Sunday, February 18, 2007

(Not quite) religious poetry

But now when I gaze
at the framed postcard
of Ganesh on the wall,
I also picture a rotting carcass
of a beheaded elephant
lying crumpled up
on its side, covered with bird shit
vulture shit -

Oh that elephant
whose head survived
for Ganesh -

He died, of course, but the others
in his herd, the hundreds
in his family must have found him.
They stared at him for hours
with their slow swaying sadness...
How they turned and turned
in a circle, with their trunks
facing outwards and then inwards
towards the headless one.

That is a dance
a group dance
no one talks about.
- Sujata Bhatt, from 'What Happened to the Elephant?'

[First published in Monkey Shadows (Carcanet, 1991); later included in Point No Point (Carcanet, 1997)]

***

On a lighter note, KM points to series of hilarious haikus and demands Haikus for Hindus. Well, you know me and challenges...(see the comments section)

2 comments:

Chevalier said...

Maybe both the degree and the student pursue each other and then 'turn and turn in a circle', in 'a group dance no one talks about'.
Apt if Ganesh is the god of education. And obstacles. Someone with foresight put him in simultaneous charge of both responsibilities, deeply connected. Especially for doctoral studies. Who said something about elephantine tu(a?)sks?

:) said...

"That priest breathing so
heavily? Oh, he's reading
from the Darth Veda."

That is so f#*ing funny. Did anyone ever tell you you're really good.