"Climbing a small Himalaya"
Hashish to hashish,
monk to monkey,
Sherpa Tenzing was no flunkey,
but I wish he was here to offer me a rope
and a yak burger.
They’re beautiful creatures, I’ve seen them
in the town shuffling past internet cafés
like kerb-crawling armoured cars in sweaters, but
Christ, they make me hungry.
Damp-faced, cloud-cloaked, I can only make out
the bottom half of mighty Machhapuchhre,
behind which Chinese guns
wait and wait for their moment,
so I trudge back down
the mountain steps in the white trainers
I’d found in Gay Wayne next door’s dustbin,
back to the Maoist-postered town
where teenagers taunt cows
(is this their sacrilegious rebellion?),
where bearded apes and bald holy men bound
around temples and tourists ease their stomach pains
with strong-smelling, paranoia-triggering cigarettes.