Archive for india

Angrez

I
Blow into my ear Angrez,
Whisper your fears in blue plumes.

Each sound is a place, all is sound sired by
These universal winds.

Does it touch your skin?

From the glow, smoke rises,
From the heart, love escapes.
What pleases such flames?

I’ll take you with me when everything
Is sleeping, leave your legs,
Take those wings.

Leave your body alone and sing your way out
Of the dissonant dream.

Turn this world upside down.
All that sky, in blue eyes.

II
Discard your clothes,
Let your hair turn to rope,
Bury yourself in invisible rivers.
Fast until your bones are empty
And strong.

We must burn to see the light,
We must crack our statue to be free.
To be free, bring the outside, in.

We meet again on that empty road
Where two worlds collide,
We softly spoke to make it real,
We are linked like a chain you and I,
This rosary of lives
And crossing over we cannot part.

III
See the path unknown to science,
Rise like an opening flower;
Bloom, bloom, she climbs within us.

In the pure light we hide,
Up to the crown of our being and
Grace is given.

You are cosmic,
You glow in the dark,
You are untamed,
You are.

IV
When the book of the world is closed,
How can we see?
We must find a teacher to dust our lens,
Clean our ears.
They bring warmth to the rays of the sun
And empty out our form.

Things happen and there we are;
The sky, skies, the ocean, oceans;
In their language beyond words.

It’s a dance we cannot see, but can join
In time, when the mystical non-sense decrees.

Natures gifts pour into us, we are
Fed by the stars and sky, not potatoes.

How can we make an offering
Of what we are?
True love is not a show.

All borders are connections,
In our tears and sweat, the hidden knowledge
That is everywhere, that comes easy
When we are our own creation
And wise to befriend the mute vibration.

——

Angrez – In Hindi, an English or English-speaking white person.

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Images on the Road ’16-’17

Practicing Tai Chi – Beside the Forbidden City, Beijing

I’ve been on the road for over a year; Spain, Italy, Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Greece, Thailand, Indonesia, China, Nepal, India, soon to be Ethiopia (flying visit), Lebanon….. I enjoy taking photographs and I challenged myself to pick a few of my favourite images to show you. I came up with these.  All taken on my Mum’s old phone.

Girls dressed up for a festival – Kathmandu

The Togean Ocean – Sulawesi, Indonesia

Annapurna 1 – Annapurna Base Camp, Nepal

Graffiti – Valora, Albania

One of a Billion Diety – Kathmandu, Nepal

Have a coconut – Pondicherry, India

Green Canopy – Somewhere in Indonesia

Shepherd Family – The Accursed Mountains, Between Albania and Kosovo

Flower Shower – Tiger Leaping Gorge, China

Chai Stop – Mcleod Ganj, India

Books by the Fire – Pokhara, Nepal

Snack Time – Kolkatta, India

Guru Bar – Anjuna, Goa

Incense Offerings – Henan, China

Streetside Art – Lecce, Italy

Mountain Donkeys – Annapurna, Nepal

Little Monks – Kopan Monastery, Nepal

Old Men Gambling – Guangxhi Province, China

Concrete Nightmare – Guangzhou, China

Baba – Kathmandu, Nepal

Home grown Chilli – Longchi Rice Terraces, China

La Azhoia Sunset – Murcia, Spain

Longchi Rice Terraces, China

Meditation – Kopan Monastery, Nepal (Taken by Jase Web)

Monkey Minds – Bins, Mcleod Ganj

Sewing Machine – Kathmandu

Riding Effortlessly on the Great Wall – China

 

 

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Savitri – Sri Aurobindo

I recently visited Auroville, Tamil Nadu, India for the second time, a place I find deeply inspiring.  Auroville is a community envisaged by the sage Sri Aurobindo, a place free of binds to nations or corporations.  A work in progress, a place that strives to embody a new society based on sound ethics and virtue, a positive vision of how we could live in various degrees of harmony.  

I had not read Aurobindos poetry until recently and when I did, felt deeply moved by the potency and diversity of his work. Here are two small exerts from Savitri, regarded by many as his most profound and essential writing.

 

“and he saw like one walking into a dream

some timeless beauty and reality,

the moon-gold sweetness of heaven’s

earth-born child.”

“a few can climb to an unperishing sun,

or live on the edge of the mystic moon

and channel to earth-mind the

wizard way.”

