[33] Puja Room, Gopi Sapkota

My mother,
every night these days
I dream a recurring dream:
the same home, the exact puja room
the same stone gods and goddesses
a plate full of the same flowers and vermillion powders
in your hand
along with
Some colorful grains of rice

My mother,
I also see that
out of a nest in an old tree
from a faraway garden
some chicks fly away farther
I am now constantly watching
those chicks
and the bird
that in turn keeps watching
towards the open sky
where her chicks go flying
farther away;
and now the lonely bird
leaving her nest accursed
has arrived at my window this time
as I intently see the face of the bird
I see in it the semblance of your own face,
my mother.

My mother,
we are constantly flying
in your own sky.

My mother,
in this soil of others
this heart still intact
surviving several attempts of burning
several ordeals of breaking
has hardened a lot like a stone
like the heart of the stone gods
you worship, and
it doesn’t cry
neither does it hurt these days
all like a stone

My mother,
sometimes, I felt it senseless
the thought of worshipping
a stone
and cherished a sense of worship
for the complete One
that is sans
greed
lust
wrath
and that is
pure, sanctified, benevolent
and wise
but after a long search
in the world for such a perfect being
the only worth this worship
I find
Is
the stone, sanctified and perfect;
so, my mom, if worship you must
please worship the stone, the one and only
that deserves your worship

My mother,
in my dreams these days
I always see those sights
of your puja room.
The gods of my home
I believe
will remember me
Always, forever.

Translated from Nepali by Tika Lamsal
Reprinted from Snow Jewel 2015, Volume 6

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