Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Enter the Buzzard

Buzzards are medium sized raptor found in Asia and Europe. Breeds in woodland but prefers open land to prey on small mammals and insects. Rarely seen in flocks, they are fiercely territorial and pairs mate for life. This picture is that of White eyed Buzzard (eyes, or iris to be precise, is not exactly pure white but yellowish white. I thought it looked more like Grey headed Buzzard but they are found in East Asia), I spotted this at the outskirts of Mysuru (Mysuru is definitely one of my favorite place…what a charming city). Like all raptors bills are curved and claw like. They are found most of the time sitting at some elevation, could also be seen foraging on the ground. It is difficult to get to see raptors these days so I guess I can consider myself to be lucky to have spotted this one.

Buzzards were hunted and almost eliminated in Britain, the status now is Least Concern (IUCN), in Philippines they are protected. They are also referred to as "Dancing Hawk" in West since the common Buzzard (larger in size) exhibit the habit of landing in open fields and taking stamping steps up and down - the noise made sounds like rain to worms and makes them rise to the surface which is relished. Interesting !!

Friedrich Hölderlin

The crowd likes
whatever sells in the marketplace,
and no one but a slave
appreciates violent men.
Only those who are themselves godlike
believe in the gods.

Hölderlin (1770-1843) was a German poet associated with romanticism (he interacted with contemporaries as wide interests like Hegel and Goethe) and brilliance of lyricism. He traveled to many of the neighboring countries sometimes on foot that had immense influence. "No one by himself can grasp God," Holderlin writes in the poem "Patmos". Instead of a direct search for God, he seeks an indirect route through nature- rivers, seas, meadows and mountains, gardens and orchards, heroes and fine sentiments

Trees were my teachers
Melodious trees
And I learned to love
Among flowers.

This from another of his poems

The inner being of the world often appears clouded and hidden,
and people's minds are full of doubts and irritation,
but splendid nature cheers up their days,
and doubt's dark questions stay distant

Another stanza…

Another day. I follow another path,
Enter the leafing woodland, visit the spring
Or the rocks where the roses bloom
Or search from a look-out, but nowhere

A fervent admirer of ancient Greeks, he translated into Germany. Holderin’s later years though were tragic as he suffered from mental illness. Holderin’s legacy is such that he influenced men like Brahms, Nietzsche, Rilke, Derrida, Heidegger ("Poetry is the establishment of Being by means of the word") so on. He has a powerful presence in modern German poetry. The translation I found on the Net seems to be having copyright issues (regrettable these crap called copyright…I can understand if the original writers demands it). I maybe violating few, anyone has any problem can write to this blogger…

Half of Life
With its yellow pears
And wild roses everywhere
The shore hangs into the lake,
O gracious swans,
And drunk with kisses
You dip your heads
In the sobering holy water.

Ah, where will I find
Flowers, come winter,
And where the sunshine
And shade of the earth ?
Walls stand cold
And speechless, in the wind
The wheathervanes creak.

When I was a boy
When I was a boy
A god often rescued me
From the shouts and the rods of men
And I played among trees and flowers
Secure in their kindness
And the breezes of heaven
Were playing there too.

And as you delight
The hearts of plants
When they stretch towards you
With little strength
So you delighted the heart in me
Father Helios, and like Endymion
I was your favourite,
Moon O all

You friendly
And faithful gods
I wish you could know
How my soul has loved you.

Even though when I called to you then
It was not yet with names, and you
Never named me as people do
As though they knew one another

I knew you better
Than I have ever known them.
I understood the stillness above the sky
But never the words of men.

Trees were my teachers
Melodious trees
And I learned to love
Among flowers.
I grew up in the arms of the gods.

These two scribbled the other day...

