A blind man on a revolving chair.

The title of this post is not mine, but that of the Nepali poet Bhupi Sherchan (1936-1989). The poem of the same name is reproduced below.(Translation by Michael Hutt).

It needs no other comment…

Dozing and regretting all day long,
like a withered bamboo lamenting its hollowness,
opening wounds all day long,
like a sick dove which pecks at its breast;
weeping softly all day long,
over sorrows which are unspoken,
like a pine forest in its solitude,
my feet are set in a tiny space,
sheltered by a mushroom umbrella,
far from the vastness of earth and sky.

At rest... John Callaway 2011

At rest… John Callaway 2011

In the evening,
when Nepal shrinks down to Kathmandu,
and Kathmandu shrinks to New Road, which breaks up, trampled by countless feet,
to newspapers, tea shops, paan shops,
various rumors come and go,
each in a different guise,
newspapers pass by, clucking like hens,
and here and there the darkness
climbs onto the sidewalk, terrified
by the headlights of the cars.

Street Trader at Night... John Callaway 2010

Street Trader at Night… John Callaway 2010

The hive in my brain collapses,
I stand up, alarmed
by stinging, buzzing bees beyond number;
I rise like a soul on Judgment Day,
but I do not find the Lethe, river of oblivion,
so I slide down into some wine to forget
the past, my previous lives and deaths.

Pashupati. John Callaway 2010

Pashupati. John Callaway 2010

The sun always rises from the kettle,
and sets in an empty glass,
the earth I inhabit goes on turning,
I am the only one who cannot see
the changes all around me,
the only one who is unaware
of all this world’s beauty and pleasure,
like a blind man at an exhibition,
forced to sit on a revolving chair.

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