Dare You Deny

46703163-C121-49C7-80A1-E1E3F08FE6DE

Black man kills.
Thug!
Brown man kills.
Terrorist!
White man kills.
Mentally ill!
What inequalities!
Outrageous righteousness!
Blatant unconsciousness!
Common denominator
Innocent
Deaths!
Beneath the differences
All are flesh and blood
Requiring acknowledgement, acceptance
Striving for peace and love.
These are our commonalities.
Dare you deny!
Yet presidency given
To fear, greed and anger.
Dare you deny!
Deny this noise your attention
Dare to be a just voice
And claim the you
That enables unity yet choice.

Connect

 

A63D3DB0-7CF8-4489-B3A9-D575726ADCA2
Without a thought
To the cogwheels, circuitry
Nuts, bolt and divine engineering
We forge or stumble forward

As the day dawns

With all faculties replenished
One foot then another
One task to the next
Obligations and responsibilities
Desires and obsessions
No questions asked
Working this machinery
The human form
We do as we please
Yet in one mere second
All operations
Can come to a screeching halt
A&E all over the world
Full of stories never heard before
Details dramatic, devastating,
At times even demonic
Yet the fact that life
Is somehow limited
Is just so hard to accept
Fact undeniable
Yet realism is demoralizing
So pretense to oblivion
Manufactured as the norm
Maybe too deep,
Too philosophical
Yet I insist
STOP
Smell not only the roses
But the fragrance of life
Watch as it permeates
All that moves, dances
Sways and flies
Connect with the source
Acknowledge this power
As you rise each morning
And go about your way
Breath in, breath out
Befriend the magic
The blessing, the power
The foundation
This breath in all your days

Faces to Face

3EE395CF-0555-4001-8B67-134D021B7ECC

 

Playful mischief, joyous;
Entertaining, enticing
Mutually enjoyable
Spirit of youth.
Effortless and poised
Every muscle showing,
Direction and intent
Clearly undeterred and successful.
Pained, exhausted, lonesome
Fallen face of luster.
Requiring, requesting,
Yearning for the deepest loving.
Coming or going
With differing days and times,
My face or yours
We recognize them all.
Knowing all our faces
Knowing all we face,
I say lets offer
To each other
Never to face it alone.

Diwali 2018

10A0786E-249C-4E25-821C-B7EDF9511365

Embraced by the Light
The glow from within,
The shadows vanish
And clarity ensues.
Light brings
Focus to my view.
Floatation
For my spirit.
Purpose
To my step.
A smile
To my face.
With the dance of celebration
We acknowledge this day,
Linked to a culture,
A history,
A people and their ways.
No belonging or relinquishing
Of sorts is necessary.
For all persons
To enjoy
This universal phenomenon.
The rise and fall
Of the day.
Time is a concept
Encapsulated
By day, week
And year.
Yet true rejuvenation
Is a simple,
Breath away.
Breathe in,
Breathe out,
Move forward,
Let go.
Cease never to celebrate
With each moment,
Each breath,
Each day.

 

Sagrada Familia

 

Continued visionary,
Gaudi, introducted by chance
As originator, Villar
Passed the reigns so each
Block, tile, chiseled wood
Glass, marble, steel
And more formed every
Pillar and pew
Chapel and alter
Stairwell to steeple.
All standing together
As this monumental structure served
By the many creative minds and hands.
Today, Jean Vila-Grau
Stains panes so beams and rays
Glow and rain in
To majestically
Bless moments beholding
All past, present and future combined.
The density and charm of light
Heighten senses
As constantly as the changes from dawn to dusk!
Sheer size and variation
Of formations inside and out
Captivate with a stupor
The boggling conforming
Mind! What lessons to learn
As few can claim
This absences of completion
Ongoing effort
Continued metaphorism
Yet is this not the commonality
Between all that lives?
The continued transformation
As stagnation is progression to decay
Perhaps inanimate
Yet a power still resides
Catholicism? God? Existentialism?
May the answers
Be as creative as the creating force
And challenge to inspire the search
Of one’s own divine individuality.

Om

EB07015F-09CA-4858-AB1F-8DD7692F5E7B

Thumb to index
Gentle touch for closure
Creating encompassing circuitry.
With this centric
I gather and hold
Even relax and quieten;
As this is where there is home.
Here I am awaited
Fully and singularly.
Pinky through middle
Stepwise incline
Yet platformed without summit.
From here I let go
Let fly, that which is no longer owned,
Pains even gems of wisdom.
Lips seal and hum
A vibration of life
The Om song of eternity.
Om in my hands
Om from my lips
Om of my heart
Inscribed and indelible.
May this sanctuary
I always know,
For my rest and renewal
For resetting and reinforcement.
Then may I grow
To know
The teachings
Buried deep of patience
Of compassion
And mostly
Of the One wholesome love.
Photograpy compliments of Robert W. Kelley.

