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  • Writer's pictureRennie Maguire

Another Gift from India

Updated: Dec 22, 2022

This silver gong

with India’s map before her freedom.

Calcutta, you were there

Kali's city,

With her swords and skulls,

And death and change,

Beyond and through

Outside of time.


This silver gong

a birthday gift

I cherish it,

Too late,

I cherish you.


I picture you on tree-lined streets,

by white, domed mansions,

homes of Brahmins,

or in a rickshaw, down city alleys,

past Untouchables

by cardboard hovels with begging bowels.

Plaintive cries of Rupees, rupees!


Your India,

Land of contradictions,

Sacred cow, sacred Ganges,

Sacred temples, burning ghats,

Wafts of ashes, scent of incense

Stench of dung, smell of garbage

Sights and smells

Some sacred, some profane.


A lifetime later

I come to meditation

and honor my path

from the Ancient Himalayas.

Strike the gong

and close my eyes

And sit

with my own contradictions.

Some sacred, some profane.



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