Risking a Poem

This poem was written on a perfect afternoon in Pokhara

when the Neela1 flowers were embroidered against the sky,

when Fewa Lake spread its sun-glinted anchol under the hills,

and eastern clouds threatened to soak a hurrying road,

this poem was coming into being.


The poet had traveled far in search of a slice of momo;

a comfortable plate of kebab in unfamiliarity;

a beer bottle trickling insistent on a good life;

and a few lines to rival Neruda’s sonnets.

A poet can dream.


Her hostel room had idioms necessary for life

“Keep the things of value to you safe, always”

“Love the life you live and live the life you love”

And most importantly, “Don’t hold in your farts,

that’s where shitty ideas come from!”


There the hallways seemed forever abuzz

with dreams of kneeling at the knees of Everest.

There, professional wanderers far from lost

reminisced a lifetime of savings well-wasted.

There, sat our little wide-eyed poet.


She sat slowly sipping

a perfect afternoon in Pokhara,

slowly slurping the last few drops

of stillness, with an open-hearted straw,

and slowly reaching for a pen in pensive meditation.


Many days later, she found that she had written:

“Creativity blooms as Annapurna at dawn

and holds the poet with affection like a new lover

if the moment is right, just write

to come alive, risk a poem.”


1Neela (Nepali, colloquial): Jacaranda

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