Do we ever sought?
The species we are
in between living, surviving, dying
did we sought anything at all?
Or that it exists as it is
to experience
make us understand (or atleast give us the glimpse)
of immense hidden not hidden
we come and go
there are opinions, views,
and setting sun.

sleep
among the people, and the crowded streets
there are pieces I search
sometimes I beg for it
othertimes sniff like a dog in garbage mound
not knowing where to head
I ask the passerby a non existent address
there are sights I know, smells I recognize,
it seems jumbled all these thoughts
PresentPastFuture
the threads go knotting
tightening
I decide to lie on the pavement
and count the passing feet


Saturday, September 25, 2010

The charismatic River Tern

River tern with black hat, deep yellow bill and red feet gives an impression of a bird ready for the go. And truly it is a bird that has lots of attitude. A resident bird found invariably next to river bed they have long forked tail and wings, toes are webbed- has every signs of a water bird, though they never swim or perch on tree. They live on fishes, you could see them fly about 20 feet above the surface of water with strong swift beats (the reason why they are also referred to as Sea Swallows), and keep a keen eye on the fishes, on locating a shoal they circle more purposefully in shorter circles, a perpendicular drop and captured fish is swallowed in flight (more like pied kingfisher).

G Shankara Kurup: traveler with flute
Divine singer of the world
intoxicator of minds
you deign to live in me as music
how else would I dare
sing songs of life in joyous abandon

One of the foremost Malayalam poet and the first recipient of highest literary award in the country-the Jnanapeedam, for Odakuzhal or Flute (the above lines taken from the same), G Shankara Kurup (1901-1978) was born near Kalady (close to the great saint Shankaracharya, Kalady is also a reference to Vamana avataram’s request for three steps). His ancestors were closely associated with temple, a deeply religious man he spent most of his childhood close to nature in his village listening to folklore that had significant impact on him. These lines from the poem “shiva thandavam” (thandavam is cosmic form of Natraja-Shiva, it’s a dance of death and creation. Thandava posture was made extremely popular by exquisite Chola sculptures. Incidentally Chola sculptures are my favorite, intricate and aesthetic they are treat to eyes. “Hypnotized soul” would be apt if you see Uday Shankar perform). All lines from the poems herein are translated from Malayalam.

The spreading hairs are loosened
they appear as the sky
The star studded garland is broken
and all the stars are strewn
The violent dance has set the crescent to one side
it emits the blissful glow
The dim scarlet dusk is the elephant’s skin
dripping blood
The ashes are sprinkled on my hypnotized soul
in the guise of moonlight
In the far away Nebulae several solar systems
are opening their eyes to witness this cosmic dance

This from the poem “cuckoo

says wayfarer-
life is short, a mere foot length
duties are vast and tremendous
infinite like the sky
yet, how is it, thou are wasting thyself
singing in self abandon the whole spring

cuckoo replies-
the flowering of the world
the towering temple of freedom
the covering blue vastness
my heart leap up to these
I forget myself and sing
never doubting for a moment
it means ‘business’ or not

These lines from the poem “In the garden”, the spider symbolizes imperialism

The sleepless nature could no longer
suffer the vanity of the puny creature
its heaving sigh tore the cobwebs
into hundred fragments
and with spider’s arrogance

Let the sins be atoned
Religion of the world !
born to mould god out of man
How you convert humans into beast
Poet’s words are hollow ineffective noise
otherwise, this instant, you would turn to ashes.
You built fences around human spirit
You sow seeds of segregation
we reaped quarrel, slavery, insult for too long
You go on building fences; how long?

Lines from “What a glorious growth

That dauntless man who became lord
of all the land within arrow’s reach
Now transforms the very stars
into flowers strewn around his path
As he pursues his conquest far and high
What a glorious venture; before long
To make his rendezvous on the moon
Today no success beyond his reach
No fear but to himself

Before I conclude this blog I need to add that Shankara Kurup translated Khayyam’s Rubayait into Malayalam, he used meter in the poems that had high musical quality and became immensely popular. It became vanji pattu (boat song), it could be said that he transcreated Rubayait into Malayalam. He also translated Meghadootham (Kalidas) as also Gitanjali (Tagore)

Post script: today morning I came to know that ONV Kurup has been awarded the Jnanpeedam, ONV is an institution in himself. Apart from some amazing poetry he has written some very popular lyrics. He maintains high level of aesthetic sensibility, I used to see him quite often while I was studying in Thiruvanthapuram.

