ein seitensprung

Ein Seitensprung

 Er hat sich entschieden
die Nacht woanders zu verbringen

 Er hat ziemlich viele Liebhaberinnen,
und er kann nicht jederzeit bei allen sein

 Heute war es eher ein Kurzbesuch

er wollte uns nur necken

 Er tut nur so als sei er interessiert

 Wir sind nicht seine Hauptpartnerinnen

das sind wir sicher nicht

 Eine bessere Beziehung mit ihm wäre schön,
ein bissel stabiler,
etwas regelmäßiger
Vielleicht könnten wir uns sogar sehen
an bestimmten Tagen
zu bestimmten Zeiten

das wäre schön

 Wir sollten es versuchen,
ihn irgendwie anzulocken

 Ja, aber wie?

 Vielleicht sollten wir ihn einladen
hier bei uns zu wohnen

dann würde er nicht so viel
herum strömen müssen

 Na ja,
wenn er immer da wäre,
würden wir ihn vielleicht nicht so sehr schätzen

 Er muß frei sein,
kommen und gehen zu können wie er will

 Vielleicht brauchen wir ihn gar nicht

vielleicht hast du recht

 Also Kerzen haben wir,
lesen könnten wir während des Tages —
wenn überhaupt,
einen Kühlschrank haben wir eh nicht,
und die Pumpe könnten wir mit einem Fahrrad betreiben

 Ist recht
Machen wir das

♫ ♫ ♫

 Eines Tages ist der Strom dann zurück gekommen,
und alle durften ihn
wieder genießen

 ♫ ♫ ♫

the color of music

The color of music

 In front of a stone church in Barcelona
stood two young men singing arias,
and the vibrant colors of the notes they sang
as they floated through the night
were astounding

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 Maybe they’re students from the music academy


 I didn’t know that each musical note
had a different color

Me either
They’re pretty cool

 It would be great
to be able to see spoken words too

 Perhaps sometimes
Whether or not it would be great
would depend on who was speaking,
what they were saying
and how they were saying it
I already feel the vibrations of words —
and they’re not always nice

tone of voice,
and the matter being discussed
make a big difference
in how a word feels

Maybe it would be better
if people were to talk a bit less
Then we might all feel a bit better

And a lot of bands would sound better
without their singer
Many good songs
have been ruined by horrible lyrics

like Calexico
They make nice music,
but the singer manages to destroy
most of their songs

 Fortunately they have a few instrumental songs


Dirty Three is one of my favorite bands

 Mine too

 They almost never sing

they just play beautiful and compelling rhythms
that take you on a trip

 Horse Stories is a great album

 It’s one of my favorites

 It would be nice if more songwriters
would wait for inspiration
and let a song come naturally
rather than sit somewhere and try to write one
and end up inflicting a bunch of rubbish
on the rest of the world

silence is better than rubbish

 And if someone is going to sing,
they ought to sing clearly,
so that people can understand what they’re singing,
otherwise they might as well just sing vowel sounds,
which is often quite nice

like Leonard Cohen
You can understand every word he sings,
and each song is meaningful

 Dawn Upshaw has a nice voice

 She has a beautiful voice

I love the way she sings Henryck Gorecki’s third symphony

 So do I

Lucy has a beautiful voice too
The way she sang at the fire the other night was divine

 Lucy’s an angel

 Her voice travels
to the depths of one’s being

I could listen to Lucy sing without pause

 Me too
And I could listen to Vannte play his guitar forever as well

They sure make
some beautiful music

check out that constellation of notes

What a combination of colors

 And so the two friends continued to listen
to the opera singers
and to watch the notes drift by

 ♫ ♫ ♫

may you be a blessing

May you be a blessing

 May you be a blessing
to all you meet
May your presence be a gift

 That’s what was written
on a sign at the entrance
to Café Quiet

 Shall we go in?

 I don’t know
Do you think we would make good gifts?

 I’m not sure
I haven’t been that nice to others lately

 Me either

 We could try to be nice

we could try

 And so the two friends went in
and sat down
on some cushions on the floor

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 What a menu

I’ve never heard of some of these teas before

 Me either
Medicinal Dose of Motherly Amor looks interesting

So does Light and Sound Dimension

 I’d like to try both

 Me too

 The waiter then came over
and took their order

 Would you like your tea
in a cup or in a pot?

 We’d like a pot of each, please

 An excellent decision
Please enjoy the silence
while I prepare your tea

 The waiter then went to the kitchen
to prepare their tea,
and the two friends had a look around
at the other patrons,
most of whom were sitting or lying quietly
with their eyes closed
and smiles on their faces

 ♫ ♫ ♫

This tea is delicious

 So is this one

 The two friends continued to drink
until both pots were empty
and they felt that it was time to lie down

 May you inspire others
to be peaceful and kind,
said the waiter in passing

 With that thought in mind,
the two friends melted into the moment
and began to enjoy the silence
of the space

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 This place
is a well of love


 And the walls are breathing

And so is the floor

 I feel good here

 Me too

 The two friends then fell silent
and began to explore
inner space

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 I can’t feel my body

 You don’t have one anymore

you don’t have one either

 We’ve disappeared

 But we’re still here

 I guess we’re not limited
to our bodies

 I guess not


 ♫ ♫ ♫

 Who are you?

