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Meena Menon Sep 17
Flicker Shimmer Glow

The brightest star can shine even with thick black velvet draped over it.  
Quartz, lime and salt crystals formed a glass ball.
The dark womb held me, warm and soft.  
My mom called my cries when I was born the most sorrowful sound she had ever heard.  
She said she’d never heard a baby make a sound like that.    
I’d open my eyes in low light until the world’s light healed rather than hurt.  
The summer before eighth grade, July 1992,
I watched a shooting star burn by at 100,000 miles per hour as I stood on the balcony  
while my family celebrated my birthday inside.  
It made it into the earth’s atmosphere
but it didn’t look like it was coming down;
I know it didn’t hit the ground but it burned something in the time it was here.  
The glass ball of my life cracked inside.  
Light reflected off the salt crystal cracks.  
I saw the beauty of the light within.  
Nacre from my shell kept those cracks from getting worse,
a wild pearl as defense mechanism.  
In 2001, I quit my job after they melted and poured tar all over my life.  
All summer literature class bathtubs filled with rose hip oil cleaned the tar.  
That fall logic and epistemology classes spewed black ink all over my philosophy
written over ten years then.  
Tar turned to asphalt when I met someone from my old job for a drink in November
and it paved a road for my life that went to the hospital I was in that December
where it sealed the roof on my life
when I was almost murdered there
and in February after meeting her for another drink.  
They lit a fire at the top of the glacier and pushed the burning pile of black coal off the edge,
burnt red, looking like flames falling into the valley.  
While that blazed the side of the cliff something lit an incandescent light.  
The electricity from the metal lightbulb ***** went through wires and heated the filament between until it glowed.  
I began putting more work into emotional balance from things I learned at AA meetings.  
In Spring 2003, the damage that the doctors at the hospital in 2001 had done
made it harder for light to reflect from the cracks in the glass ball.
I’d been eating healthy and trying to get regular exercises since 1994
but in Spring 2003 I began swimming for an hour every morning .  
The water washed the pollution from the burning coals off
And then I escaped in July.  
I moved to London to study English Language and Linguistics.  
I would’ve studied English Language and Literature.  
I did well until Spring 2004 when I thought I was being stalked.  
I thought I was manic.  
I thought I was being stalked.  
I went home and didn’t go back for my exams after spring holiday.  
Because I felt traumatized and couldn’t write poetry anymore,
I used black ink to write my notes for my book on trauma and the Russian Revolution.
I started teaching myself German.  
I stayed healthy.  
In 2005, my parents went to visit my mom’s family in Malaysia for two weeks.
I thought I was being stalked.  
I knew I wasn’t manic.  
I thought I was being stalked.  
I told my parents when they came home.  
They thought I was manic.  
I showed them the shoe prints in the snow of different sizes from the woods to the windows.  
They thought I was manic.  
I was outside of my comfort zone.  
I moved to California. I found light.  
I made light,
the light reflected off the salt crystals I used to heal the violence inflicted on me from then on.  
The light turned the traffic lights to not just green from red
but amber and blue.  
The light turned the car signals left and right.  
The light reflected off of salt crystals, light emitting diodes,
electrical energy turned directly to light,
electroluminescence.  
The electrical currents flowed through,
illuminating.  
Alone in the world, I moved to California in July 2005
but in August  I called the person I escaped in 2003,
the sulfur and nitrogen that I hated.  
He didn’t think I was manic but I never said anything.
I never told him why I asked him to move out to California.  
When his coal seemed like only pollution,
I asked him to leave.  
He threatened me.  
I called the authorities.  
They left me there.
He laughed.  
Then the violence came.  
****:  stabbed and punched, my ****** bruised, purple and swollen.  
The light barely reflected from the glass ball wIth cracks through all the acid rain, smoke and haze.
It would take me half an hour to get my body to do what my mind told it to after.  
My dad told me my mom had her cancer removed.
The next day, the coal said if I wanted him to leave he’d leave.  
I booked his ticket.
I drove him to the airport.  
Black clouds gushed the night before for the first time in months,
the sky clear after the rain.  
He was gone and I was free,
melted glass, heated up and poured—
looked like fire,
looked like the Snow Moon in February
with Mercury in the morning sky.  
I worked through ****.  
I worked to overcome trauma.  
Electricity between touch and love caused acid rain, smoke, haze, and mercury
to light the discharge lamps, streetlights and parking lot lights.
Then I changed the direction of the light waves.  
Like lead glass breaks up the light,
lead from the coal, cleaned and replaced by potassium,
glass cut clearly, refracting the light,
electrolytes,
electrical signals lit through my body,
thick black velvet drapes gone.  





















Lava

I think that someone wrote into some palm leaf a manuscript, a gift, a contract.  
After my parents wedding, while they were still in India,
they found out that my dad’s father and my mom’s grandfather worked for kings administering temples and collecting money for their king from the farmers that worked the rice paddies each king owned.  They both left their homes before they left for college.  
My dad, a son of a brahmin’s son,
grew up in his grandmother’s house.  
His mother was not a Brahmin.  
My mother grew up in Malaysia where she saw the children from the rubber plantation
when she walked to school.  
She doesn’t say what caste she is.  
He went to his father’s house, then college.  
He worked, then went to England, then Canada.  
She went to India then Canada.  
They moved to the United States around Christmas 1978
with my brother while she was pregnant with me.  
My father signed a contract with my mother.  
My parents took ashes and formed rock,
the residue left in brass pots in India,
the rocks, so hot, they turned back to lava miles away before turning back to ash again,
then back to rock,
the lava from a super volcano,
the ash purple and red.  


















Circles on a Moss Covered Volcano

The eruption beatifies the magma.  
It becomes obsidian,
only breaks with a fracture,
smooth circles where it breaks.  

My mom was born on the grass
on a lawn
in a moss covered canyon at the top of a volcanic island.  
My grandfather lived in Malaysia before the Japanese occupied.  
When the volcano erupted,
the lava dried at the ocean into black sand.  
The British allied with the Communist Party of Malaysia—
after they organized.  
After the Americans defeated the Japanese at Pearl Harbor,
the British took over Malaysia again.  
They kept different groups apart claiming they were helping them.  
The black sand had smooth pebbles and sharp rocks.  
Ethnic Malay farmers lived in Kampongs, villages.  
Indians lived on plantations.  
The Chinese lived in towns and urban areas.  
Ethnic Malays wanted independence.
In 1946, after strikes, demonstrations, and boycotts
the British agreed to work with them.  
The predominantly Chinese Communist Party of Malaysia went underground,
guerrilla warfare against the British,
claiming their fight was for independence.  
For the British, that emergency required vast powers
of arrest, detention without trial and deportation to defeat terrorism.  
The Emergency became less unpopular as the terrorism became worse.  
The British were the iron that brought oxygen through my mom’s body.  
She loved riding on her father’s motorcycle with him
by the plantations,
through the Kampongs
and to the city, half an hour away.  
The British left Malaysia independent in 1957
with Malaysian nationalists holding most state and federal government offices.  
As the black sand stretches towards the ocean,
it becomes big stones of dried lava, flat and smooth.  

My mom thought her father and her uncle were subservient to the British.  
She thought all things, all people were equal.  
When her father died when she was 16, 1965,
they moved to India,
my mother,
a foreigner in India, though she’s Indian.  
She loved rock and roll and mini skirts
and didn’t speak the local language.  
On the dried black lava,
it can be hard to know the molten lava flickers underneath there.  
Before the Korean War,
though Britain and the United States wanted
an aggressive resolution
condemning North Korea,
they were happy
that India supported a draft resolution
condemning North Korea
for breach of the peace.  
During the Korean War,
India, supported by Third World and other Commonwealth nations,
opposed United States’ proposals.
They were able to change the U.S. resolution
to include the proposals they wanted
and helped end the war.  
China wanted the respect of Third World nations
and saw the United States as imperialist.  
China thought India was a threat to the Third World
by taking aid from the United States and the Soviets.  
Pakistan could help with that and a seat at the United Nations.  
China wanted Taiwan’s seat at the UN.
My mother went to live with her uncle,
a communist negotiator for a corporation,
in India.  
A poet,
he threw parties and invited other artists, musicians and writers.  
I have the same brown hyperpigmentation at my joints that he had.  
During the day, only the steam from the hot lava can be seen.  
In 1965, Pakistani forces went into Jammu and Kashmir with China’s support.  
China threatened India after India sent its troops in.  
Then they threatened again before sending their troops to the Indian border.  
The United States stopped aid to Pakistan and India.
Pakistan agreed to the UN ceasefire agreement.  
Pakistan helped China get a seat at the UN
and tried to keep the west from escalating in Vietnam.  
The smoldering sound of the lava sizzles underneath the dried lava.  
When West Pakistan refused to allow East Pakistan independence,
violence between Bengalis and Biharis developed into upheaval.  
Bengalis moved to India
and India went into East Pakistan.  
Pakistan surrendered in December 1971.  
East Pakistan became independent Bangladesh

The warm light of the melted lava radiates underneath but burns.  
In 1974, India tested the Smiling Buddha,
a nuclear bomb.  
After Indira Gandhi’s conviction for election fraud in 1973,
Marxist Professor Narayan called for total revolution
and students protested all over India.  
With food shortages, inflation and regional disputes
like Sikh separatists training in Pakistan for an independent Punjab,
peasants and laborers joined the protests.  
Railway strikes stopped the economy.  
In 1975, Indira Gandhi, the Iron Lady,
declared an Emergency,
imprisoning political opponents, restricting freedoms and restricting the press,
claiming threats to national security
because the war with Pakistan had just ended.  
The federal government took over Kerala’s communist dominated government and others.  

