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Auroville Adventure

June 01

 

Poetry selection


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The evening dress

- by Shraddhavan

Many-layered skirts
Of pale silvery silk,
Swinging intricate pleats and folds
That flare out satin-smooth again,
Under a web of most delicate lace
Gathered here and there
To rich foaming ruffles, fine rippling frills,
A sprinkle of sequins,
A hazy veil of twilight-golden gauze:

Ocean, the ever-young enchantress, yet again
Puts on fresh evening finery to assail
The stony self-absorption
Of these unresponsive rocks.

 

Shraddhavan is in charge of the "Savitri Bhavan". Several of her poems, stories, essays and book reviews have been published in the Ashram journal Mother India as well as in the Heritage magazine.


A Flame

- by Pavitra

 

When God loses himself in a deep night
and a fire devours the earth.
Fire without flame. Word without words !
We go, don't we ?
We go with an obstinate certainty.
When God walks alone on the path
and the path resounds with His astonishing steps.
When the Hour of the glorious march ?
When the arrested time and our voices released ?
When there is no more way by day and by night,
when there is nothing but a blind
and naked chasm that remains.
Certainty or death.
How many those who dare the void ?
With this acuity of the senses, beyond the limit of words !
Words that cannot speak.
Could they ever ?
One has to discover a sound !
But where is our thirst for adventure ?
To whom this high forehead and these eyes ?
Is it coming, the time of the just and living souls ?
Do we still have to walk ?
Do we still have to pray ?

And the flames were rising with the morning sun.
With the light of the North.
With the silence of God.
And where is Earth ?
And where is Man ?
The earth trembles beneath my feet, but where is Man ?
Those who search, those who are still trying.
For the others, the silence !
For the others the silence !
When God lost himself in a deep night and the rising sun would not bring a morning,
I left the flames and the men.

Pavitra's first vocation was to be a painter, but he also became a self-taught cellist. At the age of 17, he discovered the works of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and, seven years later, in 1984, he settled in Auroville where he published 'Tara', a poem collection.


Monica

- by Bindu

 

Look
I am only this much woman.

Bleeding red-black silver
onto your day's existence
Silently plaiting
husband-father children children
into the dark length of my hair.

My dreams
I buried
in the farthest corner of the room.

Nights such as these
are yet mine:

I fiercely whisper
leaning close to the wind,

Whatever still
throbs in my fading life
whatever flushes
for the waiting moon.

I scatter poems
through the broken air.

 

Joining Auroville Today 8 years ago, Bindu hasn't written any poetry since .This is from an old, almost-forgotten collection.


Inner Sky

- by Priya Vincent

 

My sky is the sky of the flatlands
A massive dome of soaring infinity.
Canvas for naked forces writ large and loud

My sky is my visible mantra.
A vast wilderness of possibilities
Witnessed in fluid eddies of illumination.
Let me have courage to rise, free and
Unbounded, into the immensity of my sky.
And fly, high and true.

Priya is a farmer and author of the book 'How my Garden Grew' from which her poems are taken.


Matrimandir

- by Alan

 

The gold-ringed gesture
flung across a million lazy noons

is anchored by a banyan
dreaming no other coast...

 

Alan is a greenbelter editor turned Auroville Today editor turned scribbler of marginalia.


The Planet

- by Mauna

 

the planet
rolls under
my feet
while I quietly
walk thru
the street
no thinking
no talking

I am
the walking

The mystery of life

the mystery of life
blasted
my head

I cannot
go back
anymore

so yes, I will live
yes, I will love

but never the same
as before

 

Mauna is, as she puts it, an old-timer, originally Dutch, typical behind-the-screen person, OM


Have you seen the giants walking

- by Loretta

 

Have you seen the giants walking
On the wide red land?
Seen them moving large and grand
Against the sky?
I have seen them coming,
Tiny seedlings in their hands.
Hands and feet as red
As the earth they work each day.
Carrying the future
On their backs and in their dreams.
Seen them growing tall and strong
As they hammer out their way
In a land of yielding beauty
Making progress from delay.
Seen them growing wise and deep
As they dig the hardened clay,
Worry water from the dry red earth,
Bend their backs,
Sweat out their sorrows,
Wrest from yesterday
Tomorrow's coming
Of a new world's birth.