 I’m not sure
I’m on the edge
of being all and being nothing

 Me too

 Nice space


 ♫ ♫ ♫

 It’s pretty quiet here

 Very quiet

 And it’s nice

 Very nice

 I am God

 Me too


 ♫ ♫ ♫

 It’s pretty dark and silent down here

 We’re pretty deep

 I think we’re at the center
of the universe

 Could be

 It seems pretty empty here

I don’t see anything —
except that seed over there

 I feel like I’m levitating
in nothingness

 Me too
It’s pretty cool

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 I have access to
an incredible amount of power

 I feel it too
It’s very strong
I could move a mountain

 Or solve any problem

 There are no problems

 Not anymore

 ♫ ♫ ♫

there’s Siddhartha

he’s here too
I can’t tell
where he stops
and I begin

 And I can’t tell
where you stop
and I begin

 I guess we’re made
of the same energy
and are not really separate beings

 Or beings at all

 I am nothing
but pure awareness

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 That tea was pretty good


 I think I lost my ego somewhere

 Me too

 I don’t miss it

 Neither do I

 I feel very present in this moment

 Me too

 Shall we go?


 I don’t know

 There’s nowhere left to go

 And so the two friends decided to stay
at Café Quiet
for a while

 ♫ ♫ ♫

the trip

The trip

 The song of a light being
danced through the night

 The most beautiful voice
he had ever heard
entered the traveler
and went deep inside

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 The bearer of light went deeper
than anyone else had gone before

 Pure love embraced him
and tears flowed

 I would like to listen
to this song forever,
thought the traveler

 Then deeper and deeper he went
until he reached
the edge of the dream

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 At the center of the universe
on the edge of nothingness,
lay a seed

 Down he looked
into the void,
and silence greeted him


Omnipotent power flowed through him,
problems ceased to exist
and there was nowhere to go

 Welcome home
You made it

 A few others mingled in paradise,
an oasis
of calm and love

 An endless and abundant supply of nourishment
was available to all who had come,
and it was there that the traveler
decided to stay

 ♫ ♫ ♫

ein geschenk

Ein Geschenk

 Ihre Stimme tanzte
durch die Nacht,
leicht und hell,
am heiligen Abend

 Die schönste Stimme,
die er je gehört hat,
war sie

 Von Lucy,
Trägerin des Lichts,
strahlte ein Licht, das tief,
sehr tief,
so tief, daß tiefer nicht möglich wäre,
in seinem Wesen eingedrungen ist,
um ihn zu erleuchten

 Ein Geschenk,
ein heilendes Geschenk,
ein heiliges Wesen war sie
mit ihrem Licht,
mit ihrer Stimme,
mit ihrer Anwesenheit
am heiligen Abend



 Monkeys are coming from the North!

 The alarm was raised,
the shepherd raised his cane
and began to shout at the troupe of monkeys,
and the women who had been cutting grass nearby
ran towards them
and tried to shoo them away

 The monkeys continued to pick peanuts
from the freshly-planted field
and waited until the humans were almost upon them
before retreating to the edge of the forest
and climbing to the tops of the trees

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 Peter grabbed his rifle,
mobilized his army of farmhands
and headed down to the front
to do battle with the most elegant animals around

 An excellent shot,
Peter aimed to barely miss
and merely frighten the monkeys
The others shouted
and threw stones and clods of dirt
in their general direction

 The monkeys realized
that they would have to come back later
and made their way back to the river

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 The monkeys are cool

I like hanging out with them down by the river
and up among the rocks

 And they’re smart too
They don’t work like people do,
they simply wait for food to grow on its own
and eat it when it’s ready

bananas and papayas
and pretty much everything else
can grow by themselves

When Fukuoka was walking back to his village
after the war,
he noticed that rice was growing in fields
that had not been irrigated or tended to for years
He then began to farm his land
by doing almost nothing at all

 If there were less people on the planet,
everyone would be able to move around freely,
picking whatever fruit and vegetables were in season
There would be enough for everyone
to eat as much as they liked

 We could live like the monkeys

 And the bats

 Yes, and the bats,
and all the other animals that move from tree to tree
and place to place,
eating whatever is ripe and delicious

 We could migrate north in the summer
and south in the winter,
like the birds

They’re coming from the hills!

 Again the alarm was raised
as another troupe of monkeys began to forage,
descending from the stones
that overlooked the farm

 Peter prepared for a showdown
and soon was on his way,
bicycling down to the peanut fields
with his men running closely behind

♫ ♫ ♫



 Would you like to watch TV?

not really
I stopped watching TV
about twenty years ago

 This is a special kind of television
I call it a babavision

 The host then unveiled
a television that had been carved out of stone
and looked like a TV from the sixties

 Now and then I change the channel
by painting a scene on the screen,
but usually I just leave it blank
and watch it like that

 It would be pretty hard
to disturb your neighbors
with a TV like that

 They haven’t complained yet,
and one of my neighbors recently asked me
to carve one for him
His wife is addicted to watching TV
and he’s tired of having to hear
stupid dialogues all day long
He wants to replace his TV
with a babavision