My mom could’ve been a dandelion, but she’s more like thistle.  
She has the center that dries and flutters in the wind,
beautiful and silky,
spiny and prickly,
but still fluffy, downy,
A daisy.
They say thistle saved Scotland from the Norse.  
Magma from the volcano explodes
and the streams of magma fly into the air.  
In the late 60s,
the civil rights movement rose
against the state in Northern Ireland
for depriving Catholics
of influence and opportunity.
The Northern Irish police,
Protestant and unionist, anti-catholic,
responded violently to the protests and it got worse.  
In 1969, the British placed Arthur Young,
who had worked at the Federation of Malaya
at the time of their Emergency
at the head of the British military in Northern Ireland.
The British military took control over the police,
a counter insurgency rather than a police force,
crowd control, house searches, interrogation, and street patrols,
use of force against suspects and uncooperative citizens.  
Political crimes were tolerated by Protestants but not Catholics.  
The lava burns the rock off the edge of the volcano.  

On January 30, 1972, ****** Sunday,  
British Army policing killed 13 unarmed protesters
fighting for their rights over their neighborhood,
protesting the internment of suspected nationalists.
That led to protests across Ireland.  
When banana leaves are warmed,
oil from the banana leaves flavors the food.  
My dad flew from Canada to India in February 1972.  
On February 4, my dad met my mom.  
On February 11, 1972,
my dad married my mom.  
They went to Canada,
a quartz singing bowl and a wooden mallet wrapped in suede.  
The rock goes down with the lava, breaking through the rocks as it goes down.  
In March 1972, the British government took over
because they considered the Royal Ulster Police and the Ulster Special Constabulary
to be causing most of the violence.  
The lava blocks and reroutes streams,
melts snow and ice,
flooding.  
Days later, there’s still smoke, red.  
My mom could wear the clothes she liked
without being judged
with my dad in Canada.  
She didn’t like asking my dad for money.
My dad, the copper helping my mother use that iron,
wanted her to go to college and finish her bachelors degree.
She got a job.  
In 1976, the police took over again in Northern Ireland
but they were a paramilitary force—
armored SUVs, bullet proof jackets, combat ready
with the largest computerized surveillance system in the UK,
high powered weapons,
trained in counter insurgency.  
Many people were murdered by the police
and few were held accountable.  
Most of the murdered people were not involved in violence or crime.  
People were arrested under special emergency powers
for interrogation and intelligence gathering.  
People tried were tried in non-jury courts.  
My mom learned Malayalam in India
but didn’t speak well until living with my dad.  
She also learned to cook after getting married.  
Her mother sent her recipes; my dad cooked for her—
turmeric, cumin, coriander, cayenne and green chiles.  
Having lived in different countries,
my mom’s food was exposed to many cultures,
Chinese and French.
Ground rock, minerals and glass
covered the ground
from the ash plume.  
She liked working.  

A volcano erupted for 192 years,
an ice age,
disordered ices, deformed under pressure
and ordered ice crystals, brittle in the ice core records.  
My mother liked working.  
Though Khomeini was in exile by the 1970s in Iran,
more people, working and poor,
turned to him and the ****-i-Ulama for help.
My mom didn’t want kids though my dad did.
She agreed and in 1978 my brother was born.
Iran modernized but agriculture and industry changed so quickly.  
In January 1978, students protested—
censorship, surveillance, harassment, illegal detention and torture.  
Young people and the unemployed joined.  
My parents moved to the United States in December 1978.  
The regime used a lot of violence against the protesters,
and in September 1978 declared martial law in Iran.  
Troops were shooting demonstrators.
In January 1979, the Shah and his family fled.  
On February 11, 1979, my parents’ anniversary,
the Iranian army declared neutrality.  
I was born in July 1979.
The chromium in emeralds and rubies colors them.
My brother was born in May and I was born in July.

Obsidian—
iron, copper and chromium—
isn’t a gas
but it isn’t a crystal;
it’s between the two,
the ordered crystal and the disordered gas.  
They made swords out of obsidian.  





Warm Light Shatters

The eruption beatifies the magma.  
It becomes obsidian,
only breaks with a fracture,
smooth circles where it breaks.  

My dad was born on a large flat rock on the edge of the top
of a hill,
Molasses, sweet and dark, the potent flavor dominates,
His father, the son of a Brahmin,
His mother from a lower caste.
His father’s family wouldn’t touch him,
He grew up in his mother’s mother’s house on a farm.  
I have the same brown hyperpigmentation spot on my right hand that he has.

In 1901, D’Arcy bought a 60 year concession for oil exploration In Iran.
The Iranian government extended it for another 32 years in 1933.
At that time oil was Iran’s “main source of income.”
In 1917’s Balfour Declaration, the British government proclaimed that they favored a national home for the Jews in Palestine and their “best endeavors to facilitate the achievement” of that.

The British police were in charge of policing in the mandate of Palestine.  A lot of the policemen they hired were people who had served in the British army before, during the Irish War for Independence.  
The army tried to stop how violent the police were, police used torture and brutality, some that had been used during the Irish War for Independence, like having prisoners tied to armored cars and locomotives and razing the homes of people in prison or people they thought were related to people thought to be rebels.
The police hired Arab police and Jewish police for lower level policing,
Making local people part of the management.
“Let Arab police beat up Arabs and Jewish police beat up Jews.”

The lava blocks and reroutes streams, melts snow and ice, flooding.
In 1922, there were 83,000 Jews, 71,000 Christians, and 589,000 Muslims.
The League If Nations endorsed the British Mandate.
During an emergency, in the 1930s, British regulations allowed collective punishment, punishing villages for incidents.
Local officers in riots often deserted and also shared intelligence with their own people.
The police often stole, destroyed property, tortured and killed people.  
Arab revolts sapped the police power over Palestinians by 1939.

My father’s mother was from a matrilineal family.
My dad remembers tall men lining up on pay day to respectfully wait for her, 5 feet tall.  
She married again after her husband died.
A manager from a tile factory,
He spoke English so he supervised finances and correspondence.
My dad, a sunflower, loved her: she scared all the workers but exuded warmth to the people she loved.

Obsidian shields people from negative energy.
David Cargill founded the Burmah Oil Co. in 1886.
If there were problems with oil exploration in Burma and Indian government licenses, Persian oil would protect the company.  
In July 1906, many European oil companies, BP, Royal Dutch Shell and others, allied to protect against the American oil company, Standard Oil.
D’Arcy needed money because “Persian oil took three times as long to come on stream as anticipated.”
Burmah Oil Co. began the Anglo-Persian Oil Co. as a subsidiary.
Ninety-seven percent of British Petroleum was owned by Burmah Oil Co.
By 1914, the British government owned 51% of the Anglo-Persian Oil Co.  
Anglo-Persian acquired independence from Burmah Oil and Royal Dutch Shell with two million pounds from the British government.

The lava burns the rock off the edge of the volcano.
In 1942, after the Japanese took Burma,
the British destroyed their refineries before leaving.
The United Nations had to find other sources of oil.
In 1943, Japan built the Burma-Thailand Railroad with forced labor from the Malay peninsula who were mostly from the rubber plantations.

The rock goes down with the lava, breaking through the rocks as it goes down.
In 1945. Japan destroyed their refineries before leaving Burma.
Cargill, Watson and Whigham were on the Burmah Oil Co. Board and then the Anglo Iranian Oil Co. Board.  

In 1936 Palestine, boycotts, work stoppages, and violence against British police officials and soldiers compelled the government to appoint an investigatory commission.  
Leaders of Egypt, Trans Jordan, Syria and Iraq helped end the work stoppages.
The British government had the Peel Commission read letters, memoranda, and petitions and speak with British officials, Jews and Arabs.  
The Commission didn’t believe that Arabs and Jews could live together in a single Jewish state.
Because of administrative and financial difficulties the Colonial Secretary stated that to split Palestine into Arab and Jewish states was impracticable.  
The Commission recommended transitioning 250,000 Arabs and 1500 Jews with British control over their oil pipeline, their naval base and Jerusalem.  
The League of Nations approved.
“It will not remove the grievance nor prevent the recurrence,” Lord Peel stated after.
The Arab uprising was much more militant after Peel.  Thousands of Arabs were wounded, ten thousand were detained.  
In Sykes-Picot and the Husain McMahon agreements, the British promised the Arabs an independent state but they did not keep that promise.  
Representatives from the Arab states rejected the Peel recommendations.
United Nations General Assembly Resolution181 partitioned Palestine into Arab and Jewish states with an international regime for the city of Jerusalem backed by the United States and the Soviet Union.  

