On Cremation of Chogyam Trungpa, Vidyadhara*

Allen Ginsberg

I noticed the grass, I noticed the hills, I noticed the highways,

I noticed the dirt road, I noticed car rows in the parking lot

I noticed ticket takers, I noticed the cash and checks & credit cards,

I noticed buses, noticed mourners, I noticed their children in red dresses,

I noticed the entrance sign, noticed retreat houses, noticed blue & yellow Flags—

noticed the devotees, their trucks & buses, guards in Khaki uniforms

I noticed crowds, noticed misty skies, noticed the all-pervading smiles & empty eyes—

I noticed pillows, colored red & yellow, square pillows and round—

I noticed the Tori Gate, passers-through bowing, a parade of men & women in formal dress—

noticed the procession, noticed the bagpipe, drum, horns, noticed high silk head crowns & saffron robes, noticed the three-piece suits,

I noticed the palanquin, an umbrella, the stupa painted with jewels the colors of the four directions—

amber for generosity, green for karmic works, noticed the white for Buddha, red for the heart—

thirteen worlds on the stupa hat, noticed the bell handle and umbrella, the empty head of the cement bell—

noticed the corpse to be set in the head of the bell—

noticed the monks chanting, horn plaint in our ears, smoke rising from atop the firebrick empty bell—

noticed the crowds quiet, noticed the Chilean poet, noticed a Rainbow,

I noticed the Guru was dead, I noticed his teacher bare breasted watching the corpse burn in the stupa,

noticed mourning students sat crosslegged before their books, chanting devotional mantras,

gesturing mysterious fingers, bells & brass thunderbolts in their hands

I noticed flame rising above flags & wires & umbrellas & painted orange poles

I noticed the sky, noticed the sun, a rainbow round the sun, light misty clouds drifting over the Sun—

I noticed my own heart beating, breath passing thru my nostrils

my feet walking, eyes seeing, noticing smoke above the corpse-fir'd monument

I noticed the path downhill, noticed the crowd moving toward buses

I noticed food, lettuce salad, I noticed the Teacher was absent,

I noticed my friends, noticed our car the blue Volvo, a young boy held my hand

our key in the motel door, noticed a dark room, noticed a dream

and forgot, noticed oranges lemons & caviar at breakfast,

I noticed the highway, sleepiness, homework thoughts, the boy's nippled chest in the breeze

as the car rolled down hillsides past green woods to the water,

I noticed the houses, balconies overlooking a misted horizon, shore & old worn rocks in the sand

I noticed the sea, I noticed the music, I wanted to dance.


May 28, 1987, 2:30-3:15 A.M.

*Vidyadhara: "holder of knowledge"

From Cosmopolitian Greetings: Poems 1986-1992, © 1994 by Allen Ginsberg. Reprinted with permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

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