An interesting incident about Jnanapeedam: it was probably 1995-96, I was in Ernakulam doing odd job (I guess I was into Sales- meaning roaming around for no apparent reason!). I was next to the hall-on the way to bus stand-and there was commotion, a crowd and I found myself in middle of celebrities, next to Mamooty, Mohan Lal, and so on!!!. The area was cordoned off, I was in the celebrity circle!!. They had gathered to honor MT for Jnanapeedam. I was in the procession and I even thought of waving to the crowd!. One fellow in the crowd, I recall, even asked who is that?. I hung around for half an hour or so, then thought enough of it (I was working so had to report back!!). That’s about it.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Colorful birds Avadavat

What a spectacular chance to snap Avadavat and how I got it right!!. As part of my job I was at Kanakapura Road (this is one of the colleges where students are not keen on attending classes, I don’t blame them) and so I had lots of time. Morning I was at Turahalli for few hours, it’s a bushy terrain -spotted birds like bayas, beecatchers, bushchats, robins and so on. Actually I am running short of bird’s pictures and so decided to go to Rishi Valley School, surrounding the school and around are acres of verdant land that is not really a forest but has trees and lots of green and mountainous landscape. I thought of walking around the place, there are huge banyan trees-the path passes through one, must say there are too many Indian Robins and sunbirds. It was while I was looking at a termite mound-half expecting a snake to emerge-that I saw this bird alighting at the nearest bush, it turned around saw me and furrr was away at an instant. I had just about thirty seconds to work, and for once I was right on target. It was hugely satisfying and to know that it was red Avadavat was thrilling to say the least.

Red Avadavat is a spectacular bird, during breeding season the above bird turns complete red. For the same reason it was a popular cage bird. Usually seen in flocks along bushy damp areas they are found all through the subcontinent to East Asia.

Sree Narayana Guru: whatever maybe the religion it is enough that it makes human beings better

Today happens to be death anniversary (though the Malayalam calendar I follow puts it tomorrow!!) of one the most prominent and revered saint-philosopher of 20th century: Sree Narayana Guru (1856-1928). I vaguely recall being told how he came to my ancestral home (and spent some time with my forefathers- who had some understanding in Ayurveda and Sanskrit). I also have visited his birthplace on the outskirts of Thiruvanthapuram and lighted lamp on his birth anniversary many years back. Frankly I was quite taken aback by the small mud house, he was born in a poor family. A serious and precocious child he dabbled in philosophy. He authored Atmopadesasatakam (One hundred verses of self instruction), a unique exposition on Vedanta that sought to make these thought accessible to common people, his emphasis was on rational aspect. The verses are not only profound in its thinking but maintain felicity of expression, like all great saints the language is poetic (it is a different matter that it gets lost in the English translation).

One faith to another hateful be, and the essence
taught in one lacks in another’s measure;
until is realized the essence is the same,
know, on this earth shall confusion prevail.

Narayana Guru carried the essence of Advaita Vedantic tradition that Shankara acharya pursued (incidentally also born in what is now kerala) some 2000years back- that in itself could be traced back to few more thousand years to saints of Gangetic planes, to the Upanishads (Upanishad are amazing stuff. Their concerns were rarely mundane, unlike some part of Vedas. In Keno Upanishads for instance this primal question “By whom?. Who is the real power behind the functions of the universe, external in nature and internal to man?”. In Mundaka Upanishad the concern is “what is that which, being known, everything else become known?”). Writes Narayana Guru

Bottom, top, end, it is, this is, that is”-
tho isolated thus, yet all that exists is prime substance
bodies inert are all impermanent. Apart from
the form of water, can the wave be else?

Shankaracharya’s spiritual understanding though path breaking seemed isolated from life’s worldly relevance, Narayana guru sought to bridge these and integrated advaita to existential needs. Narayana guru trod the neglected path of advaita, emphasizing human being as part of vast human family-tatwamasi: an equation between oneself and others “what is dear to others determines my need and not vice versa”. This is to him was first step to advaita

The other man’s desire is my desire;
desire mine is the other’s desire;
such being the rule, acts leading to human good
such to the other’s desire conduce

In advaita tradition Narayana guru sought to combine ita (immanent) and para (transcendent). The stress was on arivu (knowledge)

To the core, that in knowledge intense strives
in the knower’s body besides, and without too

Some verses

Not seeing as same, the essence of all religion,
Fools roam the world, telling reasons of sorts,
Like the blind vis-à-vis the elephant
Observing this, don’t get puzzled; steadfast remain.

