Wednesday, December 16, 2009

From Lady Nyo's Blog: Jane and others' comments

“Musings On A Closing Day”

Summer’s blooming, and the sewer is flowing…. »

Poems from Dr. RK Singh

By ladynyo

RK Singh has appeared here before and it is a joy and delight to post his poems which he has graciously allowed permission.

RK has many websites, is a prominent and distinguished poet from India and through many months of correspondence, we have struck up a friendship.

Although already a published poet of over 34 books and 162 critical reviews, RK has a great enthusiasm for new writers and I am deeply honored he reads my poetry. I find his so fresh and provocative in the best sense for a poet: reading his deeply visual poems, they propel me to write more, not to imitate, but to have courage that small poems can have the impact of those with many more words. RK’s work is so powerful to me, that clearly here, ‘less is more’.

It’s the Monsoon season in his part of India, and he is awaiting the rains. The temperatures are soaring and humanity there barely breathes, awaiting the cooling, life giving rains. A few tanka that reflect those conditions but others of a different nature. Dr. Singh is prolific to say the least. It was hard to choose only these, but like a box of Godiva chocolates, they are so rich we best go slowly. There will be many more later.

Indeed, the power of ’small’ poems.

Lady Nyo

NO MOIST SECRETS: SOME TANKA

Layers of dust thicken
on the mirror water makes
the smuts prominent:
I wipe and wipe and yet
the stains stay like sin

When I have no home
I seek refuge in the cage
of your heart and close
my eyes to see with your nipples
the tree that cared to save from sun

In the forest of your hair
my finger searches
the little pearl of blood
that stirs the hidden waters
and contains my restlessness

When I inhale in
your mouth and exhale stroking
hair or caressing
I ride you into joy and
make you hail morning like earth

Winter is caught in
waves of narrow discussions
under the blanket
fingers move by nipples erect
without sensing sinsummation

Life limits between
whence the sun rises and where
it goes to relax:
joys of a fleeting moment
I see Aditi in her eyes

Will you marry my soul?
or lend me your body?
I’ve used it to the core
the rament is tattered now
even ghosts despise it

Burning without warmth
one more hot and sweaty spell
of summer, restless
down with stroke, without light, fan
exhausted, alone in bed

Slung-jawed awake
two grinning skeletons sit
bolt upright in bed
hear the shrieks next door but
too scared to call the police

The nightly ghosts crowd
my mind’s passage to forge
gods’ names in disguise
I fail to scan the face
of thought and life in the dark

Night’s prisoned friends
keep me awake with planes
flying over the Ashram
every now and then I watch
the direction matters

A cloud-eagle
curves to the haze
in the West
skimming the sail
on soundless sea

The chill outside
deprives me of the bright moon
I breathe in my fears:
asthmatic bouts haunt and
jealousy itches the throat

RK Singh
Copyrighted, 2009



Some websites of Dr. Singh’s to read more of his poems:

http://rksingh.blogspot.com/2006/10/im-no-river-tanka-collection.html

http://www.geocities.com/profrksingh/tanka.htm

http://ezinearticles.com/?The-River-Returns—A-Collection-of-Tanka-poems&id=538863



____________________________________________________________________________________

7 Responses to “Poems from Dr. RK Singh”

1. Berowne Says:
June 24, 2009 at 12:14 am

Very evocative; I enjoyed reading them.
And a very gracious introduction, Lady N.

2. ladynyo Says:
June 24, 2009 at 2:54 pm

Dr. Singh’s poems are always enjoyable, even where the cultural differences might make one stumble. However, the world is wide and we are expanded when we learn more than our culture.

Thank you, Berowne.

Lady Nyo


3. R.K.SINGH Says:
June 26, 2009 at 5:01 am

Thanks Jane for your nice intro to me. I must say you have selected some very good verses.

The rains still elude this part of the country but monsoon seems to have arrived in Mumbai.

R K


4. ladynyo Says:
June 26, 2009 at 10:06 am

Hello RK!

I am sorry the rains still elude your part of the country but it must be only a matter of time.

Your verses are evocative and provocative and I picked them for those reasons! However, it was hard to choose because they all have those designs. Like picking a favorite …impossible!