Mona Lisa

Parched as a summer sky
Harmless as fluffy clouds

Flat as crisp clean sheets

Thus your canvas
Lays ready for your mark
Prime colors and more
Compounded, concentrated
Paletted and waiting
Patiently to bring forth my being
Gently you stroke me
With rich creamy oils
Giving depth for my presence
Followed by subtle blends to conceal me
Slowly you find me
With layer on layer
Revealing my form
Shielding my vulnerabilities
How you know me
From inside out
Innocently coy
Expressively inviting
History has spoken
My darling Leonardo
They recognized your brilliance
As they preserve me with reverence
Intrigue we have inspired
Our secrets maintained
Hence you and I have become
Renown and eternally synonymous

 

Artwork courtesy of Nathan Sawaya

The Friendship

For a short while

We came across

Each other’s paths

As friends

We shared a time

A passage

Leaving deep memoired ravines

Intention:

We’d be friends forever

Not just this lifetime

But the next too

What folly

How fickle

As time has but one power

And that is 

To changes all things

Even the great Colorado

That ran virulent and strong

For so long

Dried out to be depleted

With the passage of time

No surprise then

For our short meeting time

Of days, months even years

To wither into moments and memories

Yet what splendor

Did she leave

That Colorado

Laying canyons deep

And etchings one of a kind

We my friend

May no longer walk

Side by side

But footprint on my heart

Smiles surfacing to my face

And our times

All return

To remain my solace

So now

Where ever I sit

I have you still

Here right beside me

Deep in the caverns of my heart

Fulfillment

Given the push from childhood
Fulfillment has become
Such a loaded word
Grand standards to reach for
Implicates wondrous achievements

Is it any surprise
How the masses strive and search
Yet end up feeling
So terribly unfulfilled!

If the above quote is to be heeded
The formula quite simple
Combine ‘today’ and the ‘heart’
And readily available
Is the sum of fulfillment!

‘Today’ so simply
Appears and ticks away
Yet dreaded and labeled
As work day, stressful day
Difficult, long
The list goes on

With a little adjustment
Switching the frequencies
Tuning into the heart
Alas, a little kindness
A little gratitude
Even joy, laughter and light
Again the list goes on

This heart
Not the pumping organ
But the one with no boundaries
At times exposed
All over your sleeve

When allowed to surface
Radiates to share smiles
Gives comfort and spreads wellbeing
It’s power
Infectiously contagious

This is true existence
Acknowledgement of the given time
Your ‘today’
And feeling that ‘heart’ replenish

What great wonder is felt
When ‘today’
Your tool appears
And the heart
Is fulfilled!

“….weather the uncertainties of love….”

I feel compelled to share a write up by Maria Popova from her Brainpickings publication, on one of my most favorite artists, Gibran, about his understanding of love…

The following gives me a window into how the depth of unfettered love can be allowed to unfold as we learn to love, not just a person but all parts of creation.

“Kahlil Gibran on the Courage to Weather the Uncertainties of Love

“Love is the quality of attention we pay to things,” poet J.D. McClatchy wrote in his beautiful meditation on the contrast and complementarity of love and desire. And what we choose to attend to — our fear or our faith, our woundedness or our devotion to healing — determines the quality of our love. How we navigate our oscillation between these inescapable polarities is governed by the degree of courage, openness, and vulnerability with which we are willing to show up for and to our own hearts. “The alternations between love and its denial,” philosopher Martha Nussbaum observed in contemplating the difficulty of knowing ourselves, “constitute the most essential and ubiquitous structural feature of the human heart.”

That is what the great Lebanese-American poet, painter, and philosopher Kahlil Gibran(January 6, 1883–April 10, 1931) explores in one of the most stirring passages from The Prophet (public library) — the 1923 classic that also gave us what may be the finest advice ever offered on the balance of intimacy and independence in healthy relationships.

Kahlil Gibran, self-portrait

Speaking to the paradoxical human impulse to cower before the largeness of love — to run from its vulnerable-making uncertainties and necessary frustrations at the cost of its deepest rewards — Gibran offers an incantation of courage:

When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.
Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.
Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart.

But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.
Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.

Illustration from An ABZ of Love, Kurt Vonnegut’s favorite vintage Danish guide to sexuality

In a sentiment John Steinbeck would come to echo a generation later in his beautiful letter of advice on love to his teenage son, Gibran adds:

Think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.
Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

The Prophet remains a timeless trove of wisdom and a mighty clarifying force for the turbidity of the heart. Complement it with Gibran on why we make art and his stunning love letters, then revisit Adrienne Rich on how honorable relationships refine our truths, Erich Fromm on the art of loving and what is keeping us from mastering it, Leo Tolstoy on love and its paradoxical demands, and this wondrous illustrated meditation on the many meanings and manifestations of love.”

