Friday, November 23, 2007
ghazal ("winning & losing")
How can I keep track any more of winning & losing?
when the ocean's lacking a shore where's winning & losing?
I will scrawl a placard imploring people to tell me
how to love the knack I abhor of winning & losing?
I've prepared a sack where I store the things I believe in
but I fear your tack may have torn my winning & losing
I will pile a stack to the sky of praise & lamenting
just to glimpse your back can unmoor my winning & losing
is the world a tenebrous tapestry that enchants us?
it unfurls the decorative lore of winning & losing
as we tour the sandy mirage we're fancifully dreaming
it keeps conjuring castles' allure through winning & losing
every child's astute in the game's primordial grammar
the prime minister like the whore speaks winning & losing
babes are schooled in how to behave at Maya's lyceum
toddlers learn to march in the corps of winning & losing
every drum will tell you a tale of beatings & thrashings
where's the flute not apt to out-pour its winning & losing?
every cloud if peaceful today is weeping tomorrow
every tree has sap at its core of winning & losing
every morn the market's a'buzz with heartbreak & commerce
every evening packs in yet more the winning & losing
every form contains the directions for its undoing
in a hidden strand where they store our winning & losing
gentle rose! when dreaming of springtime had you forgotten
jealous autumn factors in thorns of winning & losing?
in the thorn the rose shows her pique belovèds are lethal
on this nipple breasts have been torn for winning & losing
if it's true love's spring is a gift please lavish your theory
in the lying practice of war who's winning or losing?
you'll allow love's premised on giving? grant me an answer
what's a quest worth arguing for? mere winning & losing?
huw suspicious! poets obliquely claim they're creative
not so slyly tapping the store of winning & losing
what sustains the penchant to prate about one's uniqueness?
tap one vein we splat the same gore of winning & losing
every song drives some nuanced angle on her dark beauty
she's got droves of facets & more for winning & losing
sportive breeze! how far can you reach? deliver my missive
soon we'll each get back to the chore of winning & losing
I went out to purchase this cloth of silk she was absent
I'm returning back from her store both winning & losing
by her lake she traffics in trinkets fine & exotic
you can buy the wrap not the core of winning & losing
lambent lips though sporting a smile dark is her iris
polite pupils blandly ignore the winning & losing
kindly lips! your smile invites but dark is the darshan
beauty's petals practice the lure of winning & losing
while the lips speak peace there's a war the eyes are engaged in
lips & eyes disarm me! I'm poor I'm winning & losing
the abstemious tutor their senses studying your ocean
nescient wastrels bask on a shore of winning & losing
when the poets heeded their ears absorbing the birdcry
her lamenting tacitly tore up winning & losing
both the koel & bulbul express antiquity's flavor
both the date & tamarind store sweet winnings & losings
settling back in India after traversing China
where's the point one's travelling for? more winning & losing?
the moon-slender sweetheart afar you might send an apple
by what train's click-clack could she core your winning & losing?
one could tip one's cap at the door with courtly decorum
while the window wafts in the score of winning & losing
when the brawn of gold-mining spans the mountain of winter
vernal caravans smelt the ore of winning & losing
while returning home from the war Odysseus tarried
ten long years he swam for a shore past winning & losing
callow souls contend for a goal-post ritually touted
some who've roamed a lakh & a crore still winning & losing
one need not redact all the lore antiquity witnessed
for the realm of fact has what core save winning & losing?
artful friends enacted your glorious tale I smiled
as my tears reflected I swore nor winning nor losing
when the light's refracted from glare flow multiple colors
bright artistes exactly adore the winning & losing
does the pool look placid? decor is green & deceptive
hidden mud amassing the spores of winning & losing
should you drop the map in the drawer resigning to slumber
could the mirror nap? might it snore through winning & losing?
where the palms all clap reconnoiter textures of clamor
prithee mind the gap! to explore what's winning & losing
to dissolve the packet just pour its contents in water
instant coffee's packed at the store of winning & losing
do the tennis rackets confirm philosophy's quandary?
lend the ball a whack! it conforms by winning or losing
there's a cup of chai that I favor when in Baroda
fresh with adarak deft the pour no winning no losing
in Beijing it's pu'er we drink a costlier habit
eighty years it's aged for the noir of winning & losing
with the train on track comfy sleepers drowsed through their dreaming
junctions back-on-back made me sore with winning & losing!
there was not one window nor door intact in the building
every portal cracked in a war of winning & losing
when the mouse of theory squeaked "I'm the king of the forest!"