The Israeli Yishuv had strong military and intelligence organization —-  
the British recognized that their interest was with the Arabs and abstained from the vote.  
In 1948, Israel declared the establishment of its state.  
Ground rock, minerals, and gas covered the ground from the ash plume.
The Palestinian police force was disbanded and the British gave officers the option of serving in Malaya.

Though Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy supported snd tried to get Israel to offer the Arabs concessions, it wasn’t a major priority and didn’t always approve of Israel’s plans.
Arabs that had supported the British to end Turkish rule stopped supporting the West.  
Many Palestinians joined left wing groups and violent third world movements.  
Seventy-eight percent of the territory of former Palestine was under Israel’s control.  

My dad left for college in 1957 and lived in an apartment above the United States Information services office.
Because he graduated at the top of his class, he was given a job with the public works department of the government on the electricity board.  
“Once in, you’ll never leave.”
When he wanted a job where he could do real work, his father was upset.
He broke the chains with bells for vespers.
He got a job in Calcutta at Kusum Products and left the government, though it was prestigious to work there.
In the chemical engineering division, one of the projects he worked on was to design a *** distillery, bells controlled by hammers, hammers controlled by a keyboard.
His boss worked in the United Kingdom for. 20 years before the company he worked at, part of Power Gas Corporation, asked him to open a branch in Calcutta.
He opened the branch and convinced an Industrialist to open a company doing the same work with him.  The branch he opened closed after that.  
My dad applied for labor certification to work abroad and was selected.  
His boss wrote a reference letter for my him to the company he left in the UK.  My dad sent it telling the company when he was leaving for the UK.  
The day he left for London, he got the letter they sent in the mail telling him to take the train to Sheffield the next day and someone from the firm would meet him at the station.  
His dad didn’t know he left, he didn’t tell him.
He broke the chains with chimes for schisms.


Anglo-Persian Oil became Anglo-Iranian Oil in 1935.
The British government used oil and Anglo-Persian oil to fight communism, have a stronger relationship with the United States and make the United Kingdom more powerful.  
The National Secularists, the Tudeh, and the Communists wanted to nationalize Iran’s oil and mobilized the Iranian people.
The British feared nationalization in Iran would incite political parties like the Secular Nationalists all over the world.  
In 1947, the Iranian government passed the Single Article Law that “[increased] investment In welfare benefits, health, housing, education, and implementation of Iranianization through substitution of foreigners” at Anglo-Iranian Oil Co.
“Anglo-Iranian Oil Company made more profit in 1950 than it paid to the Iranian government in royalties over the previous half century.”
The Anglo-Iranian Oil Company tried to negotiate a new concession and claimed they’d hire more Iranian people into jobs held by British and people from other nationalities at the company.
Their hospitals had segregated wards.  
On May 1, 1951, the Iranian government passed a bill that nationalized Anglo- Iranian Oil Co.’s holdings.  
During the day, only the steam from the hot lava can be seen.
In August 1953, the Iranian people elected Mossadegh from the Secular Nationalist Party as prime minister.
The British government with the CIA overthrew Mossadegh using the Iranian military after inducing protests and violent demonstrations.  
Anglo-Iranian Oil changed its name to British Petroleum in 1954.
Iranians believe that America destroyed Iran’s “last chance for democracy” and blamed America for Iran’s autocracy, its human rights abuses, and secret police.

The smoldering sound of the lava sizzles underneath the dried lava.  
In 1946, Executive Yuan wanted control over 4 groups of Islands in the South China Sea to have a stronger presence there:  the Paracels, the Spratlys, Macclesfield Bank, and the Pratas.
The French forces in the South China Sea would have been stronger than the Chinese Navy then.
French Naval forces were in the Gulf of Tonkin, U.S. forces were in the Taiwan Strait, the British were in Hong Kong, and the Portuguese were in Macao.
In the 1950s, British snd U.S. oil companies thought there might be oil in the Spratlys.  
By 1957, French presence in the South China Sea was hardly there.  

When the volcano erupted, the lava dried at the ocean into black sand.
By 1954, the Tudeh Party’s communist movement and  intelligence organization had been destroyed.  
Because of the Shah and his government’s westernization policies and disrespectful treatment of the Ulama, Iranians began identifying with the Ulama and Khomeini rather than their government.  
Those people joined with secular movements to overthrow the Shah.  

In 1966, Ne Win seized power from U Nu in Burma.
“Soldiers ruled Burma as soldiers.”
Ne Win thought that western political
Institutions “encouraged divisions.”
Minority groups found foreign support for their separatist goals.
The Karens and the Mons supported U Nu in Bangkok.  


Rare copper, a heavy metal, no alloys,
a rock in groundwater,
conducts electricity and heat.
In 1965, my Dad’s cousin met him at Heathrow, gave him a coat and £10 and brought him to a bed and breakfast across from Charing Cross Station where he’d get the train to Sheffield the next morning.
He took the train and someone met him at the train station.  
At the interview they asked him to design a grandry girder, the main weight bearing steel girder as a test.
Iron in the inner and outer core of the earth,
He’d designed many of those.  
He was hired and lived at the YMCA for 2 1/2 years.  
He took his mother’s family name, Menon, instead of his father’s, Varma.
In 1967, he left for Canada and interviewed at Bechtel before getting hired at Seagrams.  
Iron enables blood to carry oxygen.
His boss recommended him for Dale Carnegie’s leadership training classes and my dad joined the National Instrument Society and became President.
He designed a still In Jamaica,
Ordered all the parts, nuts and bolts,
Had all the parts shipped to Jamaica and made sure they got there.
His boss supervised the construction, installation and commission in Jamaica.
Quartz, heat and fade resistant, though he was an engineer and did the work of an engineer, my dad only had the title, technician so my dad’s boss thought he wasn’t getting paid enough but couldn’t get his boss to offer more than an extra $100/week or the title of engineer; he told my dad he thought he should leave.
In 1969, he got a job at Celanese, which made rayon.
He quit Celanese to work at McGill University and they allowed him to take classes to earn his MBA while working.  

The United States and Israel’s alliance was strong by 1967.
United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 at the end of the Third Arab Israeli War didn’t mention the Palestinians but mentioned the refugee problem.
After 1967, the Palestinians weren’t often mentioned and when mentioned only as terrorists.  
Palestinians’ faith in the “American sponsored peace process” diminished, they felt the world community ignored and neglected them also.
Groups like MAN that stopped expecting anything from Arab regimes began hijacking airplanes.
By 1972, the Palestine Liberation Organization had enough international support to get by the United States’ veto in the United Nations Security Council and Arab League recognition as representative of the Palestinian people.
The Palestinians knew the United States stated its support, as the British had, but they weren’t able to accomplish anything.  
The force Israel exerted in Johnson’s United States policy delivered no equilibrium for the Palestinians.  

In 1969, all political parties submitted to the BSPP, Burma Socialist Programme Party.
Ne Win nationalized banks and oil and deprived minorities of opportunities.
Ne Win became U Nu Win, civilian leader of Burma in 1972 and stopped the active role that U Nu defined for Burma internationally
He put military people in power even when they didn’t have experience which triggered “maldistribution of goods and chronic shortages.”  
Resources were located in areas where separatist minorities had control.

The British presence in the South China Sea ended in 1968.  
The United States left Vietnam in 1974 and China went into the Western Paracels.
The U.S. didn’t intervene and Vietnam took the Spratlys.
China wanted to claim the continental shelf In the central part of the South China Sea and needed the Spratlys.
The United States mostly disregarded the Ulama In Iran and bewildered the Iranian people by not supporting their revolution.

Obsidian—
iron, copper and chromium—
isn’t a gas
but it isn’t a crystal;
it’s between the two,
the ordered crystal and the disordered gas.  
They made swords out of obsidian.


Edelweiss

I laid out in my backyard in my bikini.  
I love the feeling of my body in the sun.  
I’d be dark from the end of spring until winter.
The snow froze my bare feet through winter ,
my skin pale.
American towns in 1984,
Free, below glaciers the sunlight melted the snow,
a sea of green and the edelweiss on the edge of the  limestone,
frosted but still strong.    
When the spring warmed the grass,
the grass warmed my feet. 
The whole field looked cold and white from the glacier but in the meadow,
the bright yellow centers of those flowers float free in the center of the white petals.
The bright yellow center of those edelweiss scared the people my parents ran to America from India to get away from.  
On a sidewalk in Queens, New York in 1991, the men stared and yelled comments at me in short shorts and a fitted top in the summer.  
I grabbed my dad’s arm.

























