More Of India Poem by Tony Pitman

More Of India

December

Beach shack skeletons lying on sand;
Permit crises got out of hand.
Hotels complain they're loosing trade;
Brit. numbers down this year.

Russian money leads the way;
Buying property in great sways.
Locals complain but when asked, 'Why',
'They don't speak English', is the reply.

Goa's beauty still draws crowds;
Bus loads of people from States around.
Crowding the beach in a mass;
Chattering and laughing, school's out.

When feeling glum and low,
Just sit on wall and watch the flow.
No gloom or despair can cloud the sight;
Such infectious joy, such delight.

Who decides?

Poor beggar man passing by.
Old in years? Who can say?
Body bent, hair sparse and grey;
Hand held out for charity pay.

Cold beer in hand, comfy chair;
Look up at man standing there.
How did fate decide our positions;
Him begging, me sitting?

Is it reward for life lived?
If merit were judged, I'd not sit.
In comparison to mine was his life so bad?
Even if so who's worthy to decide?

Is life so indeterminable,
Simply fate decides roles we play?
Ego persuades man's in control;
A view this beggar wouldn't hold.

Even harder to grasp,
Some Master's will in charge.
What's this form of Divinity,
Allowing such indignity?

Food.

Such cuisine, such tastes;
Mouth tingling food feasts.
Herbs and spices enhancing flavour;
So much, so much, ready to savour.

Dishes from around the world;
Here in Goa, even on the beach.
Italian, Indian, Continental;
Too wide a choice, too much to sample.

Chiefs with skills taught at home,
On par with those in five star hotels.
Each with their own Masala recipe,
Whispered in secret on Grandma's knee.

Could spend a month in this place,
Never tasting twice the same dish.
Sun, breeze, food and waterside;
Closer to heaven you can't reside.

Birds.

Where have the birds gone this year?
Normally so bountiful in India.
Birds once seen filling the air,
Now so sparse, hardly there.

Magpie Robins bouncing along,
Not to be seen, nor heard their song.

Brahminy Kites gliding so free,
Are grounded somewhere. For MOT?

Kingfishers all sizes and colours,
Not patiently waiting for supper.

Chirping parrots, vivid green,
Missing from the customary scene.

Even the Crow's squawk is rare;
Egrets no longer patrolling in pairs.

No Humming birds with helicopter hover;
Love birds not sitting on wires with Swallows.

Woodpeckers neglecting hammering trees;
Birds with blue tails stopped chasing bees.

Perhaps the birds aren't really missing;
Perhaps too distracted with mind visions;
Perhaps too tied up with self concerns;
Perhaps too inward looking to really discern.

Pity really if I miss the chance,
To savour once more fruits of this land.
Lift your head man, stop looking down;
Sky's the place where heaven's found.

Trade.

Dark shapes lay at anchor;
Line the horizon on the edge;
Waiting patiently for their cargo;
Iron ore shipped to distant lands.

Pieces of India transported away;
Build new factories the Orient way.
Bound for China, the new promised land;
No longer a threat to Western banks.

Good example of world's priorities,
Not related to people's well being.
Not politics or ethics that determine friends,
But wealth and prosperity in the end.

No different than it's always been,
Trade and possessions rule supreme.
Iron ore shipments of today,
The silks and spices of yesteryear.

China's market now the target;
Hugh ships driven by turbines.
Once it was the Roman Empire,
With Monsoons the pushing power.

Litter.

A drawback of Indian custom,
They're litter-louts, without conscience.
Not just debris from cig. Packs,
But household waste, out the back.

Plastic mounds on every corner,
Strung in trees like flags flying.
Garbage, food waste, rotting stuff,
For savaging cows and crows to taste.

All waste recycled is the claim;
Collecting and sorting for gain.
There's some credence in this view,
But why on floor and not in bins?

Indifference appears to reign;
No pride in civic responsibility.
Don't seem disturbed by unsightliness,
Strange for people with personal cleanliness.

Colour.

What a strange thing skin colour is.
We are never satisfied with what birth gives
Pale people attempting to burn brown;
Indians applying whitening balm.

