Tag Archives: culture

Genesis 1:1

No record was kept of
the name that they
gave to that bird,
vivid yellow and green
welcoming a primeval dawn,
captured on flickering footage
the memory of it kept
alive in black and white;

no-one recalls any longer
how many villagers were
removed from the site of
that first copper mine;

no written record was kept
of their ancient wisdom and
their cosmology long swept away;

sat neatly in rows
they learn anew
from the gaunt apparition
standing in front
of the blackboard,
bespectacled,
collared
and tied.

Flaneur :-Arts Council Funded

The gallery was crowded,
the Flaneur felt a frisson
of ennui,
” comment? ”

his forefinger jabbed toward the photograph,
a man apparently stood on a mat
that was adjacent a bus stop,
a casual reading of the tableau
would conclude that the man foregrounded
was also waiting for the bus,
” ah,trompe l’oeil! ”

Along the bleached gallery wall,
in portraiture pose
a woman,une artiste,
locked in some contortionist fandango
with the corpse of a sheep,
the picture having been taken
during that animated exhibition,
existential dread was manifesting
itself in this gallery;
” Quelle domage! ”

the Flaneur affecting
a conjunctival squint peered
nonchalantly over his pince-nez,
An altogether hideous conflation
of postmodern brutalism,
a crown of beercrates perched on
the roof of a shipping container;
” exceptionelle! ”

the Flaneur,
aesthetic senses exhausted,
gazed myopically for the title
of this superb photographic display;

on the back of the Fire Escape door,
the blu-tacked laminated pink card read:-

” Arts Council England funding highlights “.

The Third Man

A haunting zither’s lament permeates

the dank misty alleyway,

from a high up apartment window

a jingle-jangle music-box

is serenading a peek-a-boo moon;

A streetcar is stuttering

grinding to a halt,

silhouetted by lamplight

a solitary figure disembarks,

he quickly merges into a doorway

a shadow within shadows;

he lights up a Lucky Strike and waits,

his friend Holly Martins is late,

something..someone..has kept him

from this rendezvous;

After a while

emerging from the doorway

rapid click-clacks carry him

across the cobblestones toward

Vienna’s labyrinthine sewers,

where Harry Lime

loses himself

and is lost:

Cultural Footnote:-
( ” The Third Man ” 1949..a film Directed by Carol Reed, screenplay by Graham Greene )

Portrait of General After Battle

Smoke wreathed distant battlements,
skies flecked with irridescent amber,
fluttering banners and icons held aloft;
in the foreground
clad in burnished breastplate,
circumferenced by a scarlet sash
a warrior’s imposing stature unfeigned,
lacking the air of braggadocio
conveyed in earlier portraits,
pensive eyes glower from
the bearded visage
its contours grown greyer;
his right hand grasps the
ostentatiously plumed helmet,
in his gauntless left hand a
crumpled map torn at one corner,
overhead crows circle,
to his right riderless horses
are being led away,
his own steed lost amidst
the onslaught that some would
of necessity deem glorious,
lest they unlike the artist
cause posterity to question.

Ancient Voices

Sublime

exquisite,

their expression,

their emotion,

their surreal evocation

of an Age

long since past,

beyond memory:

Revived,

to seduce

transfix

in the Here,

the for Now

everlasting Here,

Connecting

nigh on five centuries

how vibrant,

mysterious,transparent

cogent

the notation

the phrasing

the passion

the exultation;

erasing all

of the dull quotidian

and its stifling mediocrity,

ancient voices,

singing.

 

Author’s footnote :-

On July 12, 2016 BBC Radio 3 broadcast live from York Minster’s Early Music Festival.

And I found myself beginning to scribble furiously whilst listening to the performance from the private songbook collection of Ann Boleyn.

 

 

An Ode to Keralam

Beneath southern sky an emerald shimmers

A tiny trinket jingles on earth from God’s crown.

Nature condensed heaven in a speck of land.

Keralam- God’s very own country

Perfectly nestled between powerful knights

At east, lush Western Ghats mountains

At west, pretty guardian angel Arabian Sea

Amidst, Keralam lay soulfully in nature’s cradle.

 

She is picturesque; a soliloquy spells magic in its milieu

In the green paddy fields folklores chuckles and sings

Zephyr carries seductive mud smell of uncouth farmers.

Moody monsoon shrugs and welcome flamboyant sunshine for Onam,

The Crème de le cream, the harvest festival of extravaganza.

It immerses in mythological essence and uplifts seasonal mood.

 

Exotic wild lives and bird sanctuaries dwelling in duskiness

A tempting fad of desired indulgence happening in serene solitude..

In the mould of turrets rich plantations nourish and flourish.

