Knowledge was born from night’s womb,
And from the same womb was light born
This elusive night
Stretching into a protracted darkness
Will it bring to life?
My inheritance, my birthright
Should I cover myself in it or lie on it?
Should I turn it into a mirror or a meadow?
Should I safeguard it in my heart or scatter it?
Should I lose myself in its embrace
Or play with it till I’m sated?
Night is my liberated land!
I have no fear that anyone will claim it
Lacking a deed
It can never belong to another
Night is the realm of my freedom
My one true possession is night
To hear its footprints
Sink into night
Don’t make a sound
Lest it startle!
Broken into segments
Night is a lifetime
Even a single night
Reveals itself in distinct divisions
Sometimes in deep sleep
Sometimes in a dream
In an insomniac vision
Here, night shimmers like a Golden Age
And there, like an Age of Destruction
Night rolls like a wave
Leaves the shore and moves further and further
I draw it back to keep it within reach
But it surges away, breaking through the shore
Could morning be its purpose?
© Sulochana Manandhar. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2014 by Muna Gurung. All rights reserved.