Saturday, July 30, 2016

monsoon series

Rain at night

the moon is bright in the sky
and the rain falls
like leaves of autumn
with faint murmur
on the soft grasses

she is sleeping in her house
spread-eagled
sidewise
caressing her pillow
or she is reading Anna Karenina
and weeping
intermittently,
between the pasges,
not because Anna dies
running under a train
because she is reading
the same book
i used to read—had made decrepit
in many such nights with her

and here it’s raining
Soft falls the cadence
on the concrete floor outside
and I am listening—watching.
this rain is different rain,
rain in the moonlight!
soft slivers of the moonlight
dissolve in the rain
& now it’s difficult to
say if it’s the rain falling

or strings of light
drooling
from the soft
lips of this night that
separates us

but on nights like this
we would sit together,
drink dark coffee
and listen to Bryan Adams,
and I would read Anna Karenina
and she would weep,
she would read Lolita
and I would crouch forward
to pluck a rose
from her soft lips
or steal a pearl
of dreams from her eyes.
but that was long ago.

this night, it is
raining,
And vast and lonely,
and maybe she is reading
anna Karenina seated
beside a cold hearth
where silvery cockroaches
make desperate hauls to and fro
and suddenly
lovely Anna,
anna she loved as much as she loved me,
goes under the train,
dies,
and she weeps
alone
she weeps not because Anna dies
but because an age has to die
she weeps for her old tears,
dear old tears
of night like this one

Few words
Spare for me a few moments
& I will tell you a few things
(If you’ll listen to them)
The stars are high
Cast forlorn in the fathomless
Darkness of the
Sky,
The wind wantons in the weeping woods
And I am breathing the darkness
(and if you will listen to me)
I want to say
Spare for me a few moments,
Just sit beside me,
Speak nothing,
  Just breathe
Even as I am breathing,
Even as this night is breathing
Breathe this darkness

Life hangs on a string of breathe

And now when the stars are all alone
In the vastness
Of the empty sky,
When there is silence
You and I
Forget the whats and whys
And hows of this life
Just be even as the stars are,
Silent and attentive.
The universe is a part of your soul
and I will tell you a secret
                      An endearment
                              A tale of the heart
Of the blood
Secret of this life.
The corn cobs are
Open with their ears to
      Drink my secrets
     My endearments
But I will talk to you
    In the language
Of the heart
          This palpitating heart
(which they won’t understand)
And you would say,
What about the roses?
They are faking sleep?
                Well, they
Will eavesdrop, I know
     They will hoard
My endearment
     In their red pockets
But I have their secrets in my
       Keep.
It is mutual fear of getting
Known
(they won’t reveal)
(they were whispering
Among themselves,
In hushed tongues
         A language of their heart
A red language
A language so full of the myrrh
And I could hear but your name)

And yes, the stars are cast away
In the fathomless sky
And you are silent,
       Listening to me.
Well, the night is silent,
The stars are cold,
And the wind is away
In the woods,
In this absence,
In this hour of silnce
You are listening to me
And I will tell you a secret
Of this heart
Of this life
(just listen to me)
I will reveal back to
You the secret of your
soul


Drunken series


Drunken
Poems are also dreams
Just the way
A bat is a mammal
 A woman is beautiful
Or a rose is a rose
Intricately so
        Anatomically so
                     Existentially so
A poet snuggles into a deep
Trance
Tipsy with ale—
Of a rose if he’s writing about a rose,
Of a woman if he’s writing about a woman,
A cicada if he writing about
A cicada—
When he starts to write
The very first lines.

And when he writes
He dreams
Of roots
Fruits
Leaves
Hips
Well, he dreams about the most
Unseemly attributes
Of anything he is musing on.
And when it is done
The poem,
He stares and sits
& sits and states
At the poem
Trying to call to mind
What the words meant
When they colonized him spontaneously
What the hum of silence
Had revealed to him,
Like a child
Scratching
His thin hair
Trying to remember
The previous
Night’s dreams

      
Desire
 Desire to do this that
Those
        Them
Winds my sails
Through
         Sudden gale
Tough games
And sometimes in intermittence
Through good times.
Desire, they say, is
Good only if you
Have a penchant for suffering.
I am ambivalent.

But you know
Desire
When they stream
Right
From your soul
They make life
Alive
Much alive, my friend

A lesson

You want to be rich?
Dig up your inner resources
Don’t falter, just do that
Rely on your efforts
You need no clearance
no palm greasing
no commission.
Just
Inwards must you go
Take, if you must,
A scythe, spade, or a hoe
Dig
Deep
Drop the dust of duality’s duress
Focus on one thing
The inner thing
You haven’t yet known
And you’ll discover
A
Mine
      With
            No gold
                    Diamond
Or Pearl
Absolutely nothing
That’s what you’ll discover
& and
You are now
Richer than everybody
Everybody

Summer

The clouds over head cruise
The expense
Of the skies, arsenalled with ammunition
Of rain
Soft rain,
Softness
And little symphonies spattering liquids
And there’s summer in the foothills

The Earth ripens, wafting
Off sweet smell of the mud,
And stray vines.
Stray birds perch on
Tree branches
Adding to the mystic plume
Of the abounding nature.