Quinceanera

D6DB08E5-2042-4611-8475-FFC5AA6D399F

Arriving today
With each milestone attained
You’ve been a bundle of joy
So perfectly precious
With each year unfolding
Petals you have adorned
Claiming your beauty
The most demure and timeless
With Latino roots
From maternal Mexicano
To paternal Nicaraguan
You stand so very unique
Young lady
Your quiet mild ways
Serve well to disguise
What a force you really are!
With strengths unseen
You choose the challenges
Most would never entertain
And find too rigorous and leave
You’re a boundary breaker
Setting records and heights
Leaving proud parents in a daze
“We have claim to this wonder?!”
Today, as you celebrate
Your Quinceanera
Your gentle morphia
From sweet girl
To young lady
Hold onto all
That makes you so you
Then tend and grow
To complement
What an amazing being you already are!

Tanzania 🇹🇿

Irreplaceable
One of a kind
The stars aligned
And our time came to fruition
The apprehensions
Anxieties, dreams and expectations
All surpassed
Even the best author
Could not have written
At first glance
Came a knowing
‘Unfold what may’
As I stood in your hands
And walked as if with a friend
Pockets of people
In towns to villages
Children to men of the Maasai
All smiles and welcomes
Hospitality endearing
Leaving warmth
Down to my core
With spectrum of adventure
Wide, wild and of wonderment
Yet secured by the guides
With rifle, machete and spear!
The call of the wild
From lion to elephants
With splashes and scurries
By hippos and gazelle
Terrain of diversity
With rubbles roads to wild bush
The crunch of dried salt beds
Even great whirls of red sand
Monumental forms
With Kilimanjaro and Meru
To Oldionyo Lengai; mountain of Gods
All footed by plains and lakes
No less than the great Natron
Just a piece of this planet
Yet you’ve left me awe
Stirred me deep
And revived me well
They call you Tanzania
I shall call you the soul
For all you are
Has always been just so
Live long, Tanzania
Be fruitful
Your survival is the legacy
That Mother Nature
This Universe
Is strongest of all

Ngorongoro

1CB32DEB-944B-4B27-9916-A9093A386973

Above : Curtesy National Geographic

Winding down the ridge
From the dense thickets
Acacias, vines, tall grasses and more
Decent steep and curvaceous
Bronzed red earth guides
Deep to the crater
Belly of the volcano
Flat with vast plains of grass
Pools and alkaline lakes
Predators gorge
Lions, hyenas, jackals
Hunting and scavenging
Prey
Wildebeest, gazelle, zebra
Languidly lounge
Or frolick and prance
Birds flutter like Fischer lovebirds
Trot like gineafowl
Wade, treading water as pelicans
Fly and swoop those vultures and cranes
Asantesana-Thankyou
For my opportunity to bear witness
To gatherings of lifeforms innumerable
To the world largest ecosystem
Asantesana
To the powers of this universe
Sun, moon and Earth
Bringing life
Sustaining life
Recycling life

The Baobab Tree

A4CD5A10-09E2-441E-9246-3B1D6A7FDAA6

You may not tower
But stand you do
Strong and grounded
With reassuring girth
Your vertical ripples
And segmental trunking
Branch up symmetrically
Dispersed across the plains
You lend life to many
Hosting beehives
Nesting Superb starlings
With dried out river beds
Elephants gnaw deep into your trunk
Sucking your rich sap
Parasitic plant life
Twine around and into your branches
No harm done
As your longevity is into the hundreds
Oh mighty tree
Humble and kind
In this arid bush land
You stand giant-like
Sharing all you are
Giving house and nutrients
Denying not even the termites
In awe of your qualities
Humbled by your lessons
You teach it is possible
To live with all who share your space

Man of Maasai

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Standard 6 foot 3 inches
Draped in colored shuka
Spear and machete unconcealed
No mistaking your identity
Footprint invisible
True to your ancient ways
Treading soft on your red earth
As one with your land
You live side by side
Beast, bush and Man
Boma-home, simplistic
Matted or bricked
Domed or steepled
Housing your family and livestock
Your community ways
Protect the elderly
And teach your young
What men of honor
Trust once gained impeccable
Unity undeniable
Accepting of right and wrong
No law keepers required
Justice served from within your circles
With tolerance to political and western tyranny
You have accommodated ‘globalization’
By being inched out of your land
Of the ‘worldly’ new ways
Not all is needed
For human existence
Nor this great planet
Much we can learn from you
As you sustain yourself
Your families, your communities
My prayers for your survival
I shall never forget
Our precious time
Meeting at rock mountain bed
Guided through adventured lands
Dancing by light of campfire
Thankyou
Nameste
Kwa heri
May we meet again

Yogis in Africa

Yoga was a repeated practice and component on my recent adventure, lead by the instruction of Erin Elizabeth Young

 

27D2907C-1639-4019-B1E3-9FB42FD2B30B

 

