Nepali Times
May Day MAydAy


"A story becomes important only after the worst is over. In this case the death of the 12 captured Nepalis." Charisma K Lepcha

Homeless, in a land no
longer anyone's; as if banished at birth,
parted from lives yet to be lived those closing in
by those closest to them,
those who flee.flee as fast as,
as far as. Half a world away,
a stamp on a passport
mistaken for a quadrant of light,
a bellyful of time. These hands (on a clock)
invariably a stump that twitches

Heart-fused to sunder ties,
rage readies itself with sermons
Yoked beneath rage-raised hands
phalanx-ed cries rise in demon supplication
The ones with jagged breath
have us. With sap to sweeten the wounds
(Cruelty has no excuse, is no excuse)
the tall-tellers, their centipede
tongues numbed, the tale-tellers,
in public rites of disavowal
make their excuses, nonetheless
As the land breaks open from below,
each charge rooted in stone,
usurps its source. Down through the bone
marrow, fever feeds and thrives. In the onslaught,
in the roiling tide as it turns, we.
with enough vision to wrestle bones free of flesh,
enough voice to rung-clamor higher,
to unknot the knots that nail us,
we flail and scratch. anticipating our loss,
each helping hand skinned
as it reaches. In the morning of mourning
everyone sees what is lost

Headlines torn from the wound
In the newspaper morgues there's no way
to raise the dead. How suspicious!
Grief gags on the Ka! Kha! Ga! of Xplanation
At the base camp for oddities and omens,
the heart's half-life woozes away
Brute lack pervades. At least humanity's tent
(sic) is no mirage. You will be able, as before,
to be as before. Off on your own Odyssey
Like the clumsiest of cocks
been there done that, your swamped enigmas
surface in the fish-bowls of the poets
Teeth jiggling in your pocket
the choice is yours, coal-eyed tooth gatherers
It's a saw-toothed sleepwalk
or nothing. There's no end to dead ends
Escape never lasts. Cause of death:
being there (necessary) being Nepali (sufficient).

Bone-jagged scrawls, gutted, incandescent
screams, graffiti-like entrails. There are no guides here
This is no dark wood for parables


Battered down, bunkered heart,
stone in a fist: how can words drain the wounds?
Some names can no longer be spoken
Some bodies can no more be named
Scavengers too late, dogs and crows already gone,
the sentry's seared eyes name you
Anyone could be done in -randomly -deliberately
Gone wrong/ can't be put right. Day, burden;
night, burden. It sinks in. Orphaned,
this unwanted now never stops. Brute incomprehension
buries all. With a ready harvest of moon-dimmed eyes,
we play deaf and dumb. Leveling the field,
we play lord of the mountain,
king of the hill. In this sullen shifting
twilight, only doe-like beauties, hawking soap & lotion,
appease weary wakeful Kathmandu
Beggars know the hour. As leaders reissue manifestos
of blame & praise, the bottom bottoms out,
the bottomless takes hold. Fretful, yet above it all
Addicted to, yet dismissive of all and any news,
are you sure neither Manjushri's sword nor a tectonic shift.
So sure? The capital.the citadel. can't be taken?
Sandbagged. Dug in. Are you sure?

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)