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Mists over Thandiani*

Tonight on the veranda
I behold 
The crystalline hilltops 
Sublimate into an avalanche
Of snowflakes, in turn
Dissolving into the haze
Of silent mists;

Trees stand frozen
Like stiff soldiers
Mantled in unstirring ranks
Braced for some dire consequence

A wolf’s eldritch howl
And night-birds trill their alarm
As the sickle moon
Glides away behind its many veils;

Owl-flights haunt
My dreams now
And your long green hair
Bewilders me with witchcraft.


Thandiani is a hill resort located at approx.9000 ft above sea level in the Hazara Division of the NW Frontier Province of Pakistan. It is surrounded on three sides by dark coniferous forests and these offer a stark contrast to the snowy peaks of the Pir Panjal Range, in Kashmir, to the North-East. Pub 2011

Scott’s Folly
For Tahira Mazhar Ali Khan , RIP (5th January 1925...