The clouds arch overhead
Cirrus
Nimbus
Stratus ,
And above them
Only the steadfast eagle flies
We all (barring him)
Await the imminent
Attack
With raincoats
Rubber boots
Tarpaulin
And its soft sheen

But in this war
In this attack
It is nothing but
Life
Life
Life




Jigme Dorji W. Public Library

The sound of silence
In a room littered with books
Clumsily walking silverworms

Time travelling
we walk,
our minds backward crouched,
forward thro’ the dark tunnel of time
anticipating
shower of lights
& dream of new heights
new horizons.
we make intermittent
halts at bodily mansions
& in the morning,
we walk, immaterial
yet bent like coolies
carrying the load of time & memories
of one-night stand.
we walk forward,
with our minds backward crouched,
never arriving

Lone Gentleman
Stones in his heart
& still he smiled.
Decisively. Half-willingly
There’s naught he could do.
Naught he should do.
Fixed, that smile.
Fixed, the man.
Lived with stones. In the heart.
He did (could) not throw ‘em out
Nor used ‘em in a bout.
Stones mastered o’er him
Even as a tomcat
Masters over a teeny mouse.
He lived in a glass house



Today’s ‘to do’ list
The skies are thrifty. No rain. Shifty
And I read to some hippy poems. Listen to Zippy beats.
Thus life fares. Thus, man can dare
To listen to some songs
Picked out of old transistor with tongs
As if symphonies were fire.
And I have but this desire
To know naught, amount to naught
(To fuck all that’s taught)
& dream of hopes like slums
In rainy Summers

And become a true BUM

Monday, June 6, 2016

Footprints of the heroes
Until half a century ago, what Bhutan was like, if it was at all known to people, was only known to the Bhutanese. That too, however, was not in the form of totality we know today; they knew who they were and went about their daily drudgery of life.  We were still a nation willfully secluded within the thicket of Himalayan geography, and perhaps even subtly xenophobic. We did not know what was happening in the world; the world did not know what was there within our boundary. It was a mutual ignorance. A nation so much elusive and unknown just sixty years ago today stands on the bold principles of happiness.
In fact, in this tiny chrysalis within which Bhutan existed and operated, histories were being created, generations had lived and perished, miscreants were persecuted, the victimized ones granted the grace of justice—in short Bhutan had its own tales of troubles and pride of perseverance. In this small haven, great minds and visionaries were born, dreamed great dreams, initiated great reforms, and navigated the nation toward complete new horizons of modern development.
The first two kings established a centrepiece; a formidable nucleus around which all the activities and operations concerning Bhutan as a nation revolved. Without this epicenter to hold the Bhutanese close together under same idea of justice and identity, without this monarchial gravity, Bhutan could not have been able to fare thus far in so short a time of hundred years. The two monarchs, despite having all the executive powerbases at their hand, handled matters with subtlety and dexterity, to which people had immense faith and support.
Living up to what the historian would later call him, the third king, affectionately called the father of modern Bhutan, took bold steps to take Bhutan forward. All this great leader has achieved within short span of time have but handful of historical parallel in the whole archive of human history. Among many reforms, the outstanding one was the emancipation of slaves from the clutches of their masters. This initiative, if not dealt with extra carefully, would have invited social resistance. However, with the flamboyance of his charisma and his extraordinary prowess to wield influence with the people, the late majesty could give firm roots to social reforms he initiated. The feudal economy was soon replaced with new development activities and establishment of the five year plans.   In no way the histories written hence can overlook the contribution of this great king in the nation building; what Bhutan is today is also solid enough a testimony of his boundless love for the people and his commitment to egalitarian socio-political set up in the nation.
To the people who have come to know Bhutan merely as a nation that has had a dramatic entry into the world stage at the time when countries in the world are trying hard to ship their existence out of the troubled waters of their faulty choices of the past, the history of the making of this nation remains truncated. Bhutan was not untouched by troubles, not untested by challenges; we have had, and still have, new obstacles to defeat. However, to its fortune, the nation got the captainship of an extraordinary leader while faring across the troubled waters. The 34 glorious years under the great fourth king have seen great changes in Bhutan. Even as the world was striving to scale the Everest of material affluence and economic growth, His majesty, with all the forces of his enlightened visions, had a brand new ideal of national growth. Gross National Happiness was born in this young king’s extraordinary mind. The idea that living power is more important than the purchasing power is perhaps not something an ordinary leader would think of. The great monarch knew this, and knew this well insofar as the developmental activities now are not without taking in account the legitimacy of all earthly entities to inherit the earth for growth and progress, let alone the humans. This is an obvious sign of boundless compassion for those of us who share the bounty of the earth, an accurate testimony of enlightenment!
At the present, Bhutan is a bold nation in the hands of a wise king. Writing this article, I feel an urge to confess something. The fifth king, the people’s king, is the sum total of those four heroes mentioned above. He is the embodiment of our dreams. Knowing well Bhutan cannot thrive if we are to include and exclude, shuffle and segregate, the great monarch remains the power to hold us together under one umbrella. Each time I listen to my king addressing the nation, I feel an immense pride and count myself fortunate to have been born to see the like of such great a personality as he.
Great people do not just relish the charms of greatness; they help everyone they meet strive for greatness. Bhutan of my dreams, under my young and wise king, is a nation young in thoughts and innovation, wise in action, and a leader that can set example to the world.
In a world gone mad, we were always sane; and so have we maintained our sanity. Under the guidance of our great king, I aspire to prosper and contribute to the nation building. Nations are first born in dreams, and then the dreams take shape. Our great monarchs had dreamed great dreams and left legacies for us. We will wake and substantiate them.