Three Poems by Abhay K

Basantpur

Where Bhairav, the dark lord of time
plays hide and seek
with ever fluttering birds
and beasts

where lovers seek shelter
on stepped paradise 
under brick-red roofed pagodas
embracing the skies

where the living virgin goddess
looks longingly 
at tantric sculptures
carved on wooden beams

where crimson Hanuman
guards the heavenly gate
to the evergreen coronation square
I am Basantpur —the city of eternal spring.

Swayambhunath

A lotus blossoms 
no longer submerged
in the ancient lake
Petals young, sparkling

my eight eyes
                — the eight-fold path
of cessation of suffering—
         blessing sentient beings 

Climb three hundred and sixty five steps
then thirteen steps clockwise
As Manjusri, break free
from the bondage of the world.

Pashupatinath

With my consort Parvati
I galloped
on the banks of Bagmati
as a golden deer every dawn

Now I live behind silver doors
in a tiered pagoda
of wood and copper
topped with gold gajur

People worship me
as the lord of beasts and gods
I am the great gratifier of wishes
the saviour of this sacred land.

                    *
Lord of animals, men and gods
do you still gallop with Parvati
as golden deer
along the banks of Bagmati

or have you returned to Mount Gaurishankar
seeing what have we done to Bagmati
Do you still offer your blessings
to whoever seeks you out

Have you returned to Kailash Mansarovar?
or has it melted away
Tell us lord, have you left the Earth
for the other worlds ? 


Abhay K is an Indian poet-diplomat and the author of two memoirs and six poetry collections including The Seduction of Delhi(Bloomsbury). He is the editor of the poetry anthology Capitals. He has received the SAARC Literary Award and nominated for the Pushcart Prize. His Earth Anthem has been translated into twenty-four languages across the globe.