Tagore/Kabir XIII. X

This is my fifth post in the Tagore/Kabir series.

To be blind to all
     but X
To be exfoliated 
     of X
The retributive
     was X
Whence the unknown
     is X
Where the X itself is
     not X

Here’s Tagore channeling Kabir

II. 37. angadhiyâ devâ

  O Lord Increate, who will serve Thee?
  Every votary offers his worship to the God of his own creation:
    each day he receives service—
  None seek Him, the Perfect: Brahma, the Indivisible Lord.
  They believe in ten Avatars; but no Avatar can be the Infinite
    Spirit, for he suffers the results of his deeds:
  The Supreme One must be other than this.
  The Yogi, the Sanyasi, the Ascetics, are disputing one with
  Kabîr says, "O brother! he who has seen that radiance of love,
    he is saved."

Let’s count the ways

Let's count the ways the dead ravine
    Speaks; let's

Dine with hampsters and speak ill of
    Their fathers;

Let's see what's in store for the red
     Pillage of my

Ink tying throbknots with yours; let's
     Turn this eye

And go blind.

When you speak dissent

Doubt is never green
Doubt is never green; it
Can pose as a subtle shade

Of green, but the facade
Stops in two seconds; the

First instant you re-create
The mill of worry; in the second

You forget the question that
Raises the head of the hound.

The bull of an unwant
The bull of an unwant, the hull
Of fear, stroke of morn, hurry!
Call the vet, the cat of a million
Anchors needs play but won’t,

Can’t; the subterfuge of reason,
the stroke of morn, the hull of
Fear, hurry! the white of your
Eyes is lulled, void, seeks red.

When you speak dissent
When you speak dissent you strike a
Chord with deep, you

Mingle with the ecstatic component of
Hyperbole and reduce

It to mean, to song, when you speak
Dissent, you call the

Fire in netherworlds to answer, to respond
In repose, resplendent.

The structure of verse
i. The possibility of pain is an epistemological
boon ii. A permanent fire burns my hand,

and it sizzles iii. Deem the thread inviolable,
the threat inveterate iv. Cast a net that crowns

the sense of the ineffable v. The sensible is but an articulate corollary

The terrifying responsibility of action
The terrifying responsibility of
Action willing

Science to matter and verse to
Argument, parting

Seas into neat countables and un
Nameables, wishing

With tables, minutae, verbal and
Occular –


Tagore/Kabir XIV: the hue of hubris

This is the fourth post in the Tagore/Kabir series.

You seek the hue of hubris in
The pine flavor of sky and you
Call it I; you rest in the palm of
Wilful Sky and try, try and call it
I; you bring me the pulp of a paper
Cut sluiced and threaded with dread
and call it I; there are many I’s, no?

The original representation of the even more original

II. 56. dariyâ kî lahar dariyâo hai jî

  The river and its waves are one
  surf: where is the difference between the river and its waves?
  When the wave rises, it is the water; and when it falls, it is
    the same water again. Tell me, Sir, where is the distinction?
  Because it has been named as wave, shall it no longer be
    considered as water?
  Within the Supreme Brahma, the worlds are being told like beads:
  Look upon that rosary with the eyes of wisdom.

And here’s a useful tangent
The way you create a deliberate lilt
In the fabric

And let the hazelnut fry your brain’s

Its thrust into being another, its voltage
Of stammer

And becoming, walking; this stroll through
A laugh and



The song of missing

So the song of
Missing goes out in the flame of care, the
Frame of care;

Being outside
We caress the patina of hard edges and hard
Messiahs, for

They are bare;
How my mind conceals your eye from me is
Beyond sight-


the ripeness of seed is not alone


a thrashed out summer, vintage
  culmination of

risk, harmony, curvature of an
  intentional space;

here is the witness, the grab
  of weight and its

vehicle of gravity; love is a
  rock etched, skinned.


the ripeness of seed is alone;
   its neck deep in the red of

wood; an etch that seeks community,
   the wish of communion, the

resin that guides sap and wishes
   harm away; this seed is best

remembered not alone but with
   others, engaged, engorged.

Reblog: Degrees of freedom

Here is one I posted five years ago. Munira was reminded by Facebook; she reminded me,  and I met myself once again with a “glad to meet you” and decided to repost. She asked me to dedicate it to Qandeel Baloch, so I do. One of my recent posts is Silence and Freedom which is relevant to both this post and Baloch in two ways: i) the external form and ii) Audre Lorde’s words: when Lorde speaks of oppression, the resonance is deep enough to touch all its fangs: race, gender, class, age, and every which way in which humans otherize the other.

Degrees of Freedom


Tagore/Kabir V – Maya as oppression

This is the third post in the Tagore/Kabir series.

