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Not Mine to Give, Not Yours to Take


Revision #1


The Hindu News and Mumbai Shipping

Report across my lap like sheet

music, but the carriage-car too dim

for reading;


hedgerows slip behind, the train

descends into the hot climate

of Andhra Pradesh, mud villages

poke up, nameless.


I stop recording, put my notebook

aside. In my memory, the outside

light dissolves revealing a fine grain

on inlaid wall panels; the burnished

copper latches closing compartments

for the traveler's valise; the thick nap

of beaded black and green moquette

covering the seats, a faint toffee scent

and drowsy sweetness of a half-filled

car swaying into Indian countryside.


I contrast that journey with airline

trips today, crayon yellow night lights,

most passengers asleep,

a few illuminated by overhead lamps.

 

I buy chapatti from a train vendor

artfully balancing a food tray

around his neck and a milk gallon

carrier of steaming soup by his side.

 

Artfully you lifted an English foot

from the water; two-piece swimsuit

shimmering from the pool's deep end.

In the afternoon, a warm, cordial rain

clearing like migratory birds;

a smoking fireplace, the soft voice

of a musical performer; a rice thin

parasol for the breaking sun.

 

I desire to imbibe you, to consume

your lingering image furled in sheets,

intertwine my impression with your

feet across the sunburnt terrace;

to hold prisoner your white smile,

gaze stunned into the rust color

of your lipstick and eyelashes;


the hunt in our satin hour beside

the lasping tiger of Bandipur Reserve.

 

Later, in the frenetic isolation

of the Bangalore to Hyderabad Express

I think of my sins; a sunning, watering

animal resting in Second Class, stretched

empty paws.
















Original:


The Hindu News and Mumbai

Shipping Report across my lap

like sheet music, but the carriage-car

too dim for reading;


Cardboard souks of dyed cloth

almost touch the rails, hedgerows slip

behind; the train runs into dry climate.


I stop recording, put my notebook

aside and take a chapatti soup

from a train vendor; artfully he lifts

his milk gallon like carrier to pour.

  

Artfully you lifted an English foot;

your soaked two-piece swimsuit

from the deep end of the pool.

  

In the afternoon, a cordial rain

clearing like migratory birds;

smoking fireplace, the soft voice

of a musical performer; rice thin

parasol for the breaking sun.

  

I thirst to imbibe you; I hunt

like a running tiger of the Bandipur;

I embrace this satin hour of our day.

  

Later, I think of my sins,

board the Bangalore to Hyderabad

express: a sunning, watering animal

resting in Second Class with stretched

empty paws.



Last edited by Bernie01, Mar/25/2013, 4:59 pm


---
Fall

Bob Grenier: the leaves / falling / out of the / water by the / table
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Zakzzz5 Profile
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Re: Not Mine to Give, Not Yours to Take


Makes me wish I'd traveled more in my youth.

quote:

Bernie01 wrote:

The Hindu News and Mumbai

Shipping Report across my lap

like sheet music, but the carriage-car

too dim for reading;


Cardboard souks of dyed cloth

almost touch the rails, hedgerows slip

behind; the train runs into dry climate.


I stop recording, put my notebook

aside and take a chapatti soup

from a train vendor; artfully he lifts

his milk gallon like carrier to pour.

  

Artfully you lifted an English foot;

your soaked two-piece swimsuit

from the deep end of the pool.

  

In the afternoon, a cordial rain

clearing like migratory birds;

smoking fireplace, the soft voice

of a musical performer; rice thin

parasol for the breaking sun.

  

I thirst to imbibe you; I hunt

like a running tiger of the Bandipur;

I embrace this satin hour of our day.

  

Later, I think of my sins,

board the Bangalore to Hyderabad

express: a sunning, watering animal

resting in Second Class with stretched

empty paws.




Feb/14/2013, 2:38 pm Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
ineese Profile
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Re: Not Mine to Give, Not Yours to Take


Bernie,

Very rich writing. I've read this a few times and then earlier today. It's just
a piece that invites diving into.

Here:

" but the carriage-car

too dim for reading; "

would it be too nitty to suggest
"but the lights in the carriage-car"

really I don't have any major add ons here or changes.
Feb/14/2013, 6:23 pm Link to this post Send PM to ineese Blog
 
Bernie01 Profile
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Re: Not Mine to Give, Not Yours to Take


Z---

after many years of travel---spending my small amount of spare cash---i know it's not the travel, it's the seeing;

the willingness to extend to others. on a viet nam trip i met a famous communist figure because i would not go away when the guard said the office was closed;

the leading impressionist painter after explaining to university officials that i meant no harm---he lived less than a two-minute walk from the dean's office and was soon invititing me to stand on his bed to better see his current paintings covering the walls to the ceiling.

