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Blog Title Photo

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Land of Sindh


I'm walking to Bharat's salty pans, 
Going to meet my Guju gal, 
I'm walking to the Ranns near Pakistan, 
To the deserts of Kutch and sal'. 

I'm going to the sands near Burton's Sindh, 
Where 'A Thousand and One Nights' was first inspired, 
I'll study him, and see how his women are livin', 
In the lands of sea, snake, and chai. 

I'll wander about Ahmed's souks,
Where shops are the size of a bug.
Spend some time buying cotton threads,
And maybe even spring for a rug.

I'll go to the Sultan's marble abode,
And the temple below his city.
I'll follow the Shah to his Islam below,
And study his hareem's poetry.







The Amir will take me birding,
Out there on those salty pans,
He's got a fast falcon that he's learning,
And an equally fast pair of hounds.

I'll catch me a Nagar tiger
Out there on that salty bog.
Maybe I'll snatch some gold from her fire,
Maybe I'll see a hare chase a dog!

I'll stroll with Amir and Amiri,
By the shores of the Sabarmati,
Then back to old Mumbai,
To visit pals at Merchant-Ivory.

Then stop to watch some cricket,
In the dust of that CCI club.
I'll drink mint tea, and mumble a plea,
To have it in a glass that's been scrubbed.

When I meet my yoginis at Coba,
I'll be Nāgá'd by number one Muse.
We'll go sneaking in tandem for Cobras,
'It will confuse her if I don't bring my shoes.

"Do you reckon I'm a Nagar Tiger?
"You see me naked out here in the cold?
"It's freezing here in Tiger valley!
"My crotch is needing more gold!"

Now I'm the Shah of Ahmedabad,
I've brought over my daughter and son.
But I'm really just a Connecticut Yankee,
Who happened to shoot a hare with a gun.

I'll walk barefoot down by the river,
The women of the desert go there to wail,
They peddle me used tins of cooking oil,
To ship my sculptures back home to Yale.

Scheherazade tells me her stories,
From dusk right through to the dawn.
She's got me ensnared, in the plots that's she's bared -
I'll postpone her execution.

The birds call out time to do yoga,
At first light of the desert morn.
Down his hole goes that old King Cobra,
Singing that ohm-filled song . . . 

"I'm going to Bharat's salty pans!
"I'm going to the Ran of Kutch!
"I'm going to catch me a Nagar Tiger!
"In rolling deserts of cactus and Bhuj!"


[Hindi transliteration , also my Muse comments on this piece, I respond.]




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