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In the land where clouds sit between the mountains,
Where bamboo groves ring with the insect song of claves,
Where clouds stroll in and out of valleys like smoke up the chimney, or under the doorsill,
Still the smoke of the wood-fired hearth crosses the path among the bamboo groves.


The Brahma Kamal is a rare plant of India that blooms for only one night each year.

A dome of petals
hangs
like a street lamp.
Underneath
her fringed globe,
traffic comes to a halt.
Only the high-pitched ping
of a monsoon frog
pierces the dark.

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Alongside the Delhi runway
where flying birds dodge
the wings of planes,
egrets and peacocks, pacing,
barely acknowledge
the take-off of the Dreamliner jet:

while green grows the grass,
come what may.


First the straw, then the seed:
Dark soil hides the seed like buried pirate’s gold.
One day, the seedling stretches its neck to pop
through the tiny seedcoat. First the water,
then the light, draws the seedlings up through soil
like needle piercing canvas.

Among green and yellow stems,
wind and bee disperse the pollen.
Next, sun draws the grasses green
until her heat shades them yellow.
First the scythe, then the straw
to overwinter in the barn.