Perhaps Sounds of India was not the best choice of music for a restless 16-year-old.  When I felt especially trapped by life, I’d load the Ravi Shankar cassette into my Walkman and pace the edge of the woods at my backyard. 

coming – going – /
puzzled crow shifts his weight /
and then returns /

My brain swirled around each note and each beat.  It brooded with the improvisation at the beginning of each piece – and then it raced as the rhythm became swifter and more complicated at the end of each piece.  I would listen to the same album – over and over – until I found myself pacing in the dark.

Next morning at the bus stop, the girls on the school bus would be singing songs from Guns n’ Roses (or the latest hair-metal band).  I’d be humming the ragas presented by Ravi Shankar.  I found it impossible to capture every note, but I’d ride on the back of the butterflies as best I could.

over blue highways /
a thousand powdery wings /
settling on foxtails //

Setaria viridis - Green Foxtail. Wikimedia.

Setaria viridis – Green Foxtail. Wikimedia.

This piece is written for the weekly Ligo Haibun challenge, where one of the prompt words was “sitar”.  I’m also sharing this piece with We Drink Because We’re Poets, where the prompt was “autobiography”.  

Probably not my *best* haibun, but I do like the haiku portions.  🙂

Cover of The Sounds of India with Ravi Shankar. Wikimedia.


14 thoughts on “Sounds of India (Haibun)

  1. Pingback: From a Photo Short Story Challenge – June 13, 2014 | We Drink Because We're Poets

  2. I loved your story and Ravi Shankar was the best! I can share with you the hummings of ragas! Too cool! Thanks for sharing your autobiografical piece with We Drink!


  3. Hey, that was kinda cool! Maybe if he had a REAL “GIT-tar” he could really stir up the old musical hornet’s nest…uh…but he ain’t nebber gonna take the place of Roy Orbison for me!


    • Gosh, I *love* Roy Orbison! The last few days, “The Crowd” has been on my mind. Its form makes me think of “Running Scared” – except without the happy ending. Truly a shame that we lost him so young. And Stevie Ray Vaughan, too, if we’re speaking of famous Texans. 😉

      BUT … I have a special place in my heart for Ravi Shankar too. So intricate — and the rhythms! Wow!


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