|Red Wheelbarrow / Redwheel Barrow||Sussex, September 1998; challenged to write something in the 'style' of William Carlos Williams' poem, I baulked... then decided to write about the same image, viewed from a different universe. Notice how WCW's stanzas are wheelbarrow-shaped? So mine had to be barrow-shaped, is the way it goes...|
|Haiku, Schmaiku||North West London, June 2000; for Douglas Hofstadter (see Metamagical Themas) and others who appreciate self-referentiality - I wanted to write a self-referential sentence, and the paradox of Zen Koan seemed ideally suited (since in Buddhism, the self that is referred to is a transient myth... or is it...) but I ended up folding into westernised haiku form, although haiku is generally not concerned with Buddhist themes. As the Muse descended, the Logos rose.|
|Aryaloka Nature Ceremony||Portsmouth, NH, Bus Station, September 2000; Aryaloka is a Buddhist retreat Centre in New Hampshire, and I happened to arrive there a day before their 15th Anniversary - we performed a ritual in the gardens, to take note of what was around us (seen and unseen); and the dragonfly did its thing. In 1994, a wren landed on my shoulder - these things change you.|
|Axon, Mass.||New York, September 2000; Boston, Mass. seems to be trying to make love to itself - they're digging a road right under the city, right the way through it - and all these connexions to it have to be dug too, and this crazy flyover system. Axon, Mass. sounded like a plausible US city name, and then I got caught up in Mass hysteria, with a little Marvell to add erotic curves to the road to ruin.|
|Portrait of a Gazaal, by Bricasso||New York-Denver flight, September 2000; this could take a little explaining... it's partly a travelogue, or journal poem; it's partly a placing of my head at the feet of Manjusvara, my Poetry Master; and it's partly a celebration of the greatest Thunderbirds episode in existence, whose title escapes me. Help for the uninitiated - a gazaal is a form of Sufi poem.
A brief précis of the Thunderbirds episode: little old eccentric English lady loses a lot of money to a casino whose roulette talble is rigged - decides to sell valuable painting (Portrait of a Gazelle, by Bricasso), to The Gazelle Corporation for their use as a logo, alas - she gets kidnapped form their office while showing their president the picture, which gets damaged in gunfire - eventually gets rescued from a burning house by that famous family - Gazelle Corp. president is mortified that painting is ruined, but Hey Presto! she has the real one rolled up in her brolly - whew - then Brains helps her win her money back by rigging the riggers' roulette table...
|Blemish||Cambridge, October 2000; true story - it must be an awful thing for the father, knowing his gun was the means to this end - or does he see it like that? Perhaps for an American, the presence of a gun in the house as a potential danger to life has no stronger meaning than the presence of a scythe in the garden shed. I don't know. But he's fighting the wrong fight - or rather, he's not fighting the righter one.|
|Gone Bush||New South Wales, May 2003; the only poem with visual backup necessary for non-Antipodeans... Banksias (of which there are 75 different species, I believe) are beautiful when young, ugly when middle-aged, and (to me, anyway) scary when old. The Australians call the seed head Old Man Banksia, but I think of it as Old Woman Death, sister of Mother Earth (like Ridley Walker's 'Auntie'...) - note: this poem is directed at Young Men (among whom I was once numbered).|
|Sravaka||Spain, August 2003; this doesn't need much explanation - on a veranda, outside a stone hut, in a valley in the Spanish mountains, listening - sravaka (which is pronounced 'shravaka') is a Sanskrit name for someone who follows of the Buddha, and means listener... oh, and the goats all had different sized bells on, and it took them about 40 minutes to move across my field of hearing, as they made their way up the valley.|
|Sravaka||New South Wales, May 2003; another valley piece, 'nuff said. I'm not used to that kind of big perspective - it's only a wee island, Britain is...|
|© 2000 Dharmachari Padmavyuha||back...|