 Good idea
Stones are cool

They’re usually pretty quiet
and they keep to themselves —
except when they decide to slide down a slope
or explode in a fire

Stones are pretty meditative
I have some pretty ones in my hut

 I have a few too

 I used to have a lot of crystals,
but I have given most of them away,
and I don’t collect them anymore
I have the feeling that they enjoy
being deep underground
and that they might be doing
some important work there

Who knows what they’re doing down there

 Maybe it’s time to stop mining
and taking things from places
where humans are perhaps not meant to go

 A small shaft now and then,
here and there
is probably alright,
but a lot of those mining operations
are destroying everything around

some of those holes are pretty big

 Maybe we could do without
a lot of the things we have grown accustomed to
and live more simply,
like the way people did before the second world war

I could live without plastic

 Me too

 And I could live without genetically modified seeds
and chemical fertilizers

heirloom seeds are best
And there’s no need to poison the earth with chemicals

 Organic farming is best

And it’s kind of strange
that we have to say organic
when we talk about the traditional way of farming
It would be better to call the farmers who use chemicals
chemical farmers,
or perhaps poisoners

that’s what they’re doing
They’re poisoning us and the land,
and that’s not cool

 Yet another post-second world war phenomenon:
most farmers have become poisoners

A lot of bad things began after that war:
ugly architecture,
a rapid rise in the population,
the poisoning of our food and water
and the use of plastic

 Chemical farmers should be required
to disclose all of the poisons and other chemicals
that they put on plants
and into the earth

Maybe then people would stop buying their food
and all farmers would return
to a healthy and sustainable way of farming

That’d be cool

 It’s almost chai time

 I’ll get my guitar
and meet you there

 And so the host and the guest
returned to their huts
to get the instruments they wished to play
while everyone drank
their evening tea

♫ ♫ ♫

the dude with the green marble

The dude with the green marble

 Near the tractor shed at Rishimukh
stood a man with a dark green marble
He held the marble up in front of his right eye
and appeared to be looking through it
He held it there for quite some time,
and now and then he would turn to the left
or to the right
and look in another direction
for a while

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 He put on a good show,
but nobody paid him much attention
Extremely unusual behavior
often attracted little or no attention in India
Everyone just walked on by
without giving him a second glance

 And when the show appeared to be over,
the man held out his hand
in the hope of receiving a little money,
but again no one appeared very interested
in what he was doing,
so he moved along a bit
and then began to look
through the green marble again

 After this attempt failed as well,
the man began to wander towards the guests’ rooms,
and he was then promptly given an escort
to the gate

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 Did you see the dude with the green marble?

I think he was trying to make us believe
that he’s some kind of sorcerer

 He needs to work on his act a bit


 The gypsy women who came and danced last month
earned their reward

they weren’t bad the first time they came,
but a few mornings ago a couple of them showed up drunk
They asked for more money and offered to put on some sort of show,
but no one was interested in paying
two drunken old women to stumble around

 The harmonium player yesterday wasn’t too bad

 He wasn’t that good either

 That’s true
He was a little good


 He comes by about once a year
to play the harmonium and sing a few songs
in exchange for a few hundred rupees

 There’s no end
to the stream of people
who come to the farm in search of money

They all seem to have missed
the real gems this place has to offer:
the silence,
the serenity
the love

 This place is nourishing


 It’s time to water the flowers

 And I need to prepare the fire

 See you at chai time

 See you then

 And so the two friends began their work
while some birds were singing
Good Late Afternoon

♫ ♫ ♫

the lighthouse

The lighthouse

 From his place at the top of a stone lighthouse
several hundred miles inland
a sage sat in silence
and spun around slowly on a revolving platform,
emitting a soft blue light from his right hand
as he went around

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 He’s been up there for about three hundred years
Doesn’t eat or drink anything anymore,
and he never comes down
He just sits like that
in silence
and spins around
very slowly

 What makes the platform turn?

 Two of his disciples
are on the level directly below
riding bicycles that power the mechanism
that turns the platform

How do they get in?
I haven’t seen a door

 There’s a secret tunnel
that leads from the under the lighthouse
to somewhere else
The door was walled up and the tunnel was dug
about two hundred years ago
The sage got tired of people knocking on his door
and wanting to speak with him,
so now there is no door to knock on

 His light is soft
but very strong
And it never dims

He’s got a good connection to the source

He could leave his body at anytime,
but he hangs around
to give us
and all those who pass by
his blessings

 It’s pretty cool that he can live off of prana


 Does he still talk?

 I’ve only heard him sing mantras
and lullawakes

 He sings pretty well

He doesn’t feel the need to talk anymore
He’s in a state of bliss
What is there to say
when you’re in that space?

