The impossible

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Making Utopia

It is time to ride a rainbow, to swim through the sky,
To surf the clouds till one feels oneself fly….
Over the towns and over the meadows
Zooming in and out of golden shadows.
Now on a skateboard, I slide
Into a golden sunrise,
Speeding, fast, flying, flying
Till I lose the self in trying.
The effort hurts every bone.
I feel myself soar
Beyond the life force.
I see two enormous doors
Open to a plethora of bright lights
Dancing, singing, creating flights
Of fanciful delights….
I have arrived in the land
Where every grain of sand
And every drop of the sea
Stretch to create a new reality
That reaches out to you and me
And takes us beyond impossibility,
Making the unreal,real
This is the dream, the ideal.

Our world

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Scream

This is the world of our dreams.
I see rainbows dotting the streams,
Vibrant colors reflected from the sun’s rays,
Paint the world in myriad ways
Creating an aurora of of brilliance
In which life teems in millions.
Colors and tunes harmonize
Breeding a plethora of styles.
Zillions of stars smile and among themselves converse…
‘How abundant, how wonderful is this creation, this universe!’

This is the world of our nightmares.
People running down the stairs,
Rushing, pushing, shoving.
Gore and blood dripping.
Bombs dropped, homes torn,
Children standing forlorn.
Adults seething with rage
Drawing lines of hate,
Borders, color and creed,
Differences that anger breed.
Life is overtaken by greed.

Then will come the great flood
That will wash away the bad blood.
And again, in my land of dreams,
I will see the rainbow dotting the streams…

Evening

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Dusk

Day painted the sky
With white and grey.
Sprays of sunshine turned the white popcorn clouds gold.
Swiftly, he picked up a spatula and splashed bold
Strokes of grey, blue and white.
Then, he picked up a light
And torched the skies.
He watched the blue and grey dyes
Turn to shades
Of glowing flames
Till the embers did subside
And in came his dark and sinuous bride,
Called, Night, wearing a diamanté gown
And a moon tiara on her crown.

Book of the week

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Title: The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
Author: Omar Khayyam(1048 to 1141)
Translator: Edward Fitzgerald(First edition 1859)

The reason I decided to write on the Rubaiyat is because I feel the verses stir my heart and soul.

In my twenties, when talking existentialism was fashionable, I tried to link Khayyam’s poetry to the post world war philosophy. I found strains of nihilism in it…anything that I was looking for. Now, at fifty, I find wisdom and truth in it and catch glimpses of a borderless world, where humanitarian concerns have become a major issue.

Perhaps if we all believed in the things he says, there would be no wars, no peace keeping forces and no soldiers. It is truly ironic that we have to live in a world where they need to use cannon fodder, soldiers, weapons and destruction to maintain peace. Where has old Khayyam’s world disppeared? In one of his best known verses, he says

Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough,

A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse—and Thou

Beside me singing in the Wilderness—

And Wilderness is Paradise enow.

Is this not what we all are looking for? I find these verses truly inspirational, passionate and profound.

Come, fill the Cup, and in the Fire of Spring,

The Winter Garment of Repentance fling

The Bird of Time has but a little way

To fly — and Lo! the Bird is on it’s Wing.

Khayyam has been viewed as a hedonist, a sufi, an atheist, a devout muslim. He was a mathematician, astronomer, philosopher and poet. His quatrains are like a fresh breath of life. His verses are profound and cover almost every aspect of existence. They span love, religion, philosophy, culture, wine and food…from the mundane to the divine.

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,

Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit

 Shall  lure it back to cancel half a Line

Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

The fatalistic twist we see in  Khayyam’s poetry is said to have been the handiwork of Edward Fitzgerald, the translator whose translation appeals to me the most. So, what has come down to us is not just the poet’s philosophy but also the translator’s own interpretation, a truly multi-cultural mix. Fitzgerald himself referred to this great creation as “transmogrification“. He wrote: “My translation will interest you from its form, and also in many respects in its detail: very un-literal as it is. Many quatrains are mashed together: and something lost, I doubt, of Omar’s simplicity, which is so much a virtue in him” (letter to E. B. Cowell, 9/3/58).

I find the mish-mash put forth by Edward Fitzgerald truly rhythmic and it brings out the flavour of mysticism and lyricism in the verses. There have been other translations but I stand by Edward Fitzgerald’s first edition as the best one.