We also are dry and hot here, in the high 90s, but what can one do except hope?

My best!
Jane


5. R.K.Singh Says:
June 26, 2009 at 3:28 pm

Yea, we all seek our solace in hope. I would also add, faith and love. The three make the triad of Christianity.

It drizzled this afternoon for a short while and filled us with hope that the temperature will fall and we will be comfortable. I have been feeling very uneasy for the last two to three weeks. Our life is not in tune with nature and so, nature takes its toll.

I liked your selection of my tanka and it is always encouraging to read fellow poets’ comments.

Love
R K


6. ladynyo Says:
June 26, 2009 at 5:24 pm

Hi RK,

Christianity has taken some hits, mostly from the Orthodox side of the aisle, but I think you are right. Hope, faith and love get the short end of the stick from a lot of people, especially those who have a bone to pick with this religion.

It is not to say that any religion is diseased beyond redemption. It is the PRACTITIONERS of these religions who are at question. Jews along with Christians, Muslims, etc. have no ‘get out of jail free cards’. I have recently heard some of the most prejudiced rationalizations for hatred and contempt of Christians that turned around would not be tolerated. It took me by surprise, but fundamentalism is fundamentalism in all religions….. There is no doubting that. That is where wars start and develop.

I hope and pray for rain RK…for both of us. We are heading back into a drought it looks like….and Atlanta is landlocked. But I pray for the monsoons to hit soon, because that is the only answer. And I understand your discomfort. Me too….feel weighted down with lead.

Love,
Jane


7. R.K.Singh Says:
June 27, 2009 at 6:20 am

I agree with you, Jane, that no religion is diseased beyond redemption. And it is the followers of religions, and their gurus, that corrupt and debase humanity to the lowest level. We see all around us in India the naked game of what you call “prejudiced rationalization for hatred and contempt” by the right wing political parties and groups, but the silent majority only suffers. I have been UNCOMFORTABLE with institutionalization of faith/religion/ideology as it ultimately corrupts and degrades humanity. Politicalisation of all such groups, without excluding fundamentalists, in the name of democracy has ruined the prospect of living in the environment of tolerance and peaceful coexistence. Sometimes I wonder what will happen if the current trends continue for another five to ten years.

I have always thought I am a misfit in this world and have been living a life of helplessness. As I composed the following haiku this morning:

Not a day without
begging gods to solve problems–
faith in helplessness

We like it or not, the game of convenience has been taking its toll, and willy-nilly, we all have been participants in it.

R K SINGH


______________________________________________________________________________________

I had to think more on what I was doing. Some recent influences helped, and a letter from Dr. RK Singh helped lay some of these issues bare. When we think we are alone in our dismay and confusion, we can get overwhelmed. When we realize that we are part of the bigger picture of it all, we can take comfort and ask for ideas and glean guidance.

I wrote to RK about my anger concerning religions….all religions, and I received this answer:

“I agree with you, Jane, that no religion is diseased beyond redemption. And it is the followers of religions, and their gurus, that corrupt and debase humanity to the lowest level. We see all around us in India the naked game of what you call “prejudiced rationalization for hatred and contempt” by the right wing political parties and groups, but the silent majority only suffers. I have been UNCOMFORTABLE with institutionalization of faith/religion/ideology as it ultimately corrupts and degrades humanity. Politicalisation of all such groups, without excluding fundamentalists, in the name of democracy has ruined the prospect of living in the environment of tolerance and peaceful coexistence. Sometimes I wonder what will happen if the current trends continue for another five to ten years.

I have always thought I am a misfit in this world and have been living a life of helplessness. As I composed the following haiku this morning:

Not a day without
begging gods to solve problems–
faith in helplessness

We like it or not, the game of convenience has been taking its toll, and willy-nilly, we all have been participants in it.

R K SINGH

RK is writing about religions, he is also hitting at broader issues. The web and fabric of all of our lives that ideology, religion, politics have impacted. We can not avoid any of this. He is acutely aware of this.

