In Gaspar’s Footsteps

Following the routes of kings
Mahmud retraced old steps
Where once a great star
Had blazed & seared lapis skies
Lighting a sacred way
Where rivers hid in rocks
Where hoot owls stared
In blackest nights
And by an icy brook
Cupping cold handfuls
Of truth, like the ancient magi
As if he relived their quest
As if…he too was approaching
A purpose far beyond himself
On a dusty road, a desert way


© 2015 S. Michaels
Along Silk Roads


Old Timbuktu

Here, vast empty sand seas surround
And ages ago salt, gold and ivory drew
Chakrii’s great grandfather to cross waters
Beyond the Sankalakhiri, on Saharan ways
Many thought each time he went
That Channarong might not return
Yet always he returned, bursting with tales
Of things glorious, kings and spires
Skies painted chalcedony and ruby
And still, his tales transform faces
By hilltribe campfires at night
In those calm and golden places
Where old men sit and dream

© 2015 S. Michaels
Along Silk Roads

image: and

In Kathmandhu


Serenity of the heart
Evasive as the slivered moon
Stringed notes on thin air
Falling in lost uneven chords
Falling as tears, then as thunder
Rumbling skies over Ranipokhari
Like the time the elephant trampled
Even now, as Sashulyi listened
Her whole life trembled, a drumbeat
Echoing across a still pond
In search of some lost truth


©2015 S. Michaels
Along Silk Roads


At Kilimanjaro

Adisa, the traveler, awoke
In the curl of the tent
Gasping at a steaming dawn
All civilization in chorus around
Great lumbering gentle creatures
And some of them fierce and bold
Vast plains, grasses, pines, cedars
All fragrant, earthy, & longing for rain
Adisa was named ‘the lucid one’
Yet only now did life seem focused
As if only in this place and Time
He was opening his eyes to see
As Time stood him still as a mountain
He sensed his journey was just beginning


©2015 S. Michaels
Along Silk Roads


Infinite worlds
lay at her fingertips,
her needle landscaped futures
up and down Jindhadaga
sewing rivers in the Ghats,
the great sloping mountains
of her childhood; Only now,
they taught her patience.
Especially during monsoon
when wild rushing rains
tumbled her days
slowing her work to a lull
and she would begin singing
‘This one’s for a wedding’
as a gecko perched on the sill
And she dreamed of her maharaja
And of love, laughing in silence


© 2012 S. Michaels
Along Silk Roads