An Anthology of Contemporary Nepali Poetry

Shreedhar Lohani

The Murderer's Mother

He was my son, my own flesh and blood--
I just came back from the prison
he was hanged at exactly 9 a.m.

Justice has been done--
he will no longer breathe the air
he didn't allow his victim to breathe,
he had certainly no right to live
though he repented at the end and wept
wishing hard to bring back the dead
to life, at he cost of his own breath.

And I his mother --
the murderer's mother --
do I have the right to live?
I who brought him into this world
couldn't even bid him a final farewell--
motherhood hangs heavy upon me.
Is it with every mother--
even those mothers, who have their children
disintegrated by other mothers' children,
in many different ways?

Mothers should stop being mothers.

Where Joy Dwells . . .

I walk along the streets and see

[The sun going down the hill
The austere black face of Mount Everest
Children playing in the park,
Temples, pyramids, hanging gardens
Ozone layer, mushroom clouds, schools
Men, women, dogs, cars, soldiers, Picassos, 
Democrats, fascists, Muslims, capitalists, communists,
Money, poverty, disease, death
The list is endless . . . 
I throw a glance at each 
And move on
Thinking is tragic.]

I'm happy and contented.