behind dark glasses

strange eyes
that dissolve in darkness
looked up at me
they took off their teeth
first the right then the left
and smiled

over my suspended fourths
strange eyes
diffuse in the pale
dark night of my room
and soar into song

when the music’s over
strange eyes
lids shut
shiver under my fingertips
like a silent counterpoint

strange eyes
look back at me
as in an infinite mirror
i see more of myself
than I’d ever cared to see
or dreamt there was

strange eyes
wilful as an angel
intent as desire
restless as truth
send me postcard puzzles
at the break of day

putting on those slippers
dusty vermillion dusk
making as if to walk off
into the sunset
strange eyes
turn round
tiptoe back to me

to rest awhile

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nightbird

a hint of burgundy
pink froth over blue grey
dawn breaks

a dark private jazz
of crickets – shadow shuffle
a hollow hush electric
tanned green smoke
– fanned air in
a stilled room

eyes take over
take it in

IMG_1080-1

lone crimson overdue
shapeshift diffuse
gold into blue
fade to nothing
day breaks in

eyes take over
shut it out

Translation

I wake up to
a bloated lower lip
blood yet to ooze
dark purple
concentrate
hemispheric
obscenely ready
to dangle from
the left side.

No longer curious,
it won’t stand
no other touch
but yours.
Not even my teeth.
Not even my pillow.

I crush the lump
between my teeth
savouring the red
salt on my tongue
around my fingers.

At peace with
its words, I raze
my lip flat again.
I tell it to heal,
and wait.

Call for change.

IT’S HIGH TIME WE TOOK AWAY ANYBODY’S RIGHT TO DRAG PEOPLE TO COURTS FOR HAVING VERBALLY ‘OFFENDED’ THEIR ‘SENTIMENTS’.

Let’s face it. Words don’t hurt like a prison-term or a fist in the face. We must be free to criticize/offend each other in words as much as we want to.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7883612.stm

Pair held for ‘offending Islam’

By Subir Bhaumik BBC News, Calcutta

Muslims protest in Calcutta against cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in 2006 Calcutta Muslims in a 2006 protest against Prophet Muhammad cartoons The editor and publisher of a top English-language Indian daily have been arrested on charges of “hurting the religious feelings” of Muslims. The Statesman’s editor Ravindra Kumar and publisher Anand Sinha were detained in Calcutta after complaints. Muslims said they were upset with the Statesman for reproducing an article from the UK’s Independent daily in its 5 February edition. The article was entitled: “Why should I respect these oppressive religions?” (http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-why-should-i-respect-these-oppressive-religions-1517789.html). It concerns the erosion of the right to criticise all religions. In it, the author, Johann Hari, writes: “I don’t respect the idea that we should follow a ‘Prophet’ who at the age of 53 had sex with a nine-year old girl, and ordered the murder of whole villages of Jews because they wouldn’t follow him.” Mr Kumar and Mr Sinha appeared in court on Wednesday and were granted bail. Apology Angry Muslims have been demonstrating in front of the offices of the Statesman since its republication of the article. Police have broken up the demonstrations using baton charges several times this week. Some Muslims close to the Jamiat-e-Ulema e Hind (The Organisation of Indian Scholars, a leading Islamic group in India) later filed a complaint with police alleging that the publication had “outraged their religious feelings”, which is an offence under Section 295 A of the Indian Penal Code. Mr Kumar has said he has already issued a public apology for reproducing the article. “Not anticipating the reaction to the story was an error of judgement and we have regretted that, ” Mr Kumar told the BBC in an interview.

Also, why the appalling lack of coverage in the mainstream media? Where the hell have they gone to graze that they can’t defend their brethren?

