An Anthology of Contemporary Nepali Poetry

Toya Gurung

Tree Sweet

You said the branches of the Bakaina tree have all been cut
How did you write poetry without a subject?

used to come to gaze at its green leaves on the pretext of seeing me
In the beginning the sun's rays struck those leaves
and light
becoming cool and green
would cool my courtyard

Now the rays shine straight in-scorch my back
If visitors arrive, how can you sit in a room like this?
It's cooler on the other side, it's cooler down below, or it's cooler over there

I don't force them
these days it's so easy
no need to make tea and snacks for guests
they rarely ask for a drink of water
Right, you said
you leave the room

Then the chill wind that cools only me 
begins to blow.
		(Translated from Nepali by Ann Hunkins)