Shahar Ko Nidrama – Tanka Subba

कोलाहलै कोलाहल पिएर
व्यथा बल्झाउछ
पहरेदारहरुसंग रातमा जाग्रम बस्छ
रङ्गीचङ्गी बेलुन भएर
आकासभरी रौनकतामा उड्छ
दिन र रात दुइपाउ भएर उभ्छ
तर यो सहर
आज गाढा निद्रामा परे झैं
छाएको छ सन्नाटामा
हराएको छ चहलपहलबाट
गलेको छ सहरवासीहरुको दुःखमा ।

निर्जन छ यो सहरको परिवेश
देखिन्नन् कुनै पदचिन्हहरु
ठिहीले रात जम्दा
अन्धकार हासे जस्तो
श्मशान जागे जस्तो
उज्यालो भागे जस्तो
क्षणहरुमा निदाएका छन् तमाम सहरवासीहरु
तर म एक्लै ब्युझे होला कसरी ?
अध्यारोको साम्राज्यलाई
चिरे होला कसरी ?

रात विथोल्ने कुनै आवाजहरु छैनन्
कुम्भकर्णका निद्राले छोपिरहेछ
सहरलाई
भाले डाक भैसक्यो
हटेको छैन अझै कालो चुक पोखिएको रात
औंसी परेछ कि कुन्नी
जून पनि लुकेको छ ।

उज्यालो बाचेको बेला
थिएन कुनै वेदना
थियो त केवल हजारौंको प्रेम
तर आज कथा जस्तै भएको छ
सहर अझैं ब्यूझेको छैन
चल्मलाएको छैन
आखा खोल्नै बिर्सने हो कि भनेर
झक्झकाउदै छु बारम्बार सहरलाई
संजीवनी भर्दैछु
बिहानीसंग ताजा भएर उठ्न सकोस् भनेर
तर अझै यो सहर गाढा निद्रामा परेको छ
ठिही परेको रातमा कठाङ्ग्रिएको छ ।

Shrawan Mukarung – Pirai Pir Ko Bhari Boki

पीरैपीरको भारी बोकी कता जाने तामाङ दाइ
उँभो लागे बिगु गुम्बा
उँधो लागे नीलो गङ्गा
जहाँ पुगे’नि सुख छैन सपना देख्ने मान्छेलाई

पहाड नाघ, जङ्घार तर भेटिने त उही सूर्य
बिसोनी हो यशोधरा तिम्रा लागि तिमी बुद्ध
पीरैपीरको भारी बोकी…

यो बाटोमा पसिनाको एकपछि अर्को हिमाल
जति आँसु बहे पनि आफ्ना लागि आफैँ रुमाल

Food – Jing Han

Food, food I love you so,
People say go on a diet, but what do they know.
Food, food you make me grow,
You are the one on that makes me glow.

Burgers and fries,
They are the one that stifles my hunger cries.
Popcorn chicken and buffalo wings,
Whenever I see you, with joy my heart sings.

Smoothies and milkshake,
They all go great with a nice chocolate cake.
Ice cream and whip cream,
Why couldn’t I get you out of my dream?

Food, food I love you so.
I will always love you wherever I go.
Food, food you may not know,
But in my life, you play the leading role.

The Food Of Love – Ernestine Northover

What would you like for supper,
Some steak, with chips and peas,
Maybe, a nice brewed cuppa,
Or me, with lips that please.

You could have something spicy,
Like a curry or sweet and sour,
But these can be a bit spicy
And not good, at this late hour.

Perhaps a glass of beer, or shandy,
Or a brandy to fill the gap,
But, of course, that might make you randy,
Hey! Have that as your nightcap!

There’s me, I’m sweet and slender,
And tender like the steak,
And if you put me in a blender,
A fantastic meal, I’d make.

There’s food enough for your pleasure,
So don’t say you aren’t well fed,
When you start to realise I’m a treasure,
You could have ‘hot crumpet’ in your bed!