“The two longing to join, yet walk apart,

Idly divided by their vain conceits;

They are kept from their oneness by enchanted fears;

Sundered mysteriously by miles of thought,

They gaze across the silent gulfs of sleep.”

“A marvellous sun looked down from ecstasy’s skies

On worlds of deathless bliss, perfection’s home,

Magical unfoldings of the Eternal’s smile

Capturing his secret heart-beats of delight.”

Namastex

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When the Music Stirred Edward

Edward

Edward

when the music stirs ohio,

streets are on fire,

dancing feet; chi vapours,

child shadow, voices in heads.

 

come dance on the streets,

she moves in ripples,

like child in sand,

come dance with me,

angel come down;

 

there can be no losers in

these virgin moves.

we learn as we burn

by turnpikes we turned right.

we are safe in the certainty of

all the things we don’t know,

staying young and doubtful.

 

the world joins when we dance;

just a touch

in seamless fields

where we love; one motion,

one act, one giant wave in the tears of broken hearts,

broken messiahs and the chronic mission.

 

the mountains moved legion

beneath cracked heels,

after all these revolutions,

ages of tyrants and fate,

dreams still steady as the sky,

endlessly open, endless oceans;

falling! falling! falling! (for something)

never real.

 

mother, please know that

i’m no longer dying,

no longer taking for granted

the storm signs that weathered

my soul,

certain to suffer freely

without remorse.

 

the teachings unearthed were wise grains,

in drums and strings

assured,

one step east

and we recline

in the easy chairs of liberation

(and a full refund with extras).

 

so i wear my make up hard,

life is dressing up,

losing your head and

growing it back again;

falling deeply into grooves,

all components lost and found

to feel silent and humble,

mute models of perfection in

spiralling implications of true beauty

realised.

 

one cloud migrating, no longer strange,

no longer longing, no longer desirable;

just desire, not wanting to pray anymore.

i love this here.

 

my maker, help me to the sun,

i reach for you to become

the stars and forgotten corners,

to be come courageous in the dark,

close my eyes in final peace.

 

i wish you to sweetly dissolve in

one effortless leap of true

endeavour,

a child again, at play,

changing trains in mindless states;

pushing off into never never land

for good.

 

on the road, still far gone,

caught way down the line,

wishful and fearful of death

in equal measure;

 

when i woke as a Burmese monk, in a dream,

i was murdered for what i believe.

a bullet in the brow and I was no more.

 

mother call; to live fresh in now.

down here; into light, into sound.

not turning cold shoulders on love

in this dawn of jilted lovers.

not to feign bliss, fake the freedoms to be found;

but to live immersed

in the higher heart, suffused with soul

and carefree verve.

 

When the music stirred Edward,

many apples came calling

and hope fell (BANG!) from the tree.

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Tapovan (A Collection) – Himalayas, India

Above Rishikesh

Above Rishikesh

Tapovan

Where the great sages

Once sat;

Where now I sit,

A humble scribble.

 

Rest with the holy men

And look to the stars.

 

Narrow windows

Of the soul,

Gleaming eyes

And begging bowls.

 

One and Many Faces

Within the calmest chamber of my heart, I found you sleeping;

Truth flowered from your eyes.

Locked in your gaze I remained breathless

And in your arms I gladly died.

 

Lost in the depths of love, guided by an inner bride,

May we merge these senses, make these revolutions shine.

 

Our silent dance now roars, engulfs all suffering;

Shatters illusory doors, floating on this conscious stream.

 

On the backs of Gods we ride, pilgrims ever set for salvation;

Beyond the temples of twisted mind, all one and many faces.

A Jungle Waterfall

A Jungle Waterfall

2

Fanned by the flame of infinite

Destiny; we are naturally cursed and blessed.

 

Hung in the cauldron of uncertainty, envy grips sincerity.

 

Crude words blot the page,

Sorrow is the cause

For the mountain orchids speak.

 

Nameless Sage

There is a formless forest guru, teak carved and polished clear;

As a tiger stalks and kills, this wooden soul would sit.

Just an old stone wasting no time at all; tendrils for toes, ascending with

Nature.  A rare breed with cloud-like constitution.

 

Given to an internal voyage, of Syrius he claimed soul form.

Now fully merged and fresh ash smeared, elephant hide wrapped tight to his ribs,

His three eyes stare at unity, directly.

