Frozen Pilgrim

Beleaguered god-men in saffron lined the holy river
the mountain road exposed dusty hillocks with tourist-infested tea stalls
the journey persisted; the forests grew thicker, the path grew thinner
Lohajung waited in silence.

The lush meadows with their untamed lichens glowed under the mid-day sun
by nightfall the earth was blanketed with white blossoms.
The mules ran about, braying wildly across the freezing night,
the brass bells ’round their necks played an eerie rhyme.
Bedni Bugayal witnessed summer snow.

a friendly moonbeam peered through a crack in our trembling plastic abode.
Nandaghuti glistened as the stars coquettishly conversed.

In the darkness, the snow leopard left his print on the virgin glacier.
polar mist scattered haphazardly across the winter dawn
The frost-bitten morning greeted blushing peaks
Ali Bugayal appeared garlanded with pearls.

The statued goddess stepped out to inspect her reflection in Roop Kund.
To quench her thirst a lovestruck warrior had once shot a single arrow.
The earth split open and sweet poison flowed interminably.

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