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Another Life

With lips, eyes, hand palm gestured fun,

teeth scrubbed, neem greenwood tree twigs grin,

their golden harmony, homespun,

shared joke of wiles as feminine -

no wonder child is mystified.

Will younger, raised in tee shirt age

with images of commerce screen

replace the culture, older stage,

that dress code, robed as if pristine,

from secret wardrobe poverty?

I’ve curled in huts, dung-walled, noon night,

and grovelled, hovels, wattle press,

pig-leather workers, outcast site,

in awe of children’s party dress

amongst the goats, strung mattress beds.

Such vibrant colour, faces kissed,

then bangle rings - mine tourist rate -

no due regard, bone narrow wrist,

so unadorned, my western mate,

the strife, her ridicule, my choice.

Their regal is not where they lay

their heads, or status, wealth, borne caste -,

worn labels of birth, prior days -

but knowing joy, friendship surpassed,

the simple gifts of being, live.

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Alice Carroll
Alice Carroll
Sep 25, 2023

Did you live in India for a while? Your poem is very descriptive.

Stephen Kingsnorth
Stephen Kingsnorth
Sep 25, 2023
Replying to

I spent the summer of 1972 there while a student at Cambridge University - from Delhi to Allahabad and then Calcutta and up north east into Assam, and then led a youth team from the Liverpool area on a visit to Bombay & Pune for a shorter period in 1996. Extraordinary experiences and memories...

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