Rabindra Mishra

The gloomy gajurs

covered by the 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.

Rabindra Mishra | 20 August 2011, Kathmandu