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Few Poems by Bhuwan Thapaliya.

1. “Mother, we are hungry!”

“Mother, we are hungry!”
Our stomach is sallow
and we can walk no more.

The smog of hunger’s incense
stifles our existence
and the quenchless fire
of thirst glows in our soul.

Mother, if you don’t mind,
say it to us, only to us, in secret,
“Why does the hunger
always whirl in our stomach,
and run from colon to the core?”

Ah, O Mother,
tell us, why it doesn’t
have the wings?
“Tell us, why it doesn’t
roll away
as the waves of the sea?”

Mother, they say,
the mystery of our existence
is written
on this little forehead of ours.

Mother, they say,
our rice fields
are full of landmines
and we cannot grow crops.

Mother, they say,
Our young brothers and sisters
have migrated to foreign land
because of the civil war,
leaving only the elderly
to take care of our farms.

Mother, they say,
we are hungry
because we are poor
and we don’t have money
to buy food from the store.

Mother, they say,
The World Bank is deaf,
UNICEF is blind,
and the F.A.O is dumb.
Is this really true my mother?

Mother, some say,
we are hungry
because of the geo- politics.
Mother, they say,
we are starving
because of the
free trade policy measures
implemented by our government
to go hand in hand with the world
under the WTO norms.

Mother, some even say,
we are hungry
because they are building
a house in the moon.
We are hungry
because they are building
tunnels after tunnels
in the desert
to hear their nuclear tunes.

Mother, they say,
we are hungry
because of the extremists
no matter,
wherever they wage terrorism.
We are hungry
because men are not men,
they have only human forms.

Mother, I don’t know the truth.
But tell us; tell us, O mother,
if all this be true
then we will
neither mourn for our hunger
nor blame you.

Ah! O Mother,
before we go up in the sky,
where the stars are.

Say it to us, only to us,
in secret, “Why not the hunger
floats in our stomach
as the pristine mass of an oil
dancing over the serene core of the water?”

She smiled sadly and said,
‘Ah, shame!’
“The gravity of the hunger
is very perilous.
Man is born hungry,
and will die hungry
in the world’s dusty theater,
where the play of desire
runs houseful forever.”

They glanced at her and said,
‘What a shame,
humanity has turned its back on us,
and the ray of hope lay deserted
on its own solitary course.’

They have forgotten
to comb our hair
though before the world
we stripe naked
with sunken eyes
and trodden hope.
But yet we don’t blame you,
for our hunger, O proud world!

Daily we go to the temple,
light our lamps,
and pray for you all.
But our prayers are shut up
within the bricks of the temple.
Ah! Even God doesn’t want to help us.
But yet, in God we do trust.

Much have you given us,
O the mighty Lord,
Yet we ask for more –
We come to you not only
for the food to soothe our hunger
but to sing our last song,
‘The song of the children
gone much ahead before their time,
to sing the chorus of life
with the funeral pyre.’

2. “Will you remember these words, when you grow old?”

“I believe in your lips
but not in your tongue.
Your lips are salubrious
but venomous is your tongue.
It intoxicate those lips,
my guide of an eternal road
through the dark unknown –
a core languid with the burden
of the soul, and a soul languid
with the burden of the core,”
says an infant to the world.

The world whispered,
“My child, in your mother’s womb
you dream that you can make
the world dance, to your own tune;
Suddenly yours eyes open;
and you see the world as it really is,
the dead leaves floating in the wind,
in the human valley, plagued by the
ripening diversity, and decaying unity.”

No, my world!
“I shall never be hopeless,
whatever you may say.
I shall rhyme my life with the
rhythm of the God’s chime, and
row my boat of love over the human’s core
until their stream of abhorrence runs dry,”
sang the infant to the world.

But, my child, said the world,
“Will you remember these words, when you grow old?”

3. I wish I could exchange kisses with you.

They say,
you are up there
in the sky,
where the stars are.
But darling!
Whenever, I miss you,
I cry, and often see you
floating over my tears.
But, my love!
as soon as I see you,
I wipe the tears
with my smiles,
and whisper softly
in your ears,
“I wish I could exchange
kisses with you.
If I call you, will you come
closer to the earth?”

