Breath

A simple puff of air
More magnanimous 
Than the greatest 
Of grandest gestures
 
You hold the essential
Of all that is
All that was 
And all that will be
 
Present as a mere undertone
An undercurrent 
Rarely front and center
Yet there is no me without you
 
Your ebb and flow
My love and joy
Your to and fro
My gift and glow
 
Within this cycle
Lays all that can be
Right here, right now
Not before nor after
 
So thankful for the reminders
So grateful for the chances
To feel present in letting go
To feel held in bowing low

Butterflies


The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering ..

~ Ben Okri ~


To rise past all

That’s dares to smoother

The layers on layers

Commitments and constraints

 

To float above

The threat that tugs

The ties and chains

Of bonds and relations

 

To fly over

The snares invisible

The smoke and mirrors

The lies and illusions

 

Ah what relief

When the truth be known

To free my wings

To uncage my heart

Interdependence

What a virtue, what a trait

Independence!

Encouraged, applauded

Even envied

To stand on your own feet

To make and pave your own way

To rely on not a single soul

What an accomplishment!

But wait a minute!

Do you even open your eyes

Unless the sun

Comes peeking at your window

Bringing you a new day

How would you even get to bathe

Had the clouds not emptied

Or the snow not melted

So the streams could run and reservoirs rise

How would you smell your morning coffee

Had the sub-equatorial lands

Not grown and reaped the beans

Ground and brewed in your Keurig 

What clothing would you don

Had the cotton not been picked

The yarns not been spun

Garments not been stitched

So in true essence

Are we really ‘independent’?

Or are we ‘interdependent’!

And if so, what have we understood?

Do we accept and realize

Our co-existence

Our co-dependency

Our inherent need for allegiance

With the natural world

The countries we have created

To our neighbors

To our own selves!

Taken for a ride

By the good old ego

We pride ourselves

With a claim to independence

Yet looking deeper

Within and around

We are part of a whole

Where even a breath

Is not under our control

The gift of all gifts

Sent magically into your being

Silently with no fanfare

It’s time to question

Time to ponder and reflect

What an incredible existence

Where everything is so magnanimous postured

That blinded we have become

To the interconnections

That’s serve to sustain

Our universal existence

Time to wake up

Not to just smell the roses

But care for the roses

And all else on this blue planet

Floral Gifts

Unequivocal beauty

Blooming grace, like a dance 

Drawing riches from the terra 

Your petals defy the science 

Fluttering delicately 

Like wings of the butterfly

Yet with the strength of an army 

You win each battle for my heart

How gloriously you entrance me

Leading back to simplicity of gratitude 

Smiling outside and inward

Warmth of omnipresence made tangible 

Day Light Robbery

Followed by the past
Regrets and sorrows
Allowing misdeeds to haunt 
And losses to be still mourned
 
Enticed into future unknowns
Anxiety brews and curdles
Then tighten like balls of rope 
Leaving you strangled 
 
Thus the theft goes on
Of simple joys of daily life 
Peace and delights of the night 
Left wide eyed yet seeing nothing 
 
Ways of the times
Add to the stealthy steal 
With incessant streaming
Procuring falsities, cloaked as realties
 
Living with this dichotomy 
The perfect portrayal  
The denied cracking shell
The emptiness deepens
 
The wealth of living
Thus robbed 
In broad daylight 
Voluntarily handed over
 
Man is left in his illusion 
Floundering with wolves at his heel
Questioning his purpose
Is there any way out?!
 
Is there no protection plan
From this theft
No solution to this anxiety 
To dissolve the pain
 
Yes, present and constant 
Granted at birth
Enjoyed most
As the carefree child
 
Willful to pursue and perceive
Simple wonders and delights
Joyful to embrace
Smiles, laughter and love
 
And free
From yesterday and tomorrow 
Living the only truth 
Found in the present of today
 
So be enamored
With what lays in the palm of the hand
Look back no longer 
And look forward only one step
 
Anchor in now
Allow no more theft
As the grandest of treasures
Is right here, right now!

