Bid Him Adieu – Gopes Niraula

for the repose of his eternal soul

Thank you to Gopes Niraula for this vivid and moving entry to Voices and the competition. Originally from Nepal, Gopes currently resides in Wokingham and has enjoyed a life-long interest in poetry. The theme of mourning and honouring a loved one is something we can all appreciate and understand. We really appreciate Gope’s contribution.

Bid Him Adieu

We wrapped his body in a white holy cloth

and carried him in a white sling

slung between two brown bamboo poles

to the edge of the Bagmati river.

On the pyre, we covered his cold nostrils with

soft cotton balls and placed six sacred

beads of rudraksha in his palm for moksha.

We lit a handful of sandalwood incense

and hovered it in circles from head to toe

for the repose of his eternal soul.

Its thin wisp of smoke curled lazily into the air.

We walked around the pyre with a burning

piece of wood and lit a handful of kindling at

his feet. We threw a tong of rice on his chest

and started chanting mantras for his soul.

The dry logs began to whoosh and

his flesh sizzled and spluttered as the thick

columns of black smoke rose into the air.

Its ashes flaking off & falling silently near the pyre.

The summer sun turned red on the horizon and

we left the burning pyre to go home.

My small brother was sitting in his chair

beneath the dimly glowing grey oil lantern

hung down from the ceiling of the balcony.

He kept expecting his Grandfather home from farm

pedaling his old axon bicycle with a bag of bonbon

in the basket on the front of his bicycle.

Gopes Niraula, Wokingham

Did you enjoy this poem? Why not visit Maggie’s website at: Maggie’s Centre Nottingham to find out more about their exceptional work and/or make a donation. Do you have a poem you would like to submit to Voices? Feel free to do so by email at: or via the ‘Contact’ page on this site.

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