ys11 < Ys12 World Service Dada > ys13

The first of the Amber sub-series, this chapbook compiles short writings, both whimsical and lyric, done at home and abroad between 1985 and 1990. The first section is largely drawn from the first chapbook I ever put together in 1985, World Service, which is long since gone. World Service Dada was originally planned and composed in 1990, but for many reasons was not published until January 1997. Below is a piece written in Leh Ladakh, Northern India, while I was in a valley at about 13,000 feet above sea level, titled Silver, Brass, Bronze.

Ghost crazy spears of lightning trees stand rigid, haunted even in daylight. Snow shadows not there, threads of water, these too hang about leafless trees like old coats. And from the slopes, oh such music. Mournful cries, long and longing. Spirits rise to the temples. To dance in the flames. To slip through the white gauze scarves. To taunt and tease the pennants.

Hours of daylight, dwindling down slopes and rolling into night. Lone saplings bathe. The cold jump! Starshine in crowds, spilled streams of diamonds falling towards us. Or pinpricks in a velvet curtain which, drawn aside, reveals

Dreams. Sky fall. Rain jewels. Prayer colours. Dreams.

How frightening this tearing sky. How wonderful the creatures that now stalk the earth; wispy, dappled, befriended. I can see them now through the broken glass. Two dance on rivers. Others cannot be seen singing.

Who would have dreamt this? The magic wind blows here. It's shimmering touch; among the Buddhas, in the barren branches, over the balancing rocks. No one knows these boundaries. So many horns blow. And I am forgotten amidst the playing.




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