Annapurna For Sale
by Alun Buffry (Nepal, 1985)
The calm serenity of Annapurna
Sweeps lazily over the town Pokhara;
People here have more time to smile,
Occasionally to come chat a while.
"Namaste, hello, good morning" they say
Then to business or change money.
Still, at least themselves they try to keep,
Yet their starting price is steep
"American, French, where you from?"
Like the opening line of a Nepalese song,
Which they teach in their local schools,
To say to tourists who like fools,
Are parted from their cash to soon,
As "Better prices before afternoon,
Or "First business I make today with you,
"So if you like one, why not buy two?"
Whether beggars or hallsres or honest men,
Want dollars, pounds or even yen.
As much as mountains beautiful
WE all need a living our stomachs to fill.
"Here we are, no problem way of life,
"Is she your friend or is she wife?
"You want charas or marid-u-are-na,
"Opium, mushroom or brown sugar?"
"What you want buy?", so often heard,
As if just looking is absurd.
It would be good to walk one day,
Without these offers filling our way,
To absorb life's energy so obviously close,
But then that's part of it, I s'pose.