Battle Of Old Nepal - Poem by Anil Karki
This isn’t a poetry.
Poetry can’t exist here in the field.
Where they killed her.
There’s no flowers
Though there appear to be flowers.
There’s a splatter of blood,
There’s a pool of blood
There’s a raining of blood.
When the Maoist combatants killed her
They wiped her off their hands
With gritty rags and a slap of water
They left the bodies in that field
To the flying, stinging creatures,
To damp butterflies of sadness and pain,
To the eyes of the everlasting
Who catalogues the cruelties of humans
From one nation to another
From one ragged scar to another.
The Maoists went on with their living,
Ate their dinner that night around a small fire,
Their arsenal stacked against a tree.
They called their mothers, their sons, their daughters
From their satellite cellphones
They remembered birthdays,
Mourned their dying,
Sang love songs for their wives and mistress
Waiting for them in the village,
In the battle of Beni
“We walked 30 kilometers, today
Through this damned nation.
We’d orders from our comrades.
And we fulfilled them, ” they gossiped.
Neither these Maoist combatants
Nor any allusion to killing
Was just an allusion to killing
Their official documents,
The sun isn’t a sun.
There’s no gunpowder
for addition and subtraction.
No not, no nothing.
And the moon isn’t the moon
that happens in the dark.
Nor was I dreaming
When I saw this in a dream:
I was out of my mind.
I would rather be out of my mind
In this field of betrayal and unless killing
A pigeon who poised urgently
at the screen door
was out of my mind.
It travelled on pure nerve and singing
from the thread of the spirit
of all that makes beauty
before turning into a breaking sky
into a river of blood.
And back to the trap of reason of argument.
I must be out of my mind.
Did you ever see her walk toward you?
That sad love song you’re singing to the moon
moved her to dance, close, so close to the stars
to the man she loved.
And here’s a dress
that still smells of her sweetness
like purple flowers raining.
Her moccasins of deerskin cured by smoke,
so she’ll know the way to rivers,
To a nation that’s out of its mind
with grief for losing her.
Nothing seems to change —
said the message unwound by the pigeon.
But there was a light by which I could
see the soldiers through the wings.
They’re coughing with cigarettes,
drinking wine, picking their teeth of meat.
A half day over the mountain are travellers
They’ll kill because it has become easy to kill.
Because there’s a reason to kill.
And reason kills reason.
The wound in the earth where they took
her is being tended by rain and flowers.
This is the story of the old Nepal, revealed
The song-line gleaming in the dark.
It's thin, breakable.
It can be broken into the smallest chips of bone and tears.
It can be put back together with sunrise and flint.
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