By Roy Dean Doughty
Written 8/8/07 Ananda Loka 3, India

The sun has already withdrawn from the western
Skies, which are, in any case, walled by muscular,
Ruddy charcoal, stacked in vaporous boulders.
Looming billows walk the horizons as distant rain,
Or tower suddenly to mount snowy pink
Challenges to background sheets of blue-gray
Lavenders.  All of which, taken together,
Lavish us with Olympian quietude.
And yet, this is a sounding quiet, not quiet to the ears,
Not silent quiet, but wind-rush contorted
With the emotive thoughts and breaths of a billion
Busy people, a force sucked or squeezed by
Unequal pressures to rake across or through mountains,
Jungles, cities, seas, always to be saturated by
A constant insect thrum, by the clatter of birds,
By the cries of the harried humans and their machines.
Ah, the quiet of India, which these skies
Continually transmute into balm for the eyes,
Chaos for the defeated urban planners,
Calm for the central being.  The organism
Of this country is thousands of years old
And it stokes with equal toxicity and nourishment
A monstrous spirit and a majestic squalor,
So that when this half-Elephant, half-human
Conglomeration trundles through the heavens,
Bellowing mantras through his mighty proboscis,
And smashing obstacles with his thousand arms,
His ten-thousand hands always bursting with floods of riches,
We say, completely appeased, in this perfect quiet,
“The clouds are thick tonight.  The country is blessed
With the perfect wealth of rain.”

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