One faith to another hateful be, and the essence
taught in one lacks in another’s measure;
until is realized the essence is same,
know, on this earth shall confusion prevail

Endless is the knowledge’s might. As the parts two
these might be identified as “the same” and “the other”
of these “the other” should become “the same”
shine in the inner core and awakened be.

Along with earth and water, air and fire,
the void, ego, cognition, and mind, indeed
all worlds, including waves and ocean,
into awareness supreme transform
(all phenomena, material as well as mental, are reduced to knowledge which is absolute, if so conceived. Arivu or bodha, the self alone is capable of apprehending. Hence self is the core also. Thus the advaita or non duality)



Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Spotting a Spotted Munia !!

Sparrow sized Spotted Munia belong to the same family as Beaver birds. I recall writing about White throat in my earlier blog. Spotted munias have dark chocolate colored upper plumage, while the lower plumage is white banded in brown giving it the spotted appearance. They are found in bushy terrain near luxuriant growth or cultivation. They breed during rain and the nest is a messy affair, these roosting pair I spotted the other day at Butterfly Park ceiling at the exit!!. The above I almost bump into on my way back, it wasn’t at all happy at my presence and made it amply clear before flying away. Birds are quite expressive look at the above pic and you really see a very annoyed Munia!!.

Munia is a quite a popular ‘home name’ for girl children in north India mostly at the lower strata, I knew many who were called as munia when I was a kid (I guess munni is generic for girl child, munia an extension of endearment).


Mitsuharu Kaneko (1895–1975)

When I’m asked for what I was born,
Without scruple, I’ll reply, To oppose


I came across this Japanese poet quite accidentally on the Net, and found it quite a fun to read. Apart from the poems what attracted me to this man was that the name Mitsuharu he concocted for himself (I strongly identify with that!!). Kaneko was adopted by a wealthy family, he was an academic failure. He had to repeat one grade at the prestigious Gyohsei Junior High School, which was established by French Catholics. He entered Waseda University but dropped out, entered Tokyo School of Arts to study Japanese painting but dropped out, entered Keio University to study English but dropped out (I like this guy!!). He began reading Chinese and later Western writers, like Schopenhauer, Poe, Oscar Wilde, Baudelaire, Whitman so on. Years later his painterly skills enabled him to earn occasional money as he traveled abroad penniless (His paintings included a good deal of pornography!!). On the death of his foster father he inherited huge amount of money and found himself in Europe, he returned to edit poetry magazine. Soon he depleted his money and was reduced to vagabond for few years. Later he arrived at Paris selling his painting and so on. Returning to Japan during Second World War. Writing an account of his life as a poet titled Shijin (The Poet),

. . . some of us may wonder and marvel how we’ve been able to spend our whole life with an unexpected line of work, but realising that we’ve reached such an age as to be unable to do anything about it even if we thought about it, we decide to compel ourselves to find something worthwhile, albeit reluctantly, in the years ahead of the life we didn’t want. That’s what we usually do. There’s something about us human beings that’s piteous and lovely.


This poemOpposition” is quite popular, also happens to be my favorite

In my youth
I was opposed to school.
And now, again,
I’m opposed to work.


Above all it is health
And righteousness that I hate the most.
There is nothing so cruel to man
As health and honesty.

Of course I’m opposed to the Japanese spirit
And duty and human feeling make me vomit.
I’m against any government anywhere
And show my bum to authors and artists circles.


When I’m asked for what I was born,
Without scruple, I’ll reply, To oppose.
When I’m in the east
I want to go to the west.

I fasten my coat at the left, my shoes right and left.
My hakama I wear back to front and I ride a horse facing its buttocks.
What everyone else hates I like
And my greatest hate of all is people feeling the same.

This I believe: to oppose
Is the only fine thing in life.
To oppose is to live.
To oppose is to get a grip on the very self.