I hope in future blog entries to write more about the fundamentals of Voluntary Simplicity because that is where I am starting. Well, my husband Fred and I are starting. We know that we have gone far afield in this issue…and we need to regroup, rethink our lives and go forth with a plan. With our friends above, and the understanding that we are not alone, at all, that others with consciousness are feeling these same Discomforts, we can choose to make a difference in our lives and impact the environment around us.

It all is a matter of a further evolution, after all.

Energy of hope
expresses the dynamics,
We roll up our sleeves.

Lady Nyo


2 Responses to “Voluntary Simplicity, ecology and changing the patterns of our lives.”

1. Margie Says:
June 27, 2009 at 9:40 pm

Dr. Singh writes with clarity to express the same feelings I have had for quite a while now, although my poor words could not have stated these feelings so eloquently. And how would I have ever known of Dr. Singh, except through you, Jane. We all have so much to learn from one another, and so much to teach one another – I am always so dumbfounded when petty thoughts of religion or politics get in the way.

Thanks again for the thought provoking Saturday!

2. ladynyo Says:
June 27, 2009 at 10:26 pm

Margie,

This blog opens so much for me, and hopefully through the reading, for others. We don’t have to march in lock step, but there are generally common values and issues that come from being human, regardless of nationality or religion or anything else.

You and I have discussed other issues, especially the Jewish religion, which you embraced early. For me, it’s a constant quest, but I find there is some comfort in the structure, and at the same time, some stupidity. All religions reflect that conundrum I believe.

Dr. Singh is a deep thinker and this is reflected in his poetry. One can not write with such power and broadness without taking into consideration the elements of life, whether they satisfy and bring comfort, or discomfort.

I wrote this entry when I was half asleep this morning, and upon reading it later with both eyes open I see the deficiencies. But I don’t have all the answers, or even the approach to much, except an annoying sense that we can do better on this Earth.

The beauty of this blog, and how it is developing, is that it seems sooner or later to bring people that do have answers, or directions or guidance and we can all learn. We teach, too, each within our experience, but we do find that we are not alone in these issues.

This is great comfort, there are answers out there, and we just have to be open to them.

Comments like yours and most others (I delete the nasty ones….LOL!) provoke thought AND blog entries.

Jane

_______________________________________________________________________________________


« Poem: “Full Moon Rising”

An Explanation on “Sexless Solititude and Other Poems” by the Author. »

Hearing from RK Singh this morning on ADJECTIVES….
By ladynyo

Hi Jane, I read your poem with interest. I do not intend to criticize it nor do I want to comment on the poem’s merit. But I want to talk something different, perhaps in continuation of what i had written you earlier. How to revise or edit a poem?
Most of our poet friends spend a lot of energy and time in thinking about good ADJECTIVES. They try to write new phrases. In poetry as well as prose, I have often experienced the writing becoming difficult because the writer uses a lot of colorful, lazy, meaningless adjectives. If an adjective used is concrete and objectively strong, then it is something good. If it helps in making an image, it is very good.
It will be most effective if one could write WITHOUT ADJECTIVES. Adjectives are our enemy number one. The less we use adjectives, the better our expression. After all, it is only our subjectivity that we emphasize through adjectives. If it is used in a poem only once or twice, it remains memorable. For example:

This chilly night
she folds her arms and legs
resting her head
upon the knees and sits
as an island

–R.K.SINGH (First published in Timber Creek Review (USA), Oct 1996)

Ghosts rise to mate
in moonlight tear the tombs
frighten with fingers
rhino horns rock the centre
granite sensation

–R.K.SINGH (First published in SPIN (New Zealand), July 1997)

Let’s try to create images with plain English, using concrete, active verbs, rather than a lot of adjectives. This is what I learnt from my poet professor friend, late Dr Lyle Glazier (of Bennington, Vermont). This is how he had edited/improved my first collection, MY SILENCE.

–R.K.SINGH

Hi RK!

Good to hear from you. As you can see, the Poetry Workshop has taken off, and there are alot more submissions. We are making our way through all this, and learning as we go.

Adjectives, huh? Well, I guess you are saying that casting out adjectives makes plain, or exposes the bare bones of a poem, and that has to be good.

“Let’s try to create images with plain English, using concrete, active verbs, rather than a lot of adjectives.”