If love is not…

If love is not fear
It must be bravery
Bravery to fight the demons 
That fuel all our fears
Bravery to stand tall and breathe in air
Knowing it is the shield in life
 
If love is not guilt
It must be freedom
Freedom to confront
The choices you’ve made
Choices leading to hurt
Then freedom to choose your healing
 
If love is not judgement
It must be acceptance
Acceptance that all is 
Just how it’s meant to be,
And that there is a path
Not of good or bad,
But of learning and discovery 
 
So love is… bravery
Love is…freedom
And love is… acceptance
 
Love in its deepest form 
Is acknowledgement,
That there is YOU
You in this time
You with this life
You with all your 
Demons and divinity,
Making the wholesomeness 
You are meant to be.

Don’t miss the Play

Photo by TW

In the grand scheme of this intriguing play
Perhaps we are insignificant
Like the little robin
In just another tree

Yet during the play
How positioned is he and we
To enjoy the array of fleeting pleasures
Dancing on the stage

From a hedge of roses
To fields of tulips
Mountain sides of poppies
And lakes skimmed with lotus

Where ever you may be
Rural or urban
Rustic or pristine
Don’t miss the current act

As some plays have one or two
Some three or four
But what is unknown
Is how many is yours!

Three Trees

Photo by Mukesh Patel
Three trees?
Yes, three trees
 
The first, obvious
Standing upon the earth
Erect, strong, reaching
Providing shelter
Forever changing 
 
The second, elusive
Etched upon the ground
Magical, intricate, delicate
Providing intrigue 
Forever illusionary 
 
The third, critical
Digging deep into the terra
Quiet, obscure yet resilient 
Providing sustenance 
Forever constant 
 
Likewise, we too 
Have three forms
 
This body
Owned and operated
The self image 
Imagined and sought
This inner spirit 
Forgotten or unknown
 
We are preoccupied 
With one and two, are we not?
But perhaps switching the focus 
To delve beneath the surface 
Find those stabilizing forces 
 
We too, can stand tall
Beautiful and worthy 
Of this ecosystem 
Here upon the Earth

New Dawn

Photo by Taruna Patel

 

With the rise of a new dawn
And with January,  a new year
We look out to the horizon 
And set a few goals
 
Another twelve months
Granted and held
Imagining with promise 
Times full of both harmony and peace
 
With losses abundant
Restrictions innumerable 
Set-backs repeated 
And devastation rampant 
 
From the year twenty, twenty 
And profound lessons learnt
I trust we embark
On an entirely different tract
 
Whirl pooling around us 
Negativity has left few untouched
Time now for a one eighty 
With light and positivity
 
A warmth, an inclusion
With more meeting of the minds
For a prevailing clarity 
So the darkness can be expelled
 
Perhaps rather than goals
We need instead to reset
The vision of hope
With the return to a strength and unity.

Graceful Governance

From the Big Bang 
To global warming,
We are here.

From evolution 
To revolutions,
We fight to be here.

From independences 
To globalization, 
We speak up to be here.

From all things actualized
To their demise and re-emergence,
We continues to be here.

And so here we are
Encapsulating a gratitude,
Denoting a day.

To remember and share
The privileges, gift, abundances gathered
Over the history of mans toil.

All along, the almighty power 
The indestructible,
Which was, is and will be

Sustains, an entire universe
A galaxy 
An ecosystem.

Transferring, transmitting 
Evolving, so life permits
That you and I can be.

Insufficient is then, a mere day of thanks.
Like life,
Let gratitude permeate each moment

Which comes from the deepest understanding, 
Born from accepting our fragility, 
And a graceful governance 

Where the birds and bees, 
Flowers and trees
To man himself, 

Are all held,
Yet free 
To live and be.

Photography by Asvina Brown

Dawn Sky

Photography by Laurie Ramont

All facets of life 
Incapsulated in a moment, 
From undoubted beauty
To looming fears.

Voluminous clouds
Mightily they float,
Threatening to spew 
And drown you out!

Yet the intrigue
Of color and form,
Capture both heart and breath,
A moment now, forever lived.

Do we more often
Get lost in fear?
Of what may come?
What may happen?

Forfeiting the present
In which we can feel
Simple joys,
Gratitude and inspirations.

This grand gesture of beauty
Is bequeathed each day, 
As the love from within
Will shine in our eyes.

That guiding presence 
Then shapes your day
As you see the treasure
Lined up for your pleasure.

Window to Love

Sitting on the sill
Pressed against the pane,
Cool then misted


Clear then obscure.
Convinced my love 
I was waiting for.


Eyes searching
Heart yearning
Feeling empty like a shell.