Idea
Living is a constant restraint
Bearing the tensions- I know
But the world is so incredibly askew I can hardly
stand.
In the slime of moss and fish, I am like a beginning
skater ;
slipping and clinging,
irritated. I exhaust my life’s energy to carry a
cup of coffee,
without spilling it, to such a remote table.
And hecklers shout, some near my ear,
“No one will hear you even if you make it”
Striking me with the idea that my effort will
be in vain.

To an old lady
The woman’s become naked. But
not to wait for caresses.

In the shifting light and dark
her skin faintly smells.
Knowing no lewdness, her
thin bloom,
her fine wrinkles.

Like the marks left by someone hitting,
these aquamarine stains
that remain all over her body
are the fingerprints of those who touched her and went.
Like a fruit left unsold
at the fruit store.

The woman’s become naked. Summer clothes
changed to those for autumn, that transience.

Love 13
The woman had never had it done to her before.
The man, just like a brand-new teacher
conducting a chemical experiment at the podium,
doesn’t seem certain of his hands, even after many tries.

He holds her hand gently,
caresses it, then holds it against his cheek,
guides it, unobtrusively,
down to his pants to make her touch it.

Then, he manages to do
many more silly things,
but this is neither because he is unlikeable
nor because she is indecent.

He covers her face with a handkerchief
and, to calm himself,
lights a cigarette, has a drag,
then deliberately unhooks her.

He feigns astonishment at every turn,
and says, in a dumbly excited voice,
“So this is what you call a navel!”
Darn, you know you have one, too.


Song of jelly fish
Rocking, rocking,
jostled, jostled,
for so long, I’ve grown to be
as transparent as this.

But, getting rocked isn’t an easy matter, I’d say.

You can see through from outside, can’t you? Look.
In my digestive organs
a toothbrush with its brush worn down,
and, a small amount of yellow water.

No, sir, I have nothing as dirty as
a heart. Not by this late date.
Waves took it away
along with the intestines.

Me? Me means
emptiness.
Emptiness, being rocked,
was rocked back, again, by the waves.

I wilt, you may think, but then
I bloom wisteria-purple;
come night, at night,
I light a lamp.

No, what’s being rocked, truth be told,
is just the heart that has lost its body.
The thin oblate
that had wrapped the heart.

No, no, it’s no more than the tired shadow
of the pain of being rocked, rocked,
jostled, jostled,
until I became as empty as this.

This I scribbled the other day

Gone is the world I know
When motives dictate reason
when voice raised for greed
when innocents slaughtered for power
Gone is the world I know.
When sustaining tree truncated
and land mashed out of its vitality, made fit for development
When every creature and life form that doesn’t serve purpose
pushed out to extinction
Gone is the world I know

Gone is the world I know
and all the little world’s in it
of sparkle and spirit
of life and living.



Thursday, September 9, 2010

Finally the Pied Kingfisher

It is not that Pied Kingfisher is uncommon, but I was consistently unlucky to have not spotted a single one until few months back at Western Ghats. Once I came quite close to spotting one at Bharatpur, just saw a blur streaking through the sky. Yesterday I was quite fortunate to spot this one by the pond at Bannerghatta, to think that I even contemplated to abandon the trip sighting those intimidating clouds!!. These days Bangalore is having some heavy cloud without much rain, it is quite a peculiar experience. Days have become quite cold and night chilly. So here I was with my camera focusing a flitting mormon on elephant dung, and heard this sharp twittering cry of a Kingfisher, few short steps and lo a sight to behold. The pied was hovering on the water for the dive, it is an awesome sight (spellbound I forgot to take the pictures!!). It was an unsuccessful attempt, the bird emerging from the water with a straight face and going about the business again, what an industrious bird. Later it settles down at the nearest tree perch and this was my moment to zoom in, was lucky enough to get these shots before the bird spotted me and flew off into the forest.

Like other kingfishers it has long and sharp bill, when resting these birds give its tail a characteristic sharp upward flick, diets entirely on fishes.

Nazim Hikmet

To live like a tree in solitude and free
and like a forest in solidarity,
this yearning is ours.

