Friday, September 26, 2014

a sacred madness

The throbbing of unheard drums
calls me to the birch grove.

The scent of Labrador tea.
A single leaf lands in my hair.

In my dark blood
the light sings.

I've long had a fascination with this dance (Samaia), choreographed by  Iliko Sukhishvili and Nino Ramishvili of the Georgian National Ballet.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Dvořák - Lorca - Equinox

The sun caresses the trees in the mornings; the frost kisses them in the evenings: the Autumn Equinox is here, a new year, a time of endings and beginnings.

I watch the trees for a sign: their branches are always lifted in Joy.

Dvořák - American Quartet, Prazak Quartet

A long ghost of silver moving
the night-wind’s sighing
opened my old hurt with its grey hand
and moved on: I was left yearning.

Wound of love that will grant my life
endless blood and pure welling light.
Cleft in which Philomela, struck dumb,
will find her grove, her grief and tender nest.

Ay, what sweet murmurs in my head!
I’ll lie down by the single flower
where your beauty floats without a soul.

And the wandering waters will turn yellow,
as my blood runs through the moist
and fragrant undergrowth of the shore.

--García Lorca

                    (Translated by A. S. Kline)

Friday, September 19, 2014

Elegy to the Golden Leaf-fall (Lina Mkrtchyan)

Elegy to the Golden Leaf-fall

Lina Mkrtchyan performs a song composed by Isaac Schwartz.

Lyrics: Timur Zulfikarov

Listen--is it raining?
Or--a mouse, rustling? Or has a star fallen?
Or is it that the golden shudders of the Autumn trees
have overcome and enchanted us?
O, falling leaves! O, falling leaves!
A fleeting vision! Like an old friend, comfort me with your touch.

Listen--is it snowing now?
Will not the wine cool in the glass?
Why is human life so long?
Why is love so short?
O, falling leaves! O, falling leaves!
A fleeting vision! Like a dear mother, comfort me with your touch.

Let's go into the forest wildness--
along the river, gilded by leaves...
Why, O God, is life so short?
Why is love so infinite?
O, falling leaves! O, falling leaves!
A fleeting vision! Like a small child, comfort me with your touch.

I'll go out to the porch in the rain
under the wet leaves circling above my head,
and you, as an Angel, ascend above the earth,
and you will laugh, and cry....
O, falling leaves! O, falling leaves!
A fleeting vision! Like a young wife, comfort me with your cool breath.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Beethoven's Symphony No. 7, 2nd movement

Beethoven's Symphony No. 7, 2nd movement 
Leonard Bernstein conducting, Musikverein, Vienna, 1978

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Beloved Sun, why such a sideways glance? On every hill, in each vale, Flora outdoes itself in a bid to gladden the eye of Ra with swirling tapestries of scarlet, gold, maroon and green. The rivers are in a hurry to flow down to the sea, to greet the salmon as it leaps in the other direction.  Fare thee well, blessed summer.

Within the change there is a wind, stirring, lifting the branches.

The birch-leaves scatter, heart-shaped coins, dropping upon the grass.

While holding a piece of jade, taken from a mountain of serpentine, I close my eyes.

There is no more eye, only aye. And there the golden shower is unceasing. Thoughts descend in translucent geometries, as if in crystal-flakes and keys to knowledge not yet unlocked, as a snow that does not chill, ushering in a winter of transformation.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Again and again in my thoughts I would catch myself wandering alone on a path winding through a wood. Branches hung over the path on both sides. The way forward was always in the dark. My hands would reach forward to feel in front of me in the blackness, and then I would take a step. Then another step, and yet another.

The murky flavor of this forest was tinged with despair, and yet I continued stubbornly to wander through this wilderness for many years. Somewhere in the distance, a firefly was dancing, I promised myself. I reached back into the past for the memory of faint voices of encouragement; then I would move on with a sigh.

When I was embraced, it was only by a dark angel, who reflected the dusky indigo depths of my own gloom. My dream-darlings, I turned my back on you and stubbornly marched ahead. I memorized a script of suffering, and wore it out in repetitive recitations. Often, I sank into an oblivion where exhaustion was my most constant companion.

There were a few hints, like the time I remembered a dream from early childhood: sunlight on a grassy knoll, and the certainty that roses were blossoming there.

But for the most part, such has been the way of this life. A silence verging on muteness. A series of impossible, tenebrous longings. The preference to remain in obscurity, behind the trees.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Deva Premal - Gayatri Mantra

I know almost nothing about Vedic mantras; nonetheless, I find this quite moving.