The Bread and Coconut Butter of Aparigraha

Twelve year old flowerhead,
Marigold, yarrow and nettle,
I’d be all emotion
If not for all my work
From the time I was a teenager.
I got depressed a lot.
I related to people I read about
In my weather balloon,
Grasping, ignorant, and desperate,
But couldn’t relate to other twelve year olds.
After school I read Dali’s autobiography,
Young ****** Autosodomized by Her Own Chastity.
Fresh, green nettle with fresh and dried yarrow for purity.
Dead souls enticed to the altar by orange marigolds,
passion and creativity,
Coax sleep and rouse dreams.
Satellites measure indirectly with wave lengths of light.
My weather balloon measures the lower and middle levels of the atmosphere directly,
Fifty thousand feet high,
Metal rod thermometer,
Slide humidity sensor,
Canister for air pressure.

I enjoy rye bread and cold coconut butter in my weather balloon,
But I want Dali, and all the artists and writers.
Rye grows at high altitudes
But papyrus grows in soil and shallow water,
Strips of papyrus pith shucked from their stems.
When an anchor’s weighed, a ship sails,
But when grounded we sail.
Marigolds, yarrow and nettle,
Flowerhead,
I use the marigold for sleep,
The yarrow for endurance and intensity,
toiling for love and truth,
And the nettle for healing.
Strong rye bread needs equally strong flavors.
By the beginning of high school,
I read a lot of Beat literature
And found Buddhism.
I loved what I read
But I didn’t like some things.
I liked attachment.  
I got to the ground.
Mushrooms grow in dry soil.
Attachment to beauty is Buddha activity.
Not being attached to things I don’t find beautiful is Buddha activity.  
I fried mushrooms in a single layer in oil, fleshy.
I roasted mushrooms at high temperatures in the oven, crisp.
I simmered mushrooms in stock with kombu.
Rye bread with cold coconut butter and cremini mushrooms,
raw, soft and firm.  
Life continues, life changes,
Attachments, losses, mourning and suffering,
But change lures growth.
I find stream beds and wet soil.
I lay the strips of papyrus next to each other.
I cross papyrus strips over the first,
Then wet the crossed papyrus strips,
Press and cement them into a sheet.
I hammer it and dry it in the sun,
With no thought of achievement or self,
Flowerhead,
Hands filled with my past,
Head filled with the future,
Dali, artists poets,
Wishes and desires aligned with nature,
Abundance,
Cocoa, caraway, and molasses.

If I ever really like someone,
I’ll be wearing the dress he chooses,
Fresh green nettle and yarrow, the seeds take two years to grow strong,
Lasting love.
Marigolds steer dead souls from the altar to the afterlife,
Antiseptic, healing wounds,
Soothing sore throats and headaches.
Imperturbable, stable flowerhead,
I empty my mind.
When desires are aligned with nature, desire flows.
Papyrus makes paper and cloth.
Papyrus makes sails.
Charcoal from the ash of pulverized papyrus heals wounds.
Without attachment to the fruit of action
There is continuation of life,
Rye bread and melted coconut butter,
The coconut tree in the coconut butter,
The seed comes from the ground out of nothing,
Naturalness.
It has form.
As the seed grows the seed expresses the tree,
The seed expresses the coconut,
The seed expresses the coconut butter.
Rye bread, large open hollows, chambers,
Immersed in melted coconut butter,
Desire for expansion and creation,
No grasping, not desperate.
When the mind is compassion, the mind is boundless.
Every moment,
only that,
Every moment,
a scythe to the papyrus in the stream bed of the past.  

































Sound on Powdery Blue

Potter’s clay, nymph, plum unplumbed, 1993.
Dahlia, ice, powder, musk and rose,
my source of life emerged in darkness, blackness.
Seashell fragments in the sand,
The glass ball of my life cracked inside,
Light reflected off the salt crystal cracks,
Nacre kept those cracks from getting worse.
Young ****** Autosodomized By Her Own Chastity,
Nymph, I didn’t want to give my body,
Torn, *****, ballgown,
To people who wouldn’t understand me,
Piquant.

Outside on the salt flats,
Aphrodite, goddess of beauty, pleasure and fertility and
Asexual Artemis, goddess of animals, and the hunt,
Mistress of nymphs,
Punish with ruthless savagery.

In my bedroom, blue caribou moss covered rocks, pine, and yew trees,
The heartwood writhes as hurricane gales, twisters and whirlwinds
Contort their bark,
Roots strong in the soil.
Orris root dried in the sun, bulbs like wood.
Dahlia runs to baritone soundbath radio waves.
Light has frequencies,
Violet between blue and invisible ultraviolet,
Flame, slate and flint.
Every night is cold.

Torii gates, pain secured as sacred.
An assignation, frost hardy dahlia and a plangent resonant echo.
High frequency sound waves convert to electrical signals,
Breathe from someone I want,
Silt.
Beam, radiate, ensorcel.
I break the bark,
Sap flows and dries,
Resin seals over the tear.
I distill pine,
Resin and oil for turpentine, a solvent.
Quiver, bemired,
I lead sound into my darkness,
Orris butter resin, sweet and warm,
Hot jam drops on snow drops,
Orange ash on smoke,
Balm on lava,
The problem with cotton candy.

Electrical signals give off radiation or light waves,
The narrow frequency range where
The crest of a radio wave and the crest of a light wave overlap,
Infrared.
Glaciers flow, sunlight melts the upper layers of the snow when strong,
A wet snow avalanche,
A torrent, healing.
Brown sugar and whiskey,
Undulant, lavender.
Pine pitch, crystalline, sticky, rich and golden,
And dried pine rosin polishes glass smooth
Like the smell of powdery orris after years.
Softness, flush, worthy/not worthy,
Rich rays thunder,
Intensify my pulse,
Frenzied red,
Violet between blue and invisible ultraviolet.
Babylon—flutter, glow.
Unquenchable cathartic orris.  

















Pink Graphite

Camellias, winter shrubs,
Their shallow roots grow beneath the spongy caribou moss,
Robins egg blue.
After writing a play with my gifted students program in 1991,
I stopped spending all my free time writing short stories,
But the caribou moss was still soft.

In the cold Arctic of that town,
The evergreen protected the camellias from the afternoon sun and storms.
They branded hardy camellias with a brass molded embossing iron;
I had paper and graphite for my pencils.

After my ninth grade honors English teacher asked us to write poems in 1994,
It began raining.
We lived on an overhang.
A vertical rise to the top of the rock.
The rainstorm caused a metamorphic change in the snowpack,
A wet snow avalanche drifted slowly down the moss covered rock,
The snow already destabilized by exposure to the sunlight.

The avalanche formed lakes,
rock basins washed away with rainwater and melted snow,
Streams dammed by the rocks.  
My pencils washed away in the avalanche,
My clothes heavy and cold.
I wove one side of each warp fiber through the eye of the needle and one side through each slot,
Salves, ointments, serums and tinctures.
I was mining for graphite.
They were mining me,
The only winch, the sound through the water.

A steep staircase to the red Torii gates,
I broke the chains with bells for vespers
And chimes for schisms,
And wove the weft across at right angles to the warp.  

On a rocky ledge at the end of winter,
The pink moon, bitters and body butter,
They tried to get  me to want absinthe,
Wormwood for bitterness and regret.
Heat and pressure formed carbon for flakes of graphite.
Heat and pressure,
I made bitters,
Brandy, grapefruit, chocolate, mandarin rind, tamarind and sugar.
I grounded my feet in the pink moss,
paper dried in one hand,
and graphite for my pencils in the other.  



































Flakes

I don’t let people that put me down be part of my life.  
Gardens and trees,
My shadow sunk in the grass in my yard
As I ate bread, turmeric and lemon.
Carbon crystallizes into graphite flakes.
I write to see well,
Graphite on paper.  
A shadow on rock tiles with a shield, a diamond and a bell
Had me ***** to humiliate me.
Though I don’t let people that put me down near me,
A lot of people putting me down seemed like they were following me,
A platform to jump from
While she had her temple.  

There was a pink door to the platform.
I ate bread with caramelized crusts and
Drank turmeric lemonade
Before I opened that door,
Jumped and
Descended into blankets and feathers.
I found matches and rosin
For turpentine to clean,
Dried plums and licorice.  

In the temple,
In diamonds, leather, wool and silk,
She had her shield and bells,
Drugs and technology,
Thermovision 210 and Minox,
And an offering box where people believed
That if their coins went in
Their wishes would come true.

Hollyhock and smudging charcoal for work,  
Belled,
I ground grain in the mill for the bread I baked for breakfast.
The bells are now communal bells
With a watchtower and a prison,
Her shield, a blowtorch and flux,
Her ex rays, my makeshift records
Because Stalin didn’t like people dancing,
He liked them divebombing.
Impurities in the carbon prevent diamonds from forming,
Measured,
The most hard, the most expensive,
But graphite’s soft delocalized electrons move.  






































OCEAN BED

The loneliness of going to sleep by myself.  
I want a bed that’s high off the ground,
a mattress, an ocean.
I want a crush and that  person in my bed.  
Only that,
a crush in my bed,
an ocean in my bed.  
Just love.  
But I sleep with my thumbs sealed.  
I sleep with my hands, palms up.  
I sleep with my hands at my heart.  
They sear my compassion with their noise.  
They hold their iron over their fire and try to carve their noise into my love,
scored by the violence of voices, dark and lurid,  
but not burned.  
I want a man in my bed.  
When I wake up in an earthquake
I want to be held through the aftershocks.  
I like men,
the waves come in and go out
but the ocean was part of my every day.  
I don’t mind being fetishized in the ocean.  
I ran by the ocean every morning.  
I surfed in the ocean.  
I should’ve gone into the ocean that afternoon at Trestles,
holding my water jugs, kneeling at the edge.  














