Poetry Tuesday: Cosmology

Anonymous Sanskrit, circa 750.

The goddess Laksmi
loves to make love to Vishnu
from on top
looking down she sees in his navel
a lotus
and on it Brahma the god
but she can’t bear to stop
so she puts her hand
over Vishnu’s right eye
which is the sun
and night comes on
and the lotus closes
with Brahma inside.

;o)

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Poetry Tuesday: What He Said

By Oreruravanar, in India approximately 2000 years ago.

Her arms have the beauty
of a gently moving bamboo.
Her eyes are full of peace.
She is faraway,
her place not easy to reach.
My heart is frantic with haste,
a plowman with a single ox
on land all wet
and ready to seed.

;o)

Poetry Tuesday: All I Was Doing Was Breathing

Mirabai, 16th century India

Something has reached out and taken in the beams of my eyes.
There is a longing, it is for his body, for every hair of that dark body.
All I was doing was being, and the Dancing Energy came by my house.
His face looks curiously like the moon, I saw it from the side, smiling.
My family says, “Don’t ever see him again!” And implies things in a low voice.
But my eyes have their own life; they laugh at rules, and know whose they are.
I believe I can bear on my shoulders whatever you want to say of me.
Mira says: Without the energy that lifts mountains, how am I to live?

;o)

Poetry Tuesday: The Soul

Lal Ded, a Kashmiri poet from the 14th century

The soul, like the moon,
is new, and always new again.

And I have seen the ocean
continuously creating.

Since I scoured my mind
and my body, I too, Lalla,
am new, each moment new.

My teacher told me one thing,
Live in the soul.

When that was so,
I began to go naked,
and dance.

;o)

Travel Thursday: A Passage to Redhead, part 5

“You are such a bitch!” I laughed.

“I know!” she squeaked. “It gives me warm happy feelings in my tummy!” Then really howled when I poked her in said tummy, then tickled it. She ended up even more out of breath, and it took her a while to retain enough oxygen to tell me she really didn’t think she was a bitch. . . while flashing a huge smile.

I yawned, and she found herself satisfied with that. Picking a safer subject, she tried, “How much more of the temples do you have to shoot?”

“Almost done with the outside. Still got the whole inside to go.”

“There’s an inside?” came the yelp I really should have expected. . . right in the ear. Again. Also as usual, rubbing the lobe did not seem to help. “What did I tell you about that?”

Not to do it!” she replied promptly, but her grin mitigated any type of apology. “Please tell me about the insides. Are they as fun?”

Knowing I was going to get yelled in the ear again sometime no matter how I admoshined her, or how often, I relented with a sigh and set the scene, since I had been inside on previous trips. “More depictions of gorgeous women cavorting with deities as light pours from balconies. Shadows are cast seductively over the carved walls, which is good for an imagination like yours but bad for photos.”

“Take what you can get, bub. Tell me more.”

“The Kandariya Mahadev–fat chanced I pronounced that right–Temple is considered the finest, with almost nine hundred statues inside and out. Ganesh and the seven mother goddesses are the most prominent–”

“How do you know so much?” she whispered furiously.

“I read and remember.”

“Bastard.”

“Not all of the sculptures are about sex, of course, but there’s an exuberance to their daily activities: one lady is stretching so beautifully, another is playing with a ball–which I love–another is admiring her reflection in a mirror. . .” I grinned at her.

“Better,” she proclaimed with a smirk.

“But of course there’s also the kissing caressing couples, bodies entwined in blissful union. . .”

“Poet,” she whispered, nuzzling her head against my shoulder, like she was getting ready for a nap.

“There’s one very graceful lady who’s taking a bath, but is getting out of it to peek at something, I think a wedding procession.”

“I wouldn’t get out of the bath for that,” she yawned.

“You’re not a normal girl.”

“Thank you!” she purred dangerously, then looked chagrined when I chuckled.

“You’ll like this: the images of Parvati and Shiva in the throes of amorous passion are symbolic of the cosmic union that makes the world go round.”

“That is exactly what I’m talkin’ about!”

She lost that famous exuberance when I told her I had another meeting, and since she was in no mood to go back to her hotel, I told her I trusted her enough to let her stay until I got back. Not that one should ever fully trust a redhead, she smirked to herself, then really went crazy when I told her I had a surprise for her later. . .

This meeting worked out a hell of a lot better, but when I got back to the hotel room I found her fast asleep, no doubt having frittered away all her energy in her nervous quest to figure out the surprise. . . though she was right back to hopping around aimlessly like a demented or rabid redheaded bunny when she was woken up. It was the same at dinner, where I forced her not to order soup or curry, since she’d likely miss the target with the spoon. I made a mental note not to go this route again, if the relationship lasted long enough, figuring it would be better to lie than to have her go through this again. . . or have to watch it.

Eventually the smirking driver dropped us off at an elegantly understated mansion, which only deepened the mystery in her eyes. Handing her out of the car, noticing she was still vibrating, I soothed her with voice and hand along her luscious red hair. “Old friend lives here. . . well, not so much an old friend, more like someone who owes me a favor for something from a few years back. Never thought I’d have the chance to collect. . .”

“This is not helping my nerves at all, bub!”

“That’s just because you’re crazy, and you would be even if you weren’t a redhead.”

“Not helping!”

“Can’t you just go along with it?”

