through Holland 1 2, India 1 2 3, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Greece

August 1999 - August 2000

Eric Solibakke
2000 © Eric Solibakke

        eternal perfect beloved

suddenly piercing
the dark city --
rays of brilliant sun

Holland 1        

chestnut branches
overhang the brown water --
ducks and yachts churn by

one can learn about power by studying animals
but one can learn about love only from god

steep stairs up to
electric blanket heaven --
grandma's white bedroom

magazine turning its own pages, ad to ad --
tv drains tigers from the mind's tank

chewing inside mouth
surfing on a wave of panic --
tragedy in the making

after an air accident --
searching for the black box,
assembling broken pieces

no longer clickity-clack --
quick glimpse medieval brick church
through a glass tunnel

one of those who grab
desperately at what is
already given

green misty morning --
yachts cross dewy fields over
huge black and white cows

India 1        

driving through double
rainbow arches to meherabad --
pune road welcome

gentle, body shaped
this indian breeze blows through
with a touch of love

your hands in motion
your face cosmically alive --
intense companion

at the heart of tyranny
a suppurating wound --
the helplessness

albino blackberries
in a white cup --
medicine for troubled hearts

those words one day
will run bitter rivers
over grieving cheeks

the pilgrim who learns
how to open his locker
silently -- praise

terrified of dreams
he walks me in the early
darkness before dawn

papaya orange
sunset with streaming clouds --
samadhi in neem shadow

unlatching the coupled
dualities in mind, heart and body
i open in beloved

who feels rain drops
in the midst of drought --
yes, he is the one

those fluttering
fingers as i pass by --
she dines alone

scattered on pavement
after the rain storm passes --
all the white blossoms

deep in the hillside
the bodhisattva sits still
in his rock chamber

this two year old son
runs the world out of fear --
elected himself president

passing the clothes line in a breeze
shirts struggle to climb on my back

when loving fails
buying and selling remains --
the magpie mind

allow me to be
a radiant flower
in your love garland

racing tall rain drops
down Meherabad's holy hill

instead of worrying,
remember who i am

air kisses
through the ethers
electrify the sky

smiling so hard
her upper lip

bees as big as iridescent
purple and black thumbs
entering blue morning-glories

arabian Sea surf
sweeps the Indian shore --
red sands of goa

weaving the waves
over one, under another --
the arabian sea

lightning on the beach --
a sudden flash of the sea
through the palm forest

grain by grain i'm making a beach
and calling it "normal man."

every day i meet the solid land
with all my fingers at work;
when a grain happens to break free
i add it to the edge of the sea.

eyelids sizzling in goan sun
i float suspended
between sand and sky

slow surf rolls over the beach
like honey over sugar --
orange light descends on dragon island

toddy gatherers climb the tall palms
to collect juice for the fenny distillery --
sun disappears in mist
surrounding dragon island to the west

black and orange, white and yellow
butterflies loop around our
second floor verandah by day;
at night gray fruit bats
flit through electric shadows
from guava to green hanging guava.

depth of sky running
over orion's shoulder --
white crabs belly up

the fenny man jacks his way up the tall palm;
curved knife and soft pot in hand
he takes his place on a frond
and pours off the drippings

grinding boulders into sand
and milling the sand to pumice
eventually i gain a technology
capable of polishing my heart's huge mirror.

searching the smooth and shiny surface
for reflections of you, beloved,
i see flashes of your omnipotence,
sparks of your omnipresence
and something of your omniscience too
glowing like hot coals at midnight.

at moments when i see nothing at all
but deep darkness, i'm reminded that
seeing itself is nothing other than your
all-inclusive love light in my eyes.

on a boulder above
the morning's slow waves --
white headed sea eagle

three eagles ride the thermals over dragon island
as the sun drops like a golden egg into the sea

all world religions begin and end
in the same reality;
it's only a matter of how
is presented to the understanding.

at sunrise the hoopoe forages
among grasses in the field
below our verandah.

at sunset the eagle glides
dragon island updrafts in spirals
swooping through the umbrella of palms,
swinging far out to sea
and returning talons extended
without working its wings.

