Dawn on the river dark eyes reflect the sun.

Women pour back water in the stream.

kingfisher errands flash by in the growing light

of sunrise on the Ganges.


The other shore is never far from the city

a few strokes of long oars no more,      

the empty sands of silence

stretch to an horizon of far off trees.


Turn around now There she is -

the holy city, golden temples glowing in the dusk,

mist rising, distant music and the sound

of chopping wood, pariah pyres.


High in the sky a child's kite

spirals down, floats away

forgotten on the flood,

yesterday’s game faded and gone.


Beside the burning ghats at nightfall

dogs await remnants of the pariah's craft.

Breast bone here, a sacrum there, deaths terror absent      

in this professional flame guttering scene.