Bandstand cabana
Kindly made available
Yogis international come together
On rainbow colored mats
Circular goddesses rise
Then dive to savasana
Egyptian salutations
Welcome almighty Sun
Seeding love, joy and life
Atop the A1 Hotel
Daring to face Mount Meru
We reach for the clouds
And dive to forward fold
Happy as clams
We clasp our hands
Then spread to warrior woman
Our strength never too far
Chirping birds surround
We perch on terrace edge
Stretching out in free dance
To reach the Tarangire plains
Above the Ngorongoro Crater
Amidst the thick foiled ridge
Sheltered by Acacias and more
Joined by creatures big and small
The sunset claims the backdrop
Making backbends a must
And finally a full circle
With morning, noon and night
Glory be to this kingdom
This gifted abode my body
And this divine privilege of existence
May I remember always
My breath
And strive to dance in its rhythm

Sunrise

The next few poems will reflect my journaling during my short stay in Tanzania…

8CCCF62E-7D5A-4B3A-AC5E-7A98D34A1521.jpeg

The following was written as my plane came into the morning of 6/25/18 as we approached Ethiopia..

Sunrise

First glimpse of you
At the break of dawn
And you are present
In all your glory
Along the horizon line
You rainbow in
With zestful orange
Richer than I’ve ever seen before
Slithers of yellow streak
With warmth of amber
Depth of your beauty
Assures me of your welcome
The night’s blue darkness
Looms above you
And you both meet
With equal forces
But you, Sun, rise to the days call
And golden wings spread
Pushing the night’s navy
To pales aqua
Oh the Lord of every land
Oh mighty Sun
How to acknowledge you?
Salutations
Is all I have
To honor you

Wild Awakening

F29B939E-5F6A-48AA-A02D-2F7C5442D955.jpeg

Photograph compliments of Erin Elizabeth Young

Wild Awakening African Safari : Spear headed by abstract artist, Erin Elizabeth Young and founding member of Olasiti Orphanage and community center, Shelly Wolfe.

I am one of 4 excited San Joaquin women embarking on an adventure of yoga, art, Safari and community service.
Hope to bring you back writings from another continent! Leave you with my inner voice as I begin the journey.
Wild Awakening
Blazing sunlight
Thunderous wildebeest
Endless landscapes
Passive or passionate
Absent or present
Believing or knowing
Which is it to be?!
Inhaling deep
Exhale gratuitous delight
Reverberating life
Knowing my time, my existence, my gift
With thumping heart
Pulsating veins
Flushed and vibrant in face
See me alive, engaged and impassioned
Drawing the line
Striving to acknowledge the infinite
Embracing the finite
Do you know of the ‘coming’?
It is here
It is in you, in me!
No waiting
No deliverance
Opening the eyes
For the first time
To see
To look
To understand
No room for the half hearted
No room for the faint hearted
Coming emboldened
Coming impassioned
This day awaits
This life is here
Let’s not miss our time

Peony

0BEE2CE5-99DB-40BF-B48C-AD2D02842E94.jpeg

Impenetrable
With concentrated density
Tucked and tugged
Her tightness to a bud
Inspiring intrigue
What will become of her
Will she unfurl
Or forever remain insular
Slowly enticed
Her surroundings beckon
With the welcome of suns
By nurturing nutrients
She begins to emerge
Tender gingering
Her mass begins a swell
What lays in her depth
Is both her discovery and reveal
Unending layers
Uniform throughout
Rich with color for living
Graced with buoyant form
Wanting to give of herself
Her soft embrace
Her plentitude
Her deepest gratitude
Yet her bud-time hesitancy
Never too far
As some restraint
Still grounds her down
Tale of the Peony
Who is she to you
You’ve watched her from afar
But she knows you’ve always watered her ♥️

Africa Calling

4FEBC039-47CC-4DD0-807F-D2114798CD0B.jpeg

I hear you calling
I know your arms are wide open
There is no stepping
This must be a dive
Closing my eyes
I feel my free fall
As there is no fight
Against the draw of your call
From endless landscapes
With blistering deserts
Placid salt lakes
And daunting forests
Where Man is of no consequence
Where beast is the king
I will come as your guest
And leave as your subject
The Queen of this Earth
You give birth and house to the wild
You show how it was
You teach how it can still be
No matter the challenge
You survive feast and famine
Uprisings and peace
You uphold your regal name
And with reverence I say
She is Africa

Bird of Paradise

69FC3434-EF13-44A2-8581-41211293186E.jpeg

Distinctly present

With colors unadulterated

Definition unquestionable

With geometrical challenge

What creative precision

With beauty spectacular

As adorned with grand stature

Claiming humbled respect

Bird of Paradise

You inspire a freedom

Exotic and rich

Yet sprout amongst us

Feeding from shared sun and waters

What wise lesson you teach

That wherever you are

With whatever colors and form

We too can unfold

Majestic and magical

NOLA 300yrs and golden!

