Canto 92: Visions

An eye for an eye blinds the world

Ghandi


An Unusual Wedding

The echo rings of a strange mystery,
The human cry, the sobs of misery
Of a wild desperate love — defeated — spent
Ada Negri

With Mumbai’s grandest icon all aflame
& government resolve set to sternest,
The chief of police at last defends his name,
“Begin evacuation in earnest!
The enemy
Trapp’d on an upper floor!
Beneath them solemnly, lie casualties of war!”

Our weddings are inspiring
A day to never forget,
Guests were huddl’d from the firing
Like young tuna near a net,
From their miseries retiring
They’d play’d Russian roulette –
Breathless, blinkless, scatter’d in shatter’d rooms –
Nerves shredded, heartbeats leaping at the booms.

The groom was safely led outside,
Eyes blinking in the light,
O how they cried, his sweet, young bride
Stood there in sari white,
Thou’ stain’d with others’ bloodshed, it had been a dreadful night.

Taj Mahal Hotel
November 27th 2008
10.30


Mopping Up

Never will I stop crying
yesterday’s memories will
always linger
Mutabaruka

As Berlin drank the dregs of Hitler’s war
With Allies all-denuding on all sides
The denoument of sixty hours of gore
Closes on two lads with no hope to hide;
Their final stand
Beneath blades heliborne
Sought out by death’s dread hand their manly vigour worn.

A rocket flew into their room
Half-a-second ‘fore demise
That with a flash & crash & BOOM
Blew the brains out of their eyes
‘Twas an instantaneous doom
& as the battle dies
The city streets all beeps & cheering pup
As if Tendulkar had won the World Cup.

They brought ten bodies from the shell
Prayed for the lost rabbi
For when war-hell on humans fell
A few Jews too must die
Like when to Auschwitz Berlin diverted her gas supply.

Naruman House
November 27th 2008
13:00


Inspirations

Always catching the thread
Of actions, histories,
To live, to think, to feel, to love
Boris Pasternak

The glitz, the glamour & the grandiose
Reduced to rubble at that privilege,
Now future tourists shall forever pose
By Taj & Trident as at Arnhem Bridge;
The all-clear sounds,
The hotels are secure,
Namore howling hellhounds must Mumbaikers endure.

While standing in the CST
I closed mine eyes a moment,
Imagining the liberty
Of murderous militant
The escharotic agony
Of scrannel innocent –
My gloomy heart begins to palpitate
Full ruminating on a friendless fate.

I desquamate to sleeper class
Upon the Hospet train,
To slowly pass that mighty mass
Of skyscraper & crane,
Sat fingering my bullet-wound & wincing at the pain

Mumbai
December
2008


Oasis

There are days like that
which sing orange and red
in the forest of our ordinary green
Moya Cannon

As Ghats give way to wide Deccan plateau
Hard is the journey – dusty, hot & dry –
As into view wyrd mounds of boulders grow
Ruin’d pillars that yore-since bouy’d the sky;
An Eastern Rome
Once soar’d amidst the stone,
The great King Krishna’s home now rubble, husk & bone.

This was a place to muse on man
In the ruins of his past,
Far from the world’s tobacco ban
& it’s television mast,
Was this part of a divine plan
Or mortal plaster cast –
Scenery settled in serenity,
A haven from human hostility.

Gliding by graceful coracle,
Serene as English spa,
Aft brief ramble, robust scramble,
Claim summit…from afar
Pastel lustr’d sunsets muster’d oer Vijiyanagar.

Hampi
December
2008


Civilisations

This evening walk deserves a poem.
A plane gleaming over the suburbs
Sinks into the bluish dusk
Semezdin Mehmedinović

As truck on truck announced wide cityscape,
With glassy towers scraping hazy sky,
I hoped immediately to escape,
The modern world where monies multiply;
Where east meets west
This valley silicon
Like some ten-headed beast born for armageddon.

