ON THE BACK OF THE HIMALS

 

Seeing walls fall and windows disappear,

tells me to bow down and praise sky to the cliff,

and with cloistered force expel the air from my lungs

O, entrenched sadness of wall gone missing

and door that no longer recalls if it opens

inward or out. Praise to the horizon

that knows no difference, praise for the village

anchored on the back of the Himals,

its voices rising with wind-scoured mantra,

its faith known through sun-bleached Mani stones

With hands lifted, weightless: the mountain

offers this tattered scarf of snow

With eyes raised, eyeless: the village

this scant light crucified,

these butter lamps, rifled by the winds

With legs, guts and spine, on heels,

swaying, with arms reaching,

let me join you to string these prayer flags

through the gaps

in our twice battered hearts

 

(in memory of the village of Langtang,

buried in the Great Nepali Earthquake April 25, 2015)

 

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