Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Friday, August 16, 2013

Five Rupee Poems: GANGA

by Tammy T. Stone

A smile on the inside
The organ of body
And sounds together
Have an experience:
Expelled from
Yesterday, a quiet
Place inside,
The light can’t quite
Touch it yet, this place
That the future invites
Me into.

I start to see
A door: thick, wooden,
And two-sided
With etchings and reliefs
From a culture I
Can’t place at first, until
I hear music from
Renaissance Italy,
Like glass singing,
Graceful for the Courts.
This is the door I see,
The worlds through it,
Every desire for light.

They might be saying
Something because
I’m here to listen,
The paint is speaking
From this century,
Dressing the ones before
It, thanking
Gurus and Gods between,
The Beatles,
And everything that
Has made Love and
The stillness here, stillness,
The ashram is singing.

Round awake
And a perfect yellow
Leaf with death immanent
On the left side.
Still it curves majestically,
It won’t crumble,
The walls are not
Forever either, but
Still I can look through
Them, forty years in
Every direction
They are,
Having created,
Having got us together,
Nodding their approval
After a morning
Of Om, the chant of
Vibration and all sides, to the
Music of my childhood
Gently weeping sounds.

Say it again.
The door asks, will you
Arrive, and what
Will you see as we move
Heavily and the river
Falls over rocks, carries
Secrets and prayers
Flowing past, but we
Can only see the
Body, and so mistake
For gravity.

At Haridwar, the Ganga
Breaks away from the
Himalayas and begins.
Pilgrims flood daily,
Piles and piles of shoes
Rest happily, wearily,
As we find a spot
On the steps leading
Down to the moving waters,
The entrance to sacred origin,
People find
Ways of changing into
Trunks hiding in full view
Snapping photos knee deep
In the holy flow of things.

Getting here, wide-eyed as
The train sleeps,
Cloth from home turns
Seats into furniture,
Three hours late, meals behind,
Daylight still arrives on
So simple, so deep.
I sit, call your face and
It appears in full
Clarity, but it’s your
Eyes I see first, how
They are so large from
Taking so much of the
World into them, and how
They see into mine,
Not here, not to my
Somewhere else they have
Joined in full communion.

From a feeling its parts emerge;
The way the song reminds
You, I know, of your twenties,
The way they chose purple
Cushions and an orange
Tablecloth where our imaginations
Take us, and how you love
Those colours, standing out in
The clutter of a café space,
The way you still can’t
Believe you saw a body
Burning up into the Ganga
Sky yesterday.

One time, last words,
Unceasing creation.
Song and fire offered
out to friends
Everywhere, flower
Gods flow down current,
I reach an end looking
Down and there’s an artist
Drawing a young chai wallah
Who turns to see his
New creator, and soon
He sits to pose, serious,
Unmoving, brilliant.
A boat passes behind all
This, against every moon,
A lone vessel carried
By her mother, its master
Lit in his moving castle,
With Christmas lights and
All this grace.

1 comment:

  1. Very impressive display of photos and words introducing me to a culture I know little about. I hope other international writers who are also photographers will consider submitting similar packages about their culture. Americans-and I am among them-need to learn all we can about what may now be "foreign" to us.