Ishwar Ballav

The hymn of fire
Ballav Ishwar 

There is a prevailing domain of
barren, stark trees in the jungle,

there is a shapeless but potent transmission of
an ablaze, burning sensation

though barkless,
though transparent
this, however,
is a raging inferno,
flaring and flaming

right there
each moment
time is on fire

the heart of the man too
ignites and transmutes into ash,
right there
histories and traditions have been
the attendees at the funerals of
the attachments and the illusions

may it be through
the toot of the heart’s cry
or the boom of gunpowder,
the truth, unveiled and unarmed
is mutilated every second
every day

reality’s jungle of naked trees
stripped, ruthless, and outrageous,
ignited along with the other truths,
reduces into ash

the boiling lavas glide out
the recent fiery volcano
and in parts unknown of this country
forging a bloody realm
or painting red symbols on the canvas
flow through the rivers that contain
the red lava of blood

could the heart of the man be this dreadful wildfire?

the cacophony weaves questions
picking up words
myriad and mysterious

is that the naked forest?
or is it just this hullabaloo of the naked forest?
how do the trees become nascent in the forest?
why is every man in this country unclothed?
why did the river of fire flow?
and why did the melted glass in the river, torch the man’s heart?

among the innumerable words in the questions
the man has become all alone
like Adam and Eve once again
the trees have turned bare in the jungle

  Himal khadka

the body,
is on fire.

A Himal Khadka translation.