Talking is overrated
Earth would be a lot nicer
if there were a bit less talking going on


 A lighthouse is a good place for a light being

Some withdraw and stay in caves,
but he’s chosen to sit here among us
and send out waves of light and love

 Maybe he could do something about all the blackouts

 I’m not so sure
He’s from a different line
and he’s off the grid
He has a wireless connection
to another kind of power,
the source of all power

 He’s a kind of transformer

Everyone who wanders
into his sphere of influence
experiences some sort of positive change

 It’d be cool if every town had a lighthouse
with a sage inside

That’d be super cool

 It’s time for lunch

 Let’s go

 And then the two friends made their way
to the dinning space
while some monkeys made their way
to the freshly-planted peanut fields

 ♫ ♫ ♫

at night darkness is best

At night darkness is best

 The daily power outage in Hampi
would sometimes last for three whole days,
but usually it was out
for only eight to ten hours a day

 The power outages were scheduled,
but the men in charge of distributing the power
never stuck to the schedule,
and the schedule changed
from week to week

 They send most of the power to the cities,
which waste it on lighting up the whole town at night

What a waste of power

 The sky at night
is more beautiful
when the lights are off

At night darkness is best
When I need light,
I use a candle
or a low-wattage bulb

 Yeah, no more than forty watts
No need to disturb
all the other beings
that prefer darkness at night

 I like to get up with the sun
and go to bed soon after it gets dark

 Me too
I love going to bed at seven

seven is great

 Sometimes I stay up late,
but usually I go to bed between seven and eight

 I wonder how they decide
when to give us power
It seems to come at random

 I think there is a power struggle going on
in the switch room
Some of the guys want to obey the rules
and keep to the schedule
and others prefer to take bribes from the owners of factories
and other things that consume a lot of energy
and then sell our power to them

 Maybe they arm wrestle for control of the switch,
and the winner of each match,
gets to choose where the power goes
Pinning his opponent’s hand to the table
causes the switch to flip or
stay put
in his favor

 So the strongest guys get the power

 Maybe they just roll some dice now and then
to determine when and where
the power should be sent

 Maybe they’re all drunk
It could be that they spend the whole day drinking
and walking around in a drunken stupor,
and perhaps now and then one of them bumps into the switch by accident
and either cuts off the power
or begins to send it to us again

I like the system in Cuba
They had scheduled power outages when I was there
There would be a power outage in each neighborhood once a week,
and on that day the power would be out all day
In one neighborhood the power would be cut off every Thursday,
in another every Friday
and so on

Cuba has a few good systems in place
Power outages aren’t so bad
when you know when they’re going to be

If the guys at the power station here
were to stick the schedule,
it would make a few things a bit easier


 The power then went out again
and everyone decided that it was time for bed
They made their way to their huts,
lay down
and fell asleep while listening to crickets and toads sing

 ♫ ♫ ♫

the silent zone

The silent zone

 A bit tired
of all the talking
and all the horn honking,
the traveler walked to the edge of the town
in search of a quiet place
to sit

 I can still hear the horns,
he said to himself
when he had reached the bottom of the hills
on one side of the town,
so he decided to climb up and over the hills
to see if it was quieter
on the other side

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 From the top of the hills
the traveler could see another town,
but he could not hear
what it had to say

 The town of Silence
was divided into twenty-four zones,
and in each one silence reigned
for a different amount of time

 In Zone One
for one hour each day
everyone would be
as quiet as possible,
and when that hour would be
would change from week to week
One week it might be from two to three in the afternoon
and the next from three to four in the morning

 In Zone Two
everyone would be quiet
for two consecutive hours a day,
as in Zone One,
the quiet time would vary
from week to week

 In Zone Three
the people were quiet for three consecutive hours a day,
in Zone Four for four
and so on

 In Zone Twenty-four
silence was sovereign
the entire day

 The traveler descended
into Silence
and slowly made his way
to Zone Twenty-one

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 After sitting quietly
for quite some time,
after having enjoyed the singing of some birds in a park,
the traveler got up and began to walk
towards Zone Thirteen

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 I too
was suffering from a lack of silence,
said a girl
that the traveler met in a café,
so I moved here
It’s a great place to live
There are tree-lined canals
dividing each zone,
so sounds rarely travel
from zone to zone,
and one can move about
according to one’s need
for silence

 Often silence is more beautiful than words

Shall we sit quietly?

 The traveler nodded in agreement,
and the two friends drank tea and sat
in silence

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 In search of the ultimate silence,
the traveler walked to Zone-four
There he sat and meditated
and went further and further inside
beyond the chatter
of the mind
and to the other side

 ♫ ♫ ♫

kaleidoscopes are cool

Kaleidoscopes are cool

 Japanese girls
keep appearing in my dreams
Always different ones,
and last night there were two of them

 One of the girls said,
Catch me if you can
I told her that I don’t run anymore
and that perhaps we’d meet up later
The other one stayed put,
so I hung out with her for a while
She was making kaleidoscopes
and I asked her if she would make one for me
She said yes
and she let me choose the glass
Purple, green and blue
were the colors I chose,
and she made me a very nice kaleidoscope

 Kaleidoscopes are cool

And the Japanese are cool too
When they do something,
they do it well
or they don’t do it at all

like the Germans and the Austrians

 And the Swiss

But they don’t know how to make nuclear power plants very well

but then nobody does
All of those plants are going to have a problem

Nuclear power sucks

Fortunately some countries have gotten the message
and have stopped producing it

like Germany

 But some countries that have never had a plant
still want to build one

like Viet Nam

 One accident there
would kill everyone in the country

It’s not worth the risk

 It’ll probably take one more big accident
like Chernobyl or Fukushima
before everyone on the planet finally agrees
that nuclear power is not the way to go

