Suman Pokhrel

Freshman - 770 Points (September 21,1967 / Biratnagar, Nepal)

Whose City Is This? - Poem by Suman Pokhrel

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 analyzing half a basket of time,
I'm visualizing 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 chiseling 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.


(Translated from Nepali by Abhi Subedi)

Topic(s) of this poem: cities, city, responsibility


Comments about Whose City Is This? by Suman Pokhrel

  • Kevin TaylorKevin Taylor (3/5/2018 9:31:00 PM)

    Simply gorgeous. Thank you. (Report)Reply

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Poem Submitted: Monday, March 5, 2018



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