White honkies see brown as healthy;
In Indian caste system pale is desirable.
Each wants to be more like the other.
Why this quest? Why do we bother?

Is white/brown the green of colour tone?
Better on the other side of the road?
Why change the state of genetic formation?
What drives the need for modification?

Is it all down to commercial pressure?
Persuasion that different is what matters.
That's a simple cop out from the problem.
Not happy with ourselves for some reason.

Tatty Mutt.

Tatty Mutt lay on beach;
Under lounger, out of heat.
Stands a while to have a scratch;
No dexterity to reach every spot.

Beach dogs sleeping through day;
Nighttime creatures out to bay.
Roaming around in large packs;
Scavenging for scraps in rubbish heaps.

No control to limit size;
Were once culled prior to animal rights.
Domesticated mammals running wild;
Dangerous at night, can snarl and bite.

Hardly like Western pampered pets;
No fashion breeds to visit vets.
Locals don't seem to turn a hair,
Just another night menace they have to bare.

Progress.

Palm trees dropped on land behind;
Making space for holiday site
Trees that have stood for many years,
Giving way for modern needs.

Swaying feathers in the sky,
Sacrificed for developments.
Lollipop sticks for men to climb,
Replaced by bricks, mortar and lime.

Kites have sensed something's afoot,
Nesting Brahminy replaced by Black.
Man's action, changing habitat,
Roosters exchanged for scavenging flock.

No longer near view of brown bird;
Tipped white wings stretched out in flight;
Gliding, swooping gracefully;
Symbol of this rich fertile land.

Such progress is our loss;
Brahminys will find another spot.
We will miss a heavenly vision;
Great bird now living at other location.

Tut Tut.

Tut Tut men plying their trade;
Proud owners of three wheeled carriages.
Black and yellow is the livery;
Two stroke engines, power delivery.

Tut Tuts grouped like a herd;
Waiting for tourists who want a ride.
Nipping in and out of traffic;
Tut Tut sound heralding their presence.

Cheapest form of taxi ride;
Powered rickshaw its real title.
Always haggle for the price,
Before commencing on the ride.

Vehicle designed to carry three,
But no restriction there seems to be.
One pulls up to discharge its load;
More and more passengers pore out on road.

Most owners are local chaps;
Six months work when tourists here;
Rest of year farm their plots;
Growing food for family pot.

More than a ride this experience;
Like covered bike but open to seasons.
A thrill and special treat;
Without it visit to India incomplete.

Please give.

Beggars in all shapes and forms,
Roam the land seeking alms.
Holy men dressed in orange and red;
Little children with hand outstretched;
Men with missing limbs;
Bankers demanding bonuses.

The principle is the same for all;
To feed their need you must respond.
Size of reward not important,
From few rupees to small fortune.
Their plea is really to our needs;
To calm our conscience, our sense of security.
Our low self-esteem is their food;
Without that they'd disappear.

White wrinklies.

White wrinkles taking sun;
Stretching skin to avoid stripes.
Lost the tightness for even tan;
Uncomfortable postures where they can.

Wood lounger with just a towel,
Gives aching joints and sore bum.
Will need attention urgently;
Tiger Balm and Germolene

Like the dogs they come in packs;
All look the same laid out by shacks.
Rotund figures and red of face;
Eking out pensions at Goan pace.

Most are here for six months;
Winter in the sun on modest incomes.
The new Spanish Costa for cheap living;
Their pounds and shillings going a long way.

Close your eyes you'll still find them there;
Huddled together sharing latest gossip.
Driving chaos, visas or land registration;
Like Colonial settlers they demand privilege.

Their expectations are greater than home;
Relative wealth should be a bonus.
The locals should realise how lucky they are;
To be chosen and the wealth to share.

The Goans have sussed them out;
Wise in ways to tap the wealth.
Haggling rates directly relate,
To colour of skin not expectations.

At the end of the day there is a balance;
In ways they each achieve their objectives.
Brit's class ambitions are realised;
Local economy flourishes.

