Pushpa R. Acharya is an Academican, Poet, Translator and Journalist. He teaches at Tribhuvan University. His main interest in Historiography and Trauma. Acharya is the author of Chhaya Kal : an Anthology of poems in Nepali. He has translated Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet into Nepali. He is involved with Conservative Poetry Movement, which focuses on reading and writing poetry in villages.


In the City of Temples

Long back
A Hippy girl from the east coast America
Liberated herself
At the dark corner
Of the city of temples

Here, the ecstasy was free
In the green fields, in the coffee shops, in the apple-pies,
At the temple courtyards and the hotel rooms
In the air and everywhere

One evening
Whether in a trance or in an angry fix of LSD
She left her flower friends
And strolled along the holy river upstream
Humming some Jimmy Hendrix song
And listening to the ancient stones strumming on the stream

She was found withered in the forest of Guheshwori

Her white body— naked, stinking
And liberated now even from the liberties she sought—
Rested there
On the other side, a hundred black Shivalingas were erect

In the city of temples,
The images are juxtaposed everywhere

Several years later
People lurched with their festered body at Aarya Ghat,
Their hands were bloody,
Their palms were hollow,
Their fingers were corrupt and wrinkled
What would the river cleanse?
The river now thick with drainage, plastics, condoms, sins and whatnot

A strange stink—
How like the subtle mist rising from the blackened water—
Pervaded all:
The marketplace, the university gate,
The temples and the wide and narrow lanes