The rays of light
Giving rise to the rainbow
Bring nature’s embrace by color.


Below my window,
Bees saying hello
Kissing the tips of lavender buds.


Swooning in the late afternoon sky,
Starlings riveting dance 
Spilling the vision of romance.


No latch to keep out 
My love surrounded me 
All whilst sitting on my window sill

Grant me Solace

They say it’s important 
To acknowledge your feelings,
Mine burn deep
Searing like a heated knife. 

Sadness, disappointment 
Futility mixed with
Mayhem and barbarianism
The anguish insufferable 

Simultaneously we are 
Isolated, quarantined 
Where will this all end?

Man’s eye like a microscope,
Disproportionately viewing life
Distorted by imagination 
Enlarging the illusion.

With no regard
For the ‘third’ eye,
Where lies his clarity
Abundant and beyond compare.

I pray for a united return 
Of humanity,
Kindness and peace
Simple joys.

Where greed, power
Egotism are quelled voluntarily,
As realized that we are nothing 
But dust in the end.

Yet here we are,
Kings and queens 
In a moment in time,
And granted pleasures in multitudes.

What can be that deciding factor
Whether we live in peace and harmony 
Or divided and disgruntled?

Gazing up into the sky
The sun, moon and stars peacefully
Focused, levitate and orbit 
Constant in their mission.

Down here on earth
I see the equilibrium of nature, 
Of which I am a part
With a privy to consciousness.

Herein lies my blessing and solace,
For not only can I sing and dance along,
But also acknowledge the Orchestrator 
The One to whom I benevolently belong.

Voices vs Noise

My thoughts inspired by the RBG and current noise.

I speak
For when children
We’re only meant to be seen.

Obedience seen as a great virtue,
Not of the child
But perfect parenting.

The child conditioned
That those in authority , if happy,
Lead to their happiness.

I speak
For the young girl
Who has always waited second in line to the boy.

I speak
For the ethnic amongst us,
Chastised and ridiculed for our natural differences.

I speak
For the elderly, the poor, the veterans,
All those who’s voices are dismissed.

I speak
For all we have misunderstood,
For all we have had a hand in the making.

And now, I not only speak
But pray,
For a call to our senses, our consciousness.

With the raising of that conscious voice,
Only then will any speech
Be worthy for the time given to listen.

Dignity

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Dignity, driven to be attained by stature,
Letters behind the name
Certificates on the wall
Climbing the corporate ladder.

For some,
Dignity is synonymous with pride.
Endorsed by accolades and ‘likes’
Possessions and privileges.

Does more of anything
Really equate to dignity?

Perhaps to stand in front of a mirror
And look yourself in the eye.
Who is this person?
When stripped of titles, material possessions,
Even the relations of family-hood.

Dignity, is perhaps not a quality
But a by-product,
When one is able to have a sense of
Self worth and respect.

Should dignity not belong to all?
Despite circumstances of wealth
Identity of race, religion or sexual orientation.

How did we lose sight
Of our commonality?
And focus on only our differences?!

When the macro sphere has been reduced
Lost is the vision of the universe
Where we exist for less time than the snap of the fingers
And matter no more than any other dust.

Our vision has narrowed
And our true gift left unseen,
As we are held in the palm of existence
And bestowed with the dignity of life.

This is our identity
Life from the giver of life!

Can we accept the greatest of gift?
Do we recognize its preciousness!
To be granted this opportunity
This is what equates to self worth
Beyond any measure of wealth.

With this said,
Each man is equal
Being granted his time and opportunity
Of this here lifetime.

Allowing this to resonate,
Dignity then emanates from within
For oneself and every other living companion,
No matter the outward differences.

Rock, Water, Sand.


Defying physics you stand
Your strength is daunting
Your stature mighty

Yet here comes the ocean spray
Wave after wave
And you welcome the attention

You dance and yield
With the passion of lovers
And caressed are your contours

Your union brings forth
Countless grains of sand
Capturing the essence of time

With every turn
There is awe
In these simple cyclic laws

When elements work together
Magic happens
The impossible is possible

For how can a mighty rock
Be so transformed
Into the tiniest of particles

And no less
Than by drops of water
One wave at a time

And within me
One breath at a time
Is revealed a celebration

Of existence at its finest
Carrying a simple joy
Which even lapping waves can teach

Rakshabandan

You arrive and greet
This morning of Rakshabandan.
As always, in full bloom
With unequivocal light and love.