 

Deep in the forest, lungs lined with early morning dew,

He talks only with tiny birds and hears of the coming rains.

Living out the depths of truth, where existence is the nectar,

A bliss filled concentration of effortless implication.

 

This heart a humble furnace, the nameless sage

Who charges the Himalayas with stillness,

A tranquil quake of focused purity.

 

Silent Song

In early day the mist has come,

Trees are stirring.

 

There is a deep well of beauty,

Still in time.

 

I hear the river fall

From the centre of the morning sun;

 

To disappear forever,

In silent, silent song.

 

Mandala Void

From out of the void,

A mandala, a body;

 

Something visible where the mind may feast

And fracture.

 

These fragments of burning candles,

The taste to realize;

Sweet mango, fresh chai.

 

White Swans

Rest easy in this celestial session,

Loving all, excluding nought.

 

All religions written in the mental sky.

When it clears, expose the vast light of truth.

 

Infinite the beatitude, god is nothing to fear.

Finer energies exist here, higher powers

We may touch; that we are.

 

Sleepless and nestled in the mothers arms.

Safe to tread the path riding white swans,

Wearing bells.

 

Here or There

Here or there; a fantastic meander,

Wild elephants in fields of sunflowers.

 

At odds with the love we are,

We are sleeping to make new days.

 

Yet all night our lamp

Still burns with grace.

The valley leading to Rishikesh

The valley leading to Rishikesh

Extracts from a collection written in Rishikesh, India, January ’14

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The Poetry of the Bauls

Bauls, the wandering mystics and minstrels of Bengal. Their branch of thought pre-dates even the Rig Vedas; for me their poetry and songs evoke all that is magical about India.

My soul cries out,
caught in the snare of beauty
of the formless one,

As I cry myself,
Night and day,
Beauty amassed before my eyes,
Surpasses moons and suns.

If I look at the clouds in the sky,
I see his beauty afloat.
And I see him walk on the stars,
Blazing within my heart.

I am returning to India in early January and ‘Riding effortlessly……’ will switch from a mainly poetry based blog to being a mainly travelling poetry blog.

Wishing you all a peaceful Christmas time and prosperous New OneX

 

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Ustad Ali Akbar Khan

“If you practice for ten years, you may begin to please yourself, after 20 years you may become a performer and please the audience, after 30 years you may please even your guru, but you must practice for many more years before you finally become a true artist — then you may please even God.”

Ali Akbar Khan

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Goodbye India

Sadhu at Gaumukh, Source of the Ganges

Sadhu at Gaumukh, Source of the Ganges

I’ve had India on my mind recently and dug out this piece of writing, written on an Air Egypt flight as we began our ascent, leaving Delhi far behind in the distance……

Goodbye India
26th August 2011

Goodbye India you cosmic illusionist, you loveable rogue, you raging metaphysical conundrum, you noxious gas and crippling poverty, you glutton, you fiend, you epic lover and timeless dreamer, you warm smiling believer.
You open to all comers, you wanton destroyer of hope, you countless idols cloaked in smoke, you desperate coin collector, you flower neglecter, you pile of burning plastic, you trip the light fantastic, you ever smoking gun, you bootless army of fun, you astronaut, you nuclear force, you lit funeral pyre, you heartless wanderer, you chai sipping trader, you spice baron philanderer, you playing the bamboo flute, you wind that passes between new leaves, you flaying the hay, you knee deep in rice, you who worship statues of cracked clay, you who knows not to think twice.

You river of tears, you quenched dry mouth resonating each year, you electric monsoon, you mountain caressed by light of full moon, you fork of twisted lightning, you dry starving masses, you burgeoning middle classes, you Technicolor Maya, you mango tree admirer.

You white horse wedding, you street sweeping Bedouin, you lucky boy child, you bejewelled blushing bride, you Goddess carried high, you feast ‘til morning light, you hopeless fool, you infinite bard, you wonderful emptiness, you sit motionless in deep bliss, you frenzied urban sprawl, you devout morning call.

You holy cow, you seat of all knowledge, you poetry in life, you path to all wisdom, you Mother, you Brother, you heartless lover, you bathing in a stream, you touch all spaces in-between, you the building blocks of greatest civilization, you the peak of mans endeavour, you the base of all oppression, you the seed of the great pollination, you the sweeping cosmic vibration.

