Sunday, October 26, 2014

Pixelated Faces

A crowded world
Watched over by galaxies
Spinning away
Pushing the boundaries

Of space
Not content with
A comforting status quo
That many would like life to be

Viewed from afar
Multihued pixels
Paint the mountains, plains
Oceans, deserts and ice

From a moving
Watchtower in the sky
Trailed by white vapor
Drawings, on the stratosphere

Where the useful directions
Are up or down
Much like minds that float
In the world below

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Gems and germs

Gems and germs
Bring scourges
To the doorstep of innocents
Breaking through sentinel eyes

Distracted by sandstorms
Failing to stop the march
Of microbial dread
An archaic witness to the rise of man

And stones on a river bed
Picked by hands
That can no longer
Wave goodbye

Thankfully now
A fading sight
With a rallying cry
From horror stricken faces

Vast expanses
Bridged by invisible germs
Not wearing masks
And unresponsive to names

Saturday, October 18, 2014

A long view

Fireflies dance away
Flinging sparks of light
Rising after the sun
Bids farewell for the night

A luciferous vision
Dances with
The glint of wisdom
Behind the firefly’s flight

Under a frosted carpet
Rolled onto the night sky
Full of starry fires
Familiar cousins of the sun

The flight of light
To the protective edge
Of the frigid horizon
A sight to behold

For the wisdom seekers
In the night
Who are warmed
By the sparks that fly

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Training the mind - 10

Icy clouds sandwiched
Between a fiery sun
And a blazing cauldron underground
A tender balance between anger and love

The sliver of land that is the earth’s surface and home to life as we know it is sandwiched between two giant fires. One is the sun and the other is the earth’s core. Both of these are vital for the existence of life on earth. Recently, scientists using a new X-ray technique (1) were able to determine the exact melting point of iron at a pressure that is at 2.2 million times that of the earth’s surface at sea level. Extrapolating these findings to the earth’s core where the pressure is 3.3 million atmospheres, they estimate that the earth’s core is almost 1800 F hotter than previous estimates. This makes the temperature of the earth’s core similar to that of the surface of the sun. This heat along with the earth’s rotation on its axis creates the magnetic field that is so vital to the existence of life on earth. Birds and turtles take advantage of this magnetic field and use it during migration. Without this magnetic field, charged particles from the sun called the solar winds would strip away the ozone layer exposing life on earth to harmful ultraviolet radiation.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Training the mind - 9

Time is a slow burning fire
A conflagration that consumes civilizations
The future is windward, past is leeward
Wisdom lights a fire that time cannot

Humans have always aspired to push the limits of physical endurance. In ancient Greece, an endurance run bringing a message of victory at the conclusion of the battle of Marathon between the Greeks and the Persians is commemorated even today. The marathon, a race that covers roughly the distance from Marathon to Athens, Greece is named after that ancient run. Now there are other feats that surpass the marathon in terms of pushing the limits of the physical body. These include officially sanctioned races such as ultra marathons covering over 100 kilometers, ironman triathlons etc. The Tour de France, an epic bike race around France, is another example of the test of not just physical capacity, but also mental strength. The “longest hour” in cycling is not the last hour of a three week race around France, but an hour long race against the clock. It is the farthest distance that can be covered in one hour on a bicycle. In 1972, Eddy Merckx, the Belgian bicycle racer, considered one of the all time greats in his sport set the hour record. He described that hour of riding as the “longest of my career”. Since that record setting feat, only three individuals have ridden further in an hour. Modern aerodynamic equipment was not available when Merckx set the bar, although he had the advantage of racing at high altitude in Mexico City where the aerodynamic drag is also less. He also said this about the longest hour, “Here it’s not possible to ease up, to change gears or the rhythm. The hour record demands a total effort, permanent and intense, one that’s not possible to compare to any other”.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

White sands

Thirty-two little
White tigers
Protect the tongue
Lest it should slip
From the grainy
Heavens of white sand
Home of the wistful clouds
Sought by misty eyed seekers
Retreating back
The tongue speaks
A patois of that land
Suffused with a calming silence
Understood by those
Whose toes have mingled
In those sands
Of a timeless desert

Friday, October 3, 2014

The shadow of joy

A long shadow
Cast over the skies
Brings respite
From busy sights
Thousands of strings
A puppeteer’s fest
Tug at the hearts
Of men busy at work
Day and night
Contrasting colors
Come again and again
A reminder to the armchair bound
Of the shadow of joy
That lights the world
Giving every little pursuit
That much value
The shadow of joy
That no worldly light can match
Survives till time’s last instant
And never too late to find