I’m sick of not seeing you He poured himself a glass of her thoughts two years after she won a scholarship to heaven to pursue her PhD in life after death and sat down beside her antique gramophone with his senses straining in the dark. “I’m sick of not seeing you, I’m seeing only the back of an African Wild Elephant and the wide open jaws of the vultures. Helpless days of confinement, a stultifying inertia and no knowledge of what comes next. “Where are your eyes in the sky, Grand Ma?” he sighed. Where are the bald eagles? Where are the rhododendrons? Where? Where? Where? He stammered and cried. What type of poem am I? “What type of poem am I?” I am as formless as the clouds, and as elegiac as the silence, in the itinerary of the noise. I am not a classic written by the author, God. The rhythms of my verses are supplied by the parable of their tears. I am not in me, though I abide within myself. I am but a color, whose colors have worn away. Maybe I was written as an ethical effect of modern art. Or maybe I was not written but just replicated from the lives of others. I wish I could read the critics’ minds. Is it true that a poem cannot read anyone? I loathe the way they recite me, pretending to understand me. Maybe I am the monologue of my rhymes. Or maybe I am the narrative of my own life. However much they hate me, I am that poetry they can’t write. I am the phantom of the world crawling, with a rose in the hand in the boulevard of the thorns. However much they praise me, I am only a drop of verse drawn up by time to become the formless clouds in the wilderness of the literary sky. O Poet! O my maker! What type of poem am I? O strangers! O my readers! What sort of poem am I? I wish I could read myself and discern my spirit. Is it true that a poem cannot read a poem? “Am I a poem?” or am I just a rhymed hoax? This cyclic curiosity goes on eternally. I am lost in a synthesis between the dualism of my readers and the monism of my maker. No one knows what it is like to be a poem. No one knows how vague its core is. There is nothing as genuine as me. There is nothing as deceptive as me. Carry me to the garden Carry me to the garden, not with your arms but with your heart, fondle me not with your lips but with your soul, undress me not, but peel me naked, and make love to me, beneath the lusty sky in the full moon night, under the silhouette of the twinkling stars, and not in the caged confines of the wall, for I yearn to have an orgasm right beneath the heaven’s eye and stir the heart of the deities with lascivious indulgence of an earthly love that is here today but will be gone tomorrow. My father’s old coat Dust on my father’s old coat dances as thoughts on a frying pan and his tattered hope as his clothes flutter forlorn on a half-broken clothesline. He is down and almost out, in Kathmandu. Yet he prowls, he prowls evermore, through the streets looking for his fate in the pothole paths of the city, trodden by the twisted neck of the continuous misfortune where men are snaring the faith of men in the altar of the sunken whore’s destitute. Back then, the hills around his heart were thickly wooded but now, the wild trees have gone. Deforestation of hope, and the drought of dreams have formed a vicious circle - now the hills are all barren brown. Yet the old man prowls on and on. And often on hands and knees, he scours the ground collecting every fossil of his elapsed smiles. Purely nostalgic, whimsy, or a maggot munching a Pipal leaf? No one knows. I often watch him breast the wave with cerulean thoughts in my head. He looks jaded, but in the city of his eyes there are poems within poems. I’ve read pretty much everything I could lay my eyes on. The verses in his eyes play themselves out before my eyes as a writer’s bad dream – ritualistic slaughter of language and vocabularies. Alterations The rhododendrons we see before us may not be the same for you and me. They may look vibrant in a host of colors to both of us but their fragrance may not be the same. They may soothe you but they may choke my senses completely. The freedom we sense. It may be sublime to both of us but its essence may not be. It may liberate you but it may restrain me furthermore. The road we see before us. It may be mysterious to both of us but its journey may not be. It may lead you to the domain of the light but it may land me in the domicile of the darkness. The deity we worship together. It may be holy to both of us but its authenticity may not be. It may be a gem to you forever but it may metamorphosis into a stone one day to me. The love we have for us. It may be intrinsic to both of us but its molecules may not be. It may be The Everest to you but it may be a meager hill to me. And most notably our orgasm may not be the same. It may be stimulating to you but it may be monotonous to me. But no matter what there will always be the bond of understanding between us. And it will forever convey the power of our love as the sprouting leaves of grass that have the power to move rocks. We are I am not in you you are