This symbolic yellow rose
Stops me in my tracks
As you, brother, embodied
It’s rich depth and warmth.

Saving me from my sorrow
I see how love transverses all.
Physically no longer side by side
Yet our spirits still unite.

Our bond is clear
My brother dear,
As you remain with and between us,
Your loving sisters.

Today is Rakshabandan, the day of celebrating the bond between a brother and sister. The yellow rose is the symbol, my two sisters and I chose, that represents our departed beloved brother, Dipak.
From an unknowing third party, what should the universe send my way today of all days, but a yellow rose surrounded equally by three buds! What an image of our sibling unity!

Genius Loci- Spirit of a place

What gathers together
Giving rise
To that one feeling
Of being in the right place?

No words needed
As all in the glance
Is acknowledgement, respect
Perhaps even an adoration.

Flourish here
Does the calm,
The peace
More so a mutual love.

Bestow on the self
The same gratuitous presence
And feel yourself at home
Welcomed, received and loved.

Here lies a bond
With no bondage,
A relationship
With no need for any rules.

Belief and faith perhaps
The stepping stones for most,
But this inner knowledge is to be reached
With an ardent and persistent thirst.

Let then the magic
From the ultimate connection
Release it’s power supreme
Second to no other.

So accept and harness
Your own ‘Genius Loci’
And bask in the stream
Of the greatest of loves.

 

Original artwork of myself and my companion of a short time, Duchess, who claimed my backyard as her home for the last two and half years of her life.

Bigger than the differences..

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Five seas
Seven continents
Countless countries
And seven billion faces

Of all the possibilities
You and I meet!

Short acquaintances
Long friendships
Pleasant affairs
Awkward collisions

Personal or political
Social or historical
The issues are many
And repeated generationally

Attracting and repelling
Sometimes reoccurring
Encounters test and teach
But are we ready for the learning

For the snapshot
Of our existence
What will we gain
What legacy will be changed

Whether we live
Loud and large
Or quiet and small
One thing is for sure

As we came
We shall leave
So as we meet
Let’s share a seed

The seed of kindness
With a listening ear
A supportive hand
And a wish for good stewardship

Hence, may we deserve to live
Upon this ‘pale blue dot’
And on exiting
Leave it the same if not a speck better

The Marks of June

June you mark the middle
Of a year
That has everyone
In quiet the pickle.

The unpredictable,
The unprecedented,
The insurmountable,
The game changers.

All in one
They are happening,
The noise deafening
The footprints indelible.

Biological or social
Emotional or political,
The fight for survival
The core of the struggle.

With debates and protests
Even the riots,
How can we possibly
Claim any rest.

Feeling the injustice
The denial, the inequality
With deep woven roots,
Perpetuating the atrocities.

Even with fight
Guided by knowledge,
Changes still need
Clarity and quietness

To allow the most powerful
To rise,
To be felt
To be seen.

So how to find
In these dark times
The magic of love?
The peace of love?

It must be the only way
The ancient way.
So go within to the core
Ground and center.

Move with that one
Rhythmic flow
Never to judge
Only to bestow.

Life, opportunity
Abundance of choice.
Breath is this anchor
Breath is the answer.

What seems so insignificant
Holds all that is magnificent,
Delve deep, delve often
Keep company

Of the one companion.
So her treasures
Maybe realized
And your peace will unfold.

Beauty of Remembrance

Oh poppy, you rise to bloom
With petals of royal red
And the deepest dark core

Giving unambiguous symbolism
Signature of reverence
For those never to be forgotten

You embody a pained dignity
In the midst
Of life’s most difficult times

You show me strength
With your inherent form
As you adorn my lapel

You drive me to confront
My challenges
And learn from your qualities

Remembrance:
Painful to embrace
But laced, she is, with deep love

Dignity:
Humanity’s stature
Measured by compassion

Clarity:
The fruit of growth
Despite the desire to revert

Poppy dear,
You’re nature’s gift
As you grace my garden
And bring gratitude to my heart.

May the 4th, 5th, 6th be with you…


How is it that we’ve lost sight
Of knowing what we have,
This ultimate gift
The greatest blessing called life.

Yet, soon as we are reminded,
With pains and loses
At home and afar,
We acknowledge this truth.