Like all evolution throughout history,
Species adjust to new situations.
Given the challenge of new ways,
People thrive by their ingenuity.

Flash back.

The Church is bright and dressed;
Packed with families in Sunday best.
Men in suits, collar and tie;
Women and kids in colourful attire.

Carols sung out in joyful voice;
All join in, in tune and out.
Music vibrant, full of good cheer;
Christ's birth is drawing near.

Celebrant's procession enters scene;
All stand, ready for Mass to begin.
Seasonal greetings echo round church,
To start great celebration of the year.

Readings and hymns follow on,
The Mass proceeding in time honoured way.
Structured to capture individual hearts;
The congregation in communion together.

Time passes without burden;
The joy of the occasion not confined.
The final ritual in the church,
Queue to pass the corner crib.

This could have been a dream of long ago,
The heart bursting with spiritual joy.
But not a flashback to boyhood times;
Midnight Mass at Arpora, West India.

New for old.

Concrete elephants stand guard,
At entrance to new five star hotel.
Moulded in cement with artisan skills;
A symbol of India for tourists.

No holy man to guide their way;
No man in white to drive today
Clever and pleasing to the eye,
But not real India.

No flick of trunk or bended knee
No ride on back round temple space;
No watermelon to sate his thirst;
No farts or heaps of sugar cane.

Maybe maintenance free;
No crap and pee to clear away;
No herding from out of State;
No begging, photographs to take.

Maybe it's better this way;
Nasty things hidden away.
Pretend the elephant's pliable,
Not proud mammal of India.

New use.

Coconut tree must come down,
Impeding way of power line.
Tree at this spot for many years,
But that gives no right of tenure.

Little man shins up the tree;
Like monkey using hands and feet.
Height no problem for this athlete,
Hidden in crown on swaying seat.

Traffic and pedestrians come to a stop,
As palms and coconuts from top are chopped.
Falling debris not carefully aimed,
Crash through tiles of roof beneath.

Coconuts landing like bombs,
Bouncing down road, huge cricket balls.
A weapon of thunderous power,
Each year the cause of fatalities.

At last the tree is topped;
Saw into sections, carted off.
Split into planks of hard wood;
Used for floorboards in development.

Tree still serving a purpose,
Not providing drink or food process;
Now nailed neatly in rows,
Carrying feet, each of five toes.

Relax.

Surf splashing under boards;
Tide well up, lapping shore.
Refreshing breeze blows through shack;
Perfect conditions to relax.

Relax from tensions and strains,
Self imposed and outside origin.
Just let the heart absorb the scene;
Soak it up, too few have the opportunity.

Breath deep and let the lungs expand;
Air blown in from Arabian lands.
This beach has seen it all before,
For centuries man has relaxed on this shore.

Open your heart to the view;
Let it shrink your ego appropriately.
Accept your place in creation,
Against Nature's awesome majesty.

Comfort can come from such philosophy,
Realisation we don't control destiny.
Man has little influence on his fate;
Acceptance of that, awareness state.

Tide's now on the ebb,
Revealing rocks and smooth sand.
Breeze still rides on the waves;
Cooling, refreshing, God be praised.

Bus ride.

Boneshaker approaching fast;
Race through gap twix bike and cow.
People standing, clinging on;
Faces at windows for cooling draught.

Door swings open, man jumps out;
People pack in to his shouts.
All disappear, God knows where;
Man blows whistle, collects fare.

Foot hits floor, accelerating off;
Only five mph but feels like rocket thrust.
Aimed at obstacle at full blast;
Applies brakes just before crash.

Safety not to rest on driver's skill;
Icons of various religions adorn the bus.
Gods and Saints will see us through;
Flashing lights attesting to their worth.

Travel far for few Rupees;
Cost depends on collector's honesty.
Sometimes heat and noise will hypnotise;
Guard fast asleep on his side.

Chat on the shore.

Edge of water the place to meet;
People paddling, waiting to greet.
Head springs up from watching feet sink;
'Hello there', smiling face speaks.

Men from Mombai, Delhi, Calcutta;
Others from places unpronounceable.
Relaxed and enjoying holiday fun;
Time for a chat against setting sun.

