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Buoy the population of the soul
Toward their destination before they drown
~ Robert Pinsky
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Saturday, 29. October 2011

Passages



[1] A Passage on Time (Washington DC)

Don’t the ginkos wait all year
For these brief weeks of cool blue
Skies - they call it Indian Summer –
To unfurl their haloes of golden flame?

Sometimes it is easy to lose track
Of time, even as living is about time
Most of the time. Six months, she says,
Since they have started sleeping in the same bed.

No, she corrects herself, it is seven actually.

[2] A Passage on Memory (Hyderabad, India)
“My memory is again in the way of your history.” - Agha Shahid Ali

This country, even as I didn’t know it, remains
The substratum that I must drill into every time
To standup these edifices of words, in a language
Out of whose palm I surreptitiously ate, a starveling.

These words are as close to me as memory,
Yet I haven’t summoned them by name often.
They, like you, stand at an distinct angle to memory,
From whose density you seek escape today

Into a lighter, less crowded air. But these are
Orphic moments that I must sing as I attempt
To ascend on a stair of alphabet towards a moment
Of painless clarity. Perhaps it is true, the spirit needs

Memory in the absence of history, and history in
Making seeks escape in the presence of memory.




My Poems

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