Emily Dickinson barely left her home, let alone the state or country.


by Emily Dickinson

 
I'm Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Then there's a pair of us!
Don't tell! they'd advertise – you know!


henry james and pound, gertrude stein liked europe so much they stayed.

all great writers.

not the travel, the seeing when you travel; the seeing when you stay at home---and that seeing also informs your poetry. an open heart is all the travel anyone needs.

hi Ineese---


you suggested this revision:



The Hindu News and Mumbai

Shipping Report across my lap

like sheet music, but the lights

in the carriage-car too dim

for reading;





but the lights

in the carriage-car too dim

for reading




fine with me, but in my mental movie of the train, there is also the retreating light from the windows, a lingering languor fills the carriage---conducive to the narrator's voice as he remembers. i like those little pools of light we see on night flights, most passengers asleep, but a few still illuminated by an overhead lamp.

say, that sounds like a pom...LOL.

 
very much appreciate your reading and comment.


bernie





 

Last edited by Bernie01, Feb/14/2013, 8:42 pm


---
Fall

Bob Grenier: the leaves / falling / out of the / water by the / table
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ineese Profile
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Re: Not Mine to Give, Not Yours to Take


Yes, I think its really personal preference and is fine either way. Thanks again for the post.
Feb/14/2013, 7:14 pm Link to this post Send PM to ineese Blog
 
Bernie01 Profile
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Re: Not Mine to Give, Not Yours to Take


Kathleen---


thanks for your comment.


bernie




---
Fall

Bob Grenier: the leaves / falling / out of the / water by the / table
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Re: Not Mine to Give, Not Yours to Take


hey bernie,

A lush and languorous (as in dreamy mood or quality) read. I especially liked:

the train runs into a dry climate

resting in Second Class/with stretched empty paws


Not crazy about "to hold prisoner your white smile,/your rust colored lips kissing deeply"
Seems OTT to me...maybe just lose the rust colored lips as the preceding line is actually fine...

I really enjoyed this exotic train trip,

Chris
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Bernie01 Profile
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Re: Not Mine to Give, Not Yours to Take


C---

thanks for buying a ticket, observing this thoughtful traveller.

he now says:

to hold prisoner your white smile,

gaze stunned into the rust color

of your lipstick and eyelashes.



i think of a novel, Kipling's Kim, Forster's A Passage to India.


how far can i go? where is the top when we think of over the top in writing, what length will be long enough to dazzle, short enough to avoid boredom?


a movie. a slowly moving camera.


thanks again.


bernie

A Passage to India, Chapter i

There is an oval Maidan, and a long sallow hospital. Houses belonging to Eurasians stand on the high ground by the railway station. Beyond the railway -- which runs parallel to the river -- the land sinks, then rises again rather steeply. On the second rise is laid out the little civil station, and viewed hence Chandrapore appears to be a totally different place. It is a city of gardens. It is no city, but a forest sparsely scattered with huts. It is a tropical pleasaunce washed by a noble river.




Walt Whitman:


Passage to India!
Lo, soul, for thee, of tableaus twain,
I see, in one, the Suez canal initiated, open’d,
I see the procession of steamships, the Empress Eugenie’s leading the van;
I mark, from on deck, the strange landscape, the pure sky, the level sand in the distance;
I pass swiftly the picturesque groups, the workmen gather’d,
The gigantic dredging machines.




Last edited by Bernie01, Feb/16/2013, 12:52 pm


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Bob Grenier: the leaves / falling / out of the / water by the / table
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Terreson Profile
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Revision only read, which is something I tend to do, assuming it is what the poet intends for the poem.

A couple of lazy phrases maybe, but slightly so and not enough to get in my way. The big thing is that I am convinced of the scene. Poem places me in the moment(s). Poem places me in the narrative too, which narrative satisfies my sense of a well told story. But the biggest thing is that I am convinced of motive, which is a moral thing I suppose. It's in the tone's treatment of subject matter. Not in the hand's treatment, the tone's.

Right here and I know I'm not being bullshitted:

  I desire to imbibe you, to consume

your lingering image furled in sheets,

intertwine my impression with your

feet across the sunburnt terrace;

to hold prisoner your white smile,

gaze stunned into the rust color

of your lipstick and eyelashes;

Yes. Right there. Poem has what I call the holy trinity: gestalt, kinetic energy, tension.

