Tag Archives: travel

Bench

Hurry your eloquent passion

Time slicing devisor of measures

Breathing’s an act of deliberate intention

Dancers like you touching ground

Leave no trace evidence for eyes

Resting comes soon with practice

A bench to contemplate grace

Warmed by hours in afternoon sunlight

Twilight arrives with patient treasure

Gathered from days of the world

Guide

There are no tourists now

No trekkers following close behind

No hikers underestimating the distance

Overestimating their stamina or agility

Almost a whole year’s income forfeited

The guide paces his village

His friend, porter when they’re on the trails

Leading the curious from around the world

Over steep mountain passes

Counselling on how to safely pass a Yahk caravan

Returning from a trading journey in Tibet

Designing routes to accommodate trekkers’ demands

Limitations or schedules or delays due to altitude sickness,

is anxious too but not so anxious as the guide

Who thought he could endure month after month at home

Being a grandson a son a husband a father a farmer

Stationary

His friend says we will rebuild and we will soon again traverse

High mountain passes through Langtang, Annapurna, and the mighty Manaslu

We will stand at the edge of the world and watch the clouds fill up

the depths of Kali Gandhi Gorge at Khopra Ridge

They will return and we will guide them again, my brother

But the guide is inconsolable

He retreats into himself and does not eat

No one will remember us he tells his friend

The world is afraid of us now

The trekkers are gone forever and we are nothing

In the West, we do remember

Two humble young men who became guardians

To us in an unfamiliar and perilous landscape

Its spectacular natural beauty eluding capture

In photographs, its vistas defying description through mere words

Two who educated who held us when we ran out of breath

Whose patience coaxed us to the survival side of our trepidations and fears

Whose care and kindness effected permanent changes within us

We do remember

With a bond borne of gratitude and love

And upon receipt of our nominal gift the guide sends his quiet message

Namaste. Thank you, mama and papa, for thinking of us

It’s so strange having no work when we are always ready

But you are right maybe

We will all somehow make it through to 2022

One day maybe we will again see you

I read his words through a blur

And hope somehow that distant dream might come true.