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Ustai Ustai Tara Farak – Same Same but Different
Sitting on the roof of the clinic watching the sun set-
yellow-orange streaks of light wash the hazed sky
through dark gray clouds rising from behind
ancient Asian green hills loafing,
forming a soft wall to the west of our plateau.
the colors of red and brown clay bricks
shelter people with an uneasy contentment
sitting, casting shadows in their one-room homes
Buddhist and Tibetan flags wave
in a sea of steady warm breezes from the sub-continent.
the certain but soft notes of a distant trumpet player
waft through the valley
complementing the occasional hum of motor-bikes,
the warning song of large black crows,
and the laughter of monks chasing a floating frisbee.
I close my eyes and feel the comfort of home –
wherever it is, whenever it is…
I am here now and nowhere else.
a soft drop of cool rain on my thin warm pants
returns me from my slumber
to watch the tops of trees dance with their waving leaves
open hands grasping each wet gift from the heavens.
a soccer ball being dribbled in the dirt alley below
catches my wandering gaze:
a young boy entices his even younger brother
to guard a make-shift and imaginary goal
as a pack of vagrant dogs choose the victor
with guttural groans and uneasy dancing
a black and red bird sings to
harmonize with distant packs of homeless dogs
and the melodic tone of an approaching micro.
a cat lazily approaches and joins me on the roof
as the sounds of the Puja rise from the Gompa next door
the horns, drums, and chanting bring me back to the roof
reminding me of tomorrow –
more people to treat, more lessons to teach
and more importantly…
Greater lessons to learn of compassion, kindness, patience