That yes, we are indeed alive,
Yes, how fortunate we are.
Then why do we behave,
Behave so abominably?

We allow material possessions
Personal prestige,
Judgement and ridicule,
To feature throughout the day.

Has the truth of ‘living’
Dawned with you today?
Or is it merely a fleeting thought
Occurring on some days.

When the depth of yearning
To know the infinite,
And humility entwine,
A knowledge of old

Comes to be learnt.
That you are indeed,
An image
Of all that is clarity,
Understanding
And almighty.

Then unfolds
The gifts sublime
That only your ‘senses’
Privilege you to behold.

Feelings of gratitude
Surface to obliterate
The space occupied by sorrow.

Joy bubbles
Where misery once stood,
Compassion flourishes
Eating away the roots of greed and fear.

And love’s light surrounds
To vanquish the darkness.

So in May, learn knowledge
Of the life force within.
So you may sense
As only your humanity enables.

Loving the Child Within

In the dark,
Shivering and cold,
I remember you.

Laughed at, ridiculed
Ashamed.
Needing to disappear,
I remember you.

Searching for that look
Of approval.
Wanting that comforting
Hug.

Instead,
Feeling unseen
And left behind.

Now all grown up.
But I still remember you.

I remember you
Because I was you.

I saw you
And I see you now.
I held you
And I hold you still.

With a kindness,
A guidance,
A protection
Divine,

I have grown.
Grown to know
The great power of true love.

The kind that holds
The stars in place,
The sun at bay,
The moon for play.

Is this a fairytale
Or supreme astrophysics?
Either way
I must be loved.

How else
Could I be protected,
Be free to witness
Explore and come to know

The Might.
That surrounds
Nurtures and holds,
Both me and the stars.

April’s Resurrection

With the unexpected
Mandatory isolations,
Arrives a resurrection
Of lifestyles of old.

Families gather
Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The elderly are watched over
With keenness and compassion.

The poor and homeless
Fed and sheltered.
Communities work
With united forces.

With efforts big and small
True mindfulness and consciousness
Regain strength and center stage.

Within the self
Something deep is touched,
Stirred and begs to rise
As another resurrection.

Stripped of the usual noise
Busy-ness and distractions,
There is an exposure
Of the decluttered self.

The self that knows consciousness
That feels the depth of gratitude
That recognizes the greatest love
Of the One who always cares.

With no concepts to cloud
And only a few and basic
Needs to be addressed,
The obvious is made clear.

The preciousness
Of the ultimate gift
Yet non-permanence
And fragility of life.

The question begged to be asked.
What is it that you resurrect?
Your goals and ambitions?
Your achievements and certificates?

Neither past nor future matter.
The unexpendable commodity
Is this moment now.
The frame of existence.

Resurrect your being
The qualities that enliven you
Not by what surrounds
But by what lays within.

Allow in this quiet time
Listening to the voice
Lost in the usual noise.
And resurrect what you know
You’ve always been.

Novel Warrior

Most all warriors through history
Have been armed,
Carrying weapons of the era
Swords, bayonets to machine guns.

Patrolling and confronting
Ready to destruct or be destructed,
With nerves of steel
Conditioned through training.

Today, the insipid enemy
With no face or form.
Is quiet to arrive
Slow to show its presence,

Allowing time to infiltrate
Spreading wide and far.
Infects and destructs
The unlikely to likely.

Warriors have been summoned,
They wear no camouflage
They rage no war
They have no weapons.

She/he is my brother, sister, mother,
Father, aunt or neighbor.
They bring to force
Their daily expertise.

From farmers to grocers
To store cashiers.
From EMT to nurses,
And doctors.

With an endless list
The warriors of the war
Novel, like the enemy,
Rise to the call.

Unprepared
And without combat gear
Or training,
And most of all

Being blindsided
And abandoned in the trenches.
They are truly
Novel.

As always
There are those behind the frontline
Manufacturing , packing
Delivering, fixing
Communicating, supporting.

But the unseen hero
Will be the ones to heed
When nothing else can be done;
The act

Of social distancing,
Isolating to quarantining.
For this is no one man show.
It is only in unison

That we can bind
Our resources
Of endurance,
Hope
Courage

And humanity.
To defeat and rise,
With the least of casualties
This novel virus, COVID 19.

Mates of the same soul…

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For some,

I am a representation

Of their enamor with another.