High ranges – an overwhelming glimpse in the misty background.

These panoramas and aristocracy blush in the locale as bliss

Or rather a true poetic musing and chivalry of the rustic place.

 

Tantalizing golden beaches and long coastline depict portrait

where fishing on tamed and wild waves a delightful sight.

Sensuous curvatures of rivers write lyrics on shorelines.

Sparkling lakes showcase glamour on its pristine water.

Spectral lagoons woo millions to its isle where twilight rests.

 

The gorgeous backwaters stretch tranquility on velvet banks

‘Kettuvallams’ reign and ferry tourists on silken curls of waves

Venice of east – the royal host treats guests on its slender lap.

Coconut flavoured cuisines melting on taste palettes wanting more.

Tourists devour the serenity in retrospect and steal a bit of it.

 

Beautiful temples and colourful festivals inscribe ornamental charm

Rich culture, traditions, ethnicity are ethos of the southern soil.

‘Kathakali, Kalaripayattu,Vallam kali, Trichur Pooram, Ayurveda’

Mirrors true heritage and pronounce rich legacy of Keralam.

 

Keralite’s nostalgia is etched and enlivens as everlasting phenomenon.

Wherever they go they bear a piece of Keralam within their heart.

An epilogue they flaunt it on their sleeves so dotingly and proudly.

 

© Maaya Dev

 

Footnotes: –

Kathakali- Ancient classical dance drama form

Kalaripayattu – Ancient martial art form

Vallamkali – Traditional boat race using Snake Boat

Thrissur Pooram- Famous Temple festival of Kerala

Alappuzha ( Allappey) dist of Keralam known as Venice of east is a hot backwater tourist spot.

(Being a Keralite I proudly present this ekphrastic poem about Kerala for all poetry lovers. I tried my best to portray its beauty, richness , ethnicity and culture. Hope you would enjoy this piece of work and share your sincere opinions)

 

5 p.m.

The mordant day drifts along its course
into the deep deep of evening ,
its hours exhausted by a futility
arduously wrought with effort,endeavour,exasperation ;
leaving us to be put to sleep
the “us” who henceforth shall never awaken ,
the “us” who became as dormant
as hallway carpets waiting to be rolled up
ready to be tossed away for junk ;
onto the ephemeral detritus of the rest of
our lives ,our existence,our waking days ,
rendered redundant ,obsolete,ossified
secreted in a glass display cabinet
at the back of a Museum long closed ,
shuttered to all the World’s inquisitiveness ;
there to subsist in an absence of purpose
without respite nor recourse to those
meanings which the days once gave to them ,
once upon a time ,a long long time ago
before the advent of the indifference
that caused the mordant day to drift along
its course into the deep ,deep .

Charitable Days

Days are made charitable by their absence ,
best off intruding someone else’s eviscerated
existence rather than mine ;
Time was when I felt
that I had time ,
some substance of it
in my backpocket ready for
rainy days that sort of thing ,
but no , days are not like that ,
monstrous they are great
impervious behemoths with their
unrelenting array of hours ,
all twenty-four of them ;
count them then count them again ,
absence makes the heart grow fonder ,
in their case absence makes
the days grow longer ,
or so it seems to one with
the imprint of the day’s boot
on my face where it had stamped down
with an indifference peculiar to time ;
tick tock tick tock as though time didn’t care ,
which of course being Time it can’t possibly can it ?
Days espouse nothing other than their own concerns
so days are made charitable by their absence ,
or so it seems .

Portrait of Child with Mother

From the perpendicular window
high up in the left hand
corner a pale miasma
billows across the kitchen;
the hearth stands unattended
pots and skillets undisturbed,
on the table are unlit candles
and empty plain pewter bowls;
tangentially to the table
an adolescent attired in formal
cobalt appears deep in thought,
the woman clad in wintry grey
stares off into the distance;
effecting a certain allegory
with the vacant chair draped
by the formal cloak of
her husband long departed;
typical of the Flemish School,
the painting eschews fashionable
popularity in favour of
a rigorous verite.

Shakespeare Wrote This: “Credit Where It’s Due”

” Dear Sir,

A gallon of ale

and two pots of Honey,

please extend my credit

I’ve got no Money;

A side of bacon

and some cutlets of Pork,

let me pay you next week

I’ve no trinkets to Hawk;

I need new shoes for my wife

and a new set for the Horse,

put them on the slate

you’ll get paid of Course;

These few necessities will see me Through,

until I find a buyer

for Henry IV,Part Two.”

(I,Louis Kasatkin hereby admit to penning this back in 1998 at the time of the release of “Shakespeare in Love”which went on to get the Oscar for motion picture for that year.)