You jagged granite giants, you ragged yet compliant, you Orange clad and defiant, you marauding Elephant army, you archer in the night, you God of war, of fire, of love, of wealth, wisdom, peace, of Buddha, Jesus, Krishna, Shiva…belief.

You packs of Brahmin liars, you blissful mendicant inspired, you wandering sage, you yatra to the heavens, you not of living self, you path to destruction, you cry of newborn child, you doting Mother mild, you open galaxy, you closed book, you at the feet of your master, you who reciting ancient truth, you lost in the forest, reckless and aloof, you not to be understood, you with history drenched in blood.

You reclining lord in bloom, you of vast barren plain, you verdant deep forest, you of old blue tongue, you of forgotten traditions, you of highest ambitions, you tales of old, you colour, you light, you exotic princess reciting incantations to full moons from towers above souks in pale moonlight, you noble prince with sword in hand taming dragons with the flick of mighty hand, you dead in a rotting puddle, you limitless, you of family feud, you of drama, you of moods.

You wanting to be free, you craving for sanctity, you hangman of self, you executioner of suffrage, you monster of man, you demon harbouring lost souls, you hashish delusion, you opium filled lung, you vivid junky exhaling, you living in a cave, you marauder of faiths, you dinosaur, you sloth, you sweet heavenly offering, you street-side proffering, you steam rising from masala, you sumptuous maharajah, you lover on screen, you dancing banyan tree.

You stillness in life, you ever tooting trike, you flashing spinning top, you pilgrim with bells in hand, you prostrate on holy land, you everything touched with love, you temple on a hill, you pristine white dove, you thin desert sand, you the heart of the world, you the future of human-kind, you holding all the aces, you billion smiling faces, you nepotistic clown, you battle weary crown, you embracer of lost cause, you undying, ever glowing, candle in the storm, you lifting us all higher, you confused when rambling forth, you black crystal pond, you resting, gentle, perfect lotus, you India are the mighty force, you India will be the one, you India alone, know the tune to our song.

Buddha in the Himalayas, Langzha, Spiti Valley

Buddha in the Himalayas, Langzha, Spiti Valley

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Fresh Meat – Hampi

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Hampi houses

‘Fresh meat’.

‘Worlds no.1 moulded chocolate chip cookie’.

The signs are all around, but what are they saying. White mongrels howl and an infant throws rocks at calves. Another kid lies in the road, eyes closed to the skies and looking for answers to death, all enacted below a plateau punctuated with wild bush ruby boulder hills. Temples pour out of caves like pious lava flow, heavily decorated with menacing idols and acts of cruelty. Far from beauty or heaven. No strangers to the glorious Greeks, pantheons erected on high hill tops, tall pillars left with no ceilings to support. All built by hands of slaves of Kings, for the Gods who need and all that human greed.

A buffalo with down turned horns eats plastic sheets. Women crash laundry on black rocks in shallow, rapid frenzy. Red clay water holds splashing children afloat in the current. All talking is touched by the glow of a glimmering amber late light show. We are living in the ruins of an ancient empire. Hampi.

Little girl in Hampi

Little girl in Hampi

This corner of India, this slice of pantomime unfolding outside the green and yellows of a rickshaw chariot. A psychedelic theatre, enlightenment burning slowly in a palm shack on timeless plains, where those blue Gods make their moves and suffering burns out cold to the light of dead stars. Impossible to feel the mediocre here. It is banished to the hills like a soulless heretic. The average is fed to Agni and ravaged, engulfed in the dancing flames of destruction and creation, to be re-born in Surrey with a Fiesta. How did we get here? To this point of living?

I hold my breath and India speaks. Telling me at each stage of the mortal coil, death in rage and filth, everlasting joy, odour of decay, visions of cosmic, orgasmic timeless union. Mother India spells out the truth to those with the heart and tunes. The tingle sensation of past lives waltzing over future incarnations.

Hampi streetside

Hampi streetside

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Welcome to India – BBC Documentary

Watch this while you can, it will only be available for a few more days.

A real eye opener for all western types. This is how the majority of ‘us’ live, in poverty.  An incredible documentary about people making lives in the most extreme physical circumstances.

Truly inspiring, the human spirit is a real wonder, our will to survive and prosper is so strong.  I love the part near the end when they are viewing their new home, only ten people sleeping in a small room, a real luxury!

Welcome_to_India_Episode_1

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