 It would be nice if everyone were to realize that
before such an accident

 There was at least one positive consequence
as a result of Fukushima

Germany shut down all its nuclear power plants

 So did Japan

but the politicians there want to reopen some of them

 I guess they didn’t get the message

 Maybe the accident damaged their brains


 And it would be nice if people would stop building tall buildings

they block one’s view of rainbows,
the sunset
and other cool things

and they’re all going to fall down one day

 Like the World Trade Center

it’s just a matter of time

 Five stories is the limit I would set
for buildings in a city

The five-story ones in New York are nice

 In Santa Barbara the limit is four stories
And it is the only city I know
that has gotten prettier with time
The façades of many of the ugly buildings,
the ones built after the second world war,
were redone in the colonial style
so that they would blend in with the pretty buildings

 Most of the architecture before the second world war was alright

and then something happened
The whole planet took a turn for the worse after the war
The quality of workmanship,
the environment
and a lot of other things

but there have been a few good inventions
since the second world war,
like avocado ice cream
and the Internet

the Internet is pretty useful
I support advances in communication and healthcare,
but most of the other things that people keep inventing
don’t really improve life on earth

We don’t need faster planes and trains
or to spend time on the moon

 Slow trains are great
You get to enjoy the passing scenes

 A blend of the best of the old
and the best of the new
would be great

A lot of people are leaving the cities and becoming farmers
and learning how to do things the old way

growing their own food,
making their own clothes,
and doing everything by hand

 It takes longer,
but why hurry?

 An axe makes a lot less noise than a chainsaw

 Carrying water from the river
keeps me in good shape

 Bathing in the river
means I don’t need to build a shower
and install plumbing

 The river is great

Let’s hope this one stays clean


 Farmers are cool

They’re super cool
And they’re more useful than businessmen
You can eat food,
but you can’t eat money

We need farmers,
but we don’t need businessmen

 Farmers are cooler than businessmen

 Much cooler

 It’s almost time to milk the buffalos

Let’s go

 The buffalos are cool

And they’re super meditative
and easy to get along with

 They chew each mouthful of grass very slowly
at least twenty times before they swallow

they’re never in a hurry

 And so the two friends
made their way over
to where the buffalos were hanging out

 ♫ ♫ ♫



 The first guest of the season
had been released earlier that day,
fully restored
to his original condition,
and a new guest had just arrived

 Good beautiful morning

 Good morning

 Welcome to Rishimukh
Are you a doctor or patient?

are there any other catagories?

 Most people seem to be
mostly one or the other,
although it is sometimes hard to tell
the difference between them
and everyone seems to be
a bit of both

 I’m not sure
which I am

 Don’t worry
While you’re here
you’ll find out
who you really are
I’ll show you to your hut

 And so the farmer led the guest
to a hut near the aqueduct

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 Darshan with nature
is one of the best medicines

 Sitting quietly under the soap nut tree
does one a lot of good

 Listening to the crickets and toads
sing lullabies at night
has cured many people

 Hanging out
with the wild pig and the monkeys
and all the other animals
can be quite therapeutic

 Watching and listening
to the birds and the butterflies
helps to still the mind

 Pulling weeds and watering the flowers
and helping out in the garden
is a good way to reconnect
with earth

 We grow most of the food we eat,
without chemicals,
and we make everything fresh every day
We don’t have a refridgerator

 Enjoy the fragrence and the feel of the flowers
as well as their elegant beauty
Some of them
are smoother than silk

 Please feel free to sing, dance and make music
whenever you feel inspired

 Try to avoid using any electronic devices
while you are here
And please leave your telephone turned off

 I suggest that you get up early enough
to watch the sun rise,
that you make sure to see the sun set
and that you go to bed early,
advised the doctor
And don’t miss the stillness

 The farmer then left the guest
to suffer or to explore
as she liked

 ♫ ♫ ♫



 Would like to watch an ice cube melt?
asked a man who was staying in a hut nearby


I brought one from the village

 The man led the guest
over to his hut,
from which he took a rapidly-melting cube of ice
He placed it on the ground
and together they watched it grow smaller
in silence

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 Are you a doctor
or a patient?

 That depends
on your point of view,
and that point of view may change
with time

 Would you like a tour of the land?


 And so the man began
to show the guest around
and to explain to her a few things
about her new home

 We have coffee at breakfast
made with milk from our buffalos,
a tender coconut in the late morning,
freshly-pressed sugar cane juice
with just the right amount of lemon after lunch,
lemon juice with a hint of cardamon at three o’clock,
the best chai around at 5.20
and an herbal tea with all meals

 We haven’t yet had
lemon juice and sugar cane juice on the same day,
but if that ever happens,
I think we’ll all imagine
that we’ve died and gone to nirvana

 And the food here is the best in Karnataka
Everything is made fresh each day
We grow our own rice, corn, peanuts and sugar cane,
we cook with cold-pressed peanut oil
taken from our peanuts
We have mango, coconut, avocado, cashew, lemon, jackfruit
and many more trees
We grow our own papayas, bananas, pineapples and sugar cane,
and eggs we get from our ducks