all its sentence lacked was the roar of winning & losing
the initial scene lends the story sharp definition
by the final act every moron's winning or losing
in the marketplace of existence freedom's enshrouded
while each price-tag tattles "we're born for winning or losing"
"you could add more nettles!" quipped Milarepa serenely
he'd in end subtracted a storm of winning & losing
should we try to placate the ghoul who mortaly plagues us?
could one scratch its back and ignore the winning & losing?
love's verandah might not look hard when first you apprise it
one soft wall could easily floor your winnings & losings
late in life I'm practicing raag distilling its potion
till I drown in alap & jor my winnings & losings
from the hotel's balcony honking cars proclaim "India!
has she drawn you back? come adore her winnings & losings"
all are born stark naked attire's our cultural wrapping
with the tie & jacket we wore our winnings & losings
you but glimpsed the dream of her blush anon you departed?
parting's thorn awakens the sore of winning & losing
the Tibetan beauty desires to practice her English!
virtual addresses consort with winning & losing
in the dark the minaret's call awakens Baroda
in a trice bird-clamour's imploring winning & losing
you're intoning kharaj the bass note pitched at the bottom
like a stealth attack in a war of winning & losing
every string we strum frames a sentence we am receiving
long confinement thwacks at the chord of winning & losing
every line I cast seeks a fish from aqueous darkness
this lagoon in fact is a door of winning & losing!
does each verse I croon limn my dreaming of the belovèd
lost in slumber's rapture untorn by winning & losing?
every horn that honks in the city blares an agenda
every wing that flaps by the shore is winning & losing
every word we're floating in silence whispers our longing
every leaf that crackles reports our winning & losing
every sound from creature or object renders a message
every teacup harbors a storm of winning & losing
every jot philosophers pen is probing for treasure
aren't miner's mad for the ore of winning & losing?
every whiff of bread draws a map describing our hunger
every pinch of chat charts a score of winning & losing
every course refits a design perforce we discover
every horse was saddled before the winning & losing
in the hearse is cradled the man born crying tomorrow
in the playpen waddles his form of winning & losing
down the street there lumbers a bullock nibbling at grasses
in the lake there settles a corpse still winning & losing
lost in dusk I puff my cheroot whose ash falls haphazard
deep in earth there wriggles the worm of winning & losing
in the skillet sizzles a meal the hungry require
in the bucket echoes the norm of winning & losing
in the circus of the surreal the barker extolls you
though the mirror badly distorts the winning & losing
in this sojourn fictional stops assemble & vanish
there's no train nor track! still a horn sounds winning & losing
for the healing herb you (in time's nick) toted the mountain!
love reveals such capable charm in winning & losing
fruits be drowned in you! does your peal of laughter restore them?
can the ocean's cackling shore up winning & losing?
when we've lost our way will your feet remember our forehead?
from my solo shack hear the choir of winning & losing
it appeared so gentle! a hobby blithe & amusing
then the poem hacked through the door of winning & losing!
the distinctions jurists insist on love must relinquish
richly journey back to be poor in winnings & losings
in your name they're lost your nazar appears as their winning
kindly wait a sec! I'm a'blur with winnings & losings
every morn we're turning a page that opens a window
every night we're back at the door of winning & losing
having fetched an instrument why not linger & play it
like a serious hack who adores such winnings & losings?
don't be silent! we must hear everything from the beginning
won't love woo us back with its lore of winnings & losings?
it may need a week just to read the name on the wrapping!
did your genius package a tour of winnings & losings?
when we find a corner obscure enough we'll sit pretty
artforms grow ecstatic unlearning winning & losing
when the craftsman saws through the board the wood doesn't cavil
it has learned what practice is for through winning & losing
lovers freely dream of the day their loves will embrace them
blind as night they're shackled forlorn for winning & losing
in her grand charade reeling out for measureless aeons
Mahamaya acts through the form of winning & losing
colors all emerge from your waves O ocean of mercy!
and from you all fragrances pour no winning no losing
those who seek your aid receive grace O infinite mother!
every road winds back to your door past winning & losing
every morn the city awakens ready for showtime
every twirl in kathak disarms our winning & losing
choreography of the cars can't fail to astonish
a ballet so madly performed sans winning or losing
where the juggler catches each ball without apprehension
we perceive a savvy one scorning winning & losing
all are skilled! all love you sincerely all are deluded
thus we heed the tap of karun in winning & losing
where the days have limit & nights are numbered one moves in
parting's play whose practice affords no winning sans losing
those who love the rose must embrace her tragic condition
doesn't Jill love Jack through the thorn where winning means losing?
