Bhuwan Thapaliya was born in Kathmandu, Nepal and is one of the most widely read Nepali poets writing in English in the West. His writing is imbued with the art and culture of Nepal that he grew up with. His poetry books include, most recently, OUR NEPAL, OUR PRIDE ( ), narrative verses of love, peace and human understandings, and his poetry has also been published in THE NEW PLEIADES ANTHOLOGY OF POETRY and TONIGHT: AN ANTHOLOGY OF WORLD LOVE POETRY (The Poets Printery, 2008). His poetry has been published in leading literary journals such as KRITYA, VALLANCE REVIEW, NUVEINE MAGAZINE, POETRY LIFE AND TIMES, LONGFELLOW LITERARY PROJECT, POETS AGAINST THE WAR, VOICES IN WARTIME, TAJMAHAL REVIEW, and AUTUMN LEAVES. His poems were featured by the WCRFM in Britain, and Nepali dailies and weeklies including THE KATHMANDU POST, THE HIMALAYAN TIMES, NEWSFRONT, THE RISING NEPAL and VOW featured his poetry book (OUR NEPAL, OUR PRIDE). His second poetry collection, SAFA TEMPO AND OTHER POEMS, to be published from Nirala Series, India, will hit the market in January 2010.
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- by Bhuwan Thapaliya

“What type of poem am I?”
I am as formless as the clouds,
and as elegiac as the silence,
in the itinerary of the noise.

I am not a classic
written by the author, God.
The rhythms of my verses are supplied
by the parable of their tears.

I am not in me,
though I abide within myself.
I am but a colour,
whose colours have worn away.

Maybe I was written as
an ethical effect of modern art.
Or maybe I was not written
but just replicated from the lives of others.

I wish I could read the critics’ minds.
Is it true that a poem cannot read anyone?
I loathe the way they recite me,
pretending to understand me.

Maybe I am
the monologue of my rhymes.
Or maybe I am
the narrative of my own life.

However much they hate me,
I am that poetry they can’t write.
I am the phantom of the world
crawling, with a rose in the hand
in the boulevard of the thorns.

However much they praise me,
I am only a drop of verse
drawn up by time
to become the formless clouds
in the wilderness of the literary sky.

O Poet! O my maker!
What type of poem am I?
O strangers! O my readers!
What sort of poem am I?

I wish I could read myself
and discern my spirit.
Is it true that a poem
cannot read a poem?

“Am I a poem?”
or am I just a rhymed hoax?

This cyclic curiosity goes on eternally.
I am lost in a synthesis between
the dualism of my readers
and the monism of my maker.

No one knows what it is like to be a poem.
No one knows how vague its core is.
There is nothing as genuine as me.
There is nothing as deceptive as me.