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Manoa 13.2 (2001) 89-91

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Two Poems


Two Siddhicharans

Two Siddhicharans come to my house
Coming with their heads, they leave their feet outside
Coming on foot, they leave their heads outside
Two Siddhicharans come to my house
Both write poems
When one feels he must write, the other
wants so much to tour the country, when he then
wants to roam, the other
stands still stuttering verse
Each has only one foot
The other feet stand apart, separate from them,
one in the sky, the other on earth
Those who cannot draw breath from poems
will sell Siddhicharan's feet
for firewood
I put Siddhicharan's feet in front of a temple
I will put them
at the entrance of a thatched hut in the village
Siddhicharan's hands have bloomed as flowers
and the hearts of pubescent girls
extract perfume from these blossoms they arrange in a vase
Siddhicharan's heart has spread as song;
young women make love singing them
The two Siddhicharans come to my house
their love songs to Rajamati
concealed in their vest pocket;
in their jacket pocket like a hankie
their new revolutionary verse proclaims itself [End Page 89]
Two Siddhicharans come to my house
Bringing their eyes, they leave their heart outside
bringing their heart, they leave their eyes outside
Two Siddhicharans come to my house

Translation by Wayne Amtzis and the author

Siddhicharan During the Rains

During the rains people use umbrellas
     whether the showers are heavy or soft
In the summertime
people use umbrellas
    whether the sunlight is scorching or mild
Does the poet Siddhicharan do the same?
No, absolutely not
  Exactly the opposite
    Siddhicharan's umbrella walks
clickety-clack carrying Siddhicharan
A man says, "Dear Poet, you're getting drenched."
  Carrying an umbrella in his hand the dear poet says,
    "I just don't have an umbrella."
The man is taken aback
What the poor thing doesn't know is
  he gets drenched by rainfall
  Siddhicharan takes shelter beneath poetry
  he wants to save himself from showers
  Siddhicharan doesn't want to
  separate himself from poetry
Siddhicharan isn't concerned with the umbrella
the way the man is concerned with the umbrella
    nor does he feel a need for it
Perspiring in extreme heat Siddhicharan
  composes poems on his face with sweat
  the way feelings write poems in the heart
A man says, "It's hot, Dear Poet!"
  Carrying an umbrella in his hand Siddhicharan
    neither hears his words
    nor sees him [End Page 90]
"Acting as though you can't see me." The man berates Siddhicharan
  He doesn't understand the gift of seeing what can't be seen
"Acting as though you can't hear me." He goes on berating
  He doesn't understand the gift of hearing what can't be heard
Siddhicharan is capable of leaving himself behind in every step
he can raise himself, gather himself from every step
    Can the man walk like that?
Siddhicharan can walk staying dry in a downpour
getting drenched in the blazing heat
    Can the man walk like that?
Siddhicharan can walk carrying an umbrella
and letting the umbrella carry him
    Is the man naturally able
    to walk like that?
The man who condemns Siddhicharan
should grasp the difference between himself and Siddhicharan
should understand his own position and Siddhicharan's
but no one who condemns him thinks like this
Those who think don't condemn at all
Siddhicharan can walk
    transforming condemnation into praise
      and praise into condemnation
        in a natural way, in a natural way
Can anyone lacking poetry
    do something like that?
Can anyone lacking poetry
    think like this?
      Understand such things?
In summertime or during the rains
    others walk beneath umbrellas
but Siddhicharan, the authentic Siddhicharan
    walks beneath poetry
and makes the umbrella walk carrying him
in the rainfall of sorrow, in the sunlight of adversity
in summertime or during the rains

Translation by Manjushree Thapa



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