Reading a poem to my father One evening to ward off the inertia stemming out of current pandemic I read aloud to my father, one of my favorite poems from Yuyutsu Sharma’s The Lake Fewa and a Horse. A high blood pressure and a chronic diabetics patient, though he can read only the headlines of a newspaper, his glare can be as rigid as a row of commas on a page of my poems; he can hush us all by just clearing his throat. There is nothing lyrical about him. His emotions are packed full as the groceries on the supermarket shelves. Often it’s not easy to recite poems in front of him and my reading that lonely evening was scratchy as I was shaking from it. Sensing my anxiety, he grabbed the book from my hands and lifting it to his eyes to discover Yuyu’s affair with the Himalayas. After industriously reading a few poems, I noticed a flame of joy liven up his dark silvery eyes. He nodded his head and smiled, “Oh yes, this I remember, and this too, how we washed our clothes in the river, and cooked on an open fire. We had straw mats instead of dining tables and for brunch we often had beaten rice flakes and curd, and families gathered before the fire united before the sunlight left us for a long cold night.” As the day’s last thumping kiss painted the sky, my father perched on the side of the antique sofa, smiled. ‘I feel as if Yuyu’s poems has unfastened my past. His verses have struck in me a trumpet of triumph, a yearning to return and sweet smell the soil from which I’ve sprung. Son, I can feel it. His poems has triggered the sensations of hope in my aging heart. They’ve fed me with a gusto to smile evermore. I wish I could read this book on and on but my eyes won’t permit. I have one request: Would you call Yuyu and ask him to come out with a recording of his poems for his readers like me. I was ecstatic-- a happy, hopeful father! Can there be anything more lyrical than a father’s smile streaming all over our horizons? The line was drawn that day, a turning point ensuing my father’s newfound health. For making my father smile and sprouting in our Kathmandu courtyard the hidden seeds of his long forgotten hillside paths. I salute you poet, I salute you!
Nepalese poet Bhuwan Thapaliya works as an economist and is the author of four poetry collections. His poems have been widely published in international magazines and journals such as Kritya, Foundling Review, FOLLY, WordCity Monthly, Poetry and Covid: A Project funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council, University of Plymouth, and Nottingham Trent University, Trouvaille Review, Journal of Expressive Writing, Pendemics Literary Journal, Pandemic Magazine, The Poet, Valient Scribe, Strong Verse, Ponder Savant, International Times, Taj Mahal Review, Poetry Life and Times, VOICES (Education Project), Longfellow Literary Project, Poets Against the War, among many others. Thapaliya has read his poetry and attended seminars in venues around the world, including South Korea, India, the United States, Thailand, Cambodia, and Nepal.