A winter night
That strenuous walk,
slippery path in the woods,
battle with leaches, smell of moss along,
freezing wind of mountain, overjoyed thoughts of venture;
benumbed fingers did not trust the glove I was wearing.
Shelter found in summit was an old outhouse
used by some ancient hermits.
Clogged with cold, negotiating with life,
not even a blanket – to roll my every futile effort
to make a fire –
Die in the damp corner
without a wink of an eye?
Preceding day, overlooking to the valley
from the hills of Panchase found myself in an island
outcropped in the bosom of a white lake of
spread cotton clouds.
Hem Raj Bastola is currently working as a freelance local tour guide in and around Pokhara Valley, Nepal.
He has worked as a Guest Service Agent at the Hotel Pokhara Grande, as a cave guide, inside the cave area for all tourists as well as office assistance in Guptshor Mahadev Cave, as a substitute representative for Sita Travels, as a freelance trekking guide for tourists to the surrounding Annapurna range and as a book salesman in Annapurna Stationary Center.
Hem also enjoys writing poetry, listening to music and collecting stamps.