Song Of The Palace – Bai Juyi

Tears utmost gauze cloth dream not succeed
Night deep before palace press song sound
Red cheek not old favour first cut
Slant lean on smoke cover sit arrive brightness
Her handkerchief all soaked in tears, she cannot dream,
In deepest night before the palace voices sing.
Her rosy cheeks aren’t old, but first love has been cut,
Leaning, wreathed in smoke, she sits until the dawn.

Uncle Jim – Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

‘I got no time fer wasters, lad,’ sez ‘e, 

‘Give me a man wiv grit,’ sez Uncle Jim. 

‘E bores ‘is cute ole eyes right into me, 

While I stares ‘ard an’ gives it back to ‘im. 

Then orl at once ‘e grips me ‘and in ‘is: 

‘Some’ow,’ ‘e sez, ‘I likes yer ugly phiz.’ 
‘You got a look,’ ‘e sez, ‘like you could stay; 

Altho’ yeh mauls King’s English when yeh yaps, 

An’ ‘angs flash frills on ev’rythink yeh say. 

I ain’t no grammarist meself, per’aps, 

But langwidge is a ‘elp, I owns,’ sez Unk, 

‘When things is goin’ crook.’ An’ ‘ere ‘e wunk. 
‘Yeh’ll find it tough,’ ‘e sez, ‘to knuckle down. 

Good farmin’ is a gift—like spoutin’ slang. 

Yeh’ll ‘ave to cut the luxuries o’ town, 

An’ chuck the manners of this back-street gang; 

Fer country life ain’t cigarettes and beer.’ 

‘I’m game,’ I sez. Sez Uncle, ‘Put it ‘ere!’ 
Like that I took the plunge, an’ slung the game. 

I’ve parted wiv them joys I ‘eld most dear; 

I’ve sent the leery bloke that bore me name 

Clean to the pack wivout one pearly tear; 

An’ frum the ashes of a ne’er-do-well 

A bloomin’ farmer’s blossomin’ like ‘ell. 
Farmer! That’s me! Wiv this ‘ere strong right ‘and 

I’ve gripped the plough; and blistered jist a treat. 

Doreen an’ me ‘as gone upon the land. 

Yours truly fer the burden an’ the ‘eat! 

Yours truly fer upendin’ chunks o’ soil! 

The ‘ealthy, ‘ardy, ‘appy son o’ toil! 
I owns I’ve ‘ankered fer me former joys; 

I’ve ‘ad me hours o’ broodin’ on me woes; 

I’ve missed the comp’ny, an’ I’ve missed the noise, 

The football matches an’ the picter shows. 

I’ve missed—but, say, it makes me feel fair mean 

To whip the cat; an’ then see my Doreen. 
To see the colour comin’ in ‘er cheeks, 

To see ‘er eyes grow brighter day be day, 

The new, glad way she looks an’ laughs an’ speaks 

Is worf ten times the things I’ve chucked away. 

An’ there’s a secret, whispered in the dark, 

‘As made me ‘eart sing like a flamin’ lark. 
Jist let me tell yeh ‘ow it come about. 

The things that I’ve been thro’ ‘ud fill a book. 

Right frum me birf Fate played to knock me out; 

The ‘and that I ‘ad dealt to me was crook! 

Then comes Doreen, an’ patches up me parst; 

Now Forchin’s come to bunk wiv me at larst. 
First orf, one night poor Mar gits suddin fits, 

An’ floats wivout the time to wave ‘good-byes.’ 

Doreen is orl broke up the day she flits; 

It tears me ‘eart in two the way she cries. 

To see ‘er grief, it almost made me glad 

I never knowed the mar I must ‘ave ‘ad. 
We done poor Muvver proud when she went out 

A slap-up send-orf, trimmed wiv tears an’ crape. 

An’ then fer weeks Doreen she mopes about, 

An’ life takes on a gloomy sorter shape. 

I watch ‘er face git pale, ‘er eyes grow dim; 

Till—like some ‘airy angel—comes ole Jim. 
A cherub togged in sunburn an’ a beard 

An’ duds that shouted ”Ayseed!’ fer a mile: 

Care took the count the minute ‘e appeared, 

An’ sorrer shrivelled up before ‘is smile, 

‘E got the ‘ammer-lock on my good-will 

The minute that ‘e sez, ‘So, this is Bill.’ 
It’s got me beat. Doreen’s late Par, some way, 

Was second cousin to ‘is bruvver’s wife. 