An oppressive taunt is Maya’s
Brother in law; the

Cusp of a lesser heaven; the
Beerbelly is contingent

Upon remembering how much seep
Was ingested and

How it came about that you wept
So soundly.

A fellow blogger/poet, ThotPurge, interpreted the original thus:

I killed my shadow
Blocking the afternoon sun
Now clouds distract me

Ans this is how Tagore originally appropriated Kabir

I. 63. avadhû, mâyâ tajî na jây

  Tell me, Brother, how can I renounce Maya?
  When I gave up the tying of ribbons, still I tied my garment
    about me:
  When I gave up tying my garment, still I covered my body in its
  So, when I give up passion, I see that anger remains;
  And when I renounce anger, greed is with me still;
  And when greed is vanquished, pride and vainglory remain;
  When the mind is detached and casts Maya away, still it clings to
    the letter.
  Kabîr says, "Listen to me, dear Sadhu! the true path is rarely

Silence and freedom

The quotes prefacing my poems below are taken from a 1977 paper delivered by Audre Lorde titled, “The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action”.

“What are the words you do not yet have? What do you need to say? What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of them, still in silence?”
the bureaucracy of joy
Operationally exigent, the
Skill of my day-to-day is
Contingent, held by the
Noosed nylon that will swing

You to the other side; the door
Is procedure, sentiment; cross that
Tee and knot that eye with thatched
Thistle carving up the parchment

Into friendly spaces, cells and columns,
Political economy of verbs & nouns,
Forms content with fill, ink’s dissent
With fill of space, the dotted eye.

“We can learn to work and speak when we are afraid in the same way we have learned to work and speak when we are tired. For we have been socialized to respect fear more than our own needs for language and definition, and while we wait in silence for that final luxury of fearlessness, the weight of that silence will choke us.”
rules of communion
Commit to the arbitrary whim
That seeks plenitude but knows

Not how, and then organize those
Whims, the exigencies of action.

Figure out the ancestry of the
Why of what you have to do, and

Write it down: to commit is to
Want to breathe, sink and greet.

“The fact that we are here and that I speak these words is an attempt to break that silence and bridge some of those differences between us, for it is not difference which immobilizes us, but silence. And there are so many silences to be broken.”
freedom is inherently dangerous

freedom is inherently dangerous; it can
unfetter the slovenly pink and discolor
the unfelt solder, the axed appropriate
mandate, the breaking of swords, triads

of affiliation, tinpots of manged hate;
freedom is thus danger; and why not? it
reeks of past, it seeks the past, flits
of memory crawl out of nowhere nothings

Tagore/Kabir IX: Not Known

This is the second post in the Tagore/Kabir series.

The thorn of passion, a larger
Head, the 
         substance and grind and tenor of which is 
Not rhythm

The thorn of passion, a silent
Dig, the 
        plunge and prick and singe of which is
Not song

It is in the now, also then, also
Hence, the
        inner and outer and which and what is
Not known

Tagore’s take on Kabir

I. 104. aisâ lo nahîn taisâ lo

  O How may I ever express that secret word?
  O how can I say He is not like this, and He is like that?
  If I say that He is within me, the universe is ashamed:
  If I say that He is without me, it is falsehood.
  He makes the inner and the outer worlds to be indivisibly one;
  The conscious and the unconscious, both are His footstools.
  He is neither manifest nor hidden, He is neither revealed nor
  There are no words to tell that which He is.

I bore in my heart
the thorn of passion:
Drew it out one day
And my heart is numb.
– Antonio Machado


Tagore/Kabir II. the dallying dollopful deity

This is the first of a series posts tagged Tagore/Kabir. Basically, a few of my rend(er)ing of Tagore’s rendition of Kabir from his Songs of Kabir.

It is only in active play that being is discovered. Every act of hoarding is fundamentally static, and it turns being on its head as you end up revering icons and symbols.

Versified Exegis
the dallying dollopful deity
drips a symmetrical drop of
godful godliness; even Raidas
gets a handful, imagine that

the dallying dollopful deity
trills the songs; the caste of
the casteful castigated is
cast aside; rammed in the

sloppy merryness of the car
pentar, the washerwoman, the
priest who knows no name but
the dallying dollopful deity

Tagore’s translation of Kabir

I. 16. Santan jât na pûcho nirguniyân

  It is needless to ask of a saint the caste to which he belongs;
  For the priest, the warrior. the tradesman, and all the
    thirty-six castes, alike are seeking for God.
  It is but folly to ask what the caste of a saint may be;
  The barber has sought God, the washerwoman, and the carpenter—
  Even Raidas was a seeker after God.
  The Rishi Swapacha was a tanner by caste.
  Hindus and Moslems alike have achieved that End, where remains no
    mark of distinction.