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A Prayerflag from Dharamsala

I am dancing tonight in the Kangra valley.

Effigies of the demon king Ravan are ablaze
for Dussehra. Thorn bush dissipates in a flare.

 

Karma, Lobsang and Abishek are quietly
drunk. A smell of wood mingles with grass,
gasoline and sweet clove; the crowd is delirious.

 

Night's skin is adorned with chariots, palanquins
and fizzed with firecrackers. But in temple Rd,
Macleod Ganj, an image of Hu Jintao is doused

 

in petrol, incinerated by Tibetan protestors.
I take photographs with the Reuters journalist,
who is charming, who thinks this is all a joke.

 

Go to Michelle Cahill's profile to read more poems