Have you seen the giants working
In the quiet, secret spaces?
In the kitchens, in the gardens;
The world's forgotten places?
I have seen them rise, emerging
Out of ignorance and pain.
Faith sustained, they work and labour
To create a new domain.
A thousand tiny troubles
Tell the story of their struggle
As they strive to bring alive
A long forsaken dream.
In their hearts an angel singing
Being's beauty widely winging
As they grow to know the truth
Of creation's will to be
A living harmony.
Have you seen their victory?

Have you seen the giants building
High atop construction beams,
Suffering the toils
Of their hardest dreams?
I have seen them growing, changing,
Working, working out the problems
Of a vast and varied nature
Through necessity and failure,
With enduring dedication
Consecrated to completion.
Seen them struggle with the passing
And the grasping ways of time;
Hoping deep enough to open,
Feeling love enough to trust,
Finding courage to create
A living wonder with their labour.
From the nameless, from the formless
You can see the promise rising
In the clearer, higher spaces
At the centre of the city;
Breathless peace, transcendent beauty.
While the glorious expansion
Of the limitless in man
Opens wide the striving hearts
To manifest the miracle
Decreed by destiny.

 

Loretta lived in Auroville in the early years and was so inspired by the atmosphere of those times that she began writing poems. Recently she returned to live once again in the community.


Grenzland

- by Ela

 

Ein Traumland ist dieses
auch nach Jahren noch gleißend
und unwirtlich überzogen
von einer Patina in der sich
Okkultes mit Widersprüchen
zu extremen Mustern verwischt

Die Luft getränkt mit Bewegung
im Geruch von Jasmin und Zerfall
ist die Erde röter als anderswo
in diesem Land
atmen selbst die Winde
Legenden aus
deren Helden
die Essenz der Jahrhunderte
durch die Hütten der Dörfer tragen

Tagsüber gehen die Dinge
flimmernd ineinander über
unklar wo das Menschliche aufhört
und der Gott beginnt
der unter der Palme steht
und zu uns hersieht

Abseits der großen Straßen
am Rande des letzten Reisfelds
enthüllt sich seine Gefährtin
in ihrer üppigen Pracht
ihre Haare treiben wie Luftwurzeln
über dem Lotosteich
den ein elefantenköpfiger Sohn
gelassen bewacht

Ich sah sie Momente zuvor
in der beißenden Schwingung
sonnenverkarsteter Ebenen
eine schädelbehangene Mutter
die ihre Kinder am Mittag frißt
und am Abend erneut gebiert

Im Grenzland spür ich sie deutlich
während der Fahrt
ruht der Kopf an der schwarzen Brust
auf Verbrennungsplätzen
hat sie die Milch geschöpft
für ihr köstliches Spiel

Das mich einflicht
auch nach Jahren noch
in die Stimmung der heiligen Stunde
in der sich das Licht wieder
mit dem Boden versöhnt
und die Hufe der Rinder
den Staubschleier
zwischen Auge und Ferne legen

Berührung keimt auf
im Dunst von Nahrung und Rauch
in den milderen Farben
der Dämmerung
hält das Vertraute den Blick und
die Frau mit den vielen Gesichtern
entzündet geduldig den ersten Docht

 

Ela is a science teacher, as well as a travel guide who conducts seminars on Indian culture and philosophy of yoga. Writing poetry is a pastime for her.


Island

- by Lloyd

 

They came to live in his voice
- the plow and the book
and the airplane of man -
the dressing ways of women
and spring rain at sea.
Life's bondings with in war
as in love the gravity
of blood. All things - all works
made word - replaced his fall
into silence with a song
for hearts and minds as will
descry an untold beauty
among named multitudes
and dated progressions

His time made word took flight
arrowing past numbers
and the circumference
of the hour - time showing
overlapping shores to
what is born and dies alone.
Arising from a fount of
countless generations
to his pen came beauty
fearless and undying
in a pact between the One truth
and those of the manifold
- gold grain - spring rain - dresses -
then as now as tomorrow
in him to meet - without him

Lloyd's literary interests started in The Netherlands. In Auroville he published the poetry collection "But for the Breeze" and wrote an unpublished introduction to the Book of Changes, called 'China and I Ching'.


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