Archive for the 'Poetry' Category
(Introductory Note: This tale is part of an ongoing series of prose poems based on actual dreams first recorded in 1968 when I lived and studied in the Himalayas for six years. The series titled Night Travels to Tibet conjures the surreal and crazy juxtaposition of eastern & western cultures, people and events.
At the village chai shop, the chai-wallah, tea-maker, churns a pot of salty yak butter tea. He serves me where I sit on carpet on the floor. Then he adjusts a knob of some kind.
Suddenly we’re airborne. The carpet cruises out the door and hovers three feet above an ancient caravan trail. The driver struggles to gain altitude then halts at a stop sign.
“Don’t stop. Take it higher,” I urge. “Cut loose! Fly like Aladdin on his magic carpet! He never stopped for signals or hovered in traffic.”
When I look down at the carpet I see the problem. It’s ugly! Instead of a beautiful Oriental Persian carpet I’m sitting on a cheap shag rug. It’s not even square or rectangular, just a frayed coffee-stained remnant of the cheapest polyester wall-to-wall gray shag torn in an odd shape.
Just my luck, I think, stuck on a low-flying funky shag remnant cruising slower than an ox cart. We’re barely skimming the ground. I can walk faster in my sleep.
A special collector’s signed and numbered edition of seven dream-inspired tales, More Night Travels to Tibet, printed in Nepal on handmade lokta paper, with Tibetan woodblock prints from the author’s collection, is available online at http://www.marilynstablein.com/#!artist-books/ch1q
“Delhi, plegaria insomne” means “Delhi, sleepless prayer”. Here are three poems in Delhi settings (one in Spanish & two in Hindi with Spanish subtitles), enjoy!
Alan Meller & Rosario Concha are the first ever Chileans to study at Indian Universities at post-graduate level; Rosario recently completed her Masters in Sociology at Jawarhalal Nehru University, Delhi, while Alan is still working on a Ph D at Delhi University, comparing modern Indian & Spanish Literature.
They are not your ordinary University students! It took them years, applying from Santiago, to be accepted at these prestigious Indian Universities.
I was fortunate to meet Alan & Rosario in Vashisht Village, a place they visit regularly, taking the long winding road up into the Himalayas from Delhi.
Alan Meller wrote: “Maybe I would include two references about this video. One is that we worked (production, camera, sound and editing) with the Sri Aurobindo Centre for Arts and Communication (New Delhi) and the other, that the two poems written in Hindi (the one in the temple and the one given in paper in Jama Masjid) were translated by two teachers from Delhi University”.
(poems/video copyright Alan Meller & Rosario Concha 2011).
Jama Masjid (Wikipedia) “The Masjid-i Jahān-Numā (the ‘World-reflecting Mosque’), commonly known as the Jama Masjid of Delhi, is the principal mosque of Old Delhi in India. Commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, builder of the Taj Mahal, and completed in the year 1628 AD, it is the largest and best-known mosque in India. It lies at the origin of a very busy central street of Old Delhi, the Chawri Bazar Road.
Sri Aurobindo Centre for Arts & Communication New Delhi “Started in 2003, the Sri Aurobindo Centre for Arts & Communication (SACAC) is an autonomous non-profit institution for creative learning in arts and communication. We are a unit of Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry”.
Delhi University (Wikipedia) “is a central university situated in Delhi, India and is funded by Government of India. Established in 1922, it offers courses at the undergraduate and post-graduate level”.
Jawarhalal Nehru University (Wikipedia) “also known as JNU, is located in New Delhi, the capital of India. It is mainly a research oriented postgraduate University”.
‘The tongue of a water buffalo is big & covered with straw’
This 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,
a 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”).
The first corpse of the morning
is a priest
burning on a sandal pyre.
His wristwatch ticks hypnotically
conjuring the frankincense
three wise men offered Christ.
Forgiving mankind’s sins
so we might opt for freedom
if we dared…
shedding the tax on our flesh
as a serpent leaves skin…
continually becoming what was inconceived
At the time
when the veins on the back of the hand
first cast a shadow
the monk goes out
each day to beg.
At the moment
touches the horizon
he shaves his skull
(hair, beard and eyebrows)
At the point
when his thinking
is muddied by his lust
he spends a season
in the charnel field
and lends a hand
at odd cremations.
Ritual consumes belief
that no thing is forbidden.
God’s a corpse.
The abstract only
manifest as fiction.
holds the species in thrall
and politics is chosen first
Vultures spiral heavenward
through clouds of human smoke.
warms his hands
on the burning cadaver.
Peter Monk 1988