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The gloomy gajurs
covered by smoke rising from the ghat
That queasy smell
perfuming the air from the burning pyre
The sad and slow flow of the Bagmati
Carries its burden of discarded life and shit

My Kathmandu
has lost her beauty
and misplaced her grace
There is nothing left
But a wrinkled corpse
Hinting at a once vibrant
Now lost, face

My guts are hanging across the city
And shreds of my skin
Flutter like mourning flags
My footsteps become mired
In the surfaces of her rotting face
What can I say as a eulogy
For those dead hills and mountains
Covered in dark haze

My Kathmandu
What has become of you
There is nothing left
Apart from history’s grace
And my hollow face.

Translation, by author himself | 20 August 2011, Kathmandu
Mishra plans to translate more of his poems after he retires from politics. His Nepali poems have been compiled in ‘Rabindra Mishraka Kabita’. Please go to the BOOKS section to find out more about his poetry book and where to purchase it.

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