For some,
They see me but fear my thorns.
For others
I’m too dainty to touch or unreachable.
But you,
You find me though I hide.
You see
Not only my contours, hues and parts,
But my longing, luster and love.
With your lens and your gaze,
You cast away my shadows.
Make my surrounding disappear,
Give me center stage
Bringing me into existence,
And then make me immortal.
Hovering and circling
You embrace
Even dance me.
Moving from a steadfast stance
To glorious highs of the smoothest rhythms.
Finally, we find our place
Where the moment is captured,
With a knowing that the frame,
Shows how we are mates
Of the same soul.

Shelter In Home


Comes natural to the hermit
Enforced on the convicted.
A sort of imprisonment
Intended to safe guard.

And today,
The likes of me and you
With access to the essentials
Water, food and light.
But little preparation
With unheeded forewarning,
The mind is unconditioned
The body unable to relax.

As sources of entertainment fade
The confines close in,
And the loss of freedoms
Begin to set in.

What is most amiss?
The face to face
To see and feel
To interact, to feel of significance.

At heart we are social.
Beings in need of beings.
So here lies opportunity
To reach out in solidarity.

Break free of the concepts,
Traits of greed and fear.
Evolve to enable
Humanity at its best.

Perhaps the greatest outcome
Is yet to be seen,
As from our strife and grief
We learn the truest meaning

Of the real ‘Shelter in Home’.
For you are the home
Where the grandest one
Chooses to reside.

So take the time now given,
To acquaint and befriend.
Meditate in your solace
On the place most neglected.

Uncover your buried gifts
Your allies, your strengths
Your inner peace and joys.

The key to this realm
Is to deflect and rebuke
The noise, the distractions
Of the exterior, the illusions.

With these layers
Of shelter in home,
Be kind
Be gracious
Be in gratitude.
For you are ‘home’
And in home
Of the greatest of arms.

Madness of March


From the maddening crowds
Masked with mayhem,
To voluntary quarantine
And prohibited movement

The making of mass hysteria.
Heads rise above the cellphone
Our seeming invincibility
Suddenly cracked open

Finally we see each other.
Is it with empathy or fear?
Is it with comradeship or disdain?

With opposing forces
Hand in hand
How are we to survive?
How are we to accept them all?

Looking to Mother Nature
She shows constant dichotomies
Where the unlikely
Co-habit and even thrive.

On the hardened brittle bark
Beauty resides
As blooms spring forth
Soft and sumptuous.

From murky stagnant pools
Emerge the pristine lotus flowers,
No looking back or down
Just rising with a divine grace.

So this March
Is like no other,
Tests and trials
All yet to come.

Let not madness reign
As the confusion may prevail,
Rather rise with fortitude
And generosity of heart.

What comes, must pass
So lose not sight,
And ask of yourself
What are my powers
Which are constant,
Restoring and sustaining.

Nature’s Valentine

With your eyes upon me
I stand in your trance
Delicate, supple,
Dare I say, beautiful

Your kindness showers a light
What you see is your reflection
Except you think
The beauty belongs all to me

Together we beam
Bouncing energies that gleam
Much like chicken and egg
Where does this beauty begin and reside?

Universal is this beauty’s light
So easy to see in nature’s delights
Yet if so omnipresent
Why so hard to accept
That we are part of the same exquisite design

Come, my admirer
Share with me your heart
So that I may too
See my reflection

Then with such an embrace
Of love, light and beauty
Gratitude can reign
And we both shall have truly lived

For the love of…. February

Looking, waiting
For that love
Must you be
So illusive!

Yet like electricity
It’s really just there
Flick the switch
And all at once
Illumination
An infusion of warmth

But no
Love must be tangible
In a man
In a woman
In an experience

Yet like electricity
It’s still just there
Look behind the sheet wall
Under the floor boards
Even against your very own skin
Crackling and coursing
Ever present

Love too, we’re told, is everywhere
High up in the sky as the birds glide
In the wide open seas as dolphins dive
On the vast lands as flowers and trees thrive
But what of man
He appears to have to strive

Perhaps the search
Needs go no further
For if we learnt to dig a little closer
We’d find a wealth
The love of our true nature

Once this hidden pot
Revealed and found
Appears it has
No bottom ground
Love now reigns
Without any bounds

I give thanks
To the One that heard my cry
Pointed me
In my own direction

Now, for the love of
All time
I need only
To close my eyes

Departing January

January you arrived 12.01
With sparkles and sizzle
Must you fizzle
As you depart?

