Friday, September 4, 2009

The tortoise and the mountain

The word giri in Sanskrit has many meanings and these meanings are the source of this poem. The dictionary is a marvelous source of associative thinking.

giri dp269

a tortoise swallowed a mountain
having thought that the mountain was slow and steady
like her good self

the tortoise was shocked to discover
that many hidden things go on in mountains
this particular mountain was in eight parts

it seemed to the tortoise who was learned in mathematics
that it was an infinity of mountains
because on every slope in every ravine

on peaks and in the deepest caves
there were multitudes of mountains inside mountains
each of these contained yet more mountains

in fractal form
not only that but each of these multitudinous mountains
hosted different kinds of creatures

in one a small girl played with a ball
in another a man curled like a ball his eyes blinded by some unknown disease
in yet another a mouse crawled up the rocky slope

a rope climber without a rope
a cloud hung over another mountain in conversation with trees
and there was more much more

but by now the venerable tortoise was getting bored
and regurgitated the lot
she deposited this ball on the peak of the nearest mountain
and let it roll


  1. Giri dp 269
    of course I know what that stands for...
    after some thought, having been trained (gerund)
    just sufficiently
    but Mr. Google has different opinions
    DP269 the international context of the Spanish Civil war... Giri
    Mirror of perfection... Giri .. DP269
    Labour problems in Indian indsutry... Giri
    I prefer the original one


  2. Well - I guess these are optional extensions for the poem should I feel inclined!
    Back from Manila.