The Mask & Other Poems : Nand Kishore Acharya
‘Hope you do not mind If I refuse to be
Your flute any longer
Not that I feel neglected –
Rather I was well-placed
On your lips always
But could I ever own
The music that flowed
From my pores?
The peacock feather Had a better deal
It found a place On your crown
-It had its own beauty That was there even if It was not placed there
Not a small difference this is That I must live
For your music
And that you are a tool
For the feather to express its beauty!
That I am
No longer your flute.
Is a rock
Even more transparent than the sleep? That your dream appears clear in it
And you engrave it – You are an artist after all!
What happens to these pieces
That you chip off
And the image – whatever it is –
It is you
And not the rock?
Is there no dream of the injured rock Crying in it ?
Of course, a rock is a tool What is its dream
And What could it possibly own?
Is it right then
That those who own nothing Become tools
And live for someone else’s dream?
Immersed in the image
How will anyone get it Lee Po
One who is not a poet – That a poem is achieved
When one is immersed in the image – And not when in
What he himself is an image of
This is why God is a poet
Do not ask, immersed in whose image!
Whose unfinished form was it?
‘In the beginning there was only the Word’ – Word
That gives shape to silence
And so leads silence to completion
That is what
This creation came from
But what reached its conclusion in the creation Whose unfinished form was it?
What I put aside After the skit
Is it a mask
Or is it really my face – In which I feel myself for a while
And the face
That you say is mine Is really a mask
Which I wear all the time Enacting myself as a skit.
Translated by the poet
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