Gargoyle 9cover drawing by Ashby Northpublication date 3/23/1978
The Raja of Lambragoon drinks tea with
his newest wife on the porch
of their summer palace.
The Raja sits with legs crossed,
the medallion on his chest swinging.
He tells her stories of the tribal wars
of his ancestors.
Of Kangra Valley in spring, with
fields blooming white, and yellow
birds in the trees.
As the arms gesture size, his eyes watch
her eyebrows through steam
for the slightest movement.
She rises silently from the
golden material of her sari,
holding the teacup with white fingertips.
A veil covers her long black hair,
and as she moves the cup
bangles on her arms ring
like far off holy bells.
Workers cut chaff in the fields below.
They sever each bunch with quick precision.
Seeds are sorted by a squatting old
woman, who gazed at the sun, shining
purple behind the mountains.