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Life Arts    H4'ed 3/31/22

The burning mountain

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Message Gary Lindorff
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"Like the soldiers fight at the borders
We fight here when the fires break out."

We return to the fires.
Every day it is our only job.
The smoke stinks.
It is making everyone sick.

Sometimes it feels like the stink is in my brain.
But we go to work anyway.
If we don't who will?
It's a dangerous place.

You have to be careful.
The garbage can bury you.
It's very unstable.
There is an old man hanging around.

He lives in the dump.
Nobody knows who he is.
Nobody knows where he stays.
He is always there.

He wanders around poking with his stick.
He wears a loincloth.
Sometimes he just watches.
We call him Puraana vaala "the old one".

One time he approached me.
I was breaking for lunch.
I thought he was going to ask me for food.
He said: The fires are creating holes.

He said: There are creatures living deep below.
They are disturbed by the fires.
Sometimes they fly out at night.
They take the children.

They take them into the mountain.
There is a great monster.
He lives at the bottom.
He has been gorging on the garbage.

He came from very deep down.
He is a demon.
His appetite is infinite.
He eats in his sleep.

He has been content to sleep until now.
When he takes a bite the mountain shifts.
The fires have aroused his hungers.
Once he starts eating he will swallow the mountain.

He will not stop.
He will eat the city.
He will consume the land as he grows.
The rivers will not satisfy him.

Nor will the great mountains.
He will suck the seas down.
He will suck the clouds down.
The old man closed his eyes.

He grew very quiet.
Then he opened his eyes wide and looked at the sky.
Maybe he will eat the moon.
I asked: What is his name?

His name is Bhaagi.
He answers to Shiva.
I gave the old man the rest of my lunch.
I returned to work.

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Gary Lindorff is a poet, writer, blogger and author of several nonfiction books, a collection of poetry, "Children to the Mountain" and a memoir, "Finding Myself in Time: Facing the Music" Over the last few years he has begun calling (more...)

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