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Translations from the Andromedan

Dedicated to LMC...

“Future perfect tense. It may be clear enough
but some of them will have to die to get it -”

Sloka Two

Walking the Alameda

The day we were all shot with neutrinos
his counterpart arose at dawn,
startled from a waking dream:
in spiral slow and steady he was drawn
upwards and away from earth, slipstreamed
by a force of source unknown, then
as if enthroned between two mighty wings
he hunkered down into the thrust and glide,
ecstatic with the rush, became as wind
coursing in the arrow’s vane, and suddenly
cresting precipitous blue cliffs, when he saw
plane after plane of turquoise-beaded light
melt soundlessly in undulant cascades,
recognized the place and gasped,
feeling  the huge converging back-thrust wings
enclose him tightly for a spiral dive, and
went down with the silver crane, dissolving and
dissolved into the inky calm of Lake Manasa,
membrane of pale and placid light.

Waking to the flush of dawn, he stepped outside
and scanned the brightening sky for signs. Began the day,
as he so often did, thinking of stars and
not suspecting how

A star, since identified as a blue supergiant,
had blown up

far away in the other hemisphere,
that Southern Sky he loved to ponder, a keen eye
on the Messier List. Hereafter
he would incorporate mystic lore
apposite to the wonder of his plunge,  

producing a supernova, the first one
clearly visible to the naked eye from Earth since 1604.

Not that anyone would enjoin the allusion
or so he guessed, so deep and
rutted with familiar grief
erosion of his faith in humanity
would have left him to believe

Most of the energy of the explosion was
carried away by neutrinos.
They are enigmatic particles at best.

All through the day he ruminated and that night
he could not rest, could not re-enter the waking dream
or any dream - for there seemed to be a signal in the works
perhaps a line of code released when

Something like a 100 billion neutrinos from SN1987A
passed through the body of every human being on earth.

That night he rose perplexed, and tried to write,
in vain, before by chance he heard the science news
he paid a visit to his comic muse, sat in her kitchen
pondering the change even as it overtook him

Plenty of mysteries remain.

His funny valentine, sweet comic valentine,
was not a little agitated. Nonplussed, and so was he
—a shift of the assemblage point—
but they coped with mantic humor, their jokes
lame and out-of-joint, her laugh
reminding him how lovers need to laugh,
when love no longer wonders where to go

The neutron star may be a pulsar,
       but we cannot see and do not know.

As he returned along the Alameda, talking to himself
aloud, data surged from the Tarantula Nebula
in the Large Magellanic Cloud (initials of his comic muse),
deep in the southern vale. The progenitor,
a rare blue supergiant, its radiance like Niagara
overwhelming scopes and screens. The explosion
took three months: from February 24th  to May
the supernova called one-nine-eight-seven-A
exploded for the naked eye to see and
170,000 years of looking, pure, intact,
collapsed into the transient light of day

That burst of light has been traveling toward us
    since long before humans first painted animals
    on the walls of their caves.

How science will invent, he thought. Neutrinos,
quarks and quantum follies. Bang to Bust,
imagination by default contrived
what must be sensed,
be felt and lived, yet 

The excitement is a long way from over.        

The magnitude was 4.5, the after-image left
seemed to suggest the blurry mark his lives
had blazed in time, lover by lover

He had long since stopped reading physics
(his prime distraction since the age of nine),
had soured on the theories gone awash, in trouble
every time that data threatened dharma
so he made Tantra his physics and peering
past the galactic rim
saw once the Blessed Inner Damsel Body
image of relativity
expulsing tenderness
not tensor-math

For all the trouble it would bring
made passion into path
Just then the supernova spawned a double.         

Asuramaya sighed.
Alone at dawn he dwelt in varnamala
reckoning on earthbound kin
who might discern within their lives 
some figures from his own

Although the odds
were slight, something like
         a trenchant mote of light
predisposed his hand, some
remote, reverberating Amazonian insight
kept him disposed, convinced that sexual duality
by poetics just might be exposed

His consorts chosen by design were three:
Rohini, Vulka and Jill
Now it is she, Jill Alloway, 
sweet-limbed daughter of the Sultress Strain
19th Yumchen Delice of the Dordona Clan,
sacred lineage from the Pallas Limb,
veritable bastion of embodied poetics
where he learned at her knees
rudiments of Tantra-toned esthetics

Licking the blunt end of a soter peel
she stroked his neck and hummed a limbic spell
“Be classical” she said  “What’s been done  well is
  well worth repeating - ”

“It would not be an insult to intelligence - ” he queried

“On earth there is so little intelligence
  left to insult -” she sighed. and licked once more

The stroke of her hand on his neck
brings a haze of bluish blood to her fingertips
Her stamen bracelet tinkles, bright circlet of soft-
jeweled coral code in boreal motif
set momentarily ablaze,
                  she pours her amber-
                           winding look his way,
                  she amplifies his emerald gaze                                         

“No form will serve the ancient rime, not even
  runes in triple time -” Jill mused

“But relativity applies in apposition, so time
may serve a timeless proposition - ”

“Oh yes, then form will be what formless will have been,
  for now as then all that on earth
  was meant to happen, as they say, translated
  in this way” - she was taunting now - “becomes
  a revelation of discontent, your humble way
 of being haunted - ”

“Oh well, I could experiment - ” Asuramaya laughed

“Precisely. Pick a known rime. Any rime - ”

Her bracelet now slides
down her arm, an invitation in Andromedan mode
She blinks and, smooth as a Sri Lankan custard,
gives to her tawny legs a tango turn 

“And convert it to sutra - ” he supposed, easing
like an eel into her cradled pose.

