Song Of The Lone Nomad

He steered into town
From the Elephant Road –
Historical misnomer;
For the locals don’t know
Where ivories go

So kept the tusk-gates open.
He peered from his howdah
With a bowlful of chowder
Atop a crowning dust-cloud;
And vials of musth

Faked from the husk
Of Arctic walrus,
Narwhal or seal.
Opulent earring,
Summer sun searing,

The townsfolk gathered
In wonder and thrall.
His name did not matter
And nor did his platter
Bestowing cassowary galls.

He talked of cladistics,
Gujarati mystics
Seven-feet tall,
Harmonious yoga,
Callisthenics diploma

He kept in a scroll.
Sirenian slaves
And a third murdered charmer,
He talked of mermaids
Braiding a harbour,

Catastrophes, yes,
And distant disasters.
Just as curious as his arrival,
Hostage to his survival,
He departed on plumes of fern,

Turning dirt to marble,
When the district police descended
There was no apprehending,
He crossed alive into Nepal
And left the dead to marvel.

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