A1DA9F43-68C6-4ED8-B9C5-242B34B01B9F

Defeated by none,
Not Yellow Fever or Smallpox
Not Betsy or Katrina
Not politics or social upheavals
300 bold and holding!
Town to natives
Close and far
French and Spanish
African and German.
Relentless history
Full of voodoo magic
With torturous pin dolls
To Catholicism
And communal graves.
With extremes of attraction
From plastic tub drummer boy
To sauve pianist in the Bombay bar
This city has a place for all.
Potted flowers and crawling vines
On wrought iron railings
Hang over the street.
Defined by New Orleanians
As their galleries.
With bourbon in hands
And string of beads
Viewer leans over
Sees passing parades,
Ole times revisited.
Each corner block
Defined so well
Be it praline store
Oyster bar
Or the Great Joan d’Arc!
Upstream, curvaceous Mississippi
Teams with steamboats
Cruisers, even tugboats.
Side line streets crawl with
Mule drawn buggies, rickshaws and trams.
All seen with coffee and beignets
From never closed, Du Mondes!
Perhaps this is
The city in the south
That never sleeps!
As the music, the art, the culture
The food
Has no time to wait
For those who cannot feel
The wind and string beats!

True Mothers

BB5D52E3-086E-4B37-A950-BE6277754872

Mother Earth
Mother Moon,
Mother Sun.
Mother Earth
You spin and rotate,
At velocity I can’t even fathom
Yet I stand steadfast and grounded.
Mother Moon
With no light of your own,
You care to grasp and reflect
Silver beams for my night to glow.
Mother Sun
You’re a blazing inferno
With constant ignition,
Yet for me
Gentle rays cascade.
With your nature to nurture
Your methods do conjure
My awe, my gratitude.
Yet at times forgetting
The magnitude of this precision
This perfection.
Taking life for granted,
You resort to sending lessons,
Sometimes
Too hard to swallow.
With platonic collisions
Come tsunamis, eruptions.
With meetings of high-low pressures
Dance hurricanes and twisters.
Despite the devastation,
The restructuring,
Over the many milline and Ages
With divine intervention,
The solar system has withstood
Test of time for my here entrance.
With what has been endured,
Allows me my time.
My day in the Sun
My nights with the Moon,
With feet upon this Earth.
True Mothers of life,
I promise to honor,
Respect and obey,
This glorious given life
In your kingdom,
This trifecta Heaven.
Photo curtesy of Kim Vallon posted on Pinterest.

Tapestry

Moment by moment

The scroll lengthens

The weave thickens

History in the making 

Each day an event

When comes the pivotal point

No one ever knows

Arrivals departures 

The stream goes on

Yet the accumulative effect

Undeniably shapes

The future to come

No reality ever

Quite as the dreamer intended 

So dive below the turmoil

Surface above the mundane 

And soar with the stars

To a place so sublime

Where never touched by the grime 

Unavoidably part of this here time

She II

C3A3AB47-800F-41EB-9452-446A8F41AB10

Embodiment of woman
Quietly she does not come.
Announced by her presence
As delivered by Mother Nature.
Curvaceously bold
Cool, calm the exterior,
Awaiting the unleashing
Of her beholden fire.
Lips do not to part
As her words never matter.
She speaks with a rhythm
Even nature can only but listen.
Gently she commands
Entwining her partner,
Inseparable, indistinguishable
One made for the other.
Allowing the forum
Her energy comes forth.
Her softness, her pains
Her fury, her surrender.
Each woman her own.
Yet mirror you do
That ‘she’ spirit of ours,
Dear sister of mine.

She

BB0DB5A4-1950-4F37-9177-384D8312A267

Not all will see her
Lifetime of scars
Colors adorn her
Painting pictures hollow

Performing her rituals
Loads carried high
She integrates into the fabric
The thick societal weave

Her face speaks silence
Her heart cries wild
Breath she stifles
Suffocating alive

Ahead lay dry arid lands
Dusted with desolation
Yet seeds of passion fire love
Await the raining days

This spirit of woman
Has never come and gone
Without a mark
Upon at least one soul

Sisters of mothers never known
Bloom in past and future
Some blazing trails
Some leave treasures buried

So Sing and dance
Like nightingale and lark
Or roam and glide
As swans of the lake

Embrace the gifts
Of all that make the ‘her’
Rise to your part
As designed by nature’s Mother

 

 

 

Pain

Tears flow
Empty space,
Tears drained
Empty space.

Heart aches
Lonesomeness,
Heart hardened
Lonesomeness.

Eyes search
What futility!
Eyes beg
What futility!

Can I
Be consoled?
Can anyone
Be consoled?

Memories
Flood with pain.
Pain
Slowly lapped by sweet memories.

Deep within
Strength feels stolen,
Deep within
Strength yet stirs.

Embers rustle
Fire re-ignites,
Embers stoked
Life rekindled

Life, my one companion,
Please hold me
So I feel held.
Perhaps only then,
Pain may subside.

Brother Mine

Standing in your window.
Looking up,
I see your rainbows
Grey clouds and crows.

Looking down,
Garden flowers
Weeds and dustbins.
Wooden bench you built.

I hear the drift of tunes whistled,
Guitar strummed
Barking dogs
Children running.