I’m going to have to think about this, and how it’s applied, but I get a feeling of what you are saying. We can cover over the entire issue with colorful adjectives, and I have done so before…I think it’s muddled thinking without a real point to the poem. Or so I think it is to me…. I have to think what you are saying on this active verb issue.

Glad you have surfaced because you always have something instructive and good to say on poetry. And life.

I think what you say about adjectives will be picked up here and discussed.

Thank you, RK! And powerful imagery in these poems….bare bones, too.

Lady Nyo/Jane

AND A FURTHER COMMENT ON ADJECTIVES BY RK:

1. R.K.Singh Says:

June 15, 2009 at 2:59 pm editBut wherever adjectives appear they are really adding to the noun and used as a means of brevity rather than expansion, description or elaboration as in regular poetry.

R K


________________________________________________________________________________________

Nick Nicholson Chimes in with a very first Crit!
The Poetry Workshop, As Nick Nicholson calls it… »

RK Singh’s Poem from “Sexless Solititude and Other Poems”
By ladynyo

From ” Sexless Solitude and Other Poems”

DON’T CONDEMN ME

It’s all linked but I don’t understand
or don’t want to understand because

I am too much with me and worry
about her dying libido and my

own shrinking sex amidst salsa chill
Bihu fever, Vishu rituals

ringing emptiness day and night shake
the age-wrapped youth for single-edge play

in forked flame carve image of heaven
to challenge the jealous God undo

sins of races flowing in my blood:
I love Him through the bodies He made

but they don’t understand redemption
in churning and parting of the sea

they don’t rejoice in the flames of henna
on her palms nor let the lily bloom

in the valleys use the clefts and cliffs
To deface beauty and spike voices

don’t condemn me if I am not white
The water still flows in my river

RK Singh
Copyrighted, 2009

(Just received this crit from Nick Nicholson in Canberra, AU, so I want to post it here instead of the comments section….or both. I do this so readers can see immediately Nick’s crit.

Lady Nyo)

Dear Dr. Singh,

Jane speaks very highly of your work! This is the first poem of yours that I’ve read and I understand it has been published – congratulations!

I see that the poem is structured in couplets of 9 syllables per line. I’m not sure if that’s a traditional poetic form of some sort or simply a structure of your own devising, but it works well it giving the poem a solid formal skeleton.

The poetic language is vivid and arresting, with a strong emotional undercurrent. The absence of commas made parsing the text a little tricky at times, but I think I worked out most of it on re-reading.

I had trouble following and understanding the main theme – the poem’s narrator seemed to traverse from worrying about dimishing libidos, through empty religious rituals, criticism of the participants in those rituals, and finally ending on a plea of racial tolerance and understanding. I’m not sure now all these themes tie together, but then, I’m not familiar with your work (or your culture) so I’m hardly the ideal reader!

Nevertheless, there were several lines that particuarly struck me:

I am too much with me
age-wrapped youth
undo / sins of races flowing in my blood
The water still flows in my river

Anyway, thank you for sharing your poem on Jane’s blog. I may not have fully understood it, but it was a pleasure to read!

Nick

Lady Nyo:

This poem has haunted me since I first read it back in October, 2008 I believe. There are many, many religious images here, many that are alien to me, I must admit, but there are also Christian imagery, too.

It starts out with a Lament: the disappearing, (as it does with all of us) sexual drive, the aging issues that impact upon all humanity that live long enough, and but right before, it leads us into the depth of the matter:

“It’s all linked but I don’t understand
or don’t want to understand because”…..

the overriding concern, is not exactly the spiritual, the religious concerns as we would aspire to be, but the very, very human concerns of aging, disappearing sexual abilities, etc….yet it comes back around to the spiritual because—

“they don’t rejoice in the flames of henna
on her palms nor let the lily bloom

in the valleys use the clefts and cliffs
To deface beauty and spike voices”…

I am guessing here, RK, but it’s a call for tolerance, or this is how I read it….spiritual/religious tolerance in an very intolerant world.

But how beautiful the words… “the flames of henna on her palms or let the lily bloom”

There is so much culturally I don’t understand about this poem , but my soul yearns towards its imagery, the pure undiluted beauty of the poem…the mingling of cultures as I see it, ..well, this perhaps speaks volumes to a universal striving.

