Thursday, July 27, 2006

Little Johnny's confession

...................being rather young and foolish
.........I borrowed a machinegun my father
.........had left hidden since the war, went out,
.........and eliminated a number of small enemies.
.........Since then I have not returned home.

This morning
.......swarms of police with tackerdogs
.......wander about the city
.......with my description printed
.......on their minds, asking:
.......'Have you seen him ?
.......He is seven years old.
.......likes Pluto, Mighty Mouse
.......and Biffo the Bear,
.......have you seen him, anywhere?'
This morning
.......sitting alone in a strange playground
.......muttering you've blundered, you've blundered
.......over and over to myself
.......I work out my next move
.......but cannot move.
.......The trackerdogs will sniff me out,
.......they have my lollypops.

-Brian Patten

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Schrodinger, pearl, & the woman

A few days before Christmas, 1925, Schrodinger, a Viennese-born professor of physics at the University of Zurich, took off for a two-and-a-half-week vacation at a villa in the Swiss Alpine town of Arosa. Leaving his wife in Zurich, he took along de Broglie's thesis, an old Viennese girlfriend (whose identity remains a mystery) and two pearls. Placing a pearl in each ear to screen out any distracting noise, and the woman in bed for inspiration, Schrodinger set to work on wave mechanics. When he and the mystery lady emerged from the rigors of their holiday on Jan. 9, 1926, the great discovery was firmly in hand.

Article continues here......

Monday, July 17, 2006

She Tells Her Love While Half Asleep

She tells her love while half asleep,
........In the dark hours,
................With half-words whispered low:
As Earth stirs in her winter sleep

........And puts out grass and flowers
.................Despite the snow,
.................Despite the falling snow.

Robert Graves

Friday, July 14, 2006

Mixed Hockey

- P. G. Wodehouse

You came down the field like a shaft from a bow;
The vision remains with me yet.
I hastened to check you; the sequel you know;
Alas! we unluckily met.
You rushed at the ball, whirled your stick like a fail,
And you hit with the vigour of two:
A knight in his armour had surely turned pale,
If he had played hockey with you.

They gathered me up, and they took me to bed;
They called for a doctor and lint;
With ice in a bag they enveloped my head;
My arm they enclosed in a splint.
My ankles are swelled to a terrible size;
My shins are a wonderful blue;
I have lain here a cripple, unable to rise,
Since the day I played hockey with you.

Yet still, in the cloud hanging o'er me black,
A silvery lining I spy;
A man who's unhappily laid on his back
Can yet have a solace. May I ?
An angel is a women in moments of pain,
Sang Scot: clever poet, he knew.
It may, I perceive, be distinctly a gain
To have fallen in hockey with you.

For if you'll nurse me (Come quickly, come now),
If you'll but administer balm,
And press at my bidding my feverish brow
With a cool but affectionate palm;
If you'll sit by my side, it is possible quite,
That I may be induced to review
With a feeling more nearly akin to delight
That day I played hockey with you

Monday, July 10, 2006

Without You

My pillow gazes upon me at night
Empty as a gravestone;
I never thought it would be so bitter
To be alone,
Not to lie down asleep in your hair.

I lie alone in a silent house,
The hanging lamp darkened,
And gently stretch out my hands
To gather in yours,
And softly press my warm mouth
Towards you, and kiss myself, exhausted and week -
Then suddenly I'm awake
And all around me the cold night grows still.
The star in the window shines clearly -
Where is your blonde hair,
Where your sweet mouth ?

Now I drink pain in every delight
And poison in every wine;
I never knew it would be so bitter
To be alone,
Alone, without you.

-Hermann Hesse

German ----> English
James Wright

Across the Fields

Some great news.
I have got back the clutch of poems I had posted on IISc poetry egroup long back. The ground rule was that we don't post poems written by us! And, soon we came across amazing stuff. And those days, I used to frequent the British Library, and which has a good collection of poetry books. So, I would carefully select a book, and pick a few that interest me, and post them. While I typed them, the poems sank, andz been a part of me.

But sometime, during machine migration, I had lost them all. And now, thanks a zillion to Ashish, they are here.

Hope to post them now & then. Today, one of my favourite writers - Hermann Hesse.

Across the Fields ....

Across the sky, the clouds move,
Across the fields, the wind,
Across the fields, the lost child
Of my mother wanders.

Across the street, leaves blow,
Across the trees, birds cry -
Across the mountains, far away,
My home must be.

-Hermann Hesse

Translated from German by James Wright

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Rock Agama

Finally picked up Daniel's Book on Indian Reptiles & Amphibians. The trigger was to identify a lizard we saw at Hoskote lake on sunday, 2nd July.

Peninsular Rock Agama Psammophilus dorsalis

Beautiful isn't it ? Notice the colors, and the patterns. The eye & the ear. What you see is the colorful male. It turns brilliant crimson red on the head & foreparts and black elsewhere.

Herz the female. No wonder, I have found it difficult to spot.

The males maintains a territory, by displaying from a conspicuous location, press ups & nods of the head. These guyz are very sensitive to our presence.

Insectivorous in food habits. Females have upto 8 eggs in ovaries (eggs hatch within the body).

Distinguished by

  • Regular arranged scales
  • Flattened body
  • Presence of a fold in the skin of the throat.

Look at these, the coloring looks a bit different, couple of months back - May - at Ramnagara. Basically, a rock dweller.

And this was at Hoskote last year July. The coloring has come down, as though the rains have washed them away. Its fun looking for Agama's, Calotes, Gecko's, etc. Some of them bask in the sun, and you need to move in silently, amongst those rocks. And, Rock Agamas are quite easily seen around Bangalore, so do look for them.