 Be mindful of what you do
and how you do it,
and you’ll have no problems here

 The cobras are pretty shy
and would prefer to avoid your company
as much as you’d probably prefer to avoid theirs
Just be aware
that they’re around
and of where they’re likely to be
and you’ll be fine

 Leave your story behind
Don’t worry about the future
Just be

 Feel free to borrow an instrument from the music room
and play with the band
before and after meals in the dinning area
and at the evening fire

 The forest is down there,
the river is on the other side
and lunch is at one o’clock
I’ll leave you now
and see you at lunch

 Thank you
for showing me around

 The guestt then began
to wander around on her own
and greet all of the flowers,
admiring their colors and forms
and breathing in their scents

 The scent of honey
wafted through the air
and blessings began to flow
in her direction

 ♫ ♫ ♫

scent and sound

Scent and sound

 May the scent you wear
be as subtle and pleasing
as that of a frangipani tree

 May the voice you speak with
be deep and quiet,
gentle and slow

 And may you be aware
that not everyone in town
wants to hear your conversation
or inhale your perfume

 That is what was written
on a sign at the entrance
of Café Quiet

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 Luli’s father
could hear her voice,
and it seemed
that he could hear no other

 Perhaps he was just pretending
not to hear what others said
in order to avoid
having to talk with them

 Or perhaps he had trained his ears
to only let in
pleasing sounds

 We can learn a lot from the Lao,
she said,
for example how to talk
on a telephone

 They understand
that the microphone on a mobile phone
is quite good
and that there is no need to shout
into everyone’s ears

 They speak so quietly
both in person
and when on the phone
that those who are standing,
or lying around nearby
cannot hear
what is being said

 The Lao are smart

They understand telephone technology
better than most

 And they don’t go around
infringing on other people’s rights

 I don’t think Lao
has ever attacked another country

 Or tried to impose their way of life on others

the communists have done quite a bit of killing
and forced a number of unpopular changes
at home

Their government kind of sucks

So does ours


 An annoying ringtone
then sounded loudly
and continued to disturb the peace
until the owner of the phone
finally got around
to answering the call

 Sounds like she needs a different job

 And a different boyfriend

 She sure complains a lot

 And wears a lot of perfume

 I think she used the whole bottle

 And it looks like she’s going to talk for some time

 Let’s go somewhere quieter

 Somewhere where the air is fresh

It looks like the waiter
is going to ask her to leave

 She doesn’t seem to understand
why anyone would object
to her presence

 There she goes

 In a huff

 I love this café

 Me too

death and life

Death and life


 At a little past four in the morning
the door to the wood storage area under the oven
slammed hard against the stone wall
as a leopard silently dragged Claire
away from her puppies

 Everyone on the farm awoke
and wondered what had happened

 At sunrise the puppies were found alone
and leopard tracks were seen
here and there

 She must have been sleeping

And none of the other dogs
barked a warning

They must all have been sleeping

 The leopard is rather stealthy

 The other dogs don’t seem very upset

 They must understand
that everything comes and goes
And rather than be sad
because of a loss
they delight in what they have

 They’re like the characters in Aki Kaurismäki’s films
They accept life as it comes
and live free of drama

It is what it is
No point in complaining

 Crows don’t take death so well
I once found a dead crow near my hut
and I picked it up and took it to the rubbish pit
All along the way
about forty other crows crowed loudly in protest
I think they thought I had killed their friend

 One of the puppies also died last night
and we’re going to bury her near the yoga hut
and plant a tree on top of her grave

 I’d like to have a tree on top of my grave too

 So would I

 Cemeteries are kind of cold and depressing

 And they take up a lot of space

With all the people on the planet,
all the cemeteries are going to fill up pretty soon

 Cremating is not much better
Too many trees are cut down
for funeral pyres

 It would be much nicer to plant forests

It would be nice to visit our friends
who have departed
in a beautiful place
full of life

 We can give the puppies buffalo milk

 Like when Susi was a baby boar
and had been abandoned by her mother

 I’ll prepare a new bed for the puppies in the kitchen

 I’ll warm up some milk

 Claire was a good dog

 And a good mother

 And a good meal for the leopard

The leopard keeps the dog population
at a sustainable level

 And it keeps the boars under control too

 The planet could use something
to keep the human population at a sustainable level

It’s kind out of control at the moment

 It would be nice if people stopped breeding mindlessly

 One can always adopt

There are plenty of children without parents
No need to make more


 I haven’t seen any boars around lately
except for Susi

 I think they’re waiting for Peter
to plant more peanuts

And the monkeys are waiting
for the bananas to ripen

 Me too

Naturally-ripened bananas are the best


 The monkeys are pretty cool

When they’re not taking the bananas

 Or the mangos

 Or the papayas

 They’re a lot like us

Not much difference
I saw one picking flowers the other day
and then eating them

 The butterfly pea flowers taste pretty good

 I like them too

 I saw one of the crocodiles yesterday
It was lying on a boulder near the river

 We’re lucky the crocodiles around here
don’t eat people

Both the leopards and the crocodiles
leave us alone

 The cobras leave us alone too

 As long as we are mindful of what we do
and where we step,
and if we give them some space

 If we leave them alone,
they leave us alone

I haven’t seen any of the bears around lately

 Me either

 But I found a dead scorpion in my room the other night
And it was missing an arm

 I wonder what killed it?

