Nepalese Survivor

Kimtang village is off the beaten track
In this pure land where people are dirt poor

The country is achingly beautiful
Mists drift from sheer-drop waterfalls
Buddhist prayer wheels spin in the crystal air

The Himalayan Mountains are dragons’ teeth
White fangs rooted in green
Fields climb like steps up their steep amphitheatre

The earthquake shook Nepal to its foundation
Toppling homes like toys in a temper tantrum

Now, temples like concertinas creak at crazy angles
Homes are strewn like straw across the roads

Mouth-masked helpers dish out tents and rice packs
The stench of death crawls up from funeral pyres

Where will the poor ones live?
What will become of them when the press move on,
With the monsoon rains so near and corpses leaking?

The rhododendron bushes continue to bloom
The tourists jet away to their safe horizons

In the midst of this sits Mr Funchu Tamang
One hundred and one years old,
Born when the Ghurkhas marched to the poppy war
Twenty three when slaves were banned in his country
Six kings have come and gone
Like ghosts of Sherpas, under his frugal watch

Dressed in a Western T-shirt, bone-tired-weary
He sits in his life’s ruins, facing foreign cameras,
Whilst Western coffers empty their loose change.

by Sheena Blackhall

Comments (1)

I added this one to my favorites list there are few poems that stand out for me and make me feel and this is one of them