Imagining voices heard
With orders barked.
Questions.
Where you are?
What you doing?
How long will you be?

Yet, Intuitive, kindly, you
Made school runs,
Senior drop off
Prescription pick up
Tiffin collections.

Innovative, cleverly
Business partnerships
Rental landlord,
Humble volunteer
Avid charity mogul.

Socially charming
Coffee mate
Beer buddy
Fancy date
Adventurous companion.

Did living and the living
Grate your nerves?
Was it chaotic?
Was it tiresome?

With all the doings
All the beings
Essence was missing, lost.
We are not the sum
Of successes or failures.
Yet one too many of any
And the pot can brew over,
And all is burnt away.

You leave me no choice.
In your memory
I shall love
I shall live
Wild and full.
And my tales
I’ll still tell you,
Be them without FaceTime or text
Be them without laughter between
Our eyes and face.

You’ve left this place
Our home together
Your room,
Once my old room.
How can this be!
Yet it is.

Hoping my reminiscing,
My processing and planning,
My tears and questioning,
Disturbs you not.
Darling brother of mine
Now you are gone,
Please Rest In Peace.

 

Law is law!

C63B2A9E-552F-4C9A-8BB1-A55FE885BF2D.jpeg

A law is a law
Is a law
Is a law!

Or is it?!

‘Every law has an exception’
Has it not?!
Or is it just a loophole?
A smart ass lawyer?
A way not to comply?!

But wait!
There is one law
Undeniable
Irrefutable
Just damned unbreakable!

Here name is Morticia
She readies herself
As soon as you arrive,
As she knows one day
She can sweep by
And swoop you away!

Or can she?!

Taught by the saints
The pandits, the mystics
The lot!
‘The day you came
Seals the deal
To the day
You must go!’

Infusing the fear
The concepts
The traps.
The great dichotomies
Of there is heaven and hell
There is life
There is death!

But wait!
Is there not the ‘circle’
The ‘circle of life’!
Just as the sun rises, it too sets
And as it sets so it rises.
The tide flows and then ebbs
And ebbs so it flows.
The moon waxes and then wanes
To wane, then wax.

Is Man, this human life, the exception
With such finality as death!
Is this all the greatness
That the mind
Can give?!

Death, disappearance of form
Leaving corpse, leaving dust.
Are we to trust these eyes?
Just because
They see me no longer,
Means no longer am I ?!
Does the earth get lighter
With every departed soul?
Heavier with every
Arriving babe?!

What nonsense is death!
Given mighty stature
Given mighty rule,
Making you cower and crawl
Leaving you shallow and small.

Death is merely opposite to birth
In this circle of life.
As roses are to mulch
Mulch is to roses.
Great icebergs to water
Water to ice.
Mountainous cliff sides to sand
Sand to cliffs.
Think a little further
What happens to Man!

‘The departed never leave,
They live in your remembrance, your soul’
This energy of life
Is omnipresent for all.

Like it or not
Understand it or not
We are all but one,
And of the grandest of One!

No law to defy
No law to prove
Ask of yourself the answer
And truth shall be yours.

Gone but not Lost

D58C38BE-13A2-490C-BF3D-64FBC5D1CE7C.jpeg

Number of days shorten
A shining light begins to fade.
Bearers assembled
Eulogies sing out.

Absence marked
At dining tables,
End of text and phone lines.
Keys, cars and clothes
All untouched.

Cried and uncried tears
All await their turns.
Triggers.
Simple stories and songs
Photographs and jokes.

Oh my lovely!
Where art thou now?
Among the stars?
Flying with the angels?
Watching over me?

Something tells me
My yearn
My memories
Of what we’ve shared,
Is my solace.

Your presence
No longer physical,
But still remains
Warm, charming
Undeniably lovable.

You live on, my dear.
Maybe not as I once knew.
But now, in a new phase
Here for me to face.

I learn anew
Life always goes on
Presence changes form
True love never ends,
And you and I
Will always be one.

 

What Possibilities!

21280093-648A-432F-9E5E-7AC5BE21A853

Stride of a stallion
Bridled with passion
Energy magnetic

Endowed with stamina
Forging forward
Racing ahead of the curve

Strength of an army
Yet soldiering solo
Battles conquering

Here is a man
In tune with his mission
Breaking conventions chains

To be that man
To be that woman
Takes more than presence

Yes you are here
Yes you do yearn
To be your authentic self

So silent walk
Or forceful charge
Be sure of direction you go

As it is for sure
That moving you are
Question remains
Do you know where you go….

Reyana

869C59B9-928B-4F6A-9C66-86F23714A8B8

Reyana

Resting quietly
On a family breast,
Rey’nd a love
Of a sweet little babe.

Big brown eyes
And a gentle spirit,
She sang a song
With her own fresh melody.

Rooted deep
In cultures rich,
She’s cocktailed to perfection
Both contemporary and ancient.

