Stone Guard [Free Verse]

arrayed in pairs,
mythical guardians
stand aside a stone staircase

the tourists seem
undissuaded by the figures -
be they freakish, grotesque,
or mean

the most dismaying of them
may be the ones with a
warm, polite 

and a lion's body

POEM: Joker, or: Disruptive Forces

Among the brick rubble, down a side street from the temples encased in spiky, cuboid scaffolds, next to a bulging wall bolstered by beams knocked in at a slant, someone painted this graffiti of Heath Ledger’s Joker.

I stare at the maniacal face and can’t help but wonder whether someone painted it in the seven years between Ledger’s portrayal and the 2015 earthquake that broke Bhaktapur, or whether it’s a commentary on disruptive forces.

DAILY PHOTO: Puppies and Goats of Bhaktapur

Rubble Puppy


Temple goat


Dog disappointed with a package


Goat resting on a plinth; Taken in May of 2018 in Bhaktapur, Nepal

DAILY PHOTO: Nepali Eyes

Bhaktapur, Nepal; Seen on a cable spool


Taken in April of 2018 in Bhaktapur, Nepal; Bas-relief on door frame


Kathmandu; On a pillar at the base of the stairs to the monkey temple (Swayambhunath)


Kathmandu; Minor stupa


Kathmandu; Near Kathesimbu Stupa, I believe


Kathmandu; On the [in]famous Freak Street