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;

only that—

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

only that—

someone departed

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

but alas—

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

shockingly there—

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

alas, alas—

the forlorn river shall come to sight

and with it, you shall flow in tide,

once again

all alone.