RK, I remember being so passionately inspired, impacted by this poem of yours, that I wrote a poor response of my own. Disgruntled with a Quaker Meeting, I took the receeding imagery, the ‘tones’ of your poem onto that bench one “First Day” and riffed upon some of your images.

Some Aberrant Thoughts

Sitting on a wooden Quaker bench,
The wood as hard as some hearts
Taking ‘pride’ in their tolerance….

Ah, I am beginning to hate that word,
That single word, because there ain’t none.
The stiff- necked brethren, and sisthern too,
Wear their spirituality like dull pearls around stiffer necks, proud in a borrowed heritage that came to do good,
And some did very well for themselves.

Sitting in silence is bearable, it’s when they speak, not the popcorn messages, that is tolerable, because it comes more from spontaneous Spirit,
but these sonorous, drawn out, perfectly enunciated vowels, the ponderousness of it all.

I wonder what the God Vishnu would do here?
Would he jump up, and burst into flame?
Would he call in the elephants to stomp the
Professors flat?

Kali could lend something to these formerly gray clothed worshipers.
She would not tolerate a false piety,
But would as she was known to do,
Run a path of death and destruction through the middle of the Meeting, and let them pick up their ‘weighty’ pieces?

And Shiva?

Would he bring a particularly nasty Rise of the Meeting, when all would shake hands to those on the left and the right?

Or would the trickster be a Yamabushi Tengu with a buzzer in his hand?

It boggles the mind, but at least gets one through the Meeting for Worship.

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2009

LOL! Poor fare after your poem, RK, but like dominoes, your poem produced something I couldn’t resist: a resonance, a clattering of ideas and imagery that had expression, though it was just a beginning, and a rather pale attempt.

But that is ok, because we feed off each other in excitement and inspiration, that is what poets should do!

Lady Nyo….very thankful for all the participation this week…and looking forward for more.

Tags: "Sexless Solititude and other Poems, Dr. RK Singh, Lyric Poetry, Shiva, Elephants, henna, Religion and Spirituality

This entry was posted on June 12, 2009 at 2:17 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


3 Responses to “RK Singh’s Poem from “Sexless Solititude and Other Poems””

1. Nck Nicholson Says:
June 14, 2009 at 2:21 am

Dear Mr Singh,

Jane speaks very highly of your work! This is the first poem of yours that I’ve read and I understand it has been published – congratulations!

I see that the poem is structured in couplets of 9 syllables per line. I’m not sure if that’s a traditional poetic form of some sort or simply a structure of your own devising, but it works well it giving the poem a solid formal skeleton.

The poetic language is vivid and arresting, with a strong emotional undercurrent. The absence of commas made parsing the text a little tricky at times, but I think I worked out most of it on re-reading.

I had trouble following and understanding the main theme – the poem’s narrator seemed to traverse from worrying about dimishing libidos, through empty religious rituals, criticism of the participants in those rituals, and finally ending on a plea of racial tolerance and understanding. I’m not sure now all these themes tie together, but then, I’m not familiar with your work (or your culture) so I’m hardly the ideal reader!

Nevertheless, there were several lines that particuarly struck me:

I am too much with me
age-wrapped youth
undo / sins of races flowing in my blood
The water still flows in my river

Anyway, thank you for sharing your poem on Jane’s blog. I may not have fully understood it, but it was a pleasure to read!

Nick


2. R.K.SINGH Says:
June 15, 2009 at 10:54 am

Hi Nick and Jane: Both of you write wonderful poetry. You are both best when brief. May poems may or may not be as good as yours.