after a brisk swim
fire burning in the throat --
in bed with a bug

different girl, same old thing,
paralyzed by beauty --
my womb away from mom

wet tongues foam across the sand
lick my feet and return,
swallowed by the next wave

cute turd
add a thousand legs --

jupiter rising --
second day moon setting
in a nest of palm fronds

how absurd to be strangers with the sky --
such tall and handsome companions
cartwheeling equally over awake and asleep

it's a great labor to bend down
to the level of the beloved's daaman --
rather cling to the ringlets of his golden brown hair

running in the dark
i hit the wall at full speed --
neither dark nor light

over my head in
barbed wire and glass shards --
dog chained to a wall

amid the "goddamns"
and the "fucking this," "fucking that,"
the search for a language of emotion
to express the movements of feeling
into anger, into pleasure

icky, mad, sad, bad --
what mother said and what father said
continues to haunt the child's adult speech

irritation begins anger,
teasing is the seed of torture --
who’s never seen a full moon?

talking about self
all languages are foreign --
infantile sounds

"goddamn this" and "fucking that" --
the language of a congested heart
sounds like the caveman's ancestors

among animals the one
who comes first is most important;
among humans the one
who comes last is most important.

walking a stone path
on the slopes of arunachala
through groves that feel greek,
we stop at a flower draped altar
to the great mother.

the orange sadhu chants joyfully
palms electrically together
head swaying side to side
like a cobra charmer.

an owl calls ten times
from the upper wood;
we continue toward ramana's cave
above the huge temple
at the heart of tiruvannamalai.

the kiss of a single lip,
you live me in darkness and light --
a single wing’s flight

lost in the bazaar --
tomato, onion, lentil
maze consumes me

daylight drains rapidly away;
blazing midday sinks into shadow.
the relentless chaos of daytime india
returns toward its source in sleep.

deep peace asserts its presence
as it dawns in consciousness:
this deep peace allows chaos
to reach such peaks of riotous activity;
without it, chaos would break down
into anarchy and forced systems of order.

white butterfly
on a red hibiscus
over a blue background

chorus of frog song,
the slick trill of an orange beaked bird
after the monsoon downpour

glowing with godlight
despite messy consciousness
pretending to be right

wearing no panties
she lifts her sari and squats --
withers of a small horse

talking with borrowed voices --
the mother's ou's and ah's
ooze from the son's throat

great buffalo day,
rain static tattoos the roof --
walking brown rivers

coated in gray sky
rain beats the banana leaf --
silence of the birds

feeling important
satisfies a desperate need --
black and white judgments

tall stand of bamboo
creaks in a soft morning breeze --
sounds of an old schooner

auroville corner --
service tree leaves blow in the dust
of speeding motorbikes

only a handful
of stars survive this gibbous moon --
all surface, no depth

talking with a borrowed voice
he sounds like his mother's shadow --
put up your dukes, madam

as the world descends
into rampant black and white --
patricides appear

dim stars, radiant moon
racing clouds, tree tops swaying --
toes grip the earth

lifetimes of experience
composting in consciousness,
rich mix for the flowering
of the new humanity

some support winners, others losers --
he's the one who catches my fumbles

real men laugh
at nobody's expense

pallas athene glimpsed inside a garden, the gate ajar,
her brow decorated with the helmet of war,
her shoulders draped in serpentine gorgon curls,
spear and shield as usual -- warrior in the fields of duality

tamil nadu coast
white egrets on rice flats --
soft notes on velvet

bus passengers' heads --
melons on a flatbed truck
lurch side to side

hacking stones into the surfaces
of sweet faced gods and goddesses

mahabalipuram --
the peppering of chisels
against raw stone

attacking a hawk
two crows approach from high noon
going for the head

sweeping the underside of stars
with its long white beam
fanning the night breeze

        Mahabalipuram Lighthouse

maybe i haven't said
please and thank you
often enough

doilies in the sky
millennium fire works --
nosey dog lopes by

a herd of brown cows
sauntering along the beach --
going where, hermes?