Naturally curious minds engaged;
Genuine interest in conversation.
Charming, friendly, all social graces;
Not a trace of confrontation.

Age and appearance no criteria;
Young ones wanting picture taken;
Insist on my standing in the group,
To capture white wrinkly in the shoot.

Must be careful on such encounters,
Assumptions can be wide of mark.
Hansom man from North Kiristan,
Was chap from Leeds with his wife.

Day on beach.

Cold Kingfisher bottle cooling hand;
Prone bodies litter sand;
Gentle breeze drifts through shack;
Endless horizon, the palm of God's hand.

No cloud roof to hide the sun;
See blue on blue to eternity;
Lapping tide smoothes the beach;
Strolling folk leave prints of feet.

Young Thespians perform to the crowd;
Contortions through rings to beat of drum.
No admission charge to see this act;
Contribute on plate if you enjoyed the fun.

Immaculate cows lay in groups;
Groomed sacred cattle having picnic;
Calm, unruffled, without fear,
Pose with a smile when camera appears.

Board as wicket and tennis ball;
Impromptu game of cricket attracts all.
Youngsters quick of eye, with energy;
Men passed their prime, hard to see.

Flashing yellow ball and white teeth;
Blur of bat dispatches a boundary.
Jaw clamping dentures in case of sneeze;
Man wading to recover bobbing ball in sea.

Magic tricks the great attraction;
Slight of hand brings fascination.
Wide-eyed faces staring hard;
Unbelievable things with playing cards.

Just a day on Goan beach;
So much to see, so much to learn.
People selling, people playing,
People greeting, people smiling.
People, people, just people and cows.

Fruit seller.

Fruit seller with old cart
Offering his wares to passers by.
Doomed to failure with this mission
No marketing skills or selling vision.

No attractive display or clarion call
Sparse dishevelled fruit on his stall.
Only reason to ask for price
Pleading look and poor attire.

Can't see a future for enterprise
No competition to shops and market stalls.
Yet every year he's at this spot
Ancient trader that time's forgot.

Maybe it's not fruit he's selling
But an opportunity for compassion.
If hearts are moved by his state
Perhaps there's hope for the human race.

Balmy morning.

Air is still waking from sleep
Palm leafs spread giant quills.
Wispy clouds stopped to rest
Sun arising for journey west.

Bird calls gentle to fit the mood
Dogs now quiet from night time prowl.
Wisps of smoke from rubbish burnt
Humans stirring for day long work.

Giant country coming to life
Soon much noise and traffic strife.
Take opportunity this time of day
Enjoy the peace set the heart free.

Memories return.

First vista of Arabia sea this year
Wonder at view never disappoints.
Sun, light and breeze intense
Memory can't retain this scene

Dancing lights on wave tops
Swimmers floating in water warm.
Boats bobbing, flags flapping
Coloured parasols shading sun bathers

Big attraction of Goan coast
Stretching sands, soft to touch.
Gentle shelving for sea dip
Serf for riders to test their wits.

People here from every land
Holiday time to have some fun.
Carefree days from dawn to dusk
Everything here at low cost.

Changing world.

Hugh shapes sat on sea
Fingers pointing to the sky.
Cranes for loading precious ore
Off to China to build a store.

Hulks in line and three deep
Anchored to floor to stop drift.
Waiting their turn tug arrives
Chugged down river parked aside.

Natural resources, dug, transported
Feeding hungry steel furnace.
Economic power on the move
China emerging as world force.

In two decades beach will change
Chinese replacing Brits on holiday.
Goans won't mind a bit
Cuisine ready for Oriental taste.

Ship up anchored, stern in view
Under steam, smiling crew.
Soon disappear over horizon
Round point of India, homeward journey.

Harvesting.

Little man shinning up narrow leaning pole
Alternate gripping hands and tied feet.
Movement quickly carries to top
Disappearing into feathery leafs.

Head sways with weight and breeze
Acrobat on pole beneath circus top.
Leafs spread with searching hands
By what means is he holding on?