‘DON’T CONDEMN ME’ is one of my difficult poems. I can’t recall the mood at the time when i composed it, but, as Jane says, it is a plea for tolerance with a mixed feeling about dying libido and all that. The argument of the poem become complex with the mixture of religions and cultures. India is such a vast country with so much differences in various parts that a person like me finds it a crisis of sort to identify where exactly I stand vis-a-vis my own values. Like the narrator, I find myself out of place. You can recall Biblical psalms (the poem echoes about three or four psalms) just as you can find different rituals in the NEW YEAR that covertly celebrate sex through dance etc (in Kerala and Assam and metro cities like Bombay!). It also hints at the hypocrisy. The last but one line (…’I am not white) may appear odd to the White readers (with some sort of racial undertone), but WHITE stands for purity, echoing purity of the river Ganga that descended in whiteness. The use of the word is deliberate, perhaps a key word, which cannot be taken literally. It has wider implications in the context of the poem: “I love Him through the bodies He made” but they don’t understand it and question my sexpression. The Indian prejudices, if you like, is ironically hinted at.

After all, as my poet friend I.K.Sharma says, and I agree with him, that poets are not a uniform wearing brigade marching in one direction. They have no love for grooves, they have no reverence for authority. By adopting different literary strategies they attempt to clarify the world around them and also clarify their own attitude toward the world they are in.

–R.K.SINGH

3. R.K.SINGH Says:
June 15, 2009 at 10:55 am

Hi Nick and Jane: Both of you write wonderful poetry. You are both best when brief. My poems may or may not be as good as yours.
‘DON’T CONDEMN ME’ is one of my difficult poems. I can’t recall the mood at the time when i composed it, but, as Jane says, it is a plea for tolerance with a mixed feeling about dying libido and all that. The argument of the poem become complex with the mixture of religions and cultures. India is such a vast country with so much differences in various parts that a person like me finds it a crisis of sort to identify where exactly I stand vis-a-vis my own values. Like the narrator, I find myself out of place. You can recall Biblical psalms (the poem echoes about three or four psalms) just as you can find different rituals in the NEW YEAR that covertly celebrate sex through dance etc (in Kerala and Assam and metro cities like Bombay!). It also hints at the hypocrisy. The last but one line (…’I am not white) may appear odd to the White readers (with some sort of racial undertone), but WHITE stands for purity, echoing purity of the river Ganga that descended in whiteness. The use of the word is deliberate, perhaps a key word, which cannot be taken literally. It has wider implications in the context of the poem: “I love Him through the bodies He made” but they don’t understand it and question my sexpression. The Indian prejudices, if you like, is ironically hinted at.
After all, as my poet friend I.K.Sharma says, and I agree with him, that poets are not a uniform wearing brigade marching in one direction. They have no love for grooves, they have no reverence for authority. By adopting different literary strategies they attempt to clarify the world around them and also clarify their own attitude toward the world they are in.

–R.K.SINGH

______________________________________________________________________________________



More Good News From Dr. RK Singh….
By ladynyo

Another letter from Dr. Singh this morning and this is not unusual between us. When we write, we are like birds swooping in the air! Then long stretches when we don’t write, but we get on with life. But we think of the others poetry. Most poets do.

I have more to think of his than he has of mine. Dr. Singh has many, many books published and many critical reviews. The man is a powerhouse of poetry, and I stand in awe of his outlay. He is a scientist, and his literature must mean his brain is fully functioning.

This morning he gave me permission to use his letters on my blog, which is of the most illuminating and gracious of permissions. Every letter from Dr. Singh is an education in not only poetry, but humanism. And of course, encouraging words to a struggling poet.

Dr. Singh:

What you say about poetry, and especially tanka, is correct. What we read is generally depressing. As far as rhythm is concerned, I have been practicing free verse poetry and therefore free verse rhythm, which is not free, as most people might think.
I had poet professor friend, LYLE GLAZIER, in Bennington, Vermont. I learnt from him how to edit a poem. Before I published my first collection, MY SILENCE, he edited almost every poem and showed me how he had done it, without damaging my own poetry in the poems. I also understood that if someone cared to count syllables of each line and maintained some kind of uniformity or pattern, he/she can ensure musicality in the structure. Later, it becomes ones habit, as it is in your or my case. You and i can write our haiku or tanka poems without wasting time in thinking about words with certain number of syllables. These come to us naturally. Sometimes we may need to rewrite the poems for getting the (syllabic) balance (or musicality, as inherent in expression). The form takes care of itself when we are sure about our content. In haiku and tanka, it is what we call the perfect or haiku moment; the haiku or tanka poem happens naturally. By rewriting, however, sometimes we do improve the quality of what we compose. I maintain a variety with free form haiku/tanka and 3-5-3-5-5, 4-6-4-6-6, and 5-7-5-7-7 pattern–whatever naturally happens. Yet, one can make the poem better by editing, revising, rewriting, as and when feasible.

