Thursday, 13 October 2011


Poem 22 of 230:  HIGH HOUSEBOAT

When in India,
    I headed north
For the Himalaya.

Up, by train then bus,
    To Kashmir -
It was much cooler, thus.

Stayed there on Dahl Lake,
    By Srinagar -
For my tight-budget’s sake.

‘Twas a houseboat room:
    Run down, low cost -
But there I felt no gloom.

A solo mother -
    She had four kids -
Was the floor-manager.

At dawn, her daughter -
    The eldest one -
Brought me food and water.

I washed with bucket,
    Ate scrambled eggs -
As good as one could get.

From Dahl Lake’s shoreline
    To the houseboats,
Canoe trips run just fine.

Day-tripped to Gulmarg,
    And played a round -
As always, kept the card.

It is the highest
    Green-kept golf-course,
And sure is quite a test!

Played another course,
    At Srinagar -
And it, too, I endorse.

For “with-dependants,”
    I should, though, add -
War, sadly, still rants.

(C) David Franks 2003