Fanfare For The Silent Man - 1

a daycycle in 4 parts, composed circa 1992, Northern Karnataka and Bangalore
Tuesday, January 1, 1980
a procession

a day of noisy lives

a procession of half-crazed men
lament in an ancient tongue
three women clap in unison
a soliloquy is sung

an iron bus, blushing with
its graceless rusty bod
hurtles down a dusty road
few patiently have trod

driven by seemingly
uncommon common sense
carrying faithful pilgrims to
a distant confluence

to wash their sins, these precious drops
of godly soma sweat
will make them clean so they can once
again go sin and yet

come back again and wash their shame
go sin another round
nirvana yet from life and death
circle vicious hound

its muscles strain helplessly
its head is bound to stone
wooden wheels turn in the rut
tiredly with its groan

hags converse in a shrilly voice
appetite is lost
ears ring with the harpy’s wail
the thoughts that it has cost

a scorching wind’s invisible touch
like a searing hand
is drying up the parchment of
a now historic land

praises of this ancient land
bards mystical sing
a clamourous din of puritans
a tinny, hollow ring

that drowns the screams of a newly found
freedom that’s abused
inherit, live, bequeath a
legacy of servitude

maintenance, a worn facade
a gash, a deeper line
hides the smile, shrouds the brow
a tangled, knitted skein

empty minds with empty smiles
take an empty stride
lives that hocked their silence for
an emptiness inside

the beast master’s evening