Nakul Silwal

The Drama Continues

Sparrows peck at the grains
spread out to dry in the courtyards.

Monkeys plunder the golden
profusion of our ripe maize fields.

Squirrels nibble at the walnuts
in the gardens of our festive valleys.

Perched on the freshly sprouting
leaves of the banyan trees

squint eyed crows
of distrust record history.

With vicious talons of deceits
hawks scratch blood dripping lines

of nation’s misery
on a farmers’ humble chests.

Leopards gobble up the lambs
of spring in our green glades.

Cats milk innocent cows
of trust in the cold nights of our lives.

Martens run away
with the hollering roosters of our awakening.

In my village
such scenes have been enacted time and again

Yet the drama continues
without an interruption, an interval or an end.

Translated from the Nepali by Yuyutsu Sharma

The Caves

We aren’t aware
of the hands that take pride

in building passages
we are forced to take.

We do not know
nature of the substance,

odor of the soil,
color of the stones

that make
the resting plinths

where we are asked
to kill demons of our fatigue.

We are ignorant
of the owners of the courtyards

where water wells
of our thirsts lie imprisoned.

Our eyes do not see
any alluvial gardens of gusto.

We are all trapped
like hungry tigers in a cave,

in the caves
of our mind’s gloom. 

Translated from the Nepali by Yuyutsu Sharma

Nakul Silwal

Nakul Silwal, who allegedly took his life due to depression, was a well known poet, novelist and editor of Bagar, the longest running literary magazine in Nepali language in Nepal. He was instrumental to promoting Nepali literature through his Bagar Foundation and received several awards including Yugkavi Siddhicharan Puruskar and Nepal Literary Journalists’ Award. He authored over half a dozen books of poetry and fiction, most noted being, Nakul Silwalka Kavita. In the 90s he brought out a special Asian Poetry issue of Bagar in English language with Yuyutsu Sharma as Guest Editor.