Morning

I want to fall asleep in the warm arms of a fireman.  
I want to wake up to the smell of coffee in my kitchen.  

Morning—the molten lava in the outer core of the earth embeds the iron from the inner core into the earth’s magnetic field.  
The magnetic field flips.  
The sun, so strong, where it gets through the trees it burns everything but the pine.  
The winds change direction.  
Storms cast lightening and rain.  
Iron conducts solar flares and the heavy wind.  
In that pine forest, I shudder every time I see a speck of light for fear of neon and fluorescents.  The eucalyptus cleanses congestion.  
And Kerouac’s stream ululates, crystal bowl sound baths.  
I follow the sound to the water.  
The stream ends at a bluff with a thin rocky beach below.  
The green water turns black not far from the shore.  
Before diving into the ocean, I eat globe mallow from the trees, stems and leaves, the viscous flesh, red, soft and nutty.  
I distill the pine from one of the tree’s bark and smudge the charcoal over my skin.  

Death, the palo santo’s lit, cleansing negative energy.  
It’s been so long since I’ve smelled a man, woodsmoke, citrus and tobacco.  
Jasmine, plum, lime and tuberose oil on the base of my neck comforts.  
Parabolic chambers heal, sound waves through water travel four times faster.  
The sound of the open sea recalibrates.  
I dissolve into the midnight blue of the ocean.  

I want to fall asleep in the warm arms of a fireman.  
I want to wake up to the smell of coffee in my kitchen.  
I want hot water with coconut oil when I get up.  
We’d lay out on the lawn, surrounded by high trees that block the wind.  
Embers flying through the air won’t land in my yard, on my grass, or near my trees.  





Blue Paper

Haze scatters blue light on a planet.  
Frought women, livid, made into peonies by Aphrodites that caught their men flirting and blamed the women, flushed red.
and blamed the women, flushed red.
Frought women, livid, chrysanthemums, dimmed until the end of the season, exchanged and retained like property.  
Blue women enter along the sides of her red Torii gates, belayed, branded and belled, a plangent sound.  
By candles, colored lights and dried flowers she’s sitting inside on a concrete floor, punctures and ruin burnished with paper, making burnt lime from lime mortar.  
Glass ***** on the ceiling, she moves the beads of a Palestinian glass bead bracelet she holds in her hands.  
She bends light to make shadows against  thin wooden slats curbed along the wall, and straight across the ceiling.
A metier, she makes tinctures, juniper berries and cotton *****.
Loamy soil in the center of the room,
A hawthorn tree stands alone,
A gateway for fairies.
large stones at the base protecting,
It’s branches a barrier.  
It’s leaves and shoots make bread and cheese.
It’s berries, red skin and yellow flesh, make jam.
Green bamboo stakes for the peonies when they whither from the weight of their petals.
And lime in the soil.  
She adds wood chips to the burnt lime in the kiln,
Unrolled paper, spools, and wire hanging.
Wood prayer beads connect her to the earth,
The tassels on the end of the beads connect her to spirit, to higher truth.
Minerals, marine mud and warm basins of seawater on a flower covered desk.  
She adds slaked lime to the burnt lime and wood chips.  
The lime converts to paper,
Trauma victims speak,
Light through butterfly wings.  
She’s plumeria with curved petals, thick, holding water
This is what I have written of my book.  I’ll be changing where the poems with the historical research go.  There are four more of those and nine of the other poems.
raen  Feb 2015
Obsidian
raen Feb 2015
An almost stillness came about as she strode into my door,
like breath itself refused to move,
fearful of touching her mysterious beauty

But her obsidian eyes betrayed her.

Sharp and gleaming,
with a silver sheen
she looked at me,
and I knew…

---------------------------------------------------------------­-----------------------------

Molten lava spilled forth from her mouth, melting our clocks—
eighteen hundred nightmares compressed in two hours.
Long hand moving forward, as the short hand moved backward
How can memories persist in such an acrid life?

She spoke of a beast in the guise of a man,
one who ravaged innocence with the flick of a click
A coward that collected milk teeth for hardened bones
of other ***** beasts with no spine

That throaty tenderness when she spoke,
sprinkled crystal seeds of frustration in me
She says she loathed him, denied she loved him,
but her obsidian eyes betrayed her

There she was, a bud he plucked from the nuns’ garden
He grafted then he pruned her,
spreading her pollen, wafting her scent
yet folding her petals to himself

Caterpillars feeding upon her leaves,
she lets them devour her,
yet once they are wrapped in their cocoons to sleep,
she stabs them with her thorns.

Tears then slid down from her midnight lace eyes
and it was all I could do to catch them
She said she was weary of curtailing butterflies,
of tearing their wings before they can even fly

I had to ask, how many… how many winged gems?
She lifted her sleeves, and showed me her scars
One ugly mark for each innocent child plunged deep,
my heart getting slashed at least three hundred a beat.

----------------------------------------------------------­----------------------------------

A certain stillness came about as I strode into her door,
like fear itself refused to move,
letting breath touch her mysterious beauty for the last time....

Her obsidian eyes had betrayed her.

Sharp and gleaming,
with a silver sheen
I looked at the knife beside her.

Maroon-mapped sheets, a stunted womb.

Strains of Bon Iver’s “Flume”
flit past the sighing air like a butterfly,
and I knew…
Agosto, 2014
RAJ NANDY Apr 2015
Dear Poet Friends, being fond of Art, I wanted to compose on
this topic for a long time in a simplified form! Egyptian Art and
Architecture influenced the Early Greeks, who in turn influenced the Romans and other civilizations! Initially Art and architecture, religion and culture, were all closely inter-related! Real distinction emerged with the Italian Renaissance. Here I have used only a portion of my personal notes. Hope you find this interesting to read! Sorry for the length! Kindly give Comments after you have managed to read the entire portion in your spare time. Thanks, -Raj

INTRODUCTION TO THE STORY
OF WESTERN ART IN VERSE:
          PART ONE
    * BY RAJ NANDY

INTRODUCTION
Art over the centuries has been variously defined,
But an all embracing definition is rather hard to find!
Ayn Rand defined Art as a recreation of reality according to
artist’s values, his view of existence, and choice;
Who recreates by a selective rearrangement of the elements
of reality, and not simply out of a void!
Study of Art History is a study of man’s creative evolution;
A progress of his wakened consciousness, and a restless
striving towards perfection!
The progress of his mind, taste and skill, which has gradually
evolved through past traditions;
Finding ultimate expression in his multi-faceted creations!
I commence this story from its earliest days, and mention those
Ancient Civilizations which influenced Art in many ways.
Art has been greatly influenced by religion, culture and history;
Therefore, knowing these aspects becomes necessary to
fully appreciate this Art Story!

PREHISTORIC STONE AGE ART:
Let us take a ride on the magic carpet of History, down
past millenniums to begin our Art Story;
Right into the ancient Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic
Eras of the Stone Age,
When early humans left their creative imprints on rock
surfaces and on walls of caves!
Long before the evolution of any proper coherent speech
or communication,
In some 350 caves of France and Spain are seen paintings
of large wild animals like horses, antelopes and bison;
Bearing witness to the story of gradual human evolution!
The cave paintings of Chauvet, Cosquer, and Lascaux, date
between 8000 and 1700 BC,
Drawn by nameless and faceless people who emerged from
an inhospitable Ice Age;
Those nomadic tribes who were hunter-gatherers living in
pre-historic caves!
The Story of Art therefore begins before recorded History,
Pieced together by scholars with the help of science and
archeology!
During the Neolithic Period beginning around 8,000BC,
Ancient man became gradually sedentary, engaging in
agriculture and animal husbandry!
With these nomads settling down in small communities,
Art became mystical and monumental in range;
As seen in the megalithic (large stone) structures of the
famous Stonehenge!
This type of post and lintel structure is also found in ancient
Egyptian architecture, and later in Greece as its special
feature!
Art History spans the entire history of mankind,
Right from the pre-historic days, up to our modern times!
Man’s everlasting quest for immortality lies etched on
rocks and raised stone edifices, defying marauding Time!

