Adrift, askance, akimbo
the signs point in every direction
yet none compels forward movement.
Once upon a lifetime
I heard a chorus sing
of how the calm
how balance is a force unto itself,
and that grace is internal not imposed.
Sounds expand: night wind rustles the trees,
creatures prowl. Someone on the path below
calls out something unintelligible
to my non-native ears.
On the veranda I sit
wanting knowledge of this place.
Something rustles in the rhododendron.
The birds caw warnings.
The ice melts in my scotch.
In dreams forgetfulness happens only
when new images overtake the old,
explode like shells in Kashmir or Kabul.
I puzzle wakefulness:
The cow rambling unchecked through the Landour Bazaar
the gentle lowing of the water buffalo in the field stub
the golden threads in the blue sari.
— Christopher Sawyer-Laucanno