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Bewildering Stories

Wendy Holborow, Janky Tuk Tuks


Janky Tuk Tuks
Author: Wendy Holborow
Retailer: Amazon
Date: October 4, 2019
Length: 80 pp.
ISBN: 1697334199;

Live Like a Mouse

Ganesh's elephant head makes him easy to identify. He is the deva of intellect and wisdom.

They say Ganesh has large ears to listen,
a button mouth to speak little,
his huge hanging belly to collect
and store information and knowledge.
They say Ganesh has tiny eyes,
like that of a mouse
to pin-point this particular time
living only in the moment.
Our bellies protrude with fat
our mouths too often unbuttoned
our ears assaulted by sounds
our eyes salted with tears — delve into the past
plan the future


peacocks herald monsoons
elaborate tails grow and spread
discerning a difference in the air —
the land astir, rouses
from a prolonged sleep

yellow skies and the sun shifts
to shades of lavender

lightning thunder
a leaden band of louring clouds
like a dam primed to burst
and rain like chair legs
lashes the land
cries in every crevice
crushes scent from flowers

people vacate houses
where rain pummels tin roofs,
floods verandas and courtyards
or step out of sweltering cars, lift faces
to the pelting rain, relish every drop

rain triggers lush new growth
fresh pastures for wildlife
cows and dogs and pigs no longer
scrabble the streets to drink.

The Yamuna river swells
purls away
into purple dusk
as water buffalo cross in the shallows
where displaced sandbanks
have changed the contour
of the river and the land.

In the morning margin of sky
a blush dawn bursts on the warmth
of swarming-insect buzz
wild boars wallow in accumulated mud
but the onslaught of floods is feared.

Glamping With Hippos

I’m glamping on the shores of the Nile
at the precise point hippos leave the river
each night to graze.

In daylight, it is tranquil, enchanting,
miniature islands of vegetation glue along
the water’s flow

sun-mirrored river, breeze-stirred trees
tweed smudges of elephants on the opposite bank,
and after the roke

darkness descends with sudden abruptness,
yet all around it’s in motion, has shapes,
emits sounds.

A huge storm – sheet lightning swells my room,
an abstract thunder booms, a rebellion of rain
though muffled on the tuft of thatched roof.

It is possible for baboons to clamber into the bathroom,
for snakes to slither over the half walls, for hippos to cant
the tent to one side — m’aidez.

Two minutes after retiring, the grunt and huff
of hippos, lumbering and squelching
on the grass outside my tent

and I am too nervous to look, because
if I can’t see them I can pretend they’re not there,
so close, so dangerous.

Copyright © 2020 by Wendy Holborow

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