in a sea of infinite time each boat faces drowning
every nano-act drills a bore from winning to losing
does the dripping faucet drop hints of lost distant homelands?
may the ocean smack through the door of winning & losing!
life enlists us into her sport we dance at her bidding
no one makes some rabid uproar though winning or losing
what we do & think what we read or write trace out gestures
of the mute shade cast in rapport with winning & losing
in the heart of night still the cricket utters its poem
is its crying vapid decor of winning & losing?
should one fetch him mountains of lucre would this mark triumph?
where his verse a flat ear abhors who's winning or losing?
grieving cricket! if you're the dream pray who is the dreamer?
though a bug you're manly what glorious winning & losing!
in the ring where bulls are embattled caution's essential
every spring a may may get gored for winning & losing
in the news don't figures you read amount to diversions?
can their sharpness cancel the blur of winning & losing?
when I glimpsed again Raphael at ease with his poem
I grew troubled "is there still more to winning & losing?
don't you grasp a flower wants terseness? stem the profusion!
in a spree of asking you've worn out winning & losing!"
Raphael! suppose one attends these turgid effusions?
is their gist you cannot endure life's winning & losing?
amid rain you pine for the sun in sun you want water!
it grows plain you're whacked to the core by winning & losing
where the word has gone to the heart revert to the silence
it's insane to chant evermore of winning & losing
when the Buddha offered his view of pain & its ending
was the formless wrapped in the form of winning & losing?
when Lord Krishna sounded his flute in pastoral moonlight
did you dream a castle whose charm slew winning & losing?
after Christ came down from the cross & drowsed in a cavern
he awoke & passed through the door of winning & losing
in the dust at roadside one reads anonymous traces
in the books they ratch up the score of winning & losing
here's a comely garden they clip & water all seasons
butterfly! you're flitting before such winnings & losings
"spider's web" the signage for internet in these boondocks
I'm the fly you catch in the flower of winning & losing
village maidens hasten I know not where in a dreamscape
perfect foothils flap as you snore through winning & losing
to control the senses the wise encourage detachment
one may calm through practice the storm of winning & losing
when life thwarts the urge to create what faces extinction?
one traverses chastity's door both winning & losing?
are not needling needs lost in space when pining to find you?
does the earth retract if we soar past winning & losing?
every day one open a window on separation
every night we fasten the door on winning & losing
certain hours we gaze in the mirror placid & clueless
and betimes we're back on the floor of winning & losing
when the shoe has reached the road's end a roadway continues
at its drop the hat is reborn for winning & losing
vernal thoughts accost you amid the garden of autumn
who can claim to lack a rapport with winning & losing?
when you prize a distant belovèd sorrow grows friendly
batting eyes "come back to my floor of winning & losing"
who'll elucidate why the dream appears but to vanish?
oceanspray will splach on the shore of winning & losing
for a time in youth with guitar you'd dabble while singing
did no song you happened to strum touch winning & losing?
you were young anon you grow older season by season
you were innocent of the war of winning & losing
in those days you marched in dissent for carnage in Asia
in these nights you can't read the score of winning & losing!
in this sorry world happy hands still hasten to help you
don't neglect inshallah ignore the winning & losing
things are always shifting around no plan appears final
yet no change of plan shakes the core of winning & losing
every map we draw gets redrawn on each bracing morrow
by the froth that's slapping the shore of winning & losing
what's the paradox at the crux of every conception?
none's the thought not tapping the door of winning & losing
aren't histories in the books mere hints of an echo?
social fabrics swathe the decor of winning & losing
if you dash out thousands of verses who will this humor?
grows this persiflage a grand bore like winning & losing?
when inspired we soar to the rooftop lost in elation
then we drop to flap on the floor of winning & losing
what we are amounts to a rumor glimpsed in a mirror
what we're not adds grace to the score of winning & losing
having tendered summertime berries or autumn teardrops
may the heart awaken laved pure of winning & losing
on the bridge of infinite longing inches are miles
every second packs in an hour of winning & losing
when you beg your soul for the point of being or doing
its reply paints black the white floor of winning & losing
every task perchance is a pretext who can but fathom
from what timeless flask you out-pour your winning & losing?
like a shell-game deft move your hands concealing the secret!
you reveal we're daft to adore such winning & losing
must the thread of spiritual search wax melodramatic?
grows the pearl organically shorn of winning & losing?
