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ECHO HILL STUDIOS
ARTIST: ANN KAHL
(The poems in these eight pages were all written by me between 1965 and 1980. Ann Kahl)
Talk to me about India
Tell me the dust, the arid mist, the smell of people and cattle commingling-
Cities of saris, bright colored confusion.
Cries of the hawkers, the whimpering poor.
Tell me the stars over India
Questions and answers of millions
To My Father
We're dying all the time, father.
The little boy that you once were is gone
As is the soldier.
There is no more to dying than you've known;.
Intelligence becomes but more diffuse.
Lay down your head and hold my hand,
Unfold your mind and with it reach out to your promised land.
Samsara in the Struggling Western Mind
Before I was born,
Mind, light, everything and nothing;
All of that was me, and you were me.
Then I was born.
I learned and lost the everything.
I gained my birthright, life in bits and pieces, each was christened Now, as I.
Where were you then?
I grew and pushed the space aside and pushed the space aside
And carromed off of knowledge, spinning with my own sharp corners splintering against word prison walls
Expressionless when mute.
And so I died.
The light was bright in contrast with the chopped up changeless change
I lost you in.
Again I'm you and you are me and now no more for everything is right.
What matter what should cause me grief?
Cannot my own small world know only this?
What I feel is grief.
The proudest man shouts at me-"Know thyself-
Know that what you feel is not for what you've lost
But only for yourself-because you've lost it."
The wise man tells me-"Know thyself.
Know that what you feel is not for what you lost
But only a reminder. You also soon must die."
Why ask why? What I feel is grief.
Deathly stillness falls.
Then lo! The welcome monarch breathes
Across my garden walls.
Curtains open wide,
On all the life and pageantry
The evening holds inside.
Embracing bodies sway,
To music rushing through the leaves.
The wind's farewell to day.
To Prufrock With Gratitude for a Moment of Lightness on a Serious Theme
Thomas Stearns and I are growing old.
I do not worry about trousers rolled.
My consternation centers round my tresses;
And lengthening and shortening my dresses.
My lover's arms reached for me in the night.
My baby's fingers reached out toward the light.
And now my baby is a stalwart man,
And knowledge of my lover's arms has faded as love can-and always does.
Can memory suffice?
My son will know the love that I have known.
And that is nice.
I watch your fingers move across the page;
Unsure, so hesitant, afraid, and yet,
The wisdom that I should have gained with age,
Can only say with deep and humble bliss,
That your unsureness is most truly This
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