“Disguise it as -” she moaned

And so Asuramaya began, a little ceremoniously,
his subject borrowed from a Buddhist text:
A Sermon on the Moment, as if some
learned verse turned up encoded in a river bed
some ragged lines he read in Santa Fe
one day in early fall when fate led him
around to mortal love, again—
so he seemed to recall

If silence be the ground of seeing let the light
fall gently on the hearing           

Siddharta’s eyes were a glorious lure, a gaze
instilled with diamond light

All the distance to Andromeda and back
No cosmos without praise and
no way to liberate
but by a single word

Evam maya shrutam
“Thus have I heard”

How deep departure’s hidden, and dark-grained
we’re sown where amnion sighs
an ancient sea
bears children from the Void the wind
rises and shifts to the West
at nightfall
will falter and
come to rest and
mere tremble of the lace-edged limbs
print a fan of
darkening veins
upon the sky of
paling rose and
veridian layered high above the Jemez           

La Vereda at dusk is all foreground
                                 down in deepening shadow
silent fountains shoot of
slim elmtrunks
sunk in the mothering soil of high desert

Baptism in blood and amnion
rose and gold swirled by lunar tides
Earth dreams us         
down the first light trackings
blood-tendrils on the unborn skin
dew-light flicking on synapses                 
dawn-rush to dendrion        
grape-eyes in amnion
gaping for a way in

Pilgrims out-bound for barbaric eden         
tuck a while in dreamtime and
find there a fast harbor where
                  desire mutates in five directions
before the stuttering womb elapses

Frail oasis for a blood-stung mirage           
homespun bardo
where thirst lures like a refuge
and when the dream collapses
Sundown in the Sangre de Christos         
can be mistaken for a dumb heart
bursting at the seams, letting
                  all its blood explode in a sullen
flood of plum-
colored light
sunset heaves its last sheet to earth,
slow rippled piles
the daze of pastel light
glaze upon glaze
against a haze of pulsating
luminous mauve,
        then fades to the horizon
azul  banked on viridian

Deep to the end of seeing
descending light wavers and
dissolves at last the haze
turns night down and vast the counterpane
                            folds up silence along
pinon-flecked flanks of
mountain haunch and thigh
                                geologic torsos turn and sigh to the height                                                      Sun Mountain, Moon Mountain

Mute offering to night that will arise 
and tremble, a breathing line in
profile of bare perfect breasts

Where milky light is seeping from the ground
drink with your eyes and leave your
parting glance
as if you left an altar-blessing flame
Wherever you have turned away is still
essential to the Dance

And if your gaze be silent and
anonymous enough to touch the earth, a
gesture in pure transience, it might
move with it for one single breath and 
recognize the gift you left
unnoticed, where you stood and
akin to the weeds in the wind

Yet what is so absent by your leaving
will fill another moment when
no one any longer knows you
passed this way
or how you left your glance
right there when light
fell on your eyes and
seeing fell away      

So you could have turned
afternoon to dusk by the way you paused
along the path on the Alameda
to gaze upon a thin meander
baffling as an ideogram
one trickle
metallic mustard gold
where spring melt-off
reflected how the boughs of Chinese elms
reverent as sages bending low
lean in a dual row down to Galisteo Street                 

Leaves let go and
die in a blaze of
orange and rust
bright as marmalade
spread across the dustblown roads and                     
down into the darkening arroyos
                                                          still and cool
trickle the last memories of winter snows
fabled white rush of yesteryear          
the empty melt of milky light
She is ever pouring through our eyes

(Life goes on and where the time goes is
not so curious as asking, Where does it
come from in the first place?)

Feel empty said Siddharta with his eyes

When in the heart time does not flow,
it overflows

                            Rupa / Shunya

"Your form, my void”                                  
                                    Soft-spoken, he
threw a look around the words, a glance
of regal bearing, beckoning to see what he said

                  Evam maya shrutam

“Let the light fall quite gently on the hearing”

Look and see with every word and
Shariputra, getting it both ways,
wrote the Book

Shortest darned Sutra you ever heard

“But the dharma is entirely impersonal - ”
Jill told him in a look “Hence
  some device for egoic reduction ought to be supplied
  A trick to make them listen - ”

“The trick is on but it may sound too nice, a shade or more
   too ripe for earthbound ears, given the metaphoric stretch,
   and the low incidence of transgalactic hush in native minds,
   it may all come across like mush - ” Asuramaya pondered,
now almost half-aloud

“Lyric Impersonal will do, you may recall - ” Jill taunted.

“Precisely, because earthbound lovers are
   so plagued, so haunted by the memories
   convenient to encapsulate their pain -”

“That the lyric made impersonal will lure them out -”

“Without them knowing how - ”

“But who is walking down the Alameda, now and
  actually, in the personal sense - ?”

“Whoever will be walking then, will have noticed - ”

“Future perfect tense. It may be clear enough
but some of them will have to die to get it - ”

           When she laughed her pleasure
sent a fractal wave of anutarra scents 
along the Syrene Limb out to
the magenta gel at the tremblant rim

Just then,
one solitary silver crane
plunged into Lake Manasa, wings
folded like blades and
turning blue, met
the coursing mists and
                                    merged, the silver
                  imprint shone before the crane
                                             was gone, left
its reflection in the Syrene dawn

“Poetics is the issue here  - ” Jill ventured, and
wet her lips from a shallow dish of attar,
invitation to a morning rite, a sly fandango
          danced at dawn when kisses succor rage

“That syntax is arbitrary cannot be true, either way -”

“So neither is composition” Asuramaya had to say

Jill grinned like an aspara seducing an old sage.


Material by John Lash and Lydia Dzumardjin: Copyright 2002 - 2018 by John L. Lash.