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If you haven't already, I do recommend you visit Kathmandu. It is a city of incredible, overpowering contrasts: golden statues, and families living in abject poverty side by side. Everyone should visit a third world city at least once in their life, and I've been privileged and humbled to visit/pass through Kathmandu a number of times.

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The doors open to a panoramic view
And it’s as if you gazed upon something new
As the sounds and sights wash over you
Of beggars crying their wares
Of taxis honking their fares
Of monks shouting their cares
And the smell of petrol and cordite
And the stink of a drunken night
And the sweat of a day’s flight
And the cries of the children
‘You have sweet rupee pen’
‘You want buy something then’
The smell of dust and heat and sweat
And you’d long for something cool and wet
But don’t drink the water just yet.
Tibetan prayer flags flapping
Dust in streets swirling
And the sun in hot streams scorching
The Sandu with orange blossom smile
Offers you his blessing while
Asking with rapacious style
For Nepalese rupee
‘Blessing not free
To those not in poverty’.
A family sleeps in the shadow
Beneath adverts for a western cash cow
And it sickens you to wonder how
The street children of Nepal
With begging hands below the wall
Are forced into prostitution and all
The temples here have statues of gold
And the people don’t live to get old
But that’s just the mysteries of this place untold.
Cows lay down in the road
A tuk-tuk roars past with a heavy load,
As you set out upon the pock-marked road.

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from Sorrow Works: A Collection, released August 3, 2014

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Steven C. Davis

Steven C. Davis is the author of Cornix Sinistra and Armageddon Angel, a pair of apocalyptic science fiction novels set in a series of alternate Readings.
He is the co-author of The Heart's Cog Imperative, a dark and twisted Steampunk adventure tale.

www.tenebroustexts.com

He is also a poet and the presenter of the GASP radio show.
He lives in Berkshire and makes a damn fine chocolate cake
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