broken I am by your stony fist and hailstone blows."
Nothing remains to be grasped
Spilled water grieves and flows till your departure
Running with water, hurt spikes deny their pain
Shattered/crushed/their prongs rise up

With hope that March will bring back the light
Swallowed in midnight's night
Except for the shattered glass prongs
Inject their pain
Piercing light fans itself into the blood's depth;
Cells awaken
Depth is sensed, never fathomed.