Tere
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queenfisher Profile
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very absorbing read bernie
it's always nice to sense the exotica of your own country through foreign eyes

some great descriptions - a poem worth going into minutely - excuse my sketchy comments - lack of time - talking of travel - it's indeed wonderful - & to write about it even more so - as it so happens i'm leaving for s. africa tom! bernie - the poem is a charming travelogue the love angle adds to the charm
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QF---


i hope you will write something about your upcoming trip to s africa. i only know s africa through nadine Gordimer and novels like Cry the Beloved Country---i'm very out of date.

from Gordimer i have looked closely at the way she builds objects in a room into an editorial comment.

and thanks very much for looking over this poem of mine.

wishing you all the best on your trip.


bernie



  

---
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Bob Grenier: the leaves / falling / out of the / water by the / table
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Katlin Profile
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Re: Not Mine to Give, Not Yours to Take


Lovely poem, Bernie. I really enjoyed it. Reads like an E. M. Forster novel in verse form. Killer ending:

"Later, I think of my sins,
board the Bangalore to Hyderabad
express: a sunning, watering animal
resting in Second Class with stretched
empty paws."

PS Ha! I see you mentioned Forster yourself in your reply to Chris, but I did pick up that vibe while reading. Although I seemed to have conflated Passage to India and A Room with a View because I imagined Helena Bohnam Carter as the woman in the two-piece.
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K---

many thanks, especially to ferret out that Forster connection.


the wonderful description of a bathtub from E. Waugh in Brideshead Revisited:

I was always given the room I had on my first visit; it was next to Sebastian’s, and we shared what had once been a dressing-room and had been changed to a bathroom twenty years back by the substitution for the bed of a deep, copper, mahogany-framed bath, that was filled by pulling a brass lever heavy as a piece of marine engineering; the rest of the room remained unchanged,; a coal fire always burned there in winter. I often think of that bathroom---the water colours dimmed by steam and the huge towel warming on the back of the chintz armchair---and contrast it with the uniform, clinical little chambers, glittering with chromium plate and looking-glass, which pass for luxury in the modern world.




wish i had a complete written copy of his longish poem read by Richard Howard himself.
at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


http://www.metmuseum.org/metmedia/video/collections/modern/sam_hmpeg4_youtube_medium




but please, listen here as he reads his own poem, about 11 minutes into the video titled
Bonnard a Novel.


and here, a breathtaking gallery of Bonnard and a few others.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=576194


bernie


 





---
Fall

Bob Grenier: the leaves / falling / out of the / water by the / table
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hi bernie

i think you'd do well to end at empty paws - englishman's dueling sword sounds a bit much (to me)

had a fantastic trip! cheetah with two cubs on the first day - herds of tuskars, rhinos, impalas, zebras, giraffes etc. etc up close - the african jungles are something else! very diff. from indian ones - bush camp experience was pretty awesome - sweeping panoramic view with animals at the doorstep! however no poems as yet on the subject!
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Queenfisher---

oh lord lord.

breathtaking even to contemplate through your posted note in the Forum.

with or without a poem, i brushed into the exuberance of your experience, exhilarating for me even at great distance.

and you are right about cutting the Englishman reference i experimented with for several days.

i found myself not going back to Gortimer, but to Hemingway---no reason, just aimless reading:

The Snows of Kilimanjaro his 1938 short story about the American dying with an infected broken leg.


Kilimanjaro is a snow-covered mountain 19,710 feet high, and is said to be the highest mountain in Africa. Its western summit is called the Masai "Ngaje Ngai," the House of God. Close to the western summit there is the dried and frozen carcass of a leopard. No one has explained what the leopard was seeking at that altitude.


quote:

...and he saw them all standing below, waving, and the camp beside the hill, flattening now, and the plain spreading, clumps of trees, and the bush flattening, while the game trails ran now smoothly to the dry waterholes, and there was a new water that he had never known of. The zebra, small rounded backs now, and the wildebeeste, big-headed dots seeming to climb as they moved in long fingers across the plain, now scattering as the shadow came toward them, they were tiny now, and the movement had no gallop, and the plain as far as you could see, gray-yellow now and ahead...

...Then they were over the first hills and the wildebeeste were trailing up them, and then they were over mountains with sudden depths of green-rising forest and the solid bamboo slopes, and then the heavy forest again, sculptured into peaks and hollows until they crossed, and hills sloped down and then another plain, hot now, and purple brown, bumpy with heat...

...he saw a pink sifting cloud, moving over the ground, and in the air, like the first snow in a blizzard, that comes from nowhere, and he knew the locusts were coming, up from the South...

Then they began to climb and they were going to the East it seemed, and then it darkened and they were in a storm, the rain so thick it seemed like flying through a waterfall...

...there, ahead, all he could see, as wide as all the world, great, high, and unbelievably white in the sun, was the square top of Kilimanjaro. And then he knew that there was where he was going.




welcome back.


bernie








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Fall

Bob Grenier: the leaves / falling / out of the / water by the / table
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dear bernie

thanks for the welcome & the quote - it's so apt! our naturalist showed us the place where the movie - 'i dream of africa' with kim bassinger was shot. the african jungles are like being in a movie! loved it!
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