Bombarding shells from a ballistic missiles
Upon the chest of ozone
That was brooding over its own chest
And chaffing the light off your own eyes
Dismantling the bosom of your own heart
Why are you trying to awaken
The old Hiroshima and Nagasaki
That still reek of wars?

Your hubris is blasting on your skull
As your brag stirs your wrists.
Why do you intend to tumble the time
That is hatching its pullets
From the hot nest of the sun?

Why are you trying to uproot
The cherry tree
Standing on the roots of time
And shatter its leaves
That sing of blossoming tomorrow again?
Which of your pathways
Did the leaves obstruct?
Which of you melodies
Was disturbed by the fish
That croon an octave inside water?

Why are you trying to foil with ash marks
The songs of smoke you have been singing?
Which dust, in your eyes, did the birds
Sprinkle upon the hair-parting of the mountains
When they bring and gently place
Siberia upon the mountain’s head?

Why are you obliged to fly
On the wings of ballistic missiles?
Why are you tugging
On the girdle cloth of your mother
The flowers of gunpowder?
Why do you constantly hew her parts
With sparks of fire
When she is beset with labor pain?
Why, with smoke spread all over the sky
Do you shield the new bout of light
Destined to appear tomorrow?
Oh Pyongyang, wait!
Let the kids waiting in their mothers’ wombs
Take a waft of breath;
Let the children, bound for their schools
Take a couple of steps upward;
Give a wafer of bread to the hungry ones in Uganda;
Pull off and distribute to others
Each of the ballistic’s plastic wings
Under which are kids
Spending whole of their nights
Under the canopies of the clouds.


Jagannath Poudel, USA

[Translated from Nepali by Mahesh Paudyal]