Thursday, May 26, 2016

Peter Bollington writes

Poems for yoga (1972-1973)

my eyes fly like the sun
    down southern cliffs
foam climbs my ankles, puppy fond for touch
    seagulls in grey regiment watch the sea
while I step around their single-glitter eyes
    the sun comes on me now like a lover
quietly she slips my body into her embrace

    before me now
dark cloud has marshaled half the evening sky
    it ponders beside a deep edge of stars
    a huge map, land against ocean
        I wander that cloud
        as the cliff-face of a continent
freshening myself in the space-sea at my side;
    I would embark in a ship of lives
        leaving the darkness behind me.

        bowing into mudra
    I enter the silent world
a blade of grass leans within the sun
    an insect crawls across my back;
the other world offers me its noisy thoughts
    highway and plane, chain saw and radio
        but I drift on slow breaths
    to the trees and quiet birds
nature's song sweeps the noises into a corner
        I am the grass

birds murmur gently beside my silence
        as I look into the spring
            the night was cold upon their tongues;
    I roll the air from the purple sea
        inside my lungs, inside my mind's chattering
            a hinge opens
                eyes within eyes begin to take notice

the moon wanders quickly
    this January afternoon
a sidelong sway with the wind
it is nearly full, feet tucked under
a fondness from summer, warm embrace;
something licks down my insides o Moon
        you sail the night sky
            stars booming like pianos
and my legs itch, my ears open

today I walk down leaves and shadows, sun-pools dance beside me
    a fence green-heavy with peas
beyond this a garden waits upon my smiling eyes
I climb some boughs and look to the coast
spray of whales and combers in triangles, moths of the sea
the land is blue: it winks like a mind and curves like a ship;
    now I stand ankles in the air at the summit of my world
what is left but to fly as the aeriest creature of my delight?

the sea moves upon the land like a wrinkling skin
steppes of huge water led by the flying white mares
    combers hungry for the sand and their joy:
        within each of us a continent,
            with all a blue ocean

sometimes the spring visits
    for an hour, a morning
birds merry their conversation and light grows thicker
    the robust crows float aaark's to the sea
and allysum sweetens the air for my drinking
    now the year is stretching in a yawn
        thrusting out a leg
    it is blinking and awakening
        slowly arousing from dreams

I span a streamy sea, a vortex of old
sinews in the rusty blood, arrows driven
down a congregation of whores and tongues
that roll to lick the sheets of winking glass
all hidden underneath the brown and hazing brain
that breaks and thunders in the motor-children past
 Yoga Tree Pose -- Donna Walsh

1 comment:

  1. A mudrā (Sanskrit for "seal," "mark," or "gesture") is a symbolic or ritual gesture and an energetic seal of authenticity employed in the iconography and spiritual practice of Indian religions. Some involve the entire body, but most use only the hands and fingers.
    In yoga, mudras are used in conjunction with breathing exercises, generally while seated, to stimulate different parts of the body that are affected by breathing. Regular Tantric yoga uses 108 mudras. Hatha ("force") yoga (or Haṭhavidyā) is a system of physical techniques designed by the deity Shiva that has become popular around the world, especially the asanas (physical postures) as a form of physical exercise; it is what is generally referred to generically as "yoga." According to Svāmi Svātmārāma's 15th-century classic "Hatha Yoga Pradīpikā (Light on Hatha Yoga), "The goddess sleeping at the entrance of Brahma's door should be constantly aroused with all effort, by performing mudra thoroughly." In Indian classical dance, the term "hasta mudra" is used. The "Abhinaya Darpana" gives 28 mudras, while the "Nāṭyaśāstra" describes 24 of them. The 2nd-century "Abhinaya Darpana" (The Mirror of Gesture) was written by Nandikeshvara, whom some sources regard as Bharata Muni's mentor; Bharata's "Nāṭyaśāstra" (Nat" [act, represent] + "Shastra" [precept, rules, manual, compendium, book, treatise]) was compiled sometime between 500 BCE and 500 CE (probably, a bit more narrowly, between 200 BCE and 200 CE). Its 36 chapters contain 6000 verses (perhaps 1/2 its original length) on dramatic composition, the structure of a play, stage construction, genres of acting, body movements, make up, costumes, the role of an art director, musical scales and instruments, the integration of music with art, and its Rasa aesthetic theory which asserts that entertainment is a secondary goal of performance arts: the primary goal is to transport the audience into a parallel reality where they experience the essence of their own consciousness and reflect on spiritual and moral questions. Oḍiśī, which originated in Odisha, the oldest surviving dance form in India, was called "Odra-Magadhi" in the "Nāṭyaśāstra;" it has only 20 hasta mudra. Bharata Natyam (or Bharathanatiyam), originated in the temples of Tamil Nadu and was based on the "Nāṭyaśāstra," but it developed its distinct style between the 3rd century BCE and the 4th century CE in ancient Tamilakam; it employs 28 (or 32) root mudras. Kathakali, a stylized dance-drama genre noted for its elaborate make-up and costumes, detailed gestures, and well-defined body movements, originated in Kerala during the 17th century but with roots going back to folk dances that are almost 1500 years old; it has 24 hasta mudra. These root mudras are combined in different ways, like one hand, two hands, arm movements, body and facial expressions, and so forth; Kathakali has about 900 combinations.


Join the conversation! What is your reaction to the post?