to the cola pizza network mind
of unfortunate youth, alas!
meditation is a mushroom
and enlightenment a sound bite

roses without soul
heaped on the merchant's table
outside the ashram

as if the wind could
blow the sphere of dandelion
seeds back to its head

galloping turtle
indian local train ride --
wet wooden benches

earth will continue
until this rock awakens
to the truth of self

     Rockfort Ganesh Temple
     3,800 million year old rock

the shadows of bats
swooping the length of the porch --
a cup of sweet tea

rose petals blowing
pink against your tanned forehead --
the touch of ganesh

eagles circle in thermal updrafts --
rockfort's granite surface rings with solidity
to the central core of earth

Sri Lanka        

pulsing sinuses
from diesel dust overload --
traffic at standstill

full moon glowing on the nutmeg's thick foliage,
palm fronds sweep the white buddha image
illuminated on the facing hillside --
dharma blows on the night air
from loudspeakers at the "tooth temple."

in a dream i disobey the beloved
by pouring milky water on the ground
a second time against his wish.

immediate remorse and grief
give rise to a prayer from deep in my heart:
from now until final merger with him
never to displease him again.

the bliss of his brilliant acceptance
melts my dream heart in rich love.
i feel it penetrate joyfully throughout my body
giving healing and comfort to every grief.

hollow warbling
in the tropical forest --
bodhi tree stupa
preaching ahimsa dharma
to a group of mosquitoes

swift the thief's fingers
who got my 50 rupees --
throw your golden bowl outside
when thieves approach said the monk

the serenity of buddha sitting in samadhi,
painted and polished --
monkeys rough-house in the trees
behind the monk's bare shoulder

noble caste weddings
like matadors in long skirts --
sri lankan bridegrooms

look out, mosquito,
want to get sliced along with
this green capsicum?

making the world fit
his version of the story --
huge power struggle

kites over kandy
clouds of gold green over blue --
full moon on the nutmeg tree

walking in diesel dust
to the buddha on the hill --
beautiful theories

full moon in kandy --
the shadow of barbed wire
on the temple wall

chilly air seeping
in an overheated heart --
how long, maitreya?

to the ant crawling
inside my sleeve as i rest --
i'll race you to sleep!

mother of pearl
clouds over buddha's white head --
burmese rest, kandy

inside a boulder
buddha lets his body go
lying on his side --
leaving the most solid dream
he enters the awake state

     Aluvihara, Sri Lanka

sitting on my bed
listening to the silence
in my friend's slight snores

watching orion
drop behind a wooded ridge --
good morning, good friend

the silent turning
of celestial machinery --
leo climbs the night

loaded with people
the tiny bus grinds uphill
in compound low gear

a guest spots a thief
climbing down the toilet vent --
how much is she worth?

lured out of hiding
tortoises pace the courtyard
at home in the rain

meher baba's face
appears on the garden wall --
omnipresent grace

never bigger than
nor smaller than the other --
oneness is equal

on amartithi
anger enters and departs
while love comes to stay

despite projections,
oh myself in great numbers,
just one is real

watching light and dark
fight each other in the sky,
wild swooping palm fronds --
drops hit the ground like bullets
in a hollywood western

under the nutmeg,
the leafy tree in our yard,
no drop of rain falls

no ist, no ism
love all the avatars --
one reality

hustlers, touts, rip-offs
and a few shining faces --
the tourist-eye view

pervading everything near and far
with the reality of oneness --
a new branch on the bodhi tree

whatever i am
can never be divided --
love dissolves the blade

hearing the silence
and the om at the same time --
juncture consciousness

the humming of om,
the silence of beyond --
the oneness of both

roar of the rickshaw
disappears into the night --
sound of aloneness

rain on the tin roof
late monsoon drums words away --
we talk with our eyes

a curled green leaf
lying on the lakeside path --
add legs, a tortoise!

kandy express train
kidney chops, karate slaps --
mist in the valleys

forty years of guests --
what has this innkeeper not
seen of behavior?

