Poetry Tuesday: A Poet Should Learn

By Kshemendra around 1150, originally written in Sanskrit, which is beautiful to look at even if you don’t know what it means.

A poet should learn with his eyes
the forms of leaves
he should know how to make
people laugh when they are together
he should get to see
what they are really like
he should know about oceans and mountains
in themselves
and the sun and the moon and the stars
his mind should enter into the seasons
he should go
among many people
in many places
and learn their languages.

;o)

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Poetry Tuesday: Even He Was Abashed

From the Gathasaptasati, collected (but not written) by King Hala in India about 2000 years ago.
Some things never change.

Even he was abashed
and I laughed
and held him close
when he went for the knot
of my underclothes
And I’d already untied it.

;o)

Poetry Tuesday: A Courtesan to her Lover

By Ksetrayya, originally written in the Telugu language (India) in the seventeenth century.
(From what I could make out doing research, “Muvva Gopala” is a name for the god Krishna, so make of that what you will.)

Who was that woman sleeping
in the space between you and me?
Muvva Gopala, you sly one:
I heard her bangles jingle.

As I would kiss you now and then,
I took her lips into mine,
the lips of that woman fragrant as camphor.
You must have kissed her long.

But when I tasted them,
they were insipid
as the chewed-out fiber
of sugarcane.

Who was that woman?

Thinking it was you, I reached out for a hug.
Those big breasts collided with mine.
That seemed a little strange,
but I didn’t make a fuss
lest I hurt you, lord,
and I turned aside.

Who was that woman?

You made love to me first,
and then was it her turn?
Does she come here every day?
Muvva Gopala,
you who fathered the god of desire,
you can’t be trusted.
I know your tricks now
and the truth of your heart.

Who was that woman?

;o)

Poetry Tuesday: A Love Poem

By Vidya, in what is now India, from. . . let’s just say a long time ago.

The luck is yours that you can talk about
Your lover’s playful glance, his words and touch.
For me, I swear that once he puts his hand
Upon my girdle, I remember nothing.

;o)

Poetry Tuesday: Next Morning

Someone who probably didn’t want to remain anonymous wrote this in seventh-century India.

Next morning
When a damnfool parrot–
right before her parents–
starts to mimic
last night’s cries of love,
the girl leaps up,
blushing,
clasps her hands to
start the children dancing–
jangle of her bracelets
drowning out
the parrot’s calls.

;o)

Travel Tuesday: On Makeshift Bedding

By Vidya, somewhere between 500 and 1000 AD in India.

On makeshift
bedding in the cucumber
garden, the hilltribe
girl clings to
her exhausted lover.
Limbs still chaffing
with pleasure, dissolving
against him she
now and again with
one bare foot
jostles a shell necklace
that hangs from a
vine on the fence–
rattling it
through the night,
scaring the jackals off.

;o)

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)