ALONE ALONE, ONCE AGAIN
Translation: Mahesh Paudyal
A portrait, black-and-white, of youthful days
shall incessantly be grinning
from a frame hung on the wall;
pigeons shall still be crooning on the attic,
treepies, in bevies, shall hoot their ditty
from the bamboo grove nearby;
someone so dear
shall no longer be there!
The sun shall prize the western verge;
cattle shall plod their homeward path;
weary farmhands shall return home
with sickles and spades from girdles hung;
grandsons and daughters from school shall come
homeward, as time sings swan-songs
shall never come home.
The sky, with laws of silence
speaks, when dripping falls the rain
the dormant ditty of a brook resounds
in slopes and caverns, so profound;
the wind can rather be tracked by ears
when leaves its words catch and utter;
a night so dark can speak aloud
if utter solitude is ever allowed
someone so close
shall speak no more!
As nature sings its anthem of time,
pigeons in attics shall croon on hymns
treepies shall chirp on, in bamboo groves.
Right that moment, at home shall go
nuptial joys of grandchildren, young;
you shall, alas, with a stick reach
the yagya on the front yard built,
to give them blessing of life and bliss
you shall recall
a near one, lost forever.
You shall slowly return home
and ascend the stairs, forlorn, forlorn
open a tin-safe, black with soot,
take out letters of love so cute,
tucked in a diary for years and years
and shall behold the pictures dual
that showcase the mirth of wedding-year!
Memory of a soul so dear
as cuts so deeply through the heart,
you shall feel on the left of breast
as you stroke it, alas, in vain!
The sun shall still be heading west
when, for home hers own, the granddaughter leaves,
right that moment, you shall throw
old, unclear eyes of age
through the window, for a prolonged gaze
the forlorn river shall come to sight
and with it, you shall flow in tide,