Sunday, October 11, 2015

Tango in the pampas

Home of the gaucho
The lords of that vast green meadow
Between the mighty Andes and the southern ocean
Dancing air currents bridge a connection

Carrying floating balls of vapor
Dousing the Argentine pampas in seasonal downpour
Sun drenched gauchos make most of it
Leading a life of toughness and grit

Homemade hats, like the northerner’s Stetson
Completes the working garb, not worn for fun
With the blanket of ozone pockmarked, sun has to be kept at bay
A hardy life, repeating every day

Roaming on horseback to the southern fringe
Where the sun can singe
And the cold winters burn
Pages in the book of seasons faithfully turn

Part of that continent’s folklore
They are like freewheeling spirits on a dancefloor
Who have crafted a nation’s identity
Much more than just peasantry

We are all gauchos in our own way
Herding thoughts into the memory cache
Rarely stopping to tango
Outside the past’s shadow

Like the close weave of gauchos’ woolen poncho
Reminiscences are stacked up creating a dazzling combo
Keeping out the starkness of reality
In exchange for this fuzzy dream, which isn’t finality

It is entertaining when measured steps are taken in unison
In that choreographed dance of thought, there seems little confusion
Every thing appears real
With a tempo that has great appeal

Insync with the beat of the mind
Senses and desires are twined
Rounding up one’s energies
To tango with memories

Innumerable as blades of sod in the pampas
Are thoughts in the mind’s campus
As the wind bends vast swathes of grass
Music changes the flow of thoughts enmasse

When the body gives into that dance of joy
Old habits cannot redeploy
When stubbornness morphs into willingness
One understands work’s symbolic significance

There can be no escape from action
Whatever the distraction
In the wilderness of the mind
Treaties may be left unsigned

Allowing one to roam free
A state that brings the gaucho glee
They rarely leave the pampas
Knowing their land, they move without a compass

There are lessons to be learnt from those gauchos
Railing against corruption is seared into their ethos
Pure and simple
Living off the land, with a horse as their proud symbol

Patches of the mind that are just as beautiful
And easy to find if one is truthful
Keeping thoughts quiet in name and form
And the smoldering fire of love warm

There will be an easy rhythm to thought’s motion
Like tango steps, they can be learnt with devotion
Before being admitted into the dance halls of the mind
They must be refined

With the integrity of the gaucho
And the contrasting sophistication of the tango
Both native to the grasslands
Of the pampas, last stop for life before the antarctic badlands

Dress like the gaucho
And dance with life like the carefree tango
Keeping it simple
Will help the mind’s fickleness dwindle

After all there will always be more to learn
Before the sun dips to the point of no return
Every day that is lived honorably and to the fullest
Adds to nature’s bank of goodness

  • N. Seshadri