Nazim Hikmet (1902- 1963) was one of the foremost Turkish poets of twentieth century. Born in Istanbul and having spent his earlier part of his life here he was attracted to Russian revolution and so left to Moscow, later returned and
was active in Turkish freedom struggle, was arrested, escaped to Russia. Between 1929 and 1936 he published nine books - five collections and four long poems- that revolutionized Turkish poetry, flouting Ottoman literary conventions and introducing free verse and colloquial diction. While these poems established him as a new major poet, he also published several plays and novels and worked as a bookbinder, proofreader, journalist, translator, and screenwriter. In 1938 he was arrested for inciting the Turkish armed forces to revolt and sentenced to twenty-eight years in prison on the grounds that military cadets were reading his poems. Pablo Neruda relates Hikmet's account of how he was treated after his arrest
Accused of attempting to incite the Turkish navy into rebellion, Nazım was condemned to the punishments of hell. The trial was held on a warship. He told me he was forced to walk on the ship's bridge until he was too weak to stay on his feet, then they stuck him into a section of the latrines where the excrement rose half a meter above the floor. My brother poet felt his strength failing him: my tormentors are keeping an eye on me, they want to watch me suffer. His strength came back with pride. He began to sing, low at first, then louder, and finally at the top of his lungs. He sang all the songs, all the love poems he could remember, his own poems, the ballads of the peasants, the people's battle hymns. He sang everything he knew. And so he vanquished the filth and his torturers”.
In prison he not only composed some of his greatest lyrics but produced, between 1941 and 1945, his epic masterpiece, Human Landscapes. In 1949 an international committee, including Pablo Picasso, Paul Robeson, and Jean Paul Sartre, was formed in Paris to campaign for Hikmet's release, and in 1950 he was awarded the World Peace Prize. Stripped of his Turkish citizenship in 1959, he chose to become a citizen of Poland. He died of a heart attack in Moscow in June 1963. Sartre once remarked that Hikmet conceived of a human being as something to be created.

I couldn’t locate the poem “Hiroshima girl” that conveys a plea for peace from a seven-year-old girl, ten years after she has perished in the atomic bomb attack at Hiroshima.

Five lines
To overcome lies in the hearts, in the streets, in the books
from the lullabies of mothers
to the newsreport that the speaker reads,
understanding, my love, what a great joy it is,
to understand what is gone and what is on the way.

About My Poetry
I have no silver-saddled horse to ride,
no inheritance to live on,
neither riches no real-estate --
a pot of honey is all I own.
A pot of honey
red as fire!

My honey is my everything.
I guard
my riches and my real-estate
-- my honey pot, I mean --
from pests of every species,
Brother, just wait...
As long as I've got
honey in my pot,
bees will come to it
from Timbuktu...

Angina Pectoris
If one half of my heart, doctor,
is here,
the other half is in China
with the army that flows
towards the Yellow River.
And, doctor, at every dawn,
at every dawn, my heart
is in Greece
being shot
by a firing squad.
And in this familiar place
when fellow-prisoners sleep
and the hospital is empty,
my heart is in a decaying villa
at Chamlija
every night,
doctor.
Let us be frank:
for the last ten years
the only thing I've been able
to offer
to my poor country
is just an apple, doctor,
the red apple
I call my heart
Not arterio-sclerosis,
nor nicotine, nor prison,
but that, doctor,
that's the reason
for this angina pectoris.
I gaze at the night through the bars
and in spite of the pressure on the ribs
above my heart,
my heart beats at the same rate
as the farthest stars.

About Death
Come please, be seated friends,
you are welcome, I am happy to see you.
I know, as I was asleep
you came into my cell through the window.
You neither overturned the slender-necked medicine bottle
nor the red box.
With your star-bright faces,
you stand hand in hand over my bed.
Come please, be seated friends,
you are welcome, I am happy to see you.

Why do you look so strange at my face?
Haşim son of Osman.
Isn't that funny
you were dead my brother.
In the port of Istanbul
loading coal on an English cargo ship
with the coal basket on your back
down to the bottom of the hold...

