Suman Pokhrel

BETWEEN RAINBOW AND MELODY

As you entered the room

stirring air with suppleness of walk

waking up the stillness with jingles of cymbals

making curtains dance to the sound of bangles

aroma wafted into air from canvas and copybooks

my paintbrush grew restless

and pen became enraptured

my eyes, hands and other parts

became electrified.

 

My heart spread rainbow in the room

like colours of youth and

lilts of life’s melodies.

 

You who are sitting before me

have the power to

change my consciousness

into painting, poem, melody

or anything else!

 

I know you’ll speak no truth at this time.

I’ve to be guided

solely by your silence, your eyes and

the inaudible appeals of your heart.

 

I’ve to settle before I lose the presence of mind-

whether I should use brush or pen

or my eyes, hands or something else

and create a unique

composition

all in you.

               

Whose city is this?

I was watching

a city taking shape

like raging delusions

from the deposits of migrating

lovely pristine villages.

Grown playing in dusty streets,

I was searching myself

standing on bifurcating streets

between growing houses

in times dangerous even to tread.

 

Someone with no shape

came suddenly in my life’s noon

and grabbing with trembling hands

asked me, lost on my own footpath

walking endlessly

as far as the memory goes,

and asked—

whose city is this?

 

I’m watching the rainbows

rising from the far water place

lost in the artificial light of midnight.

I’m watching birds flying hither

from far horizons

singing songs of love

dancing to sounds of confusions.

 

I’m feeling

the breeze arriving

fanning coolness on me

returning now by igniting fire

pushing me aside.

 

Water surging

bestowing life on us

entered the city and

left by tearing gardens of life,

Even one who looked like human

in meetings outside

sold a no-man inside the city

and dissolved into that act.

 

At moments I wish

to became part of the perennially roaring

hurricanes of abuses

and stand naked dropping

all sense of responsibilities,

And cry with the quivering speech it has taught

by mustering the sanguine spirit

made from this city’s water, with

impulses supported by its air—

 

This is a city of those who dance

to the senseless slogans of the crowd,

Of those who see beauty on outer paints

used to camouflage real humans,

Of those dozing contentedly on

insensitivity as their ideals,

Of those who live in dreams and die in waking hours,

Of those who lose themselves walking,

Of the lunatics.

 

This is a city of those

who turn the pheasant

flying from rhododendron branch

carrying music of life

into crows by consecrating them

to the staples of the temples,

Of those who leave the god

behind in old people’s homes

and search on television after returning home,

Of those who throw human baby into trash container

and suckle dog’s puppies.

 

But

carrying a mind drained

by the pain of its ugliness

and analysing half a basket of time,

I’m visualising this city and me

all under one perception

 

This city is laughing

by drinking its own disillusionments

with my anxieties,

It’s burgeoning by toying with

my unfulfilled desires,

Is sleeping under the cover

of the sweet dreams of my love narratives,

Is waking up by carrying out

demonstrations of my rebellions.

 

I’ve brought this city’s dust and smoke home

and washed them with my face and clothes,

I’ve picked up its raucous sounds

and carefully chiselling them

have used in my songs,

I’ve embellished my poetry

by collecting its chaotic scenes,

And by collecting its anguish,

I’ve wreathed the melody of my life.

 

Taking upon myself

all its virtues and vices,

I declare

this city is mine.

(Suman Pokhrel poems Translated from Nepali by Abhi Subedi)

Suman Pokhrel  is a multilingual Nepali poet, lyricist, translator, and an artist. His works sumhave been widely acclaimed and are published internationally. His poems revolve around the nuances of life. The play around his choice of words creates magic in the minds of his readers. Pokhrel’s lyrics are marked for their musical qualities and literary verve. Pokhrel has read his poems in various international literary meets including SAARC Charter Day Celebrations on December 8, 2013 in New Delhi, India as an especial invitee. He received SAARC Literary Award in 2013 and 2015.