The Noisiest Spring

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Past the blooming calla lilies

The struggling petunias of the garden  

The iris flowered and gone


Fleabane on stone

Bergenia along still-dry moss.

There must be madness

Of red rhododendron in the woods.


The distant snows shine.

The river water, as we are told,

Is clean, even clear.


A leopard, or was that two?

Wait for the lights to change.

A foursome of deer move

From the rough to the green.

A civet cat not seen

Sets out to examine the marketplace.


 We watch from our windows

As the noisiest spring of the century goes past.

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Author, historian and journalist. He has published seven books on the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh and its capital Shimla and is a recognised authority on both. He has handled assignments for television, including for the BBC, and for the Indian Institute of Advanced Study and various departments of the Indian Government. He writes regularly for magazines and papers in India and elsewhere. He is the state Co-convenor of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage.

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