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Friday, July 31, 2015

A King Finds His Place

Saat Kaman, Pavagadh

There on the horizon
Is a city of sandstone
Yellow and old,
Of riches and gold.

“This is my place,”
A young king says
“That huge fortress,
we must scale.”

Horses, soldiers
Cannons, guns
Fear, frustration
Anger, decisions.

And finally it falls
After twenty months!
“This is my place,”
The mighty king says.

He lays a stone
To build a mosque:
Will be the finest
Of the whole lot.

Palaces, forts
Tombs, stepwells
Gates, arches:
A city swells.

A capital of trade;
Of delicate silks,
Of ripe mangoes,
Of scented timber.

The king beams,
Renames the city
This is his place:

In the hills of Pavagadh,
the ruins of Champaner
Are these stories of
Sultan Mahmud Begara.

Crumbling palaces
Stained mosques
Such fine edifices
That time forgot.

A group of students
A guide they've got
Who tells the youngsters
About how a king fought!

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