MESOPOTAMIAN ART (3500-300BC) :
Let us now travel fast forward on our magic carpet to reach
the Fertile Crescent,
Where the Tigress and the Euphrates Rivers flow, to the
Ancient Civilization of the Sumerians! (3500-2300BC)
The birth of civilization has been traced to Southern
Mesopotamia, where the Sumerians built their first cities,
As the earliest River Valley Civilization around 3500 BC!
It was a period when writing got invented in its earliest
Cuneiform form;  (around 3400 BC)
When Patriarch Abraham established the worship of a Single
God, in a revolutionary religious reform! (Judaism)
Mesopotamian Civilization as the source of our earliest
surviving Art dates back to 3500BC;
When major civilizations like the Sumerian, Akkadian,
Babylonian, Hitties, Assyrian, and the Persians, in this
chronological sequence, contributed to Art History!
Mesopotamian Art in general glorified their powerful rulers
and their connection with divinity;
Reflected on their city gates, palace complexes and ziggurats,

are scenes of both victorious wars and their prosperity!
Art was then highly functional and repetitive; depicting
love of beauty, a sense of order, and power of hierarchy,
- in their sculptures and motifs.
However, no signatures were ever found bearing the name
of the Artist!
It is interesting to note that both the potter’s wheel and the
cart wheel, made their first appearance around 3500 BC
and 3200 BC respectively;
With the Sumerians contributing to art and culture, and the
progress of Human Civilization immensely!
(Ziggurats are semi-pyramid like structures with steps, a temple complex located in the center of all ancient Sumerian cities-states! Saragon the Great of Akkad from the North, defeated the Sumerians in the South, & united entire Mesopotamia around 2300 BC, for the first time in Mesopotamian History, & they ruled for 200 years.)

ANCIENT EGYPTIAN ART :(3000 BC -500BC)
Next we travel to an isolated area of north-east Africa,
Where the White Nile flows down from Lake Victoria.
The Nile enters Upper Egypt traveling through Sudan,
Is joined by the Blue Nile at Khartoum to become one!
Continues its flow north through Egypt Lower, flowing
into the Mediterranean as the World’s longest river!
Historian Herodotus had called Egypt ‘the gift of the Nile’;
Ancient Egypt became a rich treasure trove of art and
architecture for all times!
The Nile valley area was protected by the desert on its
east and the west;
In the north by the Mediterranean, and towards the
south by a rugged mountainous terrain!
Annual flooding of the Nile along with an effective
irrigational network,
Ensured Egypt’s prosperous stability, congenial for her
many innovative architectures and art works!
Egyptian Art got shaped by her geography, mythology
and her polytheistic religion;
Also by their preoccupation with after-life and belief in  
the immortal soul’s continuation;
Thus elaborate funeral rites were performed by priests for  
the body’s preservation by mummification! *
(
’KA’= was a real astral twin or stellar double of an Individual, which continued to exist even after death, requiring the same sustenance as the humans, so food offerings were made in the coffins! ‘BA’= shaped like a human-headed bird, composed of non-physical attributes of an Individual. ‘BA’ collected the deceased’s personality after death from the mummified remains & united it with the ‘KA’, making a person complete; thereby making it possible for the person to be reborn as ‘AKH’ (Star), - in its ultimate unchanging form, to join Osiris in the ‘Happy Fields’! Since this journey to the next world was fraught with danger, magical funerary spells & rites were performed by the priests, with incantations from the ‘Book of the Dead’, inside the funeral chamber of the Pyramid!)

Art During Old, Middle, and New Kingdom Period:
Egyptian Art was concerned with ensuring continuity of the
universe, their Gods, the King and the people;
A projection into eternity a version of reality pure and free
from all earthly evil!
Therefore in ancient Egyptian society, conformity over
individuality was always encouraged;
Artists worked in groups with conservative adherence to
rules, order and form,
And all individual artistic initiatives strictly discouraged !
Their earliest pyramids the Mastaba, the Step, and the Bent
Pyramids were all prototypes;
While the Great Pyramid of Giza built for Pharaoh Kufu,
- was the first true pyramid which still survives!
Art comes down to us as ‘funerary art’ designed for the tombs,
Which was to accompany the royalty in their journey to an
afterlife, with its symbolic forms!
This symbolism is seen in their paintings, statues and architecture;
In vibrant color codes of their paintings as a special feature!
Where White was the symbol of purity, Black for death and night;
Green for vegetation or new life, Blue for water and the sky;
Red for life and victory, and Yellow like Gold as the flesh of the
Gods and also the Sun God ruling the sky!
Thanks to Jean-Francois Champollion’s translation of the Rosetta
Stone, (1822)
We are able to decipher many mysteries of the Ancient Egyptian
with the cracking of the Hieroglyphic Code!
Larger than life statues with poise and austere harmony at the
Luxor Temple complex survive;
Symbolic of the individual’s status, while creating zones of
strangeness for imagination to thrive!
(
’Matsaba’= Egyptian for ‘bench’, referred to bench shaped pyramids;
“Step Pyramids” = were like benches placed one on top of the other in
a tapering form going up vertically!)

The Old Kingdom Period covers a five hundred years span
of Ancient Egyptian History, (2686-2181BC)
Known as the ‘Age of Pyramids’, with Pharaohs from the
Third to the Sixth Dynasty!
“The World fear Time, but Time fears only the Pyramids”,
- is an Ancient Egyptian Proverb;
Whose ‘heterogeneous structure’ made it earthquake
proof, making Time to reluctantly serve! #
Here we find formalized figures with long slender bodies,
idealized proportions and large staring eyes;
Where Kufu’s Great Pyramid of Giza raises its mighty head
as the highest, on the west bank of the Nile;
And the mighty Sphinx guard the entrance to those ancient
royal tombs, though defaced, still survive!
These pyramids were like Pharaoh’s getaways to eternity,
An insurance to an afterlife of peace and prosperity!
(# Pyramids with stone blocks of different sizes & shapes made them
Earthquake resistant; & use of pink granite in the inner chambers
made them erosion resistant against Time!)

The Middle Kingdom Period (2040-1650 BC) :
Following 150 years of civil disorder Theban ruler Mentuhotep
the Second, reunified Egypt and ruled up to Nubia, (Sudan)
And began the Classical Era when Block Statues appear,
indicating political stability;
When artisans worked with bronze and copper alloys, designing
exquisite jewelry!
Kings now preferred to be buried in secret tombs, Pyramids
having lost their appeal,
And work began on the west bank of the Nile, in the Valley of
Kings!
(
Inside those rock cut ‘funerary temples’ on the East bank of the
Nile, opposite Ancient Kingdom of Thebes ; Pharaohs from the
Early and Late New Kingdom Periods were buried, including
Tutemkhamen.)

Early New Kingdom Period (1550 -1295 BC):
Between the Middle Kingdom and this Era, Art remained
static for almost a hundred years,
When the Hyksos from the Near East fought the weak Theban
Rulers!
In 1550 BC Theban Prince Ahmose reunited Egypt, and was
succeeded by able rulers, who ushered in the Golden Age!
Art works continued to maintain its basic traditional style,
With successive Kings from the 18th Dynasty consolidating
their kingdom’s wealth and power all the while!
But Egypt witnessed a change with an innovative style in Art,
When Amenhotep IV in 1353 BC became King, initiating a
fresh start!
This king changed his name to ‘Akhenaten’, the spirit of Aten,
-- ‘The disk of the Sun’;
Abandoned the pantheons of Gods with Aten as the ‘sole God’,
and a religious revolution had begun!
His new capital city of Amarna, 200 miles north of Thebes,
Got decorated with a new kind of art work to make it complete!
The statues now appear more realistic displaying emotions,
With fluidity of movement, unlike those rigid earlier creations!
The artistic talent of this Amarna Period gets best exemplified,
In the exquisite bust of Nefertiti, Akhenaten’s Great Royal Wife!
Regarded as ‘icon of international beauty’, a great archeological
find ! **
(
Discovered by a German team of Archeologists in 1912 at Amarna! This 19 inch long limestone Nefertiti statue weighs around 20 kg, now housed in Berlin Museum; comparable only to the artistic Golden Mask of Tutankhamen!)

King Tutankhamen (1336-1327 BC):
Akhenaten’s unpopular rule was short-lived, with those humiliated
Theban priests calling him the ‘Heretic King’!
A nine year old boy Tutankhamen (‘The living image of Amun’),
was next to succeed him!
King Tut restored the worship of Amun, in a back-lash against
Akhenaten;
Shifted the royal palace back to Thebes, with the religious center
at Karnak once again!
King Tut’s short ten year’s rule remained buried in 3000 year’s
of Egyptian History,
Till Howard Carter found his richly laden intact tomb, in the
Valley of the Kings! (1922)
King Tut’s priceless and exquisitely carved golden face mask,
reflected the exalted standard of art work;
Weighing ten kilos, inlaid with semi-precious stones, and eyes
made of obsidian and quarts!
With the King’s early death, the 18th Dynasty of Pharaohs came
to an abrupt end,
And the 19th and 20th Dynasties of the Late Kingdom Period
commenced!
The famous rock temple of Abu Simbel now got built, under the
warrior and builder Ramses II, one of Egypt’s greatest Kings!


