Hermitage: Grand Canyon, 2015
by Jagari Mukherjee

Taking in the Grand Canyon
from its South Rim,
slowly sipping a tall hot apple cider
I discover my own hermitage.

The interiors of my being
feel the balm.
Sore splinters of the past find relief.
I build a cool stone shelter
where dream catchers hang from walls
and Hopi dolls fill the shelves.

The nights are lit only by stars
cut into the velvet paper of the black sky.
With sunrise, I worship
the Vishnu and Shiva temple peaks
reddening at dawn.

I stir pink prickly pear syrup
into my coffee, and wonder how I,
(who apparently have nothing),
am the happiest person on earth.

PHOTO: The Grand Canyon by Sojy John on Unsplash

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NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I first visited the US (where my sister lives) in 2015 with my parents. It was our first family vacation after 10 years. We visited several places, but our hands-down favorite was the Grand Canyon. We took a cottage on the South Rim and had the most wonderful time. It was possibly the happiest moment of my life. Even today, whenever I think of the Grand Canyon, I am filled with what Wordsworth calls “the bliss of solitude.”

PHOTO: The author at the Grand Canyon (2015).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jagari Mukherjee is a gold medalist in English Literature, a Best of the Net 2018 nominee, as well as a DAAD scholar from Technical University (Dresden, Germany) and a Bear River alumna. Her poems and other creative pieces have been published in different venues both in India and abroad. Her latest book, The Elegant Nobody, was published by Hawakal Publishers in January 2020. She is the winner of the Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize 2018 for Book Review, Poeisis Award for Excellence in Poetry 2019, as well as the recipient of the Reuel International Prize For Poetry 2019, among other awards. She is a part of the Reviews team at The Blue Nib.