Princessed with abundance
Yet wise like a Goddess.
Rise my lovely
You have all our love to soar.

Thanks for Giving

878AA659-E756-4E93-AE06-6504F8FE379D

At the end of each day
Before the eyes close.
And as the dawn breaks

Before the eyes open.
You’re marketed.
Drawn by the glitter
The glamour, the clatter.

You’re hounded like prey
Trapped like the stray!
Heart beat races as if by a thrill.
But poorly differentiated
Is this pleasure and pain.

Are you the consumer?
Are you the consumed!
Are you falling or climbing?
Finding goal or demise?

Yet confused at the summit
As oblivious to this play!

Look, listen and learn
The way of the world,
And rote cloned you’ll be churned
Like manufactured humanoid!

Upon the pages of your heart
Your mind, your soul.
Erase, erase the messages
Allowed in by the gull.

The self talk,
The ego
Reinforce the convictions.
Drown out the pound
Of your screaming heart,
Gateway
To the tethered soul.

To escape the cycles
The conformity, the pressures.
Takes a presence pristine
A perspective reborn.

Slow, to feel the calm
So breaking the chains.
Shift the focus
Perspectives can change.

Challenge the noise makers
For phantoms they are.
True joy is no acquisition
It’s a gift of the Divine.

Weave in your kindness
Your currency of love.
Such priceless commodities
Stock market left dumb founded!

Let the changing light
Take you deep to your rest.
So fully, you can embrace
The quiet of the night.

Then rise each dawn
With the voice of your heart,
Saying,
“Thanks for Giving”
The wholesomely completeness
Of your being
Upon this earth.

 

Autumn 🍂

EFAF9C2C-ECC9-482A-9342-2FE5F77C36E4

Spring came and she was but a bud,
Full of eager promise.
Green in every torturous way
Simply daintiful and delighting.

With the summer heat
She strengthened with turgor
Resilient to the power of the beaming one,
Enriched by each dawn.

Now with the sun distanced,
Shadows and chilled air govern.
She flaps and fights
Hanging on with brittle stems.

Bursting or bruising
Colors brimming,
Amber to terra cotta
And every shade between.

As departure arrives
Her cabaret is at its height
Her glow, her draw
Never greater, never stronger.

Either gentle float
Or sweeping dive
She brushes downwards
Landing with crisp grace.

Piled in with company abundant.
Crumble awaited
To merge once more,
And merrily feed Mother Earth.

Presence Acknowledged

Dream like, secret garden
Haven for nature’s creatures,
Resting spot for all.

Four legged beauty
Daring to claim her foliated seat,
Despite brick and mortar wedge.

Mutual presence acknowledged,
Acceptance mirrored,
Silent moments shared.

Such respect and dignity
Revered as beauty,
Treasured as gifts.

Then why so different
Within ones household,
With creatures alike, human to human!

Where goes the respect,
The dignity, the awe,
The gratitude?

Perhaps what’s needed
Is to recognize
Those very facets
First, in one’s self.

Not look to others
To give the complements,
To fill the void
Or take the blame.

So look both ways,
Inside yourself
Outside your window.

With such focus
The truest beauty
Can be found,
As you mirror
All of life’s finds.

Entwined

Now I know
Inseparable
Entwined
Conjoined
We are.

Like the wind
Blows and cools
My brewing heat.

Like the sun
Lights and warms
My lonely times.

Like the rain
Waters and washes
My dulled mind.

You walk alongside
Wanting of nothing
Giving of everything.

Bringing reminders
Of our sublime unity
Over and over.

With every lesson learnt
My weight lessens
Yet my gains increase.

As closer to the core
Of my existence
I reach.

How oh how
To thank,
With this heart
Of gratitude’s fill?!

Eyes brim
Heart glows
Sweet nectar
Smothers my skin.

This is
That promised land
Of milk and honey.

Satiating the hunger
Not of bodily organs
But of my soul seeking
Existence.

 

Artwork by James A. Eads.

Non Nobis Solum – Not Only For Ourselves.

IMG_0456.JPG

(Motto of Orchardleigh Village Estate in Somerset, England.)

Great beauty with legacy
800 years and still standing,
Orchardleigh Village Estate.

From times of bartering
To more complexities
Of social structures,
Survival of honor and simplicity,
Depends on the motto:
Non nobis solum.

Unaware
Oblivious
Every move, every thought
Yours, mine
All entwined.

Whether vows of marriage,
Neighbourly existence
Or humans of a given time.

Our lifetimes leave footprints,
Marks on minds
Impressions on hearts.

So tread softly on the blades of greens,
Carefully on jagged gravel.

Speak gently to sprouting minds
And sparsely to older vines.

Love deeply and passionately your betrothed,
And kindly every other fellow on your road.

Now as we leave this Estate,
This county, this land.
One day this planet.
Leave only what can be enjoyed.
Leave legacy of life lived well.
Life full of love and joy.