Pharaoh Ramses-II of the Late Kingdom Period :
Here I sweep across centuries of Egyptian History, to mention
King Ramses-II’s contribution to our Art Story!
In Shelly’s famous poem titled “Ozymandias of Egypt” he is
immortalized; (Greeks called Ramses-II “Ozymandias”!)
And as the Pharaoh associated with Moses in the movie “The
Ten Commandments”, he is popularized!
Egyptian Art is intrinsically bound with its religion, pyramids,
hieroglyphs, and architecture;
With a concentrated focus on ‘afterlife’ as its special feature!
In 1270 BC young Ramses took over from Seti the First,
And his rule for a period of 66 long years did last!
As the third Pharaoh of the 19th Dynasty, he had ruled with a
firm hand;
Recovered lost territories from the Hittites and the Nubians,
- earlier captured Egyptian lands!
He enlarged the territories of Egypt ensuring prosperity and
stability;
Became renowned as the famous Warrior and Builder King
of Ancient Egyptian History!
Ramses-II had expanded most of the temples, as recorded in
the artistic motifs and hieroglyphic symbols;
Here a special mention must be made of the Temples of Luxor,
Karnak, and Abu Simbel !

Temples of Luxor and Karnak in Ancient Thebes:
Ancient Thebes was located on the eastern bank of the Nile,
where the modern City of Luxor stands;
Thebes was once the capital of the 11th and 18th Dynasties,
And the power and religious center of all Egyptian land!
Gets mentioned in the 9th Book of Homer’s ‘Iliad’ where “heaps
of precious ingots gleam, the hundred-gated Thebes”!
Excavation work began in Thebes during the late 19th century;
And the gradual unearthing of the Temples of Luxor and
Karnak, added a new dimension to Egypt’s Art Story!
It must be remembered always, that the Ancient Egyptians in
those early days,
Structured their temple architecture to the point of ‘Sacred Art’!
With their knowledge of astronomy and geometry, they
aligned their temples so perfectly,
That the light of the rising sun fell on the temple’s innermost
sanctuary! (Temple of Abu Simbel is a great example,)
Where the Egyptian priests, who were also the artists, healers,
mathematicians, astronomers and scribes;
In dimly lit incense-filled sanctuaries performed the sacred rites!
The temples symbolized the cross roads of the cosmos, where
the divine and the mortal met in perpetual harmony!
These divine scenes were integrated into the very fabric of the
Egyptian society through chants and rituals;
With cosmological symbols of magical hieroglyphs, which
priests alone could transcribe in those days!
(
Thebes began to decline rapidly after Alexander the Great
established the port-city of Alexandria as Egypt’s new Capital
around 332 BC !)

Luxor Temple built by Amenhotep-III, was dedicated to God
Amun, his wife Mut and son Khonsu, - the Theban Triad;
Tutankhamen and Ramses-II expanding the temple during the
New Kingdom Period!
Creator God Amun became assimilated with the Sun God Re;
Was worshipped in Thebes, and in the cult centers of Luxor and
Karnak, - as Amun-Re!
The walls and columns of these cult temples were decorated
with carved and painted relief,
Depicting the interaction with Gods, and military exploits of
Egyptian Pharaohs and Kings!
The sun temple of Amenhotep-III at Luxor has many columns
resembling papyrus bundles,
Symbolic of the primeval marsh from where Creation was
believed to have unfolded !
A Sphinx Alley excavated between Luxor an
AD Mullin Nov 2014
In pursuit of an elusive harmony
     summer nights rolled away from us
     reverberating into a numinous bassline
     reconciling the duality of our dreams
     with the non-duality of our burgeoning truth

Plying our differences into commonality
     re-aligning fractured selves using the agency
     of Jungian synchronicity and finding
     immutable archetypal truth: INFJ and INFP
     our portraits resonating essence from meetings past

Flustered with desire
     walking in non-ordinary reality, finding love
     and getting lost in Source, the Love that
     is magnified so purely through the portal
     of your soul

Much more than a soul mate, Plato
     tells stories of Zeus splitting souls in half
     as punishment for pride
     in this incarnation, we've both found humbility
     will this be enough to carry us back to our nobility?
    
It is challenging to find your way back
     into a lover's arms, my mistakes haunt me
     through eternity but I wake up every morning
     let them go, just as the sun sets and rises, reminding us
     with experience, guidance, and repetition ... it gets easier

My half soul, my plag nishmasa
     awoke when my mortality decomposed before me
     when half becomes one, then the real turmoil begins (and it's delicious)
     on Acheron Shores, Raven calls
     and I follow my destiny into an obsidian night
'If I cannot deflect the will of Heaven, I shall move Hell.' ~~ Virgil
Dawn King Jan 2015
Obligated attentions often wander
While mention of you has become obsolete
The natural order was but a paradox
As if malevolent incantations drawn behind obsidian palisades
Moil to counter the divine

Each sunrise on countless days past
Out near the eastbound pines, totem ravens cast out
Narrations from night time Goddesses
Visions of the prospective, ironically incongruous

The palisades must be breached

I have not the strength

Yesteryear’s unified heart
Now cavernous barren wastelands
That blow eternal drifts
Toward the obsidian palisades

and

Permeate the baneful fractures of the unintended
laika  Sep 2014
minecraft dream
laika Sep 2014
Block by block
I delve down
is it iron?
is it gold?
or only gravel and stone

toiling with pick and shovel
I dream obsidian spires
towering 190 blocks above the shore

I dream wheat fields
and cow pens
nestled amidst rolling hills

I dream discovery
mystery
exploration

but before these
there must be iron
Trevor Gates May 2013
I’ve been expecting you.
I’ve waited an eternity.
Please sit
Thank you
I will now tell you things

I will tell you things I will do
Things I will do to you

Are you curious to know what they are?
You should be.

As I am curious to know
What compelled you to come here?
Yes

Everything in your conscious told you to stay away.
Yet, you are here.
Your friends warned you
But, you are here
Your nagging doubts, your conflicting reasoning all point to something else
Alas, you are here

And I can’t seem to understand why.
You know what I am.
I am an unconventional socialite of the most diabolic kind

I feed off the likes of you.
The sweet, tangible nectarine of modern serenity
The soft, lavender of incorruptible virtues
The delicate outer skin of savory delectability

My mouth waters at the very thought of you
I salivate with the very presence of you
I can feel my blood rush
My hands shake with anticipation

Let my touch
Caress you
Warm you
You don’t deny it
Because you long for it
You long for me to trace your lips with my fingertips
To suckle the flesh drops of your ears
To familiarize my hands with your supple body
To show you the darker side of forbidden passion
To welcome you into the bounty of vicious coitus
And depraved, animistic *******
And deep recessive *******
And blood constricted battering
With lines and whips
Chains
Belts
Leather and
Nightmares
And masters
And tormentors
And wicked shadows lurking in the room
Watching us as we display the ungodly exhibition
Of your forbidden desires

For me to savor the swelling peach of your ***** fruit.

This is for you.

Even as you proclaim your goodness to others
You have a side of your personality that demands unsuppressed copulation.

And why do you need this?
Why do you need me?

I can see it in your eyes.

It was because people in another world told you to hide your womanhood
To despise you sexuality
For it will make you weak
And vulnerable

What was your story behind your frailty?

It could have been the close-minded parents of the old age, who never tried to think for themselves; only allowing others with higher knowledge to justify their old-fashioned morals.
Or
The life you saw through popular culture and mind-altering media.  The problem with pop cultivation is that is follows the wave lengths of susceptible hosts: the average, everyday citizens that “trust” the outside word; that “trust” what is said to them through dystopian and totalitarian subtleties.  
You didn’t know better.
But you could tell it wasn’t right
How is it that a young child can truly know what is right and what is wrong
More so than the misconceived adults?
Because simplicity is key to filtering the complex

Now what does this have to deal with you sexuality
Because unless you do what is only natural for you to do, others will tell you what you should do.

Now, you embrace your emerging fruition.
As my tongue slithers around your sensitive ****
My fingers stretch and penetrate your wanting *****
Now
Is your chance
Overpower the host before you
It is a test

Your daunting task ahead is to overthrow the embellishment of your submission

Are you up to it?

We shall see.

The shadows on the walls are the ones that maimed you
Scolded you
Accosted you
Abused you
Terrified you
Rectified you
Molested you
Suffocated you
Punished you
Insulted you
Silenced you
***** you

Why?

Because they are:
Afraid of you
Intimated of you
Worried of you
Scared of you
And
Enticed by you
Infuriated by you
Aroused by you
Alarmed by you
Entranced by you
And pleasured by you

Could you be all and none of what I said?
You tell me
Whisper it in my ear
Now bite it
Use your teeth and swear it
Tear it and devour it
My creature of the night
My child of ritual
My servant to flesh
My master to skin
My all to this and none to that
The embodiment of lust
The being of now

And the beginning of the end.
Thank you for coming here tonight my dear.  Send my regards to your fans and loved ones: Johnny Depp, Lucifer, Mammon, Hellraiser, Candyman, egg whites, Wool hats, Epson printers, Derek Riggs, Spider-man, Bruce Willis, Lampshade, Black Holes, Taxi drivers, Durex condoms, Hank Azaria, Simon Pegg, Colonel Sanders, Iron Man, Spike Jones, Spike Lee, Spike Speigel, Eva Green and of course his imperial majesty, David Bowie.

