Krishna Bhakta Shrestha

I Lean over my own corpse

I lean over my own corpse
as an old bunch-back over his own shadow;
I lean and look,
scanning with a vulture's ariel eyes
and dripping loops
of fetid saliva
I prepare to peck out.... 

But what's there in store for me
expect a wattle, an ugly lump
of red flesh dangling from a rooster's throat .....

Empty, bleak night
like the eyes of an old hunchback,
dried up, blank, the defunct night
bending over its own being,
the darkest night when
even a firefly is unable to hide herself . 

Stuffed and muggy from
the fumes and foul realizations
that clog my room.

with a feverish jerk,
I stand up and rise ...

Only a bamboo raises itself
bending over its own core.
Yes, in that
an emptiness erects itself ...

Willingly or otherwise,
I lean over my own corpse; 

I lean over and look,
scanning with a vulture's aerial eyes, 

and dripping loops
of fetid saliva, I prepare to peck out ... 

Translated from the Nepali by Yuyutsu Sharma


A vulture’s first
peck is at the eyes,

the eyes that see
the iridescence of the spectrum of life.

it pounces and snaps,

a vulture’s first
dash is always at the eyes.

Dancing over
the chest of a festering corpse,

a vulture strikes

a vulture’s
peck is at the eyes.

With the very eyes
it focuses and assaults,

a vulture’s first
peck is at the eyes.

Translated from the Nepali by Yuyutsu Sharma

Lonely I am....

Lonely I am
as a yoked bull
in a life consumed
beyond orders of human exhaustion 

lonely like a lump of flesh and blood
waiting in a mother's womb
to grow into a full-fledged fetus

lonely as a Tibetan Mastiff
brought to the city as a pet 

lonely as the repentance
of an old man laid down
on Brahamanaal spot of flooded river Bagmati

lonely as a stake
of a cattle-shed whose cow has died....

Oh! Why wouldn't this canopy of fog burst ?
Why wouldn't this curtain tear open ?
Let everyone be cursed like me
to see one's nakedness
nakedness of a draught
in the cracking up of the clods of earth
tearing the eyes open
despite the luxuriant expansion
of leaves and twigs
hardly able to carry
the load of its own growth
lonely I am as
a banyan tree of a chautara,
a  resting plinth

my loneliness
is naked like the wide open eyes 

naked as a looking-glass
reflecting one's image
utterly lonely ... 

Translated from the Nepali by Yuyutsu Sharma

Krishan Bhakta Shrestha

Krishan Bhakta Shrestha, a major Nepali poet, has worked as editor of legendary literary journal Madhuparka for more than a decade and shaped the currents of contemporary Nepali literature. He also founded several literary movements and organizations like Rodi and Amlekh to protect the dignity of Nepali author from the pressures of oppressive one Party Panchayat regime that ruled Nepal for more than three decades. He lives in Kathmandu.