“I can try,” she tried, though she sounded dubious.

Having been in the mansion before, it was easy to find the way to the room in question, with Emily surprised that we’d simply waltzed into the place without anyone greeting us, or even seeing them in the hallways. Nah, he’s fixed it so that we’re alone in here. He’s got everything planned. . .

Not to be continued. . . use your imagination

;o)

Travel Thursday: A Passage to Redhead, part 4

Strolling hand in hand now, not allowing me to go back to shooting, she recounted her previous stops on this trip, starting in London and making it almost all the way over here when she suddenly pondered if I would ask where she got the money to pay for all this. Instead I wondered where she’d gotten her love of travel, and she was so grateful she quickly gushed, “We had a station wagon when I was growing up, me and my sister and mommy and daddy riding all over the country every summer, seeking out every historical marker, national park and ‘World’s Largest.’”

Then, blushing at where she’d left that last part for my evil brain, she looked over at my face and was surprised to see me with myeyes closed, looking dreamy.

“Mmmmm, quiet while I try to imagine what your sister would look li–OW!”

She was still laughing about it when we came across yet another tour group, and since she’d had so much success with it the last time, she pretended to linger in order to overhear what the guide was saying. This allowed me to return to my photographic endeavor, so with only a psychic harumph! she let me go and concentrated on the words, trying not to smile at the combination Indian/Oxbridge accent.

“While the sexual nature of these carvings have caused the site to be referred to as the Kamasutra temple, they do not illustrate the meticulously described positions of this famous tome. The strategically placed sculptures are designed to appease malevolent spirits. Sexual images also imply a virile, thus powerful, ruler.”

Yeah, I can see that. . .

“A sculptor was brought in for a television interview to forensically examine the tool marks and construction techniques involved in creating the stunning stonework at the sites. He also recreated a stone sculpture under four feet that took about sixty days to carve, in an attempt to develop a rough idea how much work must have been involved.”

Two months? No way! Hope the models didn’t have to pose for that long. . .

“There were also experiments conducted to see how long it would take to quarry the limestone. It took twelve quarrymen twenty days to quarry about four hundred tons of stone.”

Holy cannoli, these guys musta been highly motivated!

“The temples are now set in a parkland landscape. When India gained independence from Britain in 1947, the landscape setting was semi-desert and scrub. The archaeological park now is compared to an English public park, with mown grass, rose beds and ornamental trees. This is popular with visitors but has no relationship with the historic landscape at the time the temples were built.

“Some people complain that the landscape should reflect its appearance in those times, however there are no records of what that original environment might have been. What he do know is that Indian gardens in the tenth century were predominantly tree gardens, without lawns or flowering plants.”

Dammit, way too early to be bored!

“You’re already in love with me, ain’t ya?” she beamed as she joined me again, not able to come up with a better opening line. . . plus she liked to keep up her image as a redhead, therefore overdoing it all the time.

“I think you’re a couple of folders short of a file. . .”

“Well said, sir. It’s almost like you invented sarcasm.”

I smiled paternally. “Of course I didn’t invent sarcasm.” Beat. “I merely perfected it.”

“Close enough.” Smirk. “Did you get far enough today with your photos that we can leave now? I think the sun’s getting to me.”

“If that’s what you need to tell yourself. . .”

“Hey, you’ve proven you’re the sarcasm king already! Don’t overdo it!”

“Let’s grab something cool to drink, or else I won’t make it back to the hotel.”

“Agreed!”

Not that it was that easy, of course. The first place we tried we were greeted by a nodding smiling man who had no idea what we were asking, but kept on nodding and smiling throughout. Even a redhead with a temper like Emily had been here long enough to sigh and bear it with those supposed smiles of acknowledgement; most claimed it was simple politeness, but I was sure it had to do with ego, not able to admit they had no idea what you just said. Worse than even New York!

But finally we made it back to my hotel, where she tossed herself on the couch with her six-pack of sodas and tried not to yawn as she watched me work on the laptop. I don’t know how long that lasted, but it felt like suddenly she was behind me, playing with my hair. “You look depressed, sweetie. Anything I can do?”

“Not even Carrie can get me out of this depression.”

“Who now!?”

My pretend yawn was a lot more convincing than I’d expected, even to myself. “This redhead I know in the Seychelles. Nurse, one of those girls who’ll do anything for her patient. And simply a monumental body. . .”

A strangled sound came from her throat, no matter how hard she tried to tamp it down.

This time I sighed. “I was thinking of visiting her when I was done here, figuring it wouldn’t be hard to get there from here. But when I called they told me the flight made a stop. . .”

Not quite thinking yet, she nonetheless managed to squeak, “So?”

“In Paris!”

A little shaken by this information–not about the scheduled stop, about the rival redhead’s monumental body–she nevertheless rallied. “Well, I’m better than Carrie!”

I looked at her interestingly. “Really? You realize I can’t just take your word for that. You’ll have to prove it.”

“Maybe I will,” she teased, not having planned anything but quickly becoming challenged. Seeing I wasn’t going to answer, she sighed, “Men! Can’t live with ‘em, can’t shoot ‘em!”

“Women–can’t live with ‘em, can’t have heterosexual sex without ‘em!–OW!”

And that was just what was needed to get her out of her funk, if her redheaded chipmunk giggles meant anything.

to be continued one more time

;o)