Lunar Eclipse

Whenever a lunar eclipse occurs,
memories breeze in my mind like a swift wind.
Grandmother would tell us a tale about the eclipse.
'Rahu eats the moon god, hence the eclipse.'
When the moon's face gradually grew dark,
granny sighed, people in the village chorused,
'Leave chamaare, leave her'
Granny denied eating during the eclipse
and convinced us not to.
'You should not now, by no means,
at the time when the god has fallen in the grip of evil!'
Her face cast in a shadow of sadness.
I wondered at the tale, and looked at her face
and the moon and listened to the chorus,
'Leave chamaare, leave her.'
The chorus surged from the edge of the village,
and spilled all over. When the moon was swallowed by the shadow,
the chorus turned fierce. As the eclipse ended,
the moon emerged bright and soothing as usual,
the chorus stopped and villagers took bath outdoors,
splattering buckets of water
all over them; they cheerfully sang, ate and slept,
as if they had waged a war and they had won it.

Years have passed. The granny is no more,
and I am no longer in the village,
the lunar eclipse still a cosmic phenomenon,
I still hear the echo of the chorus.
I still wonder at the way the folks shouted
as if the moon were their maternal sister,
and they lived right next to her in the sky.

Poetry by Mukul Dahal
Read 705 times
Written on 2009-02-22 at 21:48

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