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#4258 - Monday, May 23, 2011 - Editor: Gloria Lee

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Angela de Souza

Amazon tribe 'lacks time concept'

An Amazon tribe lack an abstract concept of time, as well as linguistic structures that


The Silence of the Stars


When Laurens van der Post one night
In the Kalihari Desert told the Bushmen
He couldn't hear the stars
Singing, they didn't believe him.  They looked at him,
Half-smiling.  They examined his face
To see whether he was joking
Or deceiving them.  Then two of those small men
Who plant nothing, who have almost
Nothing to hunt, who live
On almost nothing, and with no one
But themselves, led him away
From the crackling thorn-scrub fire
And stood with him under the night sky
And listened.  One of them whispered,
Do you not hear them now?
And van der Post listened, not wanting
To disbelieve, but had to answer,
No.  They walked him slowly
Like a sick man to the small dim
Circle of firelight and told him
They were terribly sorry,
And he felt even sorrier
For himself and blamed his ancestors
For their strange loss of hearing,
Which was his loss now.  On some clear nights
When nearby houses have turned off their televisions,
When the traffic dwindles, when through streets
Are between sirens and the jets overhead
Are between crossings, when the wind
Is hanging fire in the fir trees,
And the long-eared owl in the neighboring grove
Between calls is regarding his own darkness,
I look at the stars again as I first did
To school myself in the names of constellations
And remember my first sense of their terrible distance,
I can still hear what I thought
At the edge of silence where the inside jokes
Of my heartbeat, my arterial traffic,
The C above high C of my inner ear, myself
Tunelessly humming, but now I know what they are:
My fair share of the music of the spheres
And clusters of ripening stars,
Of the songs from the throats of the old gods
Still tending even tone-deaf creatures
Through their exiles in the desert.


~ David Wagoner ~


(Traveling Light)



Web version:





The things that change are not our real life

By Bawa Muhaiyaddeen
(1900? - 1986)

The things that change are not our real life.
Within us there is another body, another beauty.
It belongs to that ray of Light which never changes.
We must discover how to mingle with It and become one
with that Unchanging thing.
We must realize and understand this treasure of Truth.
That is why we have come to the world.
Within your heart in a space no bigger than an atom,
God has placed the 18,000 universes.


from A Book of God's Love, by M. R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen




By Kobayashi Issa
(1763 - 1828)

English version by Lucien Stryk and Takashi Ikemoto

in the dragonfly's eye --


... Find the Poetry Chaikhana on Facebook and Twitter ...


"I Am Not This"

I am not this.  Your beauty closes
my eyes, and I am falling into

that.  You cut the umbilical with
this love that's been with me since

birth.  My mother saw your mountain
reflected in my face, you that lift

coverings, you that bring death.  We
agreed on this before creation.  I've

been so hidden.  Ask my body who I
am.  It says "solid ground."  Ask my

soul. "Dizzy as the wind."  Neither,
I stand here facing Shams of Tabriz.

           -- Version by Coleman Barks, with Nevit Ergin 
              "The Glance"


posted to Along The Way


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