Omar Khayyam is regarded as a great man. In 1970, they named a lunar crater after him. In 1980, a minor planet was named 3095Omarkhayyam. In 2009, Iran donated a scholar pavilion to the United Nations office in Vienna,featuring four great scholars from their culture. One of them is Omar Khayyam.

To me, these verses of Khayyam translated by Fitzgerald transcend all borders of time, nationality, religion and culture.

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Peace

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Harmony?

Do you see that distant wave?

I see it rise incarnadine with blood.
A great tsunami that threatens to flood
The world with gore born of hate.
Fear and violence open the gate
Of living, vivid hell
In which garb dwell
Differences drawn by men
They say for kin and ken…

Do you see that distant wave?

I see it lave and soothe
With it’s lulling tune.
I see it calm and blue
Reflecting the golden hue
Of the bright sun ray.
People are happy at work and play.
They say the world is but one land
And, united, we all akin stand.

Do you see that distant wave?

The incarnadine sea with it’s violent grave?

Or,

The calm blue ocean with it’s sunshiny face?

Dawn

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Morning

The sun sliced by a sliver of silver,
Glowed with the coming of dawn.
Touched by the lilting song
Of birds welcoming a new morn,
The sun started it’s day
Giving off vibrant rays.
The little boat
Touched by the gold
Of the bright sun
On the river front
Made ripples in the wave
That run and that shake.
Perhaps, a lady of the lake
Will rise in it’s wake
And shimmering with light,
Will swoop up and take flight.
Hidden by a cloud, she will fly
Beyond the reaches of our eyes
To an infinity beyond the skies.

Adventure in Time

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Wings of Time

On the wings of time I fly
Across the tapestry of ages,
Flitting from frames
Held by the constrains
Of time and space,
Drifting into the timeless reality
Of light that brightens from within
The path of souls in flight
Across the barriers of life.
Borders drawn by mankind
Real, unreal,
Yours, mine.
Is yours a truth or mine?
The layered planes
Where the wrongs of this world
Can be righted again…
Is that real ?
Or only the
Unchangeable, harsh half-light
Where dwells the strife, the fight
Put up by men in plight?
Pain, hurt, anger, hate,
Can these be replaced by a gate
That opens to endless sunshine
And a happy, rested mind,
Where all life is an adventure in time
A bouquet of eternal rainbow light?
On the wings of time I fly
Across the tapestry of ages…

Fantasy

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The Sea and Me

Come, let me be
A part of you, o sea!
Take me into your frothy arms.
Caress me with your charms.
Let me drown in your waves
And in a soothing cavern awake,
Where dulcet notes will find
A way to rinse my weary mind.
Lapping waves and soft sighs
Will fill the cave with magical lights.
A rainbow will dip into the sea
And lift the tiredness off me.
And then with a mermaid I will rise,
Fresh, vivid, alive…

Hope

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Starburst

The moment of starburst…
It happened.
And then the rainbows reft the skies
And captured the birds in flight.
Orange, gold and grey
Marked the end of day,
Beautiful in it’s intent.
Vibrant, the rainbow bent,
Till it touched the other end,
Where the sky meets the earth.
An aurora of light burst
Through the infinite.
The birds continued to glide.
Bringing hope in their flight
Towards what they sense to be right.
They alight
On a treetop.
The flight has come to a halt
For the night.
They sleep in the starlight.
When dawn beckons with it’s shades of gold,
Again, they, their wings will unfold
And continue their flight
In the azure, alluring infinite…

The Prelude

Harbinger

Perhaps, it’s time to say
Good morning to each sun ray.
Perhaps, it’s time again to be gay,
To rise up each bright, new day
And feel the world with happiness sway.
Perhaps, it’s time the clouds are wiped
Off dust, pollution and all strife.
Perhaps, it’s time to rid
One’s heart off all grit.
Perhaps, it’s time for a song
That brings joy all along.
Perhaps it’s time to wake up and rise
And, if necessary, flow against the tide.
Perhaps, it’s time to stand by
What your heart knows to be right,
To hold conviction in your mind
And, by your principles, abide.
Perhaps, it’s time to rise up at night
And let darkness give you sight.
Perhaps, it’s time to hum a new tune
And dance in the silver light of the moon.
Perhaps it’s time to let go
And let your whole being flow,
Like the ocean that has no end
Waves of happiness and faith send.
Shimmering, the waves play
In the sunshine and dappled grey,
Luring us with water turned gold
To be beautiful, clear and bold.