[33] Desert: A Life in Mirage, Chandra Gurung

On the canvas of countenance
Not a single streak of smile is sketched.
Neither is grace seen blooming over cheeks
Like a garden
Where every butterfly of colors has flown away
This barren and bland desert!

Everywhere,
The desiccated brushwood
Come the parched hands of breeze to caress the youth
The lonesome eyes devoid of exhilaration
The mountain of solitude
Taking heights gradually inside!

For all day long
The eyes keep meeting with the blithe sun
Keeps the sirocco tongue-in-cheek
As if it could bring back a stranger with its youth
As if it would woo someone with its impish gesture
Waiting for an amorous embrace
A bride-like dream is thus living!

This desert
In the barren bosom adorned are date trees green
Festooned between earlobes are the poised cacti
In the caravan of copious desires
A mirage life this is!

Translated from Nepali by Jayant Sharma
Reprinted from Snow Jewel, 2018, Volume 9

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