sun comes pale pink
rising out of dust horizon
long warm days before monsoon.
Stone and concrete reflect the day’s new light
gold temple tops cast
daytime stars onto this timeless river
people bathing, praying
Dugouts float past
temple bells toll
voices over water . . . hushed.
A trail of laundrymen beat shirts, and sheets and saris
against rocks worn smooth
so many lives ago
no one remembers
songs and whopping
echo down the holy river
Krishna! Whop! Om Shanti! Whop! Jai Rama! Whop!
Vultures soar patiently above us
gliding above blue fog mist
mingling with smoke from burning ghats
along the shore.
The end and the beginning.
Published: Foreign & Far Away – 2013