A whirl of British companies,
Thought it better to offload
Its highly taxed dependencies
Sending British jobs abroad
Computerised communities
Spread down the KH road
Eye of the vortex that is man’s progress –
Sports complexes, xerox & western dress.

As I tried to leave the city
The streets were cramm’d gridlock,
Grimy, gritty, slimy, shitty,
Til well past eight o clock
A vision of commuter hell, confusing ragnaraok.

Bangalore
December
2009


Reaching Arunachala

The muse of wisdom with the beauty of creation,
The fragrance of life with the romance of nature,
The vigour of the truth!
Edward Kofi Louis

As busses thunder over Tamil plains
I wonder why my muse has brought me here
Until, out of the misty monsoon rains,
Strange, solitary mountainscapes appear;
Them mystic climb
& one especially
Inspires my mind to rhyme & find good poetry

Arunachala rising red
Mountain of sacred musing,
Upon thy peak I’ll make a bed
& there with future fusing
I’ll sing the visions in my head
Happily perusing
Thro all the written scrolls of things to come
Such as… Chyren took Greece from Pergamum!”

I snapp’d out of that sayer-trance
& stept down from the bus
Into a handsome human dance
Of poori, fruit & fuss,
& faced the mountain as Saint Paul first sail’d from Ephesus

Thiruvannamali
December
2008


Annagalactica

Fashioned to carry the world,
Satisfied with the shape of my nose,
Which should breathe all the air of the World
Bernard Dadié

Peering deep into planetary shift
Blisses man’s mind with Anaxagoras
Seeing events as they sway wide & drift
Thro happening’s full unexpectedness;
Pelagius
Defined the same seer-tricks
As divine Dante does descrying Beatrix.

& so, as strands of time converge,
On a space up in the spheres
Strange visions of events emerge
Far across the span of years
That flicker to & fro & surge
Til nearer each appears –
Strange omens of Jehova & the Beast
& that last battle in the Middle East.

When all these scenes eclampsian
Are driven off by dawn
Some laurel-mantl’d dragoman
On Siva’s sacred throne,
Etching grand mythopoeics, turn two cantos into stone.

Arunachala


Mystic Mountain

While his staff the traveller handles
In his weary journeying,
Thorns may tear his dusty sandals
TG Spear

As busses thunder’d over Tamil plains,
I wonder’d why my Muse had brought me here
Until, out of the misty monsoon rains,
Strange, solitary mountainscapes appear;
Them mystic climb
& one especially,
Inspiring mind to rhyme & find good poetry

Arunachala rising red,
Mountain of sacred musing,
Upon thy peak I’ll make a bed
& there with future fusing,
I’ll sing the visions in my head
Happily perusing,
Thro’ parch-lipp’d patterns as they slow rehearse,
The long resounding march of epic verse.”

I snapp’d out of that sayer-trance
& stept down from the bus
Into a handsome human dance
Of poori, fruit & fuss,
& faced the mountain as Saint Paul first sail’d from Ephesus

Thiruvannamali
December
2008


Lingamica

it is with joy that I sit
here. It is life I hold dear
in the ordinary quiet
Sally Nacker

As I ascend those smooth, bouldering slopes
My spiritus smouldering with desire
All history & all my heartfelt hopes
Kindle fresh sparks of man’s immortal fire;
My lips slow parch
As patterns they rehearse,
The long resounding march of old, heroic verse.

I have reach’d the sacred summit
Oer Thiruvannamali,
With the inkpen of the poet
& a modus of Magi,
Awaiting some untroubl’d fit
Those Deities supply,
To gently come into my feeble breast
& this falconic flight feel it infest.

I sat cross-legged, folded arms,
My third eye opens wide,
Beyond the farms, Pondy’s gendarmes,
The Bay of Bengal’s glide,
Then visions drive deep into space t’where sayer-stars abide.

Tamil Nadu
December
2008

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