Objects dropping to sound of thud
Speed determined by Newton's law.
On and on the bombs fall
Hope nobody's at base catching balls.

Finally bomb bay empted of lethal load
Man reappears now shinning down pole.
Jack-knife action speeds descent
Soon upright back on terra firma

Difficult to imagine mechanical device
Suitable to replace this harvesting climb.
No ladder or cherry-picker could achieve
Feat of little man with hands and feet.

Progress.

Line of women walking tall
Slim in stature dressed in saris
Proud straight back models poise
Elegantly tread fashion walkway.

At edge of dais acknowledging bow
dropp of head spreading stardust
Bollywood stars displaying their art
Rightly proud of their gifted talents.

Turn around retracing their steps
Sensual walk of womanly form
Suited men watch with a smile
Swaying shape of humanity's crown

At back of stage sip of wine
From earthenware jug so fine
Refreshed they repeat the walk
Untouchables repairing highway.

Why the attraction

Why the attraction to this place?
Poverty and wealth both abound
Natural beauty contrasting with grime
Noise and chaos, competing bird songs

Is it the sun and depth of sky?
Warming the skin, giving such light
Too hot to sunbathe most of the day
In doors at five, keep mosquitoes at bay

Is it the beach and rolling surf?
Walk for miles, bathe in the warmth
Pestered by hawkers plying their trade
Groups of cows blocking the way

Is it the food and prices to pay?
Cuisines of the world here to taste
Full belly guilt passing beggars by
A long way to travel just to dine

Is it the leisurely pace of life?
Relaxing, refreshing, no strife
Waiting forever to get something done
Goan behind wheel worse than a gun

Is it these people of gentle ways
Such easy smiles to lift the day
Tolerated disparity between classes
Women still burdened in shackles

So why the attraction to this place?
People struggle to explain the reason why
One thing is certain from what I've seen
Decision made, either love or hate this state

Lola's shop

Little Lola's corner shoppe
Touts all day, no sell a lotte
Always complains, no trade today
It's the same old story everyday

Twenty four seven she's in her chair
Smile on her face, arm outstretched
Teeth reflecting the sun's bright light
Hand ready to greet and pull passers by

Bangles, bobbles, all colours and shapes
Stretched in lines or hung on tape
Shirts and skirts on hangers, head high
Even second- hand books left behind

To all who pass the same pleading cry
'Come look in my shop. No need to buy'
Most move on without taking a glance
Not to worry, there's tomorrow's chance

Mother of three our lovely Lola
From out of State with her hubby
Kids run in and out of clothes display
Just hard floor at night to dream away

Should we pity young Lola?
The cards life has dealt her
But wait for just one second
Recently opened second shoppe

Little church

Little church back of bus shelter
Seen better days in grandeur livery
Tatty and grimy from Monsoon rain
Needs a spruce for celebration day

Each year church will be freshly painted
Gleaming white for saint's anniversary
Mass devotees on pews imported
Priest's visit from distant parish

Veneration of life long, long gone
No longer relevant to present time
Why all this tradition of past honour?
Needy kids still in rags round corner

Beggar girl

Palm held open, drum by her side
'Please Poppa give some alms'
Hand circling empty tummy
'To buy food, I'm so hungry'

Immediate reaction, pass her by
Ignoring cry as she trails behind
Can't pay every time in these cases
Believe stories rich beggar enclaves

Just out taking pics of local scenes
Why not include her in selection
Give her some pay, reward the pose
Satisfy worries, not being conned

Signing talks complete with head shake
Bargain struck with minimum of debate
No spoken language needed for haggle
Commercial contract with little hassle

Scene set, position agreed
Camera ready to record the scene
'Wait, wait', straighten headdress and drum
Whatever situation female vanity to the fore

Education

Education universally essential
Train children to attain potential
How else can economy grow?
Without workers in the know

Skills needed in next generation
Require learning, university level
Slice and shape to meet demands
Ignore the soul, leave that behind

Every nation knows the need
Trained ants for Capital greed
Here in Arpora next road to this
It's school time for street kids