4. Wash the blood of xenophobia from your hands.

A voice came,
out of nowhere,
and said,
“Come on,
leave your false identities,
leave your fake fallacies,
leave yourself from you,
leave the hoax that you are you,
come out in the
garden of God,
and wash the blood
of xenophobia from your hands.”

When I first heard that voice,
I ignored that voice, and kept
on marching on and on,
within the borders of my life
but even after years of negligence,
the voice kept on hitting me,
on and on, with higher notes.

Then one fine day,
I decided enough is enough,
and had one on one
conversation with the voice.
I asked the voice,
“Why are you always
troubling me with your
thoughtless advices?”

The voice smiled aloud,
leaned on my shoulder and asked,
“What is there in Indians,
which is not in Pakistanis?
What is there in Pakistanis,
which is not in Indians?”

Ah! It was a tough question
to answer for a fickle brain like me,
but to hide my ignorance, I gave,
hundred examples, but finally, I
gathered courage, and asked the voice
to answer its own question.

“Listen, my son,” it said,
“The answer is very simple,
“what is there in Indians
there is also in Pakistanis,
and what is there in Pakistanis
there is also in Indians.
Because both –
the Pakistanis and the Indians
have a heart- the engine of love.”

And likewise, it said,
“What is there in Americans that
is also in Iranians, and what is there
in the Iranians, there is also in the Americans.
Because both-
the Americans and the Iranians
are the children’s of one father – Love.”

My son, it said, “Don’t worry
about the mythical national frontiers,
establish love and solidarity all around,
and then watch the free play of natural forces.
If you do not think beyond your nation,
you will never become
a true human being in this life:
do not die, do not die my son,
without being a human-
after leading a human life.”

Oh, how, indeed could I tell the voice
that all these years, I had been living a false life?
How could I utter for shame that I am not
a human being, but a beast in the human form?

I sat on the grass of the reality,
and waited there for hours and hours
gazing upon the human,
creed by creed, religion by religion,
skin by skin, nationality by nationality,
trembling with utter shame
as a creeper rocked by the wind.

The voice rose again from its slumber
and said, “Stand up oh awaken!
Let not your life pass in vain! Here,
take my hand and let it be your guide.”
I stood up with a fertile heart, and
felt that I have become human
for the first time in my life,
and whispered softly in his ears,
“Thank you voice, thank you
so much for opening my eyes.
Come, my voice, let us sing the song
that has remained unsung till this day.”

Oh Lord!
No more worshippers, yet,
we will burn your lamp,
open the rusty gates
of your temple,
and bow before you, our pride.
Nationalism, patriotism,
and hollow martyrdom
these all are myths for us
they do not exist in our realism.
We are the global citizens,
the true citizens of this world.
We believe not in the axis of evil,
but in the circle of love.

Oh Lord!
Give us the pang
of thousand spiders,
and take away
everything we possess.
Smack us with
the hammers of misfortune,
and nail our smiles
in the sachet of pain.

Oh Lord!
Take us to the mountain,
and roll us down, down, down,
from the cliff, and leave our corpse
for the icicles to gulp.
Drag us to the river Koshi, peel our
heart naked, and then throw us into
its hungry rapids, as they throw
fishes in the mouth of the alligator.

Oh Lord!
Tie our hands
to the gallows pole,
and as earthworms, burrow deep
into the soil, to bury our soul.
Estrange us from our poems,
erase every verse of ours,
take our poetic fervor
and the rhythms of our life.

Thus we pray before you, our lord,
with folded hands, and with tears.
After so many beleaguered years,
do what you yearn to do with us,
but please give every mother
what she needs today -
Peace, peace, peace, peace and peace.
So that her darkened heart,
might become, a glittering ray
of glorious years to come.

About the author: Bhuwan Thapaliya is a Nepali poet writing in English and a socio- political writer affiliated with various online journals of the world.

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