Dharamsala to Shimla

29 12 2013

‘I witnessed everything…it was so rich I had to select senses’

(Michael Ondaatje, Monsoon Notebook i)

Circular drains belch out torrents of mustard
while fresh streams tumble over lime verges.
A rhesus monkey is umbrellad by a hunchbacked
road sign. SHIMLA 226km

Traffic is moving backwards on this roadriver,
barefoot cyclists peddle by, schoolchildren wade.
Few stores have unshuttered mouths today
but the brown tide probes every jaw with hungry tongues.

There is a boulder in the road. A fallen planet.
An obstinate, unmoveable holy cow. Mud, lorries, life
churn around it. There is a boulder in my stomach,
sandy bile hurries past it.

Everything could be swallowed up by India.
I retch my breakfast into this mess of monsoon.