All those bred on English literature, including American lit., have metaphors appearing to them naturally. But the skill lies in creating images, the haiku or tanka becoming an image as a whole. Your poetry appeals to me because you are sensuous; the lines in each poem create a sensuous feeling and image when you are brief and effective. I am yet to achieve that level which happens effortlessly.
I will definitely write on the entries on your blog. You may also use the contents of my emails the way you like. Who knows whatever we do today becomes significant tomorrow?

Love
R K

Oh dear RK! Although he refuses to allow me to think him a mentor in poetry, but says we are ‘colleagues’, each email from him is a deeper education into poetry of all forms. I especially want him to expound on this issue of “not free in freeverse”. There is something very important in there.

His main blog: http://rksinghpoet.blogspot.com

I am so delighted that Dr. Singh will be contributing to the Lady Nyo blog. This can only improve the issue of poetry and poetry discussion.

Lady Nyo.

A poem of Dr. Singh.

From ” Sexless Solitude and Other Poems”

DON’T CONDEMN ME

It’s all linked but I don’t understand
or don’t want to understand because

I am too much with me and worry
about her dying libido and my

own shrinking sex amidst salsa chill
Bihu fever, Vishu rituals

ringing emptiness day and night shake
the age-wrapped youth for single-edge play

in forked flame carve image of heaven
to challenge the jealous God undo

sins of races flowing in my blood:
I love Him through the bodies He made

but they don’t understand redemption
in churning and parting of the sea

they don’t rejoice in the flames of henna
on her palms nor let the lily bloom

in the valleys use the clefts and cliffs
To deface beauty and spike voices

don’t condemn me if I am not white
The water still flows in my river

RK Singh
Copyrighted, 2009




_____________________________________________________________________________________

Good News!
By ladynyo

Dr. RK Singh has given me permission to post some of his poetry on my blog, and this will be the beginning of our new round of poetry contributions and comments.

I have invited some poets I really admire, most from the ERWA website I happened upon three years ago, but that has expanded. I hope to have some surprises here on the blog.

For those interested in some incredible poetry and poet, I am going to post some websites that will lead to a knowledge of Dr. Singh’s poetry.

” You may write to the publisher Prakash Book Depot, Bara Bazar, Bareilly 243003 India for a copy of The River Returns. You may also email them at:
prakashbookdepot@gmail.com
Some of the tanka poems are also available on my blogs, and/or:

http://rksingh.blogspot.com/2006/10/im-no-river-tanka-collection.html

http://www.geocities.com/profrksingh/tanka.htm

http://ezinearticles.com/?The-River-Returns—A-Collection-of-Tanka-poems&id=538863 “
Very Good News, Indeed!

Lady Nyo….with a poem of my own this morning.

Plum Blossom Snow

The present snowstorm of
White plum blossoms
Blinds me to sorrow.

They cascade over cheeks
Like perfumed, satin tears,
Too warm with the promise of life
To chill flesh.

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2009


______________________________________________________________________________________

Dr. RK Singh is a Poet to Love.
By ladynyo

Sometime last fall I received a comment on this blog about my poetry.

I was surprised because my poetry is not of a long duration, only having written various forms for the last 3 years. I received excellent tutelage from Gary Russell on ERWA (Erotica Readers and Writers Association), who is the Poetry Expert there. Gary, from his base in England, put us through our paces on sonnets, cinquains, chokas, haiku, tanka and other poetry forms. Some of us there took to it like starving dogs. We wrestled with the different forms, compounding our mistakes and errors, stretching the ‘rules’ but overall…..learning at a fast clip.

One writer who became a heart friend, Nick Nicholson in Canberra, AU, pushed us both for those years into more and more exploration. I was more timid about forms, he though, ended up coloring outside the lines. I got braver from his example. Soon we were writing mirror cinquains, ghazels, sonnets (the hated sonnets actually…we struggled over those a lot…) and tons of haiku and tanka. Especially tanka. I was privately known as “Tanka Teela” amongst certain friends.

