Back to
Trek View on Nepal: Himalayan Studies Gap Year Semester with Where There Be Dragons

A poem!

The sounds of the universe


My hajur amma has a laugh that takes its time bubbling out of her chest

She sits in the corner of the kitchen spewing streams of Nepali to no one in particular,

often falling asleep with her head tilted forward

as if in prayer

The sounds of the universe invite me to sit down close to her,

to sit down close to her soul

and listen

I hear the sounds of the universe in her when I bow towards her,

hands clasped

as she tells me


go slowly, my child

The sounds of the universe weave themselves into evenings as Bodha,

as we drink cheap black tea and

soak in the exotic energy of the stupa from the roof

They propel me through this place, singing as my pants collect the dust of the streets,

while my eyes collect whirling clouds of



and gasoline

They howl as fading evening light blends into the sky like buttermilk,

pulling at the dregs of the earth and

inviting the stars to come out

and dance

I feel their rhythms in the fluid chaos of jumping on and off of buses,

and in the way that “sanchai chha?” rolls off the tongue

The sounds of the universe soar and thunder

they wrap us all up and sing in a chorus of tones

When they speak to me, I know that

I am alive