Shapeless

Lives lost as lives often are, He stared across the dimly lit Cityscape as he reflected on The poverty of the soul That had recently stopped His otherwise flawless sprint Through the tall grass And wild flowers. In another life, another time, Or so it felt now, so distant, Happier days with a wife Who […]

Read More Shapeless

The Reindeer People

In the northern reaches of the Mongolian taiga, there live a group of nomadic herders, known in Mongolia as the Tsaatan, or “Reindeer People.” For a project I did with other Peace Corps volunteers, I was able to travel and live at their camp for a good 10 days. Reaching their spring and summer camps […]

Read More The Reindeer People

Valuable

Friendly eyes and modern shoes, Her hair is lines drawn by An architect’s hands on white paper. She buoys like foamy waves Across a grassy ocean current. This woman heralds spring with Butterfly kisses to the sky And the gentle ring of the bells She hangs from iron in her throat. Her story isn’t from […]

Read More Valuable

No Name

Mongolians have many combinations for the names they choose, but sometimes, a name crops up that takes you by surprise. A Russian teacher at my school recently switched to teaching English, and I never noticed her name too often when I first got here, mainly because she didn’t work with me directly. Her name is […]

Read More No Name

Remembering 2012

I’m not one to do retrospects, but this past year proved particularly challenging for a particular community I am a part of. I’m a graduate student at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, one of the greatest graduate schools with an international focus in the world. It is an honor and privilege to study with […]

Read More Remembering 2012

Erdenedulam

She’s the first one up And the last one to sleep, In charge of rustling Unruly adult children To make sure all that needs To be done Gets done So it can be done Again the next day. A black tank top under Baggy windbreakers with White stripes down the arms, A hat two sizes […]

Read More Erdenedulam

Happy Birthday, Chinggis Khaan

First, there is something to be noted about the man’s name. Many of us in the West know him as Genghis, while he is most assuredly Chinggis in his homeland. Why? Well, you have to look back at the chroniclers of his life to understand why. Rashid-al-Din wrote an important history collection called Chronicles, and […]

Read More Happy Birthday, Chinggis Khaan

Happy Man

Continued from Picnicking. We finished our sheep, and I was beckoned by a Russian teacher. “We go now.” I gathered my things and followed her and a few others to their car. A large man in a baseball cap came with us. He was enthusiastic about speaking with everyone. He gave me a spirited “Goodbye!” […]

Read More Happy Man