Parmath Niketan ashram by the Ganges in Rishikesh was our base for a week after we escaped the 46 degree heat of the Indian desert. In the ashram we rested, ate incredibly healthily and practiced yoga.
Under a tree in the pretty, lush gardens by the yoga school (which is incidentally just next to the World Toilet College) Collette and I took a couple of hours to relax surrounded by the butterflies, colour shifting lizards, tropical birds and insects before we were rudely disturbed by the rhesus macaques. I was writing plenty of poems during the peace of this time and here is one inspired by the garden beasties.
Under A Tree In Rishikesh
Shimmering butterflies’ wings
channel the whim of the gods.
The garden a canvas
for their forever vanishing masterpiece.
Feathery well-wishers sing
in distant trees too,
that this peace I know unfurls in nature beyond.
Articulately, intelligently, fastidiously, relentlessly
a lone black ant
inspects and re-inspects
every blade, sheath and shadow of the grass by my blanket laid.
Cautious. Shifting lizard.
Yogic fingers poised;
her terracotta becomes the bark
‘til monkey kerfuffle cues a dash to cover…
The naughty boys are back in town.
Thank you for reading.
Other poems I’ve written are below: