Tuesday, March 12, 2019

My long poem: "The Miracle".

John Wallen

PART ONE: Meet Hari Chand
Hari Chand—investigative journalist
Determined to illuminate
The terminal decline of Bharat;
With a special roving commission
From Anil Patil,
Concerned kshatriya of Maharashtra
Province: late professor of dermatology
At Jizan Health College,
Saudi Arabia,
Now expatriated to New Zealand;
Living along the outreaches
Of the Western world,
In Tauranga,
Ayurvedic remedies
To dissipated Europeans

O where did it all go wrong?

When Patanjali’s sutras
Explained the Vedic scheme
Siddharta’s wheel of Dharma
Already ruled supreme.
While Krishna and Arjuna
Discussed the pith of life
The chariots of ignorance
Disseminated strife.
At Vulture’s Peak, the Buddha
Revealed the Tantric path;
But my dear friend, Anil Patil,
Only makes me laugh!

The Mughals came
The Mughals built;
Shah Jihan, to his cost
Spent all his wealth on Mumtaza
Until his realm was lost.
In latter days he viewed “the Taj”
Through iron prison bars
Incarcerated by a son
Who’d kicked him in the arse.

Caste, Caste, Caste, Caste;
Caste deflated India…
If I can’t touch you,
And you can’t touch me,
How happy can we ever be?

Brahmin priests and all their rituals,
Friends to the worldy ones,
Undid India.

Brahma. Vishnu. Shiva.
Did you ever really need them?
Brahma created without their incantations.
Vishnu, Krishna, Buddha,
Sustained and enlightened, indifferent to their technical mumbo-jumbo:
Shiva’s dance of death destroys, regardless of Brahminical threads and pride

Pride destroyed India.
And yet,
Avalokiteshvara’s infinite compassion still abounds; His thousand arms waiting                                  To rescue all sentient beings from the chains of their ignorance,                                                          Into the Sambhogakaya :                                                                                                                      The Buddhafield.

Om Mani Padme Hum.


I watched a snake charmer’s cheap trickeries
Outside Rajghat.
He wanted money.
Is it possible that one who is able to control
The dancing snake head
Can be in need of a few coppers from me?

O dissolute nation
Who had everything the world systems can provide,
But threw it all away--
What price must you pay
For your own unvirtue?

Hari Chand’s a secret guy;
You’ll find him in the bar,
Listening to private talk
(Not near, nor yet too far).
Whenever India’s discussed,
He’s got it on his mind
That something just might be picked up
Explaining her decline.
And as we know, he works for one
Inextricably bound
To the travails of Bharat and
The Ganges’ rushing sound.
It’s good to know that even when
Anil is in his dreams
Hari Chand is on the case
And life’s not what it seems.

PART TWO: Delhi Musings

I spent some time in Delhi’s maze
Of beggars, rickshaws, bikes and shit;
And everywhere I felt the gaze
Of those who would abandon it

A mother with her bundled child,
Tapped upon the moving glass.
Her eyes roamed, desperate and wild,
And wouldn’t let me pass.

I offered up some gift of notes
And suddenly there came
A hundred more in tattered coats
And each one had no name.

I looked upon their greedy eyes,
Then waved the driver on;
And inwardly, without surprise,
I felt compassion gone.

The poor and desolate are our friends,
They teach us generosity;
Let’s love our enemies better than our relatives
(As those who hate us give an opportunity for the practice of patience).

Perhaps one day I can become wild and homeless myself,
Though without the unmindfulness of a Delhi street beggar;
No, no, but with the green tinge of an enlightened Milarepa
Seeing beyond the limitations of


Ashkhardan is beautiful
And, in just five years,
Volunteers built its stone temple
In the old way, fashioned from the imagination and love,
Without steel and iron.
Krishna consciousness pervades the essence.
Om Hari Krishna
Om Hari Krishna
Om Om Om

Hari Chand is on the case. He sees all, but says little. Everything is placed in the balance.
Dr. Anil will have his answer.

PART THREE: Dr. Anil in Motion and Still Life
Dr. Anil gave up all his glamour
When he travelled to Jizan.
He tried to show the Jizanis,
Through an innate pride in his nation,
The glory of the Vedas:
What they are, had been, and ever would be.
Even when they scoffed,
And asked him if the sacred cow had been his mother,
He persevered,
Watching old movies about Gods and Avatars
In his pleasing home,
Surrounded by a loving family:
His wife, Priyanka,
And blessed daughter Vishakha
Who, as the reincarnation of Anil’s maternal grandmother,
Was (somehow) close to Shiva
Lord of the dance.

Dr. Anil, disciple of Shankacharya,
Why did you come to Jizan?
Get away as quick as you can!
Talking’s just a barrier
To the enlightenment of man.

Leave it all to Hari… Hari Chand.
Hari’s built for sniffing out the meaning of life,
And the reasons for strife.
He’s a smooth operator
And sooner or later
He’ll find out all you want to know
Of virtue, knowledge, death and View:
He’ll show you what to do,
Explain the transcendental light
Of wisdom, just for you.

Om Hari Hari Chand.

Take refuge in the Hari.

PART FOUR: Vulture’s Peak

Rajgir was the setting for
The Dharma’s second spin:
The prajnaparamita core
Of emptiness within.
Thus have I heard: at Vulture’s Peak
The Thusly-Gone one taught
All aspirants who truly seek
To find a secret thought.
“Nam m’yoho renge kyo”:
The blessings showered down;
The diamond and the lotus show
The heart within the crown.
Assembled Boddhisattvas watched
Shunyata’s face arise
From Union with Emptiness
(And in the Buddha’s eyes).
Oh India you were not fit
To learn the Tantric truth
From Uddiyana’s great pandit
(Nor Krishna’s guileless youth).
Ganges, Yamuna, Saraswat:
Sweet Gangetic plains!
Holy rivers of Bharat,
Filled by monsoon rains!
Why did the flowing Dharma cease?
Why was the Tantra dumb?
Why did that mighty soul decrease?
Why didn’t Moksha come?
Why did the Buddha at Rajgir
Decide to hide the truth,
From India and all the world,
In Nagar serpent tooth?
Oh why is Ramakrishna’s faith,
Nandranath’s noble jewels,
Diluted by some Pretan wraith
Into a billion fools?

PART FIVE: Hari Reports Back to Anil

Anil rebuilds his life in Tauranga;
And even Vishakha,
And his dear departed grandmother
(Who now holds a New Zealand passport),
Is/are content.

Life is good.

Hari Chand’s report
Has just arrived from Delhi, giving meaty food for thought.
According to Hari
Life is a bitch
And we just have to try and get over it.

Anil (on the whole) finds himself in concurrence with these noble sentiments.

Om Tat Sat!

© John Wallen

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

I have started a Poetry Podcast.

Check it out!