Taking with you
The glimmer of hope
Planted in the dark

No! you bring beginnings
Opportunity to start afresh

Yet each year brings too
My detectable age
With my luster
Working harder to push through

Searching and embracing
Ways new and old
For truer gratification
I survive the winter

The winter where the sun
Barricaded by thick sheets of cloud
Leaves brittle and dry

The winter of separated lovers
Conforming to conventional expectations
Hearts ache and cold

The winter of lost souls
Deafened by laws and rites of religions, traditions
Confused and wandering

Whether the season
The heart
The soul

January
Thank you for your lesson
Your message of hope
To seize each moment

As this gift of time
Despite the seeming ease of renewal
Is the keeper of all things

Depart now
Leave with me my resolutions
My aspirations
As I pray to circle once more
Around the great one
So as we may meet again

Night Beauty

Bright beauty
Of the night sky
Waxing and waning
Sickle like or full
Applauded and acclaimed
Yet you remain
Most egolessly
Humble and servant
To your Sun
You teach me
To see
You and I
Are the same
Reflections of the Almighty
Vessels of the Great
You accept
Your position
Your role
Your rotation
Yet I struggle
In my place
In myself
And my time
Watching your grandeur
On nights of your fullness
You leave me with patience
For dreams of fruition
When through me
There’ll be shine
Perhaps just as much
As to light
A few dark corners
In a mind or a heart
But even more so
To give myself
The chance to acknowledge
The One that chooses me
And bestows the life light force
One breath at a time

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

Sisters, brothers
Not if one mother
But of Mother Earth

Perhaps near
Or may be far
Thinking of you all

Christmas brings to light
All present
All lost

So hold back
Not the joys
Nor sorrows

As we carry
Memories
Aspirations
Even our misfortunes

My gift to you all
The reminder
To focus

On the present
Whether wrapped
Of not

So that you may
Live
And not merely
Pass
Through this life.

Merry Christmas
My siblings
Be you
Near or far.

Coming Home

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Sitting on a bench
Sharing our stories of
George Eliot
The pen named writer
The high school we all attended
The hospital where you were born
Once in the forefront
Then the backdrop
Of our lives

Sitting on a bench
Sharing our stories of
Riversley Road park
With the parading peacock
The pristine bowling green
The wading pool and bandstand
And of course the Museum
Once in the forefront
Then the backdrop
Of our lives

Sitting on bench

Sharing our stories

Outside
Abbey Theater
With new friends in times of need
Old ones re-acquainted
Once in the forefront
Then the backdrop
Of our lives

All these memories were fortunately made
So stories now can be re-told
And I can still cherish you
No matter how quickly
The two years have flown by

Staples of Life


Photo by Max Malloy, curtesy of Pinterest.

Staples of Life

Food?
Water?
Light?

For the warrior of old
Chia was his sustenance
Now with innumerable grains
Some so old like amaranth, unknown

For the arid desert nomad
A palm on the horizon, a vision of hope
Now water, flat or sparkling
And in any flavor sought

The shepherd into his night
Lead by the galaxy of stars
Today with the neon lit skies
Some have lost the savoring of dawn

So what now remains
As the staples of life?
What is it, without which
We cannot survive!

Conditioned to strive
For fame and fortune
Placing prosperity before responsibility
Lost is man

In the battle
The mirage
The day’s toil
Leaders, soldiers, all men
Muddle in circles

The greatest of misfortunes
Has befallen mankind
For he has no answer
To what sustains his own life!

At times, man is forced to face
His dichotomous humanity
For some a choice
For most not

When stripped naked
Of the labels, the roles
The doing and undoings
The staples of life
Emerge from the core

Humility or pomposity
Vulnerability or defensiveness
Compassion or suppression
Gratitude or greed

Wait not for the unraveling of your life
Embrace your core
And claim
The grandest of staples
Fit for this life

Simplest of Thanks: Gratitude

At no other time in existence
Has there been a world of such abundance
Where we have them all
Choice, access, immediacy.

So, how hard is it to be grateful?

“You can be anything you want”
“Where there is a will, there is a way”
Philosophy to preachings
Man is the almighty!

