26 November 2008



In a dream
I flew across the blue ink heavens,
Through the air
Passing Broome red underneath as
Garuda crossing the Indian Ocean
To India.

As the sun rose
And unsettled the grey mist on the Ganges
I sat in a boat
With rhythmic creaking oars
To the slap thud of washing clothes
On stony steps,
To the ringing bell of funeral pyres
Vultures flapping, rose petals following
In the wake of burning dead

And on into the fumed traffic
Crimson-saried women flying in the air
Scooter taxis with alto horns
Rushing through crowds and sacred cows.
Computers flashing
In canyons of glass and stone
White smoke curling, incense
Floating like the women bathing,
Combing jet black hair
While the Ganges ran down their shoulders

And in the dark of the fiery furnace
Men and women slept where they worked
Making black iron for bread.
Sweet smells of Madras
The rushing Calcutta streets
Moon shadows on flute tunes
In the temple
The four-clap beat and the hum of the drum
Dusty men sleeping on stone
And balancing women with baskets of rubble.

Rolling camels in Rajasthan
Two-humped shadows in the slipping sand
A thousand mirrored fragments
Held in the palm of my hand,
Like infinity
`And eternity in an hour'

--Michael Hyde

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