Somethin’ like that. In less than ‘arf a day 

It seemed ‘e’d been my uncle orl me life. 

‘E takes me ‘and: ‘I dunno ‘ow it is,’ 

‘E sez, ‘but, lad, I likes that ugly phiz.’ 
An’ when ‘e’d stayed wiv us a little while 

The ‘ouse begun to look like ‘ome once more. 

Doreen she brightens up beneath ‘is smile, 

An’ ‘ugs ‘im till I kids I’m gettin’ sore. 

Then, late one night, ‘e opens up ‘is scheme, 

An’ passes me wot looks like some fond dream. 
‘E ‘as a little fruit-farm, doin’ well; 

‘E saved a tidy bit to see ‘im thro’; 

‘E’s gittin’ old fer toil, an’ wants a spell; 

An’ ‘ere’s a ‘ome jist waitin’ fer us two. 

‘It’s ‘ers an’ yours fer keeps when I am gone,’ 

Sez Uncle Jim. ‘Lad, will yeh take it on?’ 
So that’s the strength of it. An’ ‘ere’s me now 

A flamin’ berry farmer, full o’ toil; 

Playin’ joo-jitsoo wiv an’ ‘orse an’ plough, 

An’ coaxin’ fancy tucker frum the soil, 

An’ longin’, while I wrestles with the rake, 

Fer days when me poor back fergits to ache. 
Me days an’ nights is full of schemes an’ plans 

To figger profits an’ cut out the loss; 

An’ when the pickin’s on, I ‘ave me ‘an’s 

To take me orders while I act the boss; 

It’s sorter sweet to ‘ave the right to rouse…. 

An’ my Doreen’s the lady of the ‘ouse. 
To see ‘er bustlin’ ’round about the place, 

Full of the simple joy o’ doin’ things, 

That thoughtful, ‘appy look upon ‘er face, 

That ‘ope an’ peace an’ pride o’ labour brings, 

Is worth the crowd of joys I knoo one time, 

An’ makes regrettin’ ’em seem like a crime. 
An’ ev’ry little while ole Uncle Jim 

Comes up to stay a bit an’ pass a tip. 

It gives us ‘eart jist fer to look at ‘im, 

An’ feel the friendship in ‘is warm ‘and-grip. 

‘Im, wiv the sunburn on ‘is kind ole dile; 

‘Im, wiv the sunbeams in ‘is sweet ole smile. 
‘I got no time fer wasters, lad,’ sez ‘e, 

‘But that there ugly mug o’ yourn I trust.’ 

An’ so I reckon that it’s up to me 

To make a bloomin’ do of it or bust. 

I got to take the back-ache wiv the rest, 

An’ plug along, an’ do me little best. 
Luck ain’t no steady visitor, I know; 

But now an’ then it calls—fer look at me! 

You wouldn’t take me, ’bout a year ago, 

Free gratis wiv a shillin’ pound o’ tea; 

Then, in a blessed leap, ole Forchin lands 

A missus an’ a farm fair in me ‘ands.

Geography Lesson – Brian Patten

Our teacher told us one day he would leave 

And sail across a warm blue sea 

To places he had only known from maps, 

And all his life had longed to be. 

The house he lived in was narrow and grey 

But in his mind’s eye he could see 

Sweet-scented jasmine clinging to the walls, 

And green leaves burning on an orange tree. 

He spoke of the lands he longed to visit, 

Where it was never drab or cold. 

I couldn’t understand why he never left, 

And shook off the school’s stranglehold. 

Then halfway through his final term 

He took ill and never returned, 

And he never got to that place on the map 

Where the green leaves of the orange trees burned. 

The maps were redrawn on the classroom wall; 

His name was forgotten, it faded away. 

But a lesson he never knew he taught 

Is with me to this day. 

I travel to where the green leaves burn 

To where the ocean’s glass-clear and blue, 

To all those places my teacher taught me to love 

But which he never knew.