 

Kaleidoscope

IMG_9862

With a
Shake
Twist
Turn,
Beauties
Recreated.

Shapes
Colors
Distorted
Sorted
Settle.
Unimaginable arrangements
Displaying magical forms.

How can this be!
New transformations
Each time over!

Then we,
Atoms
Molecules
Cells
Tissue
Muscle
Bones
Organs!
Seven billion
Configurations!

All unique
Every finger print
Eye prism
Every path
Destiny,
And preciously afforded with loving care.

Amazed or not
You are unique,
Look no further
For the intrigue.

See your colors
Shapes and combinations,
Marvel on your inner
Ensembles!

Kaleidoscopic geometrics
Dazzle.
But you and I,
My friend
Will never be
Unraveled!

Debut Poetry

IMG_9645

There’s that book, on the bookshelf, it’s a treasure trove, full of every word you always wanted to read, speaks to what you’ve felt, what you know and where you want to go in your journey in this life… and even though you know each page, every once in awhile you have to pull it off the shelf…
Prior authors for me have been, Tagore and Gibran…
A lofty statement, but here is another from today’s world.. Atul Ranchod, with his debut book, Top of the Water…available on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/atul-ranchod/s?ie=UTF8&page=1&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Aatul+ranchod

The first poem in the book is ‘Human Time’… when I first came across this poem it inspired me to make this audio recording…I hope it gives you a taste for the book..

https://rhythmandthedancer.org/2016/06/30/audio-human-time/

Embrace Time

IMG_9332

In this cavern of time
Seconds tick
Hours slip
Days merge
And years fly

‘Tis human nature
To grapple and look
Ask,
‘What happened in all these years?!’

True wonder
Laid in tiny seconds

Just as every raindrop
Yields a forging river
As every sun ray
Sprouts fields of grain
So does each second
Culminate to those years

Capture the magnificence
Look no further

Raindrops fall to your feet
Sun rays beam on your face
Moments delivered as breath

Tune into this finite time
The song and dance is on

No vocals needed
No taps shoes required
Once tuned in
The music is on

Yet midnight will strike
When magic runs out
The carriage disappears
So be forewarned

Do not procrastinate
Quiet yourself
Listen for the song
Feel the dance
Be in your present
Let melody and rhythm unfold

 

 

Why?

IMG_9279

Why do I stop
To smell the roses?
Why does the rose
Look up to the sun?
Why does the sun
Shine just so rightly?

The most powerful star
The most destructive force
Yet it shines
Gently enough
To feed the bloom
So the rose may grow
So I may stop
To smell the rose

What divine design
This universal force
Unites the grandeur
Of the sun
The seeming insignificance
Of the rose
The magnanimous posture
Of the human being

This pale blue dot
Within the universe
The galaxies beyond,
Why?
Why do they all
Exist?

Each day a gift
Each breath a gift
For just a minute shift
And poof, no more to live

So yes ask
Why?
And in the search
You’ll find your gift
The mighty power
Tying sun, rose and man
Divinely together

With a little acknowledgment
Your gratitude blooms
Like the rose
Your fragrance shows.

With a little understanding
Your wisdom shines
Like the sun
Your radiance beams.

So postured
Is this being,
Most fortunate
In his possibilities!
Grandest for the one
Who asks ‘why?’
For with an open heart
He shall find
His answer
In the Divine!

 

 

 

Lover?

IMG_7899

Lover?
Mate?
Soul mate?

Dancing with life
A song is played
It attracts
It calls
A warmth is felt
Perhaps contentment
Closing my eyes
I’m overwhelmed

I know
I feel
The well within
Digging for the spring
The release has begun

Now I know
Such beauty
Such clarity
With letting go
Brings more of the unimaginable

Worthiness
No question
The gift
Always there
Unwrapping
Layer by layer
Depth unending

My lover
My mate
My soul mate
All within

One World Trade Center

IMG_8383

All for which it stands
Rising like a Phoenix
Ashes left behind
Majestic in its stance

Fueled by the past
With pain giving way
To strength and liberty
So humblingly inspired

Life force trickles on
Like water flowing naturally
Replenishing sustenance
Circling with ease and grace

By the power above, below and all around
Love flows deeper, greater
Resilience at its best
Surfacing over and over

Lessons to the heart
Never give up
So long as breath is granted
You can always rise again

Whimsical or not..

IMG_7577

From the array of colors
To the multitude of acts
Nothing stays hidden
Everything is portrayed

Mesmerized in thought
Perhaps it’s to contemplate
But once up on our feet
Life is an act to balance
Even if on the rim of a coffee cup!

How similar to our daily reality
We rationalize, we theorize
Yet when there’s action
The heart and all its color is called on
So the spirit can fly!

Then sometimes we hang on for dear life
With chalice in hand!
If only to dive in headfirst!

We move with our season and terrains
Leaping and swaying
Reaching and praying
So thank you, dear friend
For all in one shot
You portrayed mine and your life
Like only the artist can!

Original art by AR