More coverage: http://www.thehoot.org/web/home/story.php?storyid=3656&mod=1&pg=1&sectionId=6&valid=true

Postscript:

I also attach excerpts from a chat with Bachchada who brought this to my notice:

Bachchada: kolkatar kono kagojei beroi ni…..
amra secular to
tai hoito editor der i khisti marbo
ebar daini hotyar biruddhe bolle ojhara o court e jabe….
🙂

soumik: ajkei bbc-te khete khete dekhchhilum je this guy on hardtalk whos been assigned to handle uks engagement with the gaza problem n the new israeli govt vehemently supporting the blocking of this far-right dutch senator from entering uk to promote a film he’s amde which supposedly tries to provoke anti islamic hate n all that. the world is getting more n more violent. n less n less tolerant in fear of the escalating violence.
damn.

*made

Bachchada: haan kichhu kora darkar eta niye kolkatar kono kagoje berolo na kano eta? 2 diner purono khabor…..bbc likhe dilo ar kolkatar kono kagoj likhlo na? kichhu kora darkar eta niye…pratibaad hoa darkar…..eta to hussain er case tar motoi

soumik: exactly ami kalkei ju-te print out mere debo. wtf. eshob religious offense nebar odhikar tule deyoya proyojon. jottoshob shuyorer bachcha.

Bachchada: ar dekho amader dordondo protap party ba agunkhor maobadi sabai chup …haan…seriously..fuck all religion….ei katha to richard dawkins hameshai bole thake….molla ra dawkins pore na bole jane na

soumik: im sure mollarao jane. shob intelligent lokei jane. some intelligent people who stand to benefit from exploiting these things choose not to know it.

UPDATE: This little post has inspired an impassioned debate on my Facebook link-up. For those of you in Facebook, and interested in following it up, here goes: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=507829654&v=feed&story_fbid=62401122268

Acceptance.

What if you must have something on your mind constantly, not as an obsession possessing you, but as a perpetual contender to your attention, a corollary distraction to anything you’re consciously occupied with? Something neither driving you insane (for nothing ever will), nor yet letting you be…

You don’t receive as well anymore: you listen to music, and you only appreciate its ambiance; you watch movies, but they only affect you when they do so viscerally; and you can’t read, for the printed word offers the least degree of unconscious pleasure: it barely lulls you in (against the resistance of distractions), unlike the rhythm of action, the resonance of sound. You can’t create in any form: for words sounds visions slip past you too fast, and you know not what you want to say, nor how. Even intoxicants leave you high and dry, their effects restricted to the dullness or animation they bring to your spirit and body, and no more.

Context limits our choices in courses of action. And things make less and less of a difference when you’re not free to initiate those courses that can make the difference.

If you must have and hold on to something on your mind, you must resign yourself to a restless exile: a loss of centre, and control. You must keep running, though you’ll have nowhere left to run to no more.

Do you say, ‘Don’t think twice, it’s alright’? Well, what else can you do.

Post facto.

The flowers that I left in the ground,
that I did not gather for you,
today I bring them all back,
to let them grow forever,
not in poems or marble,
but where they fell and rotted.

And the ships in their great stalls,
huge and transitory as heroes,
ships I could not captain,
today I bring them back
to let them sail forever,
not in model or ballad,
but where they were wrecked and scuttled.

And the child on whose shoulders I stand,
whose longing I purged
with public, kingly discipline,
today I bring him back
to languish forever,
not in confession or biography,
but where he flourished,
growing sly and hairy.

It is not malice that draws me away,
draws me to renunciation, betrayal:
it is weariness, I go for weariness of thee.
Gold, ivory, flesh, God, blood, moon —
I have become the expert of the catalogue.

My body once so familiar with glory,
my body has become a museum:
this part remembered because of someone’s mouth,
this because of a hand,
this of wetness, this of heat.

Who owns anything he has not made?
With your beauty I am as uninvolved
as with horses’ manes and waterfalls.
This is my last catalogue.
I breathe the breathless
I love you, I love you —
and let you move forever.

Leonard Cohen
from The Spice-Box of the Earth

Call so.um.ik from your phone!