for long years I dithered with poetry to scant purpose
I've become impractical! worn-out winning & losing
in the land of giants the normal man is a midget
when the gods go gambling it dwarfs our winning & losing
with the squash & pumpkin the natives welcome the pilgrims
by your will they gather the corn of winning & losing
on this swing we float through the morn & sweep into evening
everything I hanker to learn through winning & losing
when you pass the tomb of Hafez invoke heaven's mercy
that love's pilgrimage be reborn sans winning or losing
"I have lost again!" cries Jelaluddin at the chessboard
but this time in fact he is shorn of winning & losing
in the Mahabharat where Arjun tarries in trouble
he your sight is granted that form past winning & losing
the mirage resembles a pool the pool seems a mirror
but the looking-glass proves a door of winning & losing
now the door equivocates closed will open our longing
you can purchase that at the store of winning & losing
when the willow peered in the pool she wept for such beauty
like Narcissus trapped by the lure of winning & losing
every heartbeat carries two notions now & tomorrow
we're sustained by what will endure all winning & losing
all the words are dead in the book until you revive them
they exist as chalk on the floor of winning & losing
by your gaze you grant my words life they live in your breathing
all the birds fly back at the hour of winning & losing
when they cried "a trisket! a trasket!" nobody listened
green & yellow laugh in the form of winning & losing
every fairytale holds terrors wedded with wonders
don't you wonder what will be born from winning & losing?
my beloved's hair is as long as night's longest tale
head to tail it spans like the lore of winning & losing
Raphael! I plainly beseech you love without question
like his wife Jack Spratt won the war of winning & losing
when the hand you seek is afar the feet seem pathetic
can't they find a path to her door through winning or losing?
when the heart enjoys her rapport are feet apathetic?
they create the path on a floor of winning & losing
neither hands nor feet know the score & hearts can be broken
we are tanned & blackened & worn out winning & losing
life is fiction fiction achieves the feeling of living
there's no juice in fact till it's torn by winning & losing
do you look to poetry hoping to find safe harbor?
refugees drift back with the lore of winning & losing
at last night's recital guitar-sitar jugalbandi
from the gypsies' track the conour of winning & losing
it's the candid cry of the bulbul that the heart hearkens
shady lies but quack on the shore of winning & losing
the exquisite note isn't one that sounds at full volume
as its play's enacted it soars while winning & losing
the santoor with a hundred strings tells the softest tale
the ektar's deep twang feels the score of winning & losing
in each shape of beauty she pours some glimpse of her secret
with each swar Saraswati performs her winnings & losings
seeking truth gets billed as a craze & not incorrectly
it's a frame to shatter all norms of winning & losing
the Madhyamika views both self & world as but empty
emptiness as the basic core of winning & losing
empty mind empty the physique empty the emotions
there's an emptiness reservoir in winning & losing
in the lamp of union they found no wick & no candle
whiffs of smoke recalled the lost score of winning & losing
the full voice arises & falls regardless of meaning
empty meanings stand on a shore of winning & losing
with the needle of your perception pierce this dark language
darkling night black cat thought obscure that winning & losing
though one beat this theme to a pulp its death isn't witnessed
we've the doom of Kafka exploring winning & losing
where the comic fringes the tragic merits fine study
the comedo-tragic is shown by winning & losing
winning-LOSing! winning-losING winning-losing-WINning!
in the Arctic & Ecuador they're winning & losing!
Raphael! stop egging me on! you scramble my brain! why
must time's whip have cracking in store both winning & losing?
what the stones desire the flowers describe more completely
language blooms from fragments & bones of winning & losing
what the stars are seeking the earth explains in translation
you can read spectacular tomes of winning & losing
what the night reported the day forgot until evening
what the dawn suspected we learn from winning & losing
I've arrived in Dilli my heart perhaps resides elsewhere
what is dil? a taxi for touring winning & losing
in a dargah where the beloved's fused with the framework
of the world I prattle no more of winning & losing
MOVED (2 verses):
those who know don't speak those who speak are lacking in knowing
Lao Tzu's puzzle raps at the door of winning & losing
all our lines were rattles we wore the tide fetches silence
Meher Baba shatters the floor of winning & losing
Raphael! you've changed your address who'll forward love's letter?
was your universe written for mere winning & losing?
[delete this? or put somewhere else, just prior to Haridwar?]
in the train to Haridwar happiness travels with me
all the world's a stage (as it were) of winning & losing
this hotel is lacking hot water brisk is the shower
take a bracing bath then let's tour the winnings & losings
(STILL IN PROG . . . last parts very sketchy)
YOUR UNIVERSE: a Ghazal (completed in Haridwar, 22 November 2007;
started in Delhi 27 October 2007, with some intermediate parts
also written in Baroda)
verse 148 paraphrases & rewrites a couplet from Hafez-i-Shiraz