Cows In Mysore

In that district of cow stalls, their haven is a palm-grown promenade.

They return at twilight from their routes, alone or in twos and
threes

They thread their way past intersections, all motorists giving way

By day they comb the city, browsing on provender left in baskets

Each cow has a route; checking for kitchen scraps at certain spots

South of Mysore's city center, there is this special palm-lined
street

Every few addresses is a stall for cows, right among people's houses

The contentment of cows is not a commercial slogan here

This interspecies street brings back my fondness for cows

I learned it from my father's long deep sniffs of appreciation

In Sirsi's Marikamba Temple, also at twilight, I see altar-stalls

Where a pair of cows have been rubbed down with ghee

I feel fondness, expressed by someone else's buttery hands

In Banavasi's ancient temple, the bull statue breathes delight

It sits before the sacred lingam, on the same level with visitors

Humble at Shiva's feet, it is the storehouse of a special spark

From its expression, I know it was browsing on fragrant flowers

This thousand-year-old Nandi bull was touched by many hands

Each day worshippers touch its face, then touch their head or heart

After centuries of touching lightly, just a patina on the still-
rough stone

Just a blush beginning on skin of fruit, not like in Hangzhou

Near Lingyin Monastery, where Happy Buddha's belly and face

Are rubbed each day, with covetous touch, for good luck

After a thousand years, the marble shows a glassy sheen

Mysore
February 2015

by Denis Mair

Comments (9)

all through the worshiping-contemplating words of this poem through the COW figuring // interesting poem
Cows of Mysore-I clearly admit the poet's efficiency in Indian culture/panorama.How nice flow of the scenery! Deserves lot.10
Denis Mair, Your poem, Cows in Mysore, gave this reader a rich window into a culture and place iv'e not explored in person. We here in the USA would not necessarily imagine the life of a cow or cows in such a free life fashion. I was tickled by your description of the stalls available for free range cows! It sounds like these treasured beasts simply come and go as they please. Well, Mysore must be town in India? I would love to hear when you went there or lived there? thanks for writing a really cool poem taking me to such a wonderful place and experience........................Kathy
I am glad you have seen such wondrous sights but selfishly I am even gladder that you wrote of these things in a way that I feel that I have seen wondrous foreign sights today even though I have not left my home. Thank you, Denis
Beautiful, like a country song. Near Lingyin Monastery, where Happy Buddha's belly and face Are rubbed each day, with covetous touch, for good luck After a thousand years, the marble shows a glassy sheen I like this part coz I see Hangzhou, China here.
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