So…How hard is it to be grateful?

Gratitude now linked to the tangible
Objects and materials
Acquisitions and conquests
Talent and masteries.

Yet the most sublime features
Sustaining our existence
The true wealth of mankind
Diminished to being taken for granted
Forgotten, dismissed
At best at the bottom of the list.

Requiring ownership and rsponsibility
Value to enable preservation
Is the air we breathe
The ground that hold us
This planet we all share.

Perhaps deeper still
The constant repair and re-birth of each living substance
The invisible atomic and cellular exchange
The very life source
Sustaining those things we enjoy.

Yet we abuse, even destroy
These majestic elements
Lost in our ignorance
Our pride, greed
Our righteousness.

Gratitude, I pray
Wake me,
Wake in me
So tomorrow can be
As fruitful as intended
By the Master designer.

 

Original art by Tejal Patel.

Hope Revived

Folded clothes
Untouched trinkets
Made up bed
Empty room.

If facts could speak
They’d affirm
You’ve left a space
And you’re no longer here.

Yet banners posted
Butterflies flutter
Abbey Theater’s a buzz
And your spirit’s a stir.

Your friends, your family
All gather and know
You maybe gone
But your core essence still remains.

Your light, your love
Your hard work, your intentions
Have inspired a start
An effort beyond your ‘Hope’.

Binding our spirits
Our want to be whole
Well-being the focus
And hence we exhibit.

From arts to crafts,
From 2 to 3D
We sing, we dance
We cry, we laugh.

The spirit of a soul
Can speak well after
The vessel is gone,
And you my love
Are as pure as they come.

In your remembrance
We’ve come to know
Love never dies
And Hope will always prevail.

Returning Old Friend

Left guessing each morning
As the night sky lingers,
Sun rising faster elsewhere
You tease your arrival.

Tickling the leaves
At the tips of weighted branches,
Sway is soft, sometimes brisk
Ghost-like you change the air.

Mid morning telling
With full force brightness,
Your are not quite ready
To come and stay.

Waiting for your signs
With warm hues of amber and burnt orange,
The longing deepening
For what only you can deliver.

Trees will be crowned
With jewels to be shed,
Giving comfort
And rustle to my feet.

Fall you arrive
Bringing time to reconnect,
As the hearth becomes
The gathering spot.

Time for reflection
Three quarters in,
The year almost done
What’s happened? what’s yet to be done?

Lists never completed
Bewildering and unforgiving,
Instead let’s give thanks
To each day, each season.

Thank you my old friend
You teach how to shed,
Keep gratitude close
And revive for seasons to come.

Alone in the Crowd

A profound problem prevails
Not of drugs,
Alcohol or sex
But of attention.

With lack of stillness
Abandonment of eye contact and listening
Value is lost
In the one on one.

With quality misperceived
Defined by quantity of ‘likes’
Distances traveled
Selfies with monuments.

This scarce commodity
Briefly given
Desperately craved
Now sought for in the unlikely.

These gadgets abundant
Handheld to worn,
Closer than keys
More valued than currency.

What have we become
When what we need
We’ve found in a mode,
Which serves only to perpetuate the disease.

With false sense of belonging
In a crowd yet alone
Hoping to be heard
Yet not a word is exchanged.

“Pictures are worth a thousand words”
But today we cry
No more pictures!
Just give me a moment
And few real words.

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Hardest Love

Learning to love
The ‘hardest’ person
In your life
Will be The greatest achievement.

To love this ‘hardest’ person
Means to Accept
Their weakness
Their faults
Their idiosyncrasies.

To love this ‘hardest’ person
Means to Forgive
Their choices
Their mistakes
The pains that are carried.

To love this ‘hardest’ person means
To show kindness in their loneliness
Share laughter in their sadness
Support their efforts
Acknowledge their concerns.

So begin now
To Love, Accept and Forgive
This ‘hardest’ person,
As it is none less
Than You, yourself!

This task appears easy
In this ‘me’ world
But who is it that we love?
The true self or the made up self?

Past the screens and barriers
Lies a tender soul,
Strong and fruitful
Locked away with but one key.

True love is this key,
With the mighty power
To release from all suffering
To embolden with courage.

So unlock this ‘hardest’ person.
Allow the potential
To surface
So love can be felt
Inside and out.

Artwork by Yossi Kotler, curtesy Pintrest.