Selected poems from 'Tabular Rasa' by Jeff Raheb

  • Havana      
  • Paro Dzhong - Bhutan      
  • Dal Lake - Kashmir      
  • Bamboo      
  • The Center      
  • I Pour You A Cup Of Tea      
  • For The Women Of Bosnia      
  • You Say It Is Raining      
  • Zimbabwe      
  • The Comet      
  • Pygmalion      
  • Ganges      
  • Nasca - Peru      
  • Zu Twa Szi      
  • Body Rain      
  • The Shadow Puppet (Jogjakarta )                      
  • Songkla - Thailand      
  • 5 Haikus
  • Ganges

    We arrive in darkness
    amidst the Mahabarta
    and the Ramayana
    The Ganges swallows all
    Holy river

    Women line the ghats singing
    offering prayers
    Puja for the living
    Puja for the dead
    Dirty river

    The river swallows all
    dead cows and Brahmins
    floating ashes
    the thousand petals
    of devotees, flowers and urine
    plastic bottles and incense
    bodies not cremated
    purifying offerings of food

    Sari's bleeding their wearer's colors
    like gossip
    into the drowning river
    into the holy thickness

    unearthly mumbling and beating drums
    sliding into the morning
    ocean of Hinduism
    dusk comes secretly
    revealing a face, a hand
    light interwoven with dark

    The thousand colored Hindus
    body after body
    a flock of parrots
    dream-like vision
    The sounds of firecrackers and flutes
    amongst women chanting
    and water washing away the world as I knew it

    In the miracle of sunrise
    I begin to see the smells
    and taste the sounds
    of divine worship
    surrounding me
    thick as the Ganga
    Night has passed
    In reverence

    Copyright 2004 Jeff Raheb