But I am going far afield. I was contacted by Dr. RK Singh, a noted poet and author in India. He happened upon my blog (how do these things work??) and left me some encouraging comments. We have become friends, and I have been reading Dr. Singh’s recently published work: “Sexless Solititude and Other Poems”, and am looking for his newest work: “The River Returns” . (RK, if you read this….give me a hint where to find it, please.)

I came upon a review of Dr. Singh’s work tonight. Very good glimpse of this author’s amazing body of work (11 volumes I believe) and many, many critical reviews.

http://www.goarticles.com/cgi-bin/showa.cgi?C=1417027

They are awaiting the monsoons to cool things off right now, and Dr. Singh and I send poems back and forth. Today he wrote me something in an email I will dare to post here, because I find Dr. Singh has so much beautiful sense and sensibility about poetry.

” There is no end to improving ones poems. One can write and rewrite. In fact writing means rewriting, be it prose or poetry.
But what you sent me to read was good and I enjoyed it. What is important is your innate sense of rhythm with thought. “

Oh, dear Dr. Singh. My innate sense of rhythm is only developing. It falters a lot. Right now it’s become more of an issue because it’s become evident in my poetry: this beguiling issue of rhythm, not just a cobbling of imaginative and descriptive words. It’s become very much an integral part of the work at hand. It certainly is a challenge because in freeverse, which I will post a piece at the end of this entry, I see how it completes the work. Reading it aloud helps, but there is more than just that. There is a question of syncopation, repeats, other more ‘musical’ things I am finding. Perhaps the safety of tanka form has been a security blanket I am beginning to venture away from.

But! I certainly agree and support his words on “There is no end to improving ones poems!”

I think we can become too in love with our words. We hold on to them like they are babies falling over a rail, or about to leave the planet, but they don’t, do they. Some times they look ‘good’ right out of the box (mind…end of the pen) but after awhile, perhaps when we are less invested in them or the poem, we can go back and ‘improve’.

I published a book this Winter: “A Seasoning of Lust”. A LOT of poetry, tanka, freeverse, haiku, sonnets I think….and now I wish I had a chance to rework many of them.

I do! I am going to publish another book, only poetry this time, and very little of it erotica. I woke up this morning knowing the title: “White Cranes of Heaven”. I haven’t a clue why that title, but it’s something tanka- like because the first line is 5 syllables. I’m feeling on comfortable ground….

Every new (and old) poet needs a Dr. RK Singh in their life. Not just for the lovely encouraging comments by this generous man, but to see how a mature and amazing poet handles it all. I would rather read Dr. Singh’s work than my own. Many times over.

Lady Nyo

(this is the poem I sent to Dr. Singh. I wrote it two years ago, and find that the best part of this poem is the change to rewrite. It gets fuller and some of the rhythm begins to develop, but there is still a lot of issues and the words…they seem rather ‘thin’ in the last stanza. But there is always next year. Like cheese, with age it will improve.)

QUEEN OF SHEBA

She walked right by me, the Queen of Sheba

black skin glinting like steel in the sun,

proud breasts topped with prouder nipples

pointing east to west, jutting dark rubies,

her turbaned head hitting the North Star

her jeweled feet skimming the South Pole.

All space between

guarded by curved fangs,

dangerous territory, alien ground.

Tattooed ribbons flowed down arms

black snakes with sensuous intent,

the sun shone on gold- tipped teeth

beacons between her dark, stained lips,

showing rarely a smile, more of a sneer.

Black-kohl eyes flashing disdain,

measuring her vast urban jungle

from the cracked sidewalks littered

with broken shards of broken lives,

to the burnt out neon signs of closed pool halls.

I offered the most honeyed of fruits,

the celestial music of spinning spheres

the jewels of exploding stars

captured in baskets for her fondling,

brought down to earth to surround with

their undeniable glory-

an aura of delight, honor, cosmic majesty.

Ah! Cruel Queen of Sheba

she walked right by me,

no glance in my direction.

She had other fish to fry

though I promised her the wealth

of Solomon.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2009

Labels: ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home