Poem by Krishna Prasai
NEWSPAPERS! I LEAVE YOUR TOWN
You have no right to allege
I was deterred by your words;
Why should I hang on to your town
Withstanding accursed trepidations?
As satiated I am with you
I hereby withdraw myself
Away from your fort.
Papers, I leave your town.
Just out of paid lavatories
I stand in Ratnapark, peeling groundnuts
And am having a look of your news;
They have defiled virgin sheets of papers
With twisted realities of the town
Impatient to publish falsity rather than fact
They carry an amorous nymphet on the cover
And are explaining to the entire world
As though this very picture
Is the worthiest achievement of your age
Which is being led single-handedly
By those nude pictures of the town-girls.
I have been reading your paper.
The experts of pen
Seem not to be in their own control
They appear driven by unseen forces
Or are directed by someone, from somewhere.
The news itself
Houses the pain of its own being
Wanted, or unwanted.
Unable to decipher its own letters
It has turned mute, like its dark-hearted masters
The printers have, all the time
Been undertaking a cheap barter of words with people
Cloaking the truth with paints
The countrymen have found no place in their pages
No verse of an organic poet has ever featured in it
All that appears in them, free of cost
Is the nude pelvis of the town
Molested by demonic time.
Twice, and even thrice
I flip the pages of your paper
There is no good news anywhere
Nor is there a good nation with you
You do not have a picture too
That can be shown to everyone with pride.
On your first page did I just see
The face of the one who sells off the nation
The same man
Who rushes about, all day long in his car
Hoisting the country’s flag
And as the day wanes into dusk
Joins the gang that shifts the border-pillars
And burns the national flag
I am afraid of an upcoming time—
Lest the country’s soil
Spread by ourselves underneath our beds
At bedtimes in the evening
Wake up as a stranger’s head
When the morrow’s sunrises.
Here I take leave of your town.
From his book “Never Say Goodbye”
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