bhuwanthapaliya

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.

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