Sunday, August 31, 2008

Summer Postcard from the Hills, India

In north London something has been messing around with the bins. The neighbors' dog, no doubt, the aged one that barks blindly, still not recognizing me, whenever I pass their gate. Meanwhile, another near neighbor received this missive from our friend Anuradha Roy, author of the recently-published An Atlas of Impossible Longing.

Roy writes:

Feeling rather shaken because as I was writing this email a leopard came andtook our neighbour's dog, a sweet, slightly demented little thing calledGoldie who had barked his heart out at Biscoot this morning, as everymorning. He stands on his hind legs and barks in a frenzy--such comical rage. Now there's much yelling and shouting down the hill, but too late.Last month another favourite, a short legged, bushy tailed brown-and-whitecalled Bobo had vanished.

A leopard. Panthera pardus, a protected species in India. We come across them on and off--crossing a road, sliding into the forest--after dark. From the safety of a car, they're magnificent. The town I live in is at the edge of a forest which has quite a lot of wildlife, the leopard included--and when they haven't enough prey in the forest, which they usually don't, they are always on the lookout for food. They love dogs--but not in the way we do!

Under the Elm, by Pierre Martory

- translated by John Ashbery

Under the elm for a long time
I've been waiting for you, O my soul.
Weeks follow each other like books
Perused, my thoughts elsewhere,
Full of music that's distracted too
Full of a deep buzzing where words images
Perceptions dwell in the jumble of memory
Of which our mind is composed.
And nothing comes to assert your coming
No other sign than smoke.
Is it you that we should have welcomed
When tenderness filled our hearts?
You that we should have discovered
On the shores of pity or of love?
I have not been taught to notice your presence
Even when reveille raises the limbs
Of a future happiness; even when
Tired of a long day I seek
Silence in the immense dark where I jettison
What differentiates the sun from death.
Hours accumulated, absurd riches,
I am ready to give up the trees and the cities
But I still hope to receive you, my soul,
Laden with my own eternity.
You who are me, who resembles nobody,
You that I must give back some day to who knows who.

Recommended to TMP by the heroic Jeannie Vanasco

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Rocky Mountains look at Al Jazeera

... while Al Jazeera looks back at the Rock Mountains, and the Democratic proceedings going on there. The Al Jazeera coverage has been strong and nuanced, comparable in many ways to that of the US networks... with only occasional lapses.

More on this HERE.