India 2        

paradise and hell at the same time,
oh beloved, so clever your creation!

at our favorite restaurant
-- most delicate dosas and delicious rice plates --
where we return again and again,
i left your rainbow flag carrying bag and lost it;
at the same time we found 17 rupees
on the restaurant floor, and didn't take them.

ruined in his love
destroyed in his grace
beaten in his bliss

i remember you
and in the remembering is forgetting.

i forget you
and in the forgetting is remembering.

without forgetting
i could never remember.

without remembering
i could never forget.

you are beyond forgetting and remembering;
you make them irrelevant.

oh beloved,
forgive me for any deed, word or thought
which doesn't serve you
which doesn't praise you
which doesn't express your true essence.

oh beloved,
let my deeds, words and thoughts
be pleasing to you.

he throws the frisbee --
two pale moons for a moment
over puri beach

jade waves rise
curl forward and fall in rows
of swirling white foam

divided mind
black and white with projections --
bridge of loving heart

moment of quiet,
flies make rest a torture --
turds along the beach

green banana leaves --
giant parrots with sweet toes

fly tickling my nose --
behind the veneer of mind,
the indwelling beloved

full moon but no moon
not a shadow on the beach --
birthday sixty one

into the far mist
parallel lines of white surf --
second birthday noon

water, earth, fire
and air crossing the wide beach --
mandala midpoint

walking at sunset --
silver breakers roll over
a polished glass beach

strange masks on the moon
silver tigers and wild dogs
drawn on black velvet

the twisted bed clothes
and sounds of running water --
yes, she's my dream girl

the black and white mind
of the fundamentalists --
oh the grace of green

nothing like a good
dogfight to start the morning --
waking from a dream

snake skin sky moving
east over a flat-topped moon --
birthday one oh six

the dog chases fleas
and i scratch mosquito bites --
who wiggles most?

ocean of oneness
beside the bay of bengal --
not a breath of wind

have you noticed
mind composed of opposites?
asks all-pervading one

among the high kites
those birds have no strings --
how can they fly?

flashes of yellow,
bright blue and black among leaves --
palette of tropical birds

order in their chaos
swarming on the garden wall --
how far can ants see?

stirring of a breeze
leaves swing in front of the sun --
a breath of cool shade

under the peacock's
emerald and blue eyed spread
he wears tight black briefs

every religion
an entire universe --
bodhitree temple

like waves washing against a shore
groups of pilgrims wash themselves
in the ocean of your love
at the foot of your bodhitree,
carry offerings and offering themselves
in body, speech and mind

when power cuts out
oil lamps jump in the darkness
and stars fill the sky

lamas and malas,
burgundy skirts and yellow shirts --
branches curl out of the bodhitree

fly blown silk flowers
after the season's over --
the parties i missed!

rising and falling
chants under the bodhitree --
waves on the ocean

dogs tear at each other's throats --
hotel little-sleep

in unity with the oneness in all things, words and thoughts
indivisibly one with all beings
in all stations and conditions in all worlds;
one in purpose with the avatars
one in things and beings
one in the bell clang, one in its continuing hum
one in the pigeon's tireless piping
one in the sun's heat and currents of cool air through shadows
one in the brown face with jet black mustache
one in the sparrow's twitter
one in the beggar's clawlike reach
one in the walkway that curls through the garden
one in the future-tripping imagination's bad news scenario
one in the comet's tail
one in the masonary, marble and concrete
one in the almond eye, the round eye and the blind one too
one in purity as well as pollution
one in the shadow of prayer flags flickering on the temple wall
one in the mosquito's razor bill syringe
one in the silence of soul

the depth of shadow layered
on your brilliant oneness, beloved --
when you show me yourself
you show me also my self

heaven and hell in this luxury suite
with its infernal pounding in the early morning
which drives one out of sleep
with the rattling of bones and teeth.

heaven and hell in a perfect meditation chamber,
excellent seat, pleasant temperature and air;
outside the window two people continue
an unceasing flow of discursive noise
like he and she motors that fuel each other.

