A Dream

Ken Ireland I don’t know if it’s possible but I’ll continue to dream it, juggling the fine points when I have to to lend it a kind of reality. Some kinds of hope are just virtuous dreaming. I’m just dreaming back to last night, glimpsing at men walking down the sidewalk, wondering what they dream of. The carpenter hadn’t hammered the last nail— I heard his banging for the first time in many years when I thought he too had vanished. What was it that disappeared before I noticed something missing? Was that a dream? How could I have missed it? Are we forced to carve a purpose out of nothing? Did we dream it like a vision, or did it dream us? (This is, I guess, a technical question, and no one can be expected to provide more than a best guess.) I juggle the timing of the wash cycle so that I can try to keep a date with my dreams. My future doesn’t seem to be pretending to be something, someone—not me. I didn’t patch it together with tinsel, latex, fabric, and strut on the stage when heels

Psalm 90 going on 18

The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Psalm, 90 KJV The Psalms have nothing Good to say About Old Age and Death Few religions do. It’s their last chance to convert The Libertine.  Fear mongering fanatics were numbered Among the psalmists. Legend says this writer was David,  Who died at four score minus 10. Being generous And at the outside of his limits I might have another 2 good years Before I fly away. I grow old But damn it At 78 I’m 18 I don’t move as fast Or go as far But my shorter step And slower pace Suit me well.   At 22 Elliot was full of himself Moaning about old age. Couldn’t he get hard? Fantasyland. I won't Roll up my trousers And go chasing mermaids. I promise. From "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" T.S. Elliot  “I grow old … I grow old … I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled. Shall I part my hai

Basho Sings a Psalm

From Psalm 104:19 He made the moon for the seasons; The sun knows the place of its setting. Monsoon might have ended.  Its descent into the cold Autumn breeze Has certainly begun. Last night the rain only started  After darkness had completely Enveloped our highest peak. It’s colder. The sun sets well before dinner Change shows its face. When the moon couldn’t show its face. The only sound was the loud  Thunder shaking the grass. The dogs didn’t bark It was sudden.  It woke me from a fitful sleep. Dussehra was just a few days ago. Hoping that good wins the day They burnt Ravana  Just a flimsy scarecrow. Evil is far more terrifying Ask the thunder. Basho says, “Here’s a foolish notion—       the spirit world is like       an autumn evening.” Foolish flimsy Zen. Harsh drives me in a battered taxi. He’s played both Bhishma and Parjánya. He woke up this morning  Like a snow-covered mountain. I woke up knowing that something had changed. I felt it to the bones of my feet.

I opted for the vegetarian menu

Psalm 66:10-16 For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried. Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place. I will go into thy house with burnt offerings: I will pay thee my vows, Which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble. I will offer unto thee burnt sacrifices of fatlings, with the incense of rams; I will offer bullocks with goats. Selah. Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul. The priest was tall, almost elegant, slim, Standing tall the full length of his spine,  With a distinguished touch of gray in his beard. Gestures and smile to match. He looked almost a bishop with a bright red robe,  Quite unlike most of the other Nepali men I’d met. Rama told us to remain inside For the puja. She sounded rather mysterious. It was

'Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone'

  Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone, Silence the pianos and with muffled drum Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come. Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead, Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves, Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves. He was my North, my South, my East and West, My working week and my Sunday rest, My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song; I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong. The stars are not wanted now: put out every one; Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun; Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood; For nothing now can ever come to any good. W H Auden

A Snake and a woman. This short story has a happy ending.

Song 7, Psalm 58 Reshma Didi told me that she discovered a snake in her kitchen this morning Before the sun rose. It was more than a meter long. Scared and startled in equal parts, she knew it carried no venom. Still waking to a snake eating carrots in the food locker is unsettling. She coaxed it into a bag and released it in the forest  Far from the house. The story of the a blessed garden invaded by a snake Metaphysical question, predictable answer equals eternal condemnation. Lying and subterfuge Condemn us to listen this devil story forever We believe. There is a small snake temple by Bhagsunag. The captive serpent is fat and lazy Plus Baba has defanged him so that There is no real danger to his devotees. I have not witnessed the charming, but I think that  It is not deaf to priestly incantations.  This Song of David and the damn snake may not make the world an evil place But there is little room for making them into Family pets. That’s universal. Go release your snakes in the fore

Honey At The Table

It fills you with the soft essence of vanished flowers, it becomes a trickle soft as a hair that you follow from the honey pot over the table and out the door and over the ground, and all the while it thickens, grows deeper and wilder, edged with pine boughs and wet boulders, pawprints of bobcat and bear, until deep in the forest you shuffle up some tree, you rip the bark, you float into and swallow the dripping combs, bits of the tree, crushed bees — a taste composed of everything lost, in which everything lost is found. - Mary Oliver