 Maybe a bigger scorpion

 I saw an orange one in the stack of wood
near the fire pit

 I saw some bright red dragonflies
above the swimming pool
Really little ones

 There’s a frog hanging out in the shower

 It’s probably resting
The frogs were singing all night last night
with the crickets and the toads

they’re back
I think they were on tour for a while

 The bats over near my hut
screeched all night
They’ve been eating those little berries
in the big tree by the haystack

 One of the water buffalo
was singing for a while last night too

She’s in heat

 Water buffalo are cool

They’re super mellow and friendly

 The ducks are cool too

They quack really quietly

 And they’re friendly


 The geese are really loud

 And unfriendly

 And super stubborn

The other day when they were making their rounds
they wanted to pass between two huts
and I happened to be standing in their way
Rather than go around me,
they squawked until I moved out of the way
There was plenty of room
for them to pass by,
but they wanted to have
the space to themselves

 Maybe they were afraid

People who are loud
are often afraid
of not being noticed

And people who are quiet
don’t feel the need to attract attention

 Some people are like geese

 And some are like ducks

 I prefer ducks

 Me too

 Do you think those black and yellow centipedes bite?

 I’m not sure
They haven’t bitten me yet

 The orange and blue colored ones
look a bit more aggressive

You don’t want to mess with them

 Did you see the owls yesterday morning?
They were both on the branch behind Hanuman House

but I saw one of them about an hour ago
It was perched on the roof
of Shiva House

 Have you seen the new cluster of bees,
the one behind the kitchen?

They just moved there a few days ago

 The bees in the eucalyptus tree over by the bicycle shed
have been making a lot of honey
I can smell it every time I walk by

 Me too,
especially in the early morning
and the late afternoon

 Have you seen the jumping ants?

They jump down from trees and land on you
if you stand still long enough

 Some of them swing on spider-like threads
like Tarzan

I call those ones tarzants

 A python has been using the road that goes to the village
Yesterday I saw a deep wavy line etched in the dirt
It went from just inside the gate
to about a third of the way to the crossroad

 I wonder if it was coming or going

 I hope it was going

 Me too

 I wouldn’t mind the darshan of a cobra,
but I don’t think I’d feel very comfortable around a python

 Me either,
but if we meet,
I think we’ll manage somehow

if it’s meant to be,
it’ll happen,
and whatever happens will be okay


 Cobras are pretty mellow

It’s possible to share a space with them

 Just don’t knock down an abandoned termite mound
or lie on a haystack

They like to hang out in places like that

 Just then
the donkey began to bray

 Maybe he wants some flowers

 Let’s get some for him


 And so the two friends went to pick some flowers
for the donkey to eat

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 A few orange-breasted woodpeckers
flew overhead
and landed in a mango tree
while a flock of parrots
headed towards the cashew grove

 Three brown sheep,
a ram, a ewe and their lamb,
made their way to the meadow next to the citrus grove,
accompanied by the old man
who shepherded them,
and some black and red butterflies
fluttered around
the lavender hibiscuses

 Susi was let of the pen
that she shared with Youssef the camel
and went on her morning walk in the woods

 All of the other animals were let out as well,
and they began their walk
down to the river
where they could run and play
for a few hours
before returning for lunch

 Youssef led the way,
followed by the Ganesh the bull,
his harem of cows and his children,
and then all of the water buffalos
and finally the donkey

 Camels are noble creatures

 And elegant

 Ganesh looks pretty strong

 I think he could knock down a stone wall
if he wanted to


 I think it’s time
to bury the puppy
and plant a tree

let’s go

 And so the two friends
made their way
over to the freshly-dug grave
with flowering plants and a tree
to mark the resting place

 ♫ ♫ ♫

the museum of unwanted art

The Museum of Unwanted Art

 Yet another painting
had been dropped off at the back door
of the Museum of Unwanted Art,
so the curator made her way up from the vaults
to inspect the new arrival

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 What do you think it is?

 I’m not sure
It kind of looks like a scarecrow

 I think it might scare away
just about anyone who looked at it
It might even scare off a burglar

 Let’s let the docents decide tomorrow


 The assistant then put the painting in the lounge
where the docents met every Thursday,
got really stoned,
and then tried to figure out
in which gallery to put the paintings
that were of an extremely ambigous nature

 Some of the paintings had been inherited,
most had been received as gifts
and all of them had been unwelcome
in the homes of their previous owners

 Most people dropped off their paintings at night,
hoping not be seen
by the person who had painted the painting
or the one who had given it to them

 Some artists would visit
now and then
to see if any of their paintings
had made their way
to the Museum of Unwanted Art

 In the wing for paintings
that appeared to be unfinshed,
a supply of paints and brushes were available,
and visitors were encouraged
to finish the paintings

 Not all of the paintings
were an eyesore
or mediocre at best
Some of them were rather good,
and now and then
a true masterpiece would be donated
by someone
who had no appreciation of fine art

 And for those interested in exceptionally bad art,
a room known as the torture chamber was reserved
for the worst of the worst

