Tag Archive for 'kathmandu'

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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Losar at Bodhnath 2008

(by Marilyn Stablein, who lived in India & Nepal between 1966 & 1972).

Marilyn Stablein - Losar 2008.

In 1966 travellers from Istanbul to Oxford dreamed of journeying to Kathmandu for Christmas.

Today Western Buddhists, Tibetans living abroad, and indigenous Himalayan Buddhists from Ladhak to Assam make the annual pilgrimage to Bodhnath on the outskirts of Kathmandu to celebrate Tibetan Losar, New Year festivities.

In February 2008, in the dead of winter my daughter Sunita and I set out on our own pilgrimage to Nepal.  Thirty-six years had passed since I lived in Nepal.

Continue reading ‘Losar at Bodhnath 2008′

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Letter from Kathmandu – September 2009

From our war & peace correspondent  Andy Klein who was last there in 1971.

Diggers behind Swayambu - April 2009.Haze over Swayambu - April 2009.Kathmandu is exactly the same as it was in 1969 except it has 3 times the population. There has been very little infrastructure investment; basically the same airport, highways, power grid (the neighborhoods look like Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon; a patchwork of homemade electrical connections at head height), with 3 times the population. The crowds, the traffic, the pollution; the pollution! It would take your breath away. I have never experienced air quality like that before; not in Benares, not in Sana’a, or Istanbul, not even in Ahmadabad. Nowhere else. An urban mess of staggering proportions.

We loved it. The people were the Nepalis of old; great folk.

Continue reading ‘Letter from Kathmandu – September 2009′

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David Tomory – Seasons of Writing

Dave Tomory - London July 2009.

Dave Tomory - London July 2009.

On Friday (24/07/2009) afternoon I interviewed the writer Dave Tomory, author of  A Season in Heaven: True Tales from the Road to Kathmandu – to find out why he wrote the book and whether he had any tips for me with this web site.

As a diligent historian Dave counselled me to read Studs Terkel and work on strict plot lines.  Study oral history and be disciplined. He seemed to be enjoying himself.

Here he is with Rudyard Kipling on the wall behind him.

“I told them, I don’t need your real name, but I do want your real story”.

Podcast Dave Tomory interview (15 minutes 10mB .mp3):

 

Download here:


links:

A Season in Heaven

Remembering the Hippie Trail

Wikipedia – Studs Terkel

Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression

Studs Terkel Dot Org

Sadly – Studs Terkel died 31 October 2008.

Oral History Society (UK)

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