not in me. We are as diverse as the stars in the sky; we are not us we are total strangers. You live in the colour of the rainbow and wear the linings of the cloud whereas I live in the silhouette of the tyranny and wear the costume of disparity. You sleep in the crescent bed of the moon and drink the pristine morning dew whereas I sleep in the circular bed of adversity and drink my own sweat in the severe heat of the noon. You play with the rings of Saturn and caress the countenance of the sun whereas I play hide and seek with death and caress the wounded hub of my dreams. You breathe in the divine gust and think like the cadence of heaven whereas I breathe the twister of belligerence and think like a stagnant pond. You shine like the moon in the full moon night and soar like the free bird in the itinerary of the sky whereas I am shrouded by the misery of life and soar only to fall again like the ashes into the air. You bequest fragrance to the rose and unending persistence to the river whereas I steal the heady smell from the rose and curse the river for drowning my hope. Suppression, I accept not I came into this world not like the river but like a drop of water and will soon evaporate. Though, I am only a drop of water in the majestic ocean of nature, I yearn to create a vigorous ripple of freedom, in the eternity of the water. I am a man of eternal freedom, and suppression I accept not. I will not accept it. The living God within me urges me to be free, and to march on the road of freedom sans any dread. My heart, like Einstein, thinks in another dimension unknown and unknowable even to my own mind. And like Goethe, looks at things in a different manner, different than those thinkers bestowed with pristine minds. Freedom, the gift of God, is the inherent right of every individual in this compressed world. I will fight till the end to free the masses from the grip of suppression and ignite the lamp of freedom. I will free the masses or die in the attempt but I will never live to see the naked dance of repression. I am not afraid of those suppressors nor am I afraid of the death that they are planning for me; they can kill me but not freedom forever. My blood boils whenever I see the strong ones pulverising the lean, and my heart cries whenever I see the starving pauper in the abattoir of the prosperous butcher. For me a red rose is a red rose it is not white just because they call it white to disguise the ignorant. They can conquer the Everest but not my spirit. They can stagnate the river but not my impetus. They can take my sight away but not my vision of freedom. They can cut my tongue into pieces but not my voice of freedom. They can stab me with the dagger of despotism but not impede the blood of freedom. I know the road to freedom is blocked with obstacles but obstacles cause no despair if they are encountered with hope. We must act now and not merely just look away when our freedom is threatened from within. It is better to perish without freedom than to have and yearn for freedom but not the valour to harvest it. Don’t be a coward. Be prepared to receive bullets to your chest. In the struggle of freedom, tolerance of suppression is an offence. Stand up . . . stand up. Gather your courage. Come out into the field; let’s march hand in hand together, right beneath the nose of the suppressors, for the emancipation of our freedom. The ocean is composed of drops of water, and all drops possess equal potentials, but only, when they mix with other drops, they form a powerful bond. Listen, my oppressed brothers listen, my trodden sisters listen . . . listen to the natural desire of your ceaseless soul. Do not fear trust your soul and march ahead with a resolute heart for the better tomorrow. And scatter the seeds of freedom. Where does it go? It does not matter scatter it more with hope. Welcome the freedom welcome it today and enjoy it evermore but do not use your freedom to suppress the people’s soul to suppress the people’s soul.
Bhuwan Thapaliya is a poet writing in English from Kathmandu, Nepal. He works as an economist and is the author of four poetry collections.
His books include Safa Tempo: Poems New and Selected (Nirala Publication, New Delhi), Our Nepal, Our Pride (Cyberwit.net) narrative verses of love, peace, and human understanding, Rhythm of the Heart (Lulu Publication) and Verses from the Himalayas.
His poems and articles have been widely published in journals and periodicals such as Kritya, Foundling Review, FOLLY, The Journal of Expressive Writing, Trouvaille Review, Pendemics Literary Journal, Pandemic Magazine, The Poet, Litehouse, Valiant Scribe, Strong Verse, Jerry Jazz Musician, Taj Mahal Review, Poetry Life and Times, VOICES (Education Project), Longfellow Literary Project, Poets Against the War, Mahmag.org (Magazine of arts and humanities), InnerVisions by Jay, The Sound of Poetry Review and many others.
Thapaliya has read his poetry and attended seminars in venues around the world, including South Korea, India, the United States, Thailand, Cambodia, and Nepal.