An Anthology of Contemporary Nepali Poetry

Usha Serchan

These Days Man is Aching into My Heart

Each and every morning these days
Spills over the threshold
Carrying messages of death

Each and every evening these days
Breezes over the yard
Carrying the horror of terror

Life these days has become
Not a life but a field of war
Man these days has become
Not a man but a warrior on the field of war

At anytime lives
Can be transformed into rifles
At anytime lives
Can be abducted on the way
At anytime lives
Can be the prey of terrorists

Oh! To me these days men have started aching into my heart!
Oh! To me these days the curse of being
Human begins to trouble my heart!!

So many lives being Palestinians
Are searching their land
So many lives being Ethiopians
Are dying out of hunger 
So many lives being Beirut
Are deploying bombs and mines over the lanes
So many lives being Kashmir
Are being transformed into solitary debris
Even in spring, at the moment of stinking dynamite
Alas! How can peace sprout into a bud?
At the moment of lives dying in hunger
Alas! How can love grow green?
At the moment of devouring human flesh by humans with no shame
Alas! How can nonviolence spread?

Earth remains no longer earth now
- But has become a huge battle field
- Has become Ravana's Sri Lanka
- Has become a bloodshed battlefield for warmongers

Everywhere the mournful cries are increasing
Everywhere voices of horror and terror are booming 
Everywhere the odour of death is spreading

Alas! Why did men ignore
- The blood of each and every human remains
No other colour than red
Alas! Why did men forget
- No one is immortal
- No one is immortal

		(Translated from Nepali by Manju Kanchuli & Wayne Amtzis)                

The Plum Tree

The procession did not come,
there is no clicking of horse feet,
there is no color of weddings 
there is no youth-fed heat.

Like the lonely tree,
with white hair in braids,
with a white sari around my waist,
drinking sips of compulsion,
weeping waters of lamentation,
I am waiting. Always.
This is an endless wait.

Your dreams,
my dreams.
Shared dreams.

It only takes one gust of the wind
and the dreams in my eyes are scattered.
It only takes a throw of the rock
and the dreams in my eyes are shattered.

It only takes a parting 
and dreams in my eyes are splattered 

I cannot trick my eyes 
I cannot color the white of my sari 
in the red dye of youth 

I cannot flower with the rhododendrons,
I cannot smile with those rhododendrons.	
(Translated from Nepali by Pallav Ranjan)