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Sestina: Here In Katmandu

 We have climbed the mountain.
There's nothing more to do.
It is terrible to come down To the valley Where, amidst many flowers, One thinks of snow, As formerly, amidst snow, Climbing the mountain, One thought of flowers, Tremulous, ruddy with dew, In the valley.
One caught their scent coming down.
It is difficult to adjust, once down, To the absense of snow.
Clear days, from the valley, One looks up at the mountain.
What else is there to do? Prayer wheels, flowers! Let the flowers Fade, the prayer wheels run down.
What have they to do With us who have stood atop the snow Atop the mountain, Flags seen from the valley? It might be possible to live in the valley, To bury oneself among flowers, If one could forget the mountain, How, never once looking down, Stiff, blinded with snow, One knew what to do.
Meanwhile it is not easy here in Katmandu, Especially when to the valley That wind which means snow Elsewhere, but here means flowers, Comes down, As soon it must, from the mountain.

Poem by Donald Justice
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