Monday, February 8, 2016

Ra Sh writes

Photo Finish

comet eye opens. 
smelling guns. 
skin peels. 

from the scorched clay of the field, a burning sigh rises. 
multiplies like staccato reflections of the kill. 
two sighs four sighs.

from the mango 
like a tear drop 
a ripe sigh 

three idiots stand at the gate 
and shout in unison 

“all is well.”

comet eye opens and shuts. 
opens and shuts. 

O p e n s and 

S h u t s.

* Appearance of a comet is a bad omen according to Hindu tradition. It signals bad times ahead.
Image result for comet images


  1. multiplies like staccato reflections of the kill.
    two sighs four sighs. - fantastic poem,

  2. For millennia, people paid a great deal of attention to the seemingly erratic phenomena known as comets. Until the beginning of modern astronomy in the 16th century (and, indeed, even today), they were usually considered to be bad omens of the deaths of kings or of an approaching catastrophe, or as attacks by heavenly beings against terrestrial inhabitants. Gaius Plinius Secundus ("Pliny the Elder") connected them with political unrest. The very word "disaster" comes from the Greek for "bad star." Several mentions of comets, though in astro-mythological terms, appear in the Vedas (Rig, Yajur, Saama, and Atharva), the oldest deciphered Indian texts. For instance, a “dhumaketu” (”smoke banner”) appears in about a half dozen hymns in the Rig Veda (ca. 1700-1100 BCE) and eventually the word came to mean “comet” in various Indian languages, while the Atharvaveda, the mantra portions of which probably date to ca. 1150 BCE, associates comets with death since they look like the smoke rising from a funeral pyre. The classical Indian epics also refer to comets. For instance, in the “Ramayana” (written between the 5th and 1st centuries BCE by Valmiki -- called the Ādi Kavi, the "first poet," because he invented the meter that defined Sanskrit poetry) Rama’s father Dasaratha, the king of Ayodhya, was gravely injured by a comet-like missile, and Ravana, the 10-headed king of Lanka, fatally wounded Rama’s brother Lakshmana with a missile that resembled a small sun-like comet. Similarly, in the “Mahābhārata,” Veda Vyasa referred to cometary omens when he warned his own son, the blind king Dhrtarashtra of Hastinapur, about the ill-fated Pandava-Kaurava war which led to the destruction of all but one of the kings's 101 sons at the hands of his nephew Bhima. The maharishi Parashara (who lived sometime between 1000-700 BCE and not only authored parts of the Rigveda and one of the earliest Purāṇas but was also the father of the "Ramayana" author Veda Vyasa, and thus the great-grandfather of the Kauravas and the Pandavas; he also created the Parashara Dharma Saṃhitā code of laws) listed 101 comets, describing features of 26 of them which he probably observed directly, and gave morbid names like skull, bone, marrow, etc. to some of them he classified in the Death group of comets.


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