Hindu Temple

Hindu Temple along the street
Always open to visit and see
Worshippers use it every day
Locals, Portuguese didn't convert

Every Friday at celebration time
Prayer and greeting blasting forth
Reminder of need to consult God
Thousands of years the same call

A religion that's stood the test of time
Unyielding to conquerors passing by
Knowing how to bend and sway
Meeting needs as they change

Survived many attack through the ages
Islamic Moguls, Christian missionaries
Will it last another thousand years?
Let's see how it resists Capital greed

The Taverna

Portuguese haven still standing
Place to sit, rest and chill out
Three hundred years man's sat here
Greasy head marks on plaster caste

Isn't chauvinist or prejudice biased
Ladies would be very welcome here
But loo is open air against the wall
Only easy target for standing tall

Mix of people gathered in this place
Like UN assembly, from far afield
French, Brits, Swedes and locals
Even Kuwaiti with his Danish daddy

Drawn by ambience of this place
Joined by spirits of long gone age
Discussing together like any pub site
Politics, women, passing spiff alight

Proud Taverna owner serves his guests
Once Goan International football star
No longer trains for fitness sake
Imbibes not his brews. Wonder why

Cheap Peanut Feni is the choice
Can drink all night for few Rupees
Bingo, pole dancing not on view
Too little space in this room

In daylight Taverna is difficult to find
Hidden amongst buildings, a little gem
Need to follow someone who knows
A path leader knowing the access code

Was lucky with my Arpora discovery
Had Steve ready to guide me to it
Man of discovery our Leicester Steve
Always has taste of local scene

Frank's Emporium

Prime spot on tourist path
Opposite hotel, way to bus stop
Row of restaurants and gift stalls
Fine surroundings for this Top Shop

Groceries, toiletries, drinks and cigs
All on display for haggling
Travel deals, money exchange
Want a taxi? Here's the place

Frank's the owner of this Emporium
Staffed by kids and grumpy wife
Every year the store gets bigger
The Indian Tesco of these parts

Local equivalent of Alan Sugar
Franky with entrepreneur's style
Look-alike of Sammy Davis Jr
Exciting song and dance every time

Each visit new talent discovered
Now available free medical advice
'How much for Shooter cigs Frank? '
'Don't buy those bad for healthy life'

Arpora the richer for this shoppe
With an owner of such class
Where in UK could you get
A smile with the easy rip-off?

Luxury travel

Wait for the bus to take a ride
Fare much cheaper than taxi guy
Air conditioned, comfy seats
Room to stand if that's the wish

Well maintained and safe as a house
Smooth as silk along it glides
Driven by man with style and panache
Shrines and statues for God's help

Shepherded to seat by fare collector
Wad in hand change dispensing
Waits calmly for all to be seated
Fail-safe signalling with his whistle

No overcrowding in space age vehicle
For more and more people bus expands
Orderly rear entering to alight at front
With military precision arrives on the dot

Arpora rightly proud of its transport
Envy of the world's travel experts
Keep your Bullet train and fast car
Can never improve on the perfect

Barber shop

Coiffeur palace par excellence
Stylists rated throughout the world
Offering their talents to all who pass
Unisex beauty salon down Baggar road

London trained on scholarships
Renowned professionals as mentors
Returning home when Visa expires
Unless manage escape Immigration

Wall to wall air-conditioning
Mirrors to view every position
Latest equipment to do the work
Electric tools splutter and spark

Shampoo, wash, cut to style
Gel or cream after head massage
Nose, ears and eyebrow trim
Shave close, Sweeny Todd blade

Costly but worth every penny
Priceless such personal treatment
More than a necessary grooming
Pick up all local juicy gossip

Tea time.

Head round door, looking in store
Obviously been many times before
Foot tapping to silent rhythm
Perhaps emanating from indoors

Stands waiting patently
No one comes. Anyone home?
Doesn't seem to bother visitor
Staff unaware of his presence

Suddenly woman banishing cloth
Attacks visitor around the chops
Chap doesn't bother one iota
Almost as if he had expected it

Realise not viewing animal cruelty
No need phone protection people
Action with cloth is affectionate
Cow shows signs, really enjoying it

What is witnessed, cow calling for tea
Delivered in box are tasty treats
Apparently regular visit each day
Usually with mother and brother

Admiring action just displayed
Hindu care of sacred cow
Enter shop need to buy some cigs
Mother Theresa's picture proudly in place

Panjim at night.