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 The museum had been open
for only a few months,
and yet all of the walls were full,
and in the storage vaults below
the curator was quickly running out of space

 What shall we do?
she asked
at the docents’ meeting on Thursday

 We could donate them
to prisons for white-collar criminals
and hang them in their cells

 That would be cruel

 I think it’s a good idea

 They might hang themselves

 The planet would probably be better off
without some of those guys

some of them ought to leave this dimension
and reincarnate as a tree or something
before attempting to be human again

 We could give some of the paintings
to the architects
who designed the ugly buildings in this town
and tell them that if they ever design
such ugly buildings again,
buildings that we have to look at every day,
we’ll kidnap them and put them in a cellar
that is full of ugly paintings

 Great idea

 Yeah, man
It’s about time to put a stop
to bad architecture

 Let’s leave the front door unlocked at night,
so that thieves can easily take
whatever they desire

 Excellent idea
Let’s start tonight

 We could burn a few of them every day
when it starts to colder
That way we wouldn’t have to cut down any trees
for firewood

 Let’s have an auction
Paintings that some cannot stand the sight of
might appeal to others

 I quite like that one of the purple turtle

 Me too

 People have a tendency to value more
things they have to pay for,
so if we had an auction,
people might like the paintings more than before

 And by thus increasing their value,
the paintings would find their way to new homes,
where they’d be loved and cherished

 We could also encourage people
to adopt a painting

 Good idea

 And perhaps we should do something
to discourage people who attempt to paint
without divine inspiration

 Hitler sent some of his paintings to Kandinsky
and asked for his opinion
Kandinsky sent them back
and told Hitler that they sucked

and then Hitler changed his job

 And went on a world tour


 We shouldn’t discourage anyone from painting
One of them might start World War III

 We should neither encourage nor discourage
Who knows what would happen as a result


 It would be great if people would stop trying to be painters

People should stop trying to be anything

They should just be

Think of all the trees
that are cut down every year
to make frames and to support canvases

 Save a tree,
just be


 Painters should wait for inspiration
and allow creative energy to flow
rather than think about
what they’d like to paint

Less thinking
and more being

 So where shall we put this painting?

 It’s not really clear
what it is

 Maybe it’s upside down

 The colors are nice

 Let’s smoke another joint
and then decide

 And so the docents continued to smoke
and to decide
where to hang unwanted art

 ♫ ♫ ♫

the scarecrow

The scarecrow

 Rangaswami had been resting on the farm
for just over a week
when Peter decided it was time to let him go

 He had been hired
on a provisional basis
at the request of his father,
but every time someone saw him,
he was just standing around,
sometimes with a tool in his hand,
doing nothing

 The other workers complained
that Rangaswami would spend ages
tying his shoes,
inspecting his fingernails
or adjusting his lungi
whenever sacks of rice had to be loaded,
or carried somewhere

 He’s useless,
said some

 He doesn’t know how to do anything,
said others

 He’s not a worker,
he’s a rester,
said everyone

 Because Rangaswami had a brain like a buffalo,
his father had had to pay quite a lot of money
in order for him to pass his exams at school,
but to no avail
He had been unable to find a job anywhere
No one would hire him

 He had wanted to join the army,
but they wouldn’t take him
because he was too short
Then he tried to get a job as a policeman,
but they wouldn’t take him either
because he couldn’t run
And every other place he had tried
had turned him away

Please, Peter,
give my son a chance,
Rangaswami’s father had asked
I know he’s useless,
but he needs to find a way to support himself
I don’t know what to do with him

 Peter had finally agreed
to give Rangaswami a job
on the condition that he would really work
and not just stand around,
but the according to everyone on the farm,
he had done nothing but stand or lie around all week

 What shall we do with him?

 He’s lazy
I’m going to fire him tomorrow

 Can’t we find something that he can do?

 There’s nothing he can do
except rest

 He’s pretty good at standing around and doing nothing

 Maybe he could work as a scarecrow in the garden
We could give him a pitchfork
and tell him to stand near the tomatoes

 He might squash them all
if he decides to lie down and take a nap

 Or if he falls asleep and then falls down

 We should give him a final chance
to see if there is something he can do well

 I’ll give him three more days
to convince me that I should not fire him
And if he fails,
on payday I am going to divide his salary
among all the other workers
who did his share of the work for him
and tell him not to come back to rest

 And so it was
that Rangaswami came to work
as a scarecrow

the blanket fairy

The blanket fairy

 The temperature had dropped
to the edge of being cool
and becoming cold,
so at three in the morning
the blanket fairy began
to make her rounds,
going from hut to hut and making sure
that everyone was warm enough

 ♫ ♫ ♫

 It was a bit cooler last night


 I was too cold and tired to get out bed
and get another blanket,
so I just lay there and shivered

 Me too

 And then the blanket fairy appeared,
unfolded my extra blanket
and put it on top of me

she did the same for me

 Life in this dimension is great

the blessings keep flowing

 Each one equal to
or better than the next

 What could be better
than the blanket fairy?

 That blueberry chocolate from Finland was pretty good

it was really good

 Maybe someone else from Finland
will come and bring us some

that’d be cool

 Finland is cool