Archive for the 'Images' Category

Shivaratri 1979 by Ira Cohen

‘The tongue of a water buffalo is big & covered with straw’

Shivaratri 1979 by Ira CohenThis is a big poem full of tourists  & cameras set on tripods,
this is a poem seen from bamboo scaffolding of the Golden Temple’
a poem with one hand reaching up out of the earth counting on a rosary—
This is a poem of lost children looking for money.
a poem trying to hold a split bag of rice in a moving crowd,
this is a poem burning like charas in the pipe of a friend,
a poem of Shivaratri carried on staggering legs to see the king,
this is a poem striving towards the light sparked from the heart of Basudeb,
this is a poem which wants to tie itself around your neck like the skinny legs of The Man of the Sea—
this is a poem interrupted by elephantiasis,
this is a poem leaning against a temple wall drawing energy from the sun,
this is a poem smiling with no nose,
a poem reluctant to sing,
Ira Cohen in Kathmandu 1978-1979a trident of a poem aimed at your pineal,
this is a poem of pilgrimage,
an offering of struck bells to a dead dog in the river—
This is a poem looking down on pagodas,
this is a poem waiting for opium.
this is a poem of suicided sadhus
surrounded by trees in a foreign land,
anonymous as the voice on the loudspeaker,
this is an anonymous poem covered with birds….

(george farrow scanned the poem & wrote: “108 copies of this poem were published by Ira on hand made Nepali rice paper. I still have two copies given to me by Ira at that time”).

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Idiots! In the Land of the Gods!

Perhaps this site should be subtitled “Idiots in the Land of the Gods” along the lines of Dostoevsky’s Prince Myshkin and others of that venerable lineage of literary lunatics. The Idiot - Fyodor Dostoevsky

The innocent; the obsessed; the intoxicated; the stoned; the lovers of life; the runners from reality; the addicted; the self-important; the self-styled; the gurus; the shishyas; the chelas; the ticket-less; the visa-less.

The ones who threw their money away every evening so they’d start each day with nothing; the ones who walked barefoot from Europe to India, without passports, detouring around every border post on foot.

Those who hired horses and became Afghan tribesmen for the duration, bought the horse in Kandahar and sold it on the Khyber Pass for a small profit.

The ones who walked from Kathmandu to Thyangboche monastery past the base of Mount Everest and became wood-block printers until the rainy season drove them back. Thyangboche Monastery c1964.

Barefoot babas; naked nagas; on the ice to Badrinath & Kedarnath shivering intoxicated in rude blankets and chillum smoke.

How to tell their stories; how to listen to them? What will be lost and what should be retained?

Credits:

Fyodor Dostoevsky – The Idiot

Thyangboche Monastery – FAO

Links:

Wikipedia – Thyangboche Monastery

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Sorting the Gallery

Added some Kumbha Mela 2001 photographs.   Would like to know who is in them?

Cleaned up the display of images, hid the searchable  keywords and generally improved the user experience.

Still need a header image – something bright and flowery. Maybe I’ll chopshop the opium poppy image.

Poppy Flowers

Poppy Flowers

What do you think?

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