I am walking down the hill at Samar
How many ghosts around me—countless—they’re everywhere, benevolent, no one
pushy, scary, just happy, it’s a good place.
I could die here.
My legs feel like they could carry me for days without stopping, I am a walking sapling tree, my limbs that strong and supple, arms swinging,
tensing and releasing of muscle and sinew on bone.
I am walking down the hill at Samar along the creek, coming down from the temple at the top of the hill, headed down to the guesthouse.
I have prayed, contemplated
Given thanks for everything I could possibly think of and then empty headed sat and sat some more
On the cushion, sat and sat breathing. Still breathing. A fly idles by.
Chanting with fingers, braille mantra, sliding fingers over mala beads
Om Ah Hung Benza Guru Padme Siddhi Hung
The taste of sitting meditation a sweetness on my fingertips I press to my lips—flavor of beads, of dirt and skin.
The taste of tea served to us by the temple monks lingers in my mouth;
Of course! It’s endless—the tea. You hear this from travelers and it’s true, so true. Sometimes, it’s not drink, it’s food, it’s all we eat. Holy sustenance.
Butter tea, milk tea. Tea, tea, tea. Chai. Nepali tea. Masala chai, ginger tea, mint tea.
With sugar? Chinni?
Tea? You would like?
Questions spoken with tongue with eyes with hands,
dented tin, lively colored thermos suspended over cup, steam from mouth of thermos, mouth of cup. Mouth of me sings praise of tea.

So full, so rich, so happy
wondering—have I died already?—no, nope, still breathing
Breath returns slides up my nose of its own accord, breathes me
Yet. yet…yet
Dead I would need nothing else but this place, her ancient holy water, cold and hard-blue flavored—safe to drink? I trust and try; it is: liquid metal so cold
Samar sun: white, so hot—shimmer of heat—Samar,
Red Earth, her soft red dirt, her small trees, small horses, small village…my small self, my ghost self surrounded by giants
I could die here, yes, and that would be that
Dust to dust
So full, so rich, so happy
Kaligandaki goddess blood carving gorge forever deeper, slowly, steadily into the mountains, wearing away at their bones…
rarified air shimmers in the sun, the veil visible it parts–a fine lace curtain between the worlds.
All those faces smiling on both sides.


  1. can’t wait for part 2…

  2. Clemma Dawsen

    Pt. 2 is up! also a short video, scroll down to find!

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