Poem -River: Morning – Yuyutsu Sharma

Cruel river 

knows each time 

I come to brood 

over her roaring waters 

each time I come 

to her deafening banks 

to gleam my dreams 

over the plump flanks of her warm body 

each time I come 

to pour last of my life’s salt 

in the ringing gorges 

of her sonorous frame, 

a bone breaks 

in my smoldering chest 

and a wrinkle appears 

across the shriveled leaf of my life.

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Poem – River at Night – Yuyutsu Sharma

Dark night 

I cannot see the river. 

I can only 

hear it thundering rumble. 

A water well explodes 

enamored in the fleshy 

clutch of fluffy 

clouds, making a cave of this gorge. 

Only fingers of the fireflies 

illuminate its shape, the wild limbs, 

as the river fumbles 

curled around the hefty thighs of the night 

to find a wink of sleep.

Poem -Space Cake, Amsterdam – Yuyutsu Sharma

“Don’t panic,” they said, 

remain cool like your Krishna, 

meditate maybe like Buddha, 

uttering ‘Om Mani Padme,’ jewel in the lotus, 

or lie down and relax 

like Vishnu on the python-bed 

to float on the ocean’s currents, 

buoyant on the invisible thread 

of your breath in slow motion… 
Millions of cats prowled around me. 

Smoke from shared sex 

and hashish joints stung my eyes. 

Unsettling tongue 

of an awkward fire fed my stomach. 

I skidded queasily towards 

towards the formidable edge, 

unknown ominous frontiers of human life… 
They laughed a secret laugh 

behind my back – “Isn’t it crazy that 

this man from Kathmandu should get stoned 

from a piece of space cake in Amsterdam?” 
“Don’t be serious, laugh, 

celebrate the flame of life!” a woman’s voice said. 

“Hold my hand; I can imagine 

you are alone on this trail. 

I’v been there once,” she whispered. 

Her tongue curled like a dry leaf in my ear 

and crackled “How much did you take, 

just a piece? I took thirty-eight grams once, 

It can be crazy if you don’t know it’s coming. 

Just don’t worry too much. 

Don’t lose your control over things. 

You can kiss me if you like, 

You can pat my back, 

tickle my belly or stroke my breasts 

for a while, if it comforts you. 

Sometimes it can be heavenly, 

this licking the rim of the forbidden frontiers of human life. 
“That’s what he wants, that’s exactly 

what he’s looking for,” a voice leered far off. 

“But I have to go ultimately, 

I’ve a man waiting at home for me.” 
“Maybe read a poem of yours,” 

someone said. My heart raced wild 

and I heard some-girls gossip in the next room— 

What if he gets sick in Europe? 

Don’t we get sick in Asia? 

“Just take it easy,” another voice echoed 

“You won’t go psychotic. Remember one thing, 

whatever happens, you can always make a comeback.”

Faces of my dear ones veered past my face. 

I felt delicate thread of my life 

slipping through my fingers 

“Hey man, it’s fine. Don’t worry too much.” 

My host shouted. “Drink lots of water.” 

Drink black tea or coffee,” a guest suggested. 

“Or take lots of orange juice.” 

“Maybe sing your favorite song,” a woman said. 

“Or recite one of your Hindu mantras.” 

“Maybe stick your finger into your throat” 

another voice came sheepishly, “And throw up. 

You probably haven’t digested everything yet.” 
Questions came like wind slaps. 

“Can you tell me what they call boredom 

in your mother tongue? Do you remember 

your email account and password? 

Discuss your children, if you have any. 

Shall I bring my little daughter before you? 

Maybe you’d feel better then, 

seeing her brilliant eyes.” 
I imagined a child’s face and clung to it, 

like a penitent would hold onto 

a sacred cow’s tail in his afterlife, 

and slept on it, all through the river of blood… 
Hours passed by 

and then I heard someone say— 

What if he had freaked out? 

What if Death had stalked our house tonight? 
Hearing these words, I woke up 

knowing I’d come back, stepped on 

the familiar shores of life 

where Death’s feared, a distant distrustful thing. 

My drowse burst like a glacial that cracks 

from rumble of a seed of fire 

that explodes somewhere in earth’s deep sleep.

Poem – Temple, London (For Maggie Hindley) – Yuyutsu Sharma

Wind howled 

like the trumpet of a fierce Kali 

rushed in through 

the Temple Tube Station 

to slap my face 

to smother the flame 

of my breath 

and blind my vision 

as I soared 

floaing up the steely slope 

of the ecsclators 

in spirit of reaching 

a hillside shrine 

that our goddesses 

always prefer to live on. 
Once up 

out of the Station 

in the freezing cold 

as I exerted to push 

my overcoat up 

my shaking frame 

I saw her there 

on the wet pavement 

out alone in the open 

with a swollen black eye 

and an issue of The Big Issue 

held like a trophy, 

a sacrificial rooster 

against her sagging breast.

Poem – The Fewa Lake – Yuyutsu Sharma 

From the shoulder of a hill 

from a garden restaurant where 

exhausted tourists lie, massaging 

hysteric limbs of a nightmare, 

from dingy tea-shop 

of a grandma, crying from 

the smoke of her charred dreams, 

from the balcony 

of a hut where a blonde Buddhist nun 

sleeps with a local drug addict, 

from Naudada, 

from Lumle, from the luminous sheets 

of the windows of a racing car 

or like a despot 

of once a famished principality, Sarangkot, 

from an airplane 

with nose of snobbery ticking 

the gleaming summits of fishtail 

from the colorful pages 

of a coffee table book, 

from the fury of the goddess 

who created the lake to avenge 

the unkind inhabitants of the valley, 

from the sunken sockets 

of a porter’s eyes where 

magnificent draggers of Himal have grown, 

from the obscene columns 

of a magazine on frozen peaks of Himal, 

printed from the evil ink donated 

by some treacherous NGO, 

from the bedroom of trekking couple, 

about to reach an orgasm in unison, 

from the bleeding eye of a folksinger 

in love with local Sahu’s daughter, 

from the prow of a ferry 

scurrying over surface to measure its secrets, 

from the tip of the fishtail 

where lamblike sun bounces defunct, 

from the unfinished draft 

of this poem that I tear off 

to look at the blue 

of the Eye-lake, Fewa.

Poem – Sagarmatha – Yuyutsu Sharma 

The turquoise lake

that longs to belong to the ocean 

trapped to see 

dazzling face of the Everest. 

The climbers from the world over 

come to see their haggard faces 

in the clear light of her crystal eyes 

before facing the forehead of the Sky 

Glacial 

A hope 

that someday I shall sprout 

like a tree 

on the edge of a remote hillside. 

A hope 

someday a Queen-of-the-Night 

shall bloom in my chest 

and suck all the smoke 

I have inhaled 

in these malignant cities. 

A hope that someday 

a just born brook shall clean 

and wash 

bacteria of greed in me. 

A hope that someday 

a Buddha meditating in the niche of a cairn 

by the heap of the city 

garbage shall shake his limbs 

and walk away towards a village of eternity 

to take another birth 

to save me 

from the shame of becoming a glacier.