The winch of the cargo ship pulled out your corpse
and before the break time your quite red blood washed
your dark black head...
Who knows how you suffered...
Don't stand please, be seated,
I thought you were dead,
you came into my cell through the window.
With your star-bright faces,
you are welcome, I am happy to see you.

Yakup of Walker's Village
my dear, my both eyes,
hello to you.
Didn't you die too?
Leaving to your children malaria and hunger
on a very hot summer day
weren't you buried in the barren cemetery?
So you are not dead?

And you?
Ahmet Cemil, the writer?
I saw with my own eyes
your coffin
lowered into the grave.

And very likely
the coffin was a little short for you.
Leave it Ahmet Cemil,
you didn't give up your old habit,
it's a medicine bottle
it's not raki.
Just to make fifty cents a day
all alone
to forget the world
how much you used to drink...
I thought you were dead.
You stand hand in hand over my bed,
come please, be seated friends,
you are welcome, I am happy to see you.

An old Persian poet :
"Death is just" - he says, -
"with the same grandeur it kills the Shah and the pauper."

Haşim,
why are you so bewildered?
Haven't you ever heard, my brother,
a Shah dying in a ship's hold
with a coal basket on his back?

An old Persian poet :
"Death is just" - he says.
Yakup,
how beautifully you laugh, my dear, my both eyes.
Not even once you laughed this way in your life...
But wait, let me finish my word.
An old Persian poet :
"Death is just..."
Leave that bottle Ahmet Cemil.
You get angry in vain.
I know,
death can be just
if the life is just, you say...

An old Persian poet...
Friends, leaving me alone,
friends, so furiously
where are you going?


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Great White Egrets

Quite a common bird it is one of the large wading birds. Apart from size, the Great Egret can be distinguished from other egrets by its yellow bill and black feet. The great egret feeds alone in shallow water. It stalks prey like frogs, crayfish, snakes, snails and fish. Other egrets like Snowy Egret are smaller, has black bill, and yellow feet while Cattle Egret have a yellow bill and black legs much shorter and stockier and often has a reddish wash over the head, back, and chest.

Sulpicia: a woman poet from ancient Rome
My heart and soul will stay behind, although I’m gone
I came across these poems that can be said to be the oldest surviving poems by a woman, earlier these were attributed to poet Tibillus. Sulpicia was thought to be during the reign of Augustus(63BC). What I liked about the poems is it's freshness and lack of pretence, she is a natural. More in the line of teenage love, despite the fact that these poems are thousands of years old it is more like around us!!. Some of these lines are charmingly innocent, I am glad that I came across these on the net (this here is a translation by Jon Corelis). Sulpicia must have been an amazing girl!!

Love has come at last, and such a love as I
should be more shamed to hide than to reveal.
Cytherea, yielding to my Muse’s prayers,
has brought him here and laid him in my arms.
Venus has kept her promise. Let people talk, who never
themselves have found such joys as now are mine.
I wish that I could send my tablets to my love
unsealed, not caring who might read them first.
The sin is sweet, to mask it for fear of shame is bitter.
I’m proud we’ve joined, each worthy of the other

My hateful birthday’s come, which must be spent in gloom
in the boring countryside -- without Cerinthus!
What’s nicer than the city? What girl would want some cabin,
and the chilly river of Aretium’s fields?
Now do stay put, Messalla; you try too hard to please me:
trips, my uncle, are not always welcome.
My heart and soul will stay behind, although I’m gone,
since you won’t let me act as I would wish.

Guess what? -- that gloomy trip is off your girl’s mind.
We’re going to spend my birthday now in Rome!
Now all of us can celebrate that birthday here,
a piece of unexpected luck for you!

Do you feel loving care, Cerinthus, for your girl,
since fever now torments her wearied limbs?
Ah, I would not wish to live through this disease
unless I knew you also wished it too;
for what good would it do me to live through this disease,
if you can bear my troubles with calm heart?

I scribbled this the other day (might have to do with Inception !!)

Mind

Where thoughts repose
and clamor for consideration,
where memories dwell
and dreams weave little worlds,
senses take it bow
whims put to its place.

Tidy master tolerates no mutiny.