heaven and hell do not exist
except for those individuals
who create them for themselves

swells of bad on the ocean of good
waves of good on the swells of bad
wavelets of bad on the waves of good
ripples of good on the wavelets of bad

hear full moon in the dogs' howls
blackout over the bodhitree --
the luminosity of buddha's love

intimate as a fly that stumbles
into one's nostril --
sweet as sugared limewater

hey, it's like leather!
says the city boy
touching a water buffalo

onion skins identical to rose petals
blowing off the balcony --
he buys the grocer's bald head for a melon


elbows and armpits
baggage and babies,
the space i thought i'd bought --
bussing the terai

grand staircases descend into valleys
for the gods to reach them more easily --
whole mountains sculptured for agriculture

horned moon over the stupa
red robed monks turn the mandala clockwise --
twilight settles into clouds of haze

seven day moon in the buddha's bonnet,
pigeon down swirling over the smooth surface --
power failure plunges the stupa
into massive gestures of surprise

peace at cyclone central
his majesty the buddha
touches ground with his fingertips

another roadside rip-off,
no monks in sight --
flame shaped sun in the cleft
between storm clouds

all the time you are manifesting
in form as the ambient environment --
one can't lose in the giving game

attention quickly frays
as swarms of money mosquitoes
hit one with every sort of sellable device

India 3        

days of controlled madness in the chaos of banaras
alongside the river that washes away
every attachment to the world

doing the indian dung dance
-- dog, human and cow --
through the alleys of varanasi

take a fix on the om point
where unity appears as duality --
the mandala of divine dream

bright orange claws
on the burning hillside --
darkness absorbs the landscape

Holland 2        

kastanya trees decorated
with candelabra
prepared for the sun's flame

shashtang pranams
of gratitude to you,
beloved, in my heart

for completing the circle
of our visit to wisdom
on these hermetic feet

pink boughs
scattering confetti
in the spring sun


a golden clasp
in these blue tresses --
shiva's moon over athens

money, itself a kind of messiah,
attracts everyone's attention.

becoming less material
it discarded its golden body
and its paper body.

clothed in electronic numbers
it migrates magnetically
through virtual space
from account to account.

eating the season's first indigo fruits
from the mulberry tree beside zeus' temple
where heroes ran into the stadium
to contest their skills in this serene setting

zeus sorts through projections
and determines what underlies them --
the ability to recognize projections.

the peace of the olive grove
under the full weight of summer sun --
the divine narrative elevated on columns

ares gets sucked into conflicts of opposites,
believing to the death they're true.

time is the loom of wisdom;
it separates the threads of experience
and opens a way for the shuttle of understanding
to bind them in patterns of meaning.

small gorgonian shocks
from looking in the mirror --
blessing roundly with a damn

a hard day's labor
making magpies into cockatoos --
discarding zebras along the way

tassels of light on the calm harbor,
headlights sparkle along the quay

chunks of bread whirl
on the oily surface --
small fish swarm

gold green at sunset --
needles of the pine grove
in the western garden

cooing of the dove --
how sweetly morning sun
stills the aegean air

meher baba is god
meher baba is god
meher baba is god
sings the dove

chaos is a condition of the viewer
as well as that which is viewed --
when viewing is total, chaos nonexists

why not?
it's all dream
and i'm the dreamer

beach sofa of dried seaweed
on the rocky aegean shore --
lesbos at summer solstice

the stately rise and fall of stars
accompanied by the clatter of goat's bells
from the dark hillside

dolphins break the aegean's glassy surface,
ripples of moving air approach
from mountains across the bay --
the intoxicating stillness of complete beauty

having developed this monstrous expression of desire
and given it the names of culture and civilization,
we are consumed by it --
money flows in its veins as blood in the veins of the living.

black and white minds
in search of color --
where the asphalt ends

seeing all the people
as meher baba in costume --
hollywood is not enough

satisfied and not,
so much done, so much more to do;
complete yet scarcely begun --
angry at the tyrant, melted in helplessness

what i appear to be is whatever
my attention fixates upon --
what i am is indivisible oneness


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