Maybe we’ll see each other again.
Jim Marchel Sep 2016
We will never forget...

The last day dawns on my life
And I don't know it
As I wake up to golden rays
Of sun knocking on my eyelids.

I kissed my wife good morning,
Got up out of bed
And tucked her in again.
Naomi spent 10 hours last night
Delivering a new mother's firstborn.
I didn't tell her good morning
And I wish I told her I loved her
But I didn't want to wake her.

I sipped my coffee on the way to work
As if it were any other day,
My only worry was if I had spilled any
On the new pink and white
Polka-dot tie my daughter Elise
Had bought me for my birthday
Last weekend
Or the new Bostonian shoes
My wife gave me
With the card that read,
We love you from top to bottom!

I walked into the conference room
And checked my watch:
8:36.
I was 9 minutes early
To the most exciting moment
Of my career:
My first pitch as project manager
For the new country club going up
East of the city in Glenwood Landing.

I was 10 minutes early
To the most helpless moment
Of my life.

At 8:45 I said good morning
To many fine ladies and gentlemen...
Bankers, lawyers, city representatives,
A union boss, some secretaries,
And a stenographer in the back.

The same words I would never again say to my wife and child...

And immediately I was thrown
Through the air
And knocked against the righthand wall
Of the room.
I was utterly confused
And my face burned
From the coffee I had been holding
That now stained
My beautiful polka-dot tie.

It would be nothing compared to the heat I would soon face.

Outside our 111th-story window
Rose an obsidian plume of smoke.
We all knew something terrible
Had happened just a few floors below.

The fine ladies and gentlemen
Of a moment ago
Quickly turned into uncivilized beasts
As the lights went out
And the piercing scream of the fire alarm
Shouted louder than the new mother
Experiencing the pain
Of her first childbirth.

Smoke very quickly came from below
And filled the floor with the foulest odor
I had ever smelled:
Burning rubber, sulfur,
And burnt hair.
Others in the room sealed the door shut
With expensive overcoats and undershirts
From Armani and Burberry.

They tried the phone countless times
But the line was dead.
I looked down at my watch
As a bead of sweat fell from my brow
And landed on my new tie:
9:11.

Today's date.

The fire alarm got tired of yelling
And the room was filled with an
Uncomfortable rumbling sound...

Flames...

...and the hysterical wails of the
Fine ladies and gentlemen in the room.
Some prayed, some wept together,
Others wept alone.
The one thing we all had in common
Was the persistent coughing
From the obsidian smoke
Slicing our lungs.

I looked down at my watch:
9:23.
The heat was now almost unbearable.
We huddled around the window
Jack or John or Jim smashed
With the powerful throw
Of a mini-refigerator.

When I gazed out the window
At the same sun that kissed my eyelids
This morning,
I was calm.
I thought of Naomi, who was
Surely watching on television
As her family called her to make sure
Her and I and Elise were alright.

Daddy's alright, baby girl.

I'm alright, Naoms.

9:31...
Gary or Greg was the first to jump.

I'll make it home to you, angels.

9:32...
Sophia or Cynthia was next.

Please, God, get me out of here...

9:33...
Jack or John or Jim
And Patty or Peggy
Were each other's last hug
As they fell
Like two stars from heaven.

9:35...
I couldn't see
And I couldn't breathe.
The sunlight was the last thing to kiss me.

Before I jumped
I felt my girls.
I touched the tie on my neck
And the shoes on my feet.

I love you both

From top to bottom.
We will never forget...
Tiana Lloyd  Jun 2016
Obsidian
Tiana Lloyd Jun 2016
Her skin is Obsidian,
Forged in the sacred flames of pain,
Calamity, and destruction.
She walks through Hell unscathed, for she is
Transcendent.
She was anguish, she was suffering,
She was guilt, she was unrequited love, she was hate.
Molded, formed, shaped, and artfully crafted, her darkness was beautiful.
Obsidian.
zebra  Jun 2017
*GIRL IN A STORM
zebra Jun 2017
she loved thunder storms most of all
the crackle of white hot bolts ripping through the sky
the sheer immensity of power
she always thought it was him
her beloved God
big boy
Thor
with his flowing blond hair
blue aquatic eyes
washboard stomach
and delicately curved *****
finally a man good enough for her
even if he was fly by night

when the heavens thickened gray
like soggy cotton
she could feel atmospheres shift
it made her ******* pert
her mouth would salivate
like a lurid peach
her ***** swelled and dampened
tears of adoration and enchantment
filled her eyes

no longer able to contain her self
she would strip naked
fling off her *******
and run out to the lush verdant meadows
calling at the top of her lungs
yoooooooooo hooooooooooo

as the cool rain descended
she ran thrilled to the mud between her toes
seeing great claws of white lightening  echo
through the sky

without hesitation
she fell to the cool earth beneath her
wallowing in the delicious sloshing ooze
positioning her self on all fours
head thrown back
*** up high
calling to the heavens
come on, come on big boy
ive been waiting for you
let me have it good
her clitoral lips
drooled with anticipation
her ******
a pulsating aching

the sky rumbled
with stretching streaks of fire
like a great freight train
spanning infinity
while the earth shook like a
hollow moon
she swayed her hips
rhythmically to and fro
whispering a love song

oh sir
i need a man like you
wont you love me
adorations true

i kneel before
my sweet Lord Thor
where's that hammer
come on and score

you are so big
and im so little
how about it God
just a tickle

hit it now
give it to me good
kisses baby
like only you could


tears of desire cascaded
down her pink cheeks
as she recited her love mantra
her mouth naked wet

suddenly
a great bolt of lightening
shot down from heavens throne
entering her ******
splitting her in flames
her head turned dark mahogany
sent careening fifty yards
leaving her mouth
a yawning twisted smudge
of fossilized obsidian
with eyes
blackened flaring hollows

her tender pink ****
a charred flower
smoldering
like a
petite
grilled
calamari
DEW Dec 2016
What do you hold dear?
I've seen it.
Tasted it.
Owned it.
Thrown it away.
I've loved it, hated it, ignored it.
This is what we fear:

The primitives unearthed the obsidian.
Their eyes caressed its semi-reflective luster.
Their fingers ran along the smooth confines of purpose,
or rather, surface,
it was cool to the touch
and obsidian whispered its secrets
imparting realities the primitives sought.

Tree bark was no longer an obstacle.
The flesh of beast
land, air, or sea-bound
came away like loose clothing
and the people rejoiced, teeth all the whiter.

One day, whilst digging with his prized tool,
one man found a sparkling oddity.
It puzzled him deeply.
And so,
he unearthed it
and sought to reveal its
mystery, disrobing the dirt that clung
to its crystalline body this thing, this... diamond
in the ruff was beautiful, but truly,
what worth was beauty
in light of the fill
of belly?

The man put faithful obsidian
back on the shelf
and joined his hard-working brethren at the fire.
In the night,
a stranger passed through the village.

The man sat at his fire,
chipping the stone from the crystal,
entertaining the astounded onlookers
as he perfected the gem.
The stranger looked upon the diamond
and she delighted in her providence.

She stood at the fire of the meal place
allowing its haunting glow
to cast her face in flame and shadow.
She announced,
"Look upon his treasure.
This is no mere stone!
A fist of this
diamond
can buy you king's riches
in Assur.
This man cares not for that..."
And with that, she skulked into the shadows.

Those whose hungry eyes
spoke for their hollow hearts
came forward and pleaded with the man.
If he does not care for the stone,
mustn't he choose a kin who does?

"You care not for the stone!"
the man declared,
"You care for the debauchery of the city!
I must keep this to ward you from death."

Their pleading became insistent
then ravenous,
but the man defended himself,
until one deranged man,
drunk with the fantasy of the gem,
stabbed the possessor in the back.
Thence began the war for the diamond.

Who should be the
rightful
possessor of the diamond?
Bloodshed can be no true reward.
Bodies lay strewn across the floor in warring poses
teeth gritted
eyes glaring
one ****** palm sated with the prize.

The stranger danced into the bankrupt fray
snatched the gem from the dead grip
clutching it for herself.

She smiled her yellow smile that
by her sin
could only be cleansed
by the innocence of the crystal clear gem.

She walked off triumphant.

All around, obsidian glittered in the fires
that now fought to consume the village.
The first man crawled in the dirt,
like some blood-trailing slug,
trying to escape the inferno.
Trapped, he leant against a wall
and obsidian clattered to the floor.
He picked it up,
"****** are those who delight
in fill of fantasy,
o'er fill of belly!"
There, the fire consumed him,
screams and all.

How unfortunate it is
for the meek to pay the price
for the world's greed.
I love that spark of inspiration and what follows.
Kudos to all you poets out there who've influenced me to this point.
You've made me stonger, and for that, many thanks!

Enjoy this piece to the fullest :)

DEW

— The End —