Published: Gaze

While on creative retreat in Nepal, I became friends with the excellent poet and publisher, Yuyutsu Sharma. Not long ago, he called me up and asked if I had a poem about my experiences in Nepal for his journal, Praktik. I’m very happy with the result:

Gaze

Paragliders like fruits flies gather
around a monsoon-ripened Fewa Lake,
or like colorful clippings from a celestial’s toes
catch in the sky above Mount Sarangkot.
All morning they’ve shimmied up a single thermal
whooping, crowding out the brown eagles,
a pilot and his single tourist cargo
bundled together the way twins might
as delivered by a cartoon stork.
Many, I’m told, have come just for this,
taken detours from Lhasa and Kathmandu
to be hefted at last upon another’s shoulders
and carry off armloads of this Himalayan sky.
How their eyes must drink the miles, the
blue haze spun from Machhapuchchhre.
How digestible must look dusty Pokhara,
its corner banyans heaped and leafy,
its sundry shops arrayed just so, all in reach.
How comforting the whole world must seem,
in that allotted hour when country softens
into shape, into color, when rocked and
swaddled, a man might let his own head loll.

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