Dusk quickly descends on Panjim
People busy exchanging places
Workers leaving, revellers coming
Traffic chaos and din increasing

Sun setting in east to rest
Exhausted from long day's work
Electricity new source of light
Carried on poles falling apart

Shops ablaze with displays
Hidden gems coming to life
Sites during daytime obscured
Now coloured bulb illuminated

Cars, bikes and buses weaving to and fro
Creating complex patterns along the road
Take life in hand to cross the street
Especially if traffic policeman there

Pedestrians mingling together
Shopping, strolling, sight seeing
Tangled web thus created
Stop for nibble along the way

Lots of restaurants and bars
Which to choose is an art
Rely on trusted, tried method
Follow the locals for refreshment

Good to visit this time of day
Different aura on display
To complete my impression
Panjim city, Goa's capital

Economic growth.

India, one leader in economic race
Pace of growth exceeding West
Natural resources aplenty
Wealth potential endless

Opportunity for benefits spreading
Most unlikely with speculators
Temptation to borrow against growth
Become as vulnerable as before

Already signs, example of West being followed
Rich becoming richer, poor getting poorer
Same malaise as besets all
God of possessions comes to the fore

Is there still hope for this land?
So often conquered but never owned
Will the Hindu faith influence again?
Concentrating minds away from greed

There are hopes that beliefs won't change
Fundamentally India will remain the same
Infrastructure growing yearly
Honoured cow still roams freely

Traffic chaos.

Horns blasting, tempers rising
Traffic stationary, grid-locked
Normal scene on Goan streets
Never giving way, tail gating

Today witnessed new tension
Fistycuffs and general mayhem
Bike bumped into motorcar
Irate driver went into attack

Soon crowd joined in the fun
Arriving from all directions
Opportunity for physical combat
Relief from boredom of waiting

Even women joined in the affray
Brought to scene by youngsters
Would their calming influence
Quell the masculine aggression

No effect there seemed to be
Battle raged from street to street
Only end came to motorist's war
When heat brought on exhaustion

Flowers

Flowers, flowers, floor to ceiling
Such varied colours, so appealing
Flowers, flowers of every fragrance
Nature's jam packed in this space

Flowers gathered from this fair land
Sent over the world for flower stands
From paddy fields when rice cropped
Soon for sale in your local shop

Flowers for every conceivable occasion
Their presence needed on all celebrations
Flowers mixed in exquisite displays
Flowers for lovers to show they care

Eye Doc.

Always a pleasure when in these parts
To visit my friend the Eye Doc
Check the eyes to see all right
Discus the times we live in

Lens' clear, no need for Laser shooting
Oilcan for sticky eyes, glasses for reading
Riots in the UK reminded him of India
Gap between rich and poor ever increasing

Embarrassed when parking big 4*4
Next to labourers digging
Certain trouble will soon arise
Between the need and the greed

As usual, friendly and easy manner
Genuinely pleased to see you
With such personalities India will survive
Adjustments to new standards of living

Farewell.

Taxi booked, cases packed
Ready to return to Thurnham
Some farewells already made
Eat with Guerish at seven today

The three weeks have flown by
Enjoyed the company and the rides
Increased my knowledge of India
But will never really understand it

Only twice visited the beach
Aloe Gobi not so much a treat
Only occasionally on a bus ride
Those things for sharing avoided

Spent much time sorting my mind
In which direction should life take?
Enlightened reality of what is needed
Quest now set, how to achieve it?

Emotional isolation been of benefit
No distractions to tease the heart with
Remote from the possibility of touch
Physically painful, but what was needed

Will I return to this land I love?
Depends on ventures yet to come
Not to guess on what lies ahead
But a place here always for me










































































































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Dreams

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