THE LAST POEM

The saplings sunk in wire cages
where trees once rose
and the trees that shaded the avenue
and cleansed the air
seem part of a larger design
A master plan, not the earth’s
but our masters’

Thus the tree lined avenue
becomes the stump lined avenue
and the sidewalk gutted streets
morph with fanfare
as spare change from the lumber-pocketed cash
buys the saplings that will wilt
in the dust-clogged air

Is this a poem of loss? Or a poem for the lost
The last I will write on corrupt
and derelict Kathmandu

As I peer through the locked
grilled temple gate
looking in on the one who looks
out, in accord with the archeology of saying,
our ill-fated future marking time
as muse, the traceless shadow
in the selfie
that trails me home
is the devil’s own

Along the grand avenue
and at the venues
where the master plan takes hold,
in ornamental pots
tiny firs, their earth torn roots
fertilized with cigarette butts,
shiver in the haze
as the bullet-proof motorcades
gun past

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