Elephant Walk: Chitwan


Daybreak: a world

cut into

thick cloud and

elephant grass.

We sit lurching

between the two.

Is that tree

or mountain at

the horizon?


Pistol pops nearby.

A mahout is cracking

the head of his steed.

Brown peacocks fly like

regal chickens

to a winter branch.


We argue about tracks.

I see a deer. Tiger she says.

So like our different views of life.


Driver spurs his gentle mount,

kicking at the great wall of ear.

Then his hooked

ankusa bids stop.     

We don’t see the rhino but  

 a mark like three egg cups

tells he has been here.


And tiger too.

The brown man points

to a mud pudge

at the khaki river edge

the size of a child’s head.


Dawn’s earth cloud

renders distance

into a secret

this morning where

dun grass and birds

will soon color

after washing

by the  sun.


I have to pee,

trapped on this moving

throne in this

cold damp splendor

and hope to

make it home

without loss.


Stuart Freyer is a writer and poet living in Williamstown, Massachussetts, USA. For many years he was a surgeon and acupuncturist. A recent trip to Nepal touched him deeply, especially an early morning trek in the Chitwan Valley aboard an elephant. His stories have appeared in Colere, Zahir, Timber Creek Review and other magazines. His latest latest poem will be seen soon in Touch: The Journal of Healing. When not writing, he hikes, bicycles, and tries to improve his tango.