Nepal:  Desert.  Stones strewn across the dry riverbed.  The surrounding mountains climb to jungle, then to snow high above.  The wind funnels down the valley, driven from the sun and the towering mountain peaks.  An ancient trading route follows this valley, the deepest in the world.



India:  A train whistle, dies off echoing through the train station and down the tracks.  Another long, shrill whistle trails off.  The locomotive springs to life, heaving against inertia, building momentum.

Nepal:  Bathed in blue mountain sunlight, long-haired horses, yaks and donkey trains plod the cobbled paths.


India:  Humped prehistoric priests of the desert,

the nomad's potent-breathed companion,
the camel.






 Wise elephants, painted and patient.  Cows - Holy pedestrians meandering about at ease or relaxing on crowded streets.



Holi, the festival of color.

Holi cows, Holi goats
and Holi faces,

sprinkled spattered
powdered brimming and beaming
with screaming yellows,
metallic blues,

deep reds
serene greens.



Billy goats bleat, lamb bells tinkle, stars waver in open desert sky.  Smells mix and mingle – flower garlands ... garbage ... spice ... crowds ... incense ... acrid fumes from auto rickshaws ... essential oils ... heavy smoke and human ashes from a funeral pyre ... plants in the rain ... the sweet scent of an offering.


Meherangarh Fort, a red sandstone edifice that rises out of the blue maze of stairways, rooftops, alleys, temples, courtyards and clotheslines that is the old city of Jodhpur, the Blue City, situated in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan, India.  Rain darkens a rumbling horizon, and a cannon on the ramparts stands watch for centuries-old marauding Mughals.  Music, hammers, children playing cricket, distant horns of bustling traffic and a train whistle all waft up the sheer fortress walls.



 Rain, like gentle radio static
Growing, moisture puddles splashing
Trickles down the glass
defracting the light across the street,

across the road,

across the path.

A voice in my head
in the song

across the way in the

taxi            chai shop

           tape shop     rickshaw

Water drips, tin roofs leak,

Life is drenched and cleansed.


It's raining these days, in the dry season in a desert.  Locals complain that it's just enough to make everything muddy, rather than the total cleansing that comes with the monsoon rains.

A light rain drums a mellow, sporadic rhythm through the afternoon.

One warm evening after a downpour I walk through the muddy streets of the old city, teeming with activity.  Suddenly a blackout plunges the neighborhood into darkness, searing the image on the mind's eye.  Shadows and silhouettes, the buzzing activity continues playfully.  Generators sputter to life, illuminating a patchwork of the regular wall of shops.  Blackouts are common, and society adapts.