Less posts of late as we fight off a surprisingly nasty cold-like flu (or flu-like cold) whilst also purchasing property and tussling with a recalcitrant officicial in the power company who is refusing to connect us for lack of a document which they are responsible for providing but insist we must procure!
This morning in my inbox comes a poem from illustrious Irish haiku master:
Dehradun Military Academy
(Motto: Valour & Wisdom).
Papaji takes off his British Army uniform –
he is acquiring military skills
in order to turf the British out –
and dons the robes of a Krishna gopi.
He has spent all his salary
on saris and jewellery.
All night long
he dances with Krishna.
Papaji is glowing.
His commanding officer asks:
‘Has that man been drinking?’
Nuair a dhamhsaigh Krishna i mBeairic Bhriotanach
Acadamh Míleata Dehradun
(Manna: Calmacht & Gaois).
Baineann Papaji a éide airm Bhriotanach de –
scileanna míleata á sealbhú aige
d’fhonn na Briotanaigh a chaitheamh amach –
agus cuireann uime róbaí gopi Krishna.
A thuarastal go léir caite aige
ar shárithe is ar sheodra.
É ag damhsa le Krishna
an oíche ar fad.
Luisne ina ghrua.
Arsa an t-oifigeach i gceannas:
‘An ag ól a bhí an fear sin?’
To which I offer this spontaneously composed response:
The British Raj
The Taj Mahal
Who is ruling whom?
I met a Raj
In Himalchal Pradesh
whose blood has ruled unruly elephants
for centuries beyond number
far beyond the imagination
of any Johnny-come-lately European Imperialist lapdog commander.
Women at the village well
dressed as devis
bracelets anklets jingling
like Vajrayogini the primordial red lady
beggars with dusty toes
and impish importunism
dragging distorted bones
and twisted karmic shards
through unending millenia
beseeching all of us
still trapped in time
clinging to illusion’s sticky amber fixations
to spare a care
for fellow time travellers
mired in the suffering
of taking our dreams too seriously
and interfering with others’
spontaneously arising bliss.
Let Kali dance!
Let her stamp out samsara on the down thrust
and let loose the lotuses of unquenchable passion on the up thrust
let her many arms and legs entwine us all in rapture
as the sun screams across the entire sky
days in instants, years in seconds, kalpas in a few moments.
What care we for the British Raj
we who have danced for kalpas in this way?
Throw Hindus and Muslims into the fire
and dance, siddhas, dance
the true dance of the only true Ganges
as smoke from the funeral pires
blends into dappled overhanging pipal tree leaves
and all our desires lie wasted
as mud in the sacred river
through which contemporary debris
is barely an afterthought.