Robert Ronnow's most recent poetry collections are New & Selected Poems: 1975-2005(Barnwood Press, 2007) and Communicating the Bird (Broken Publications, 2012). Visit his web site atwww.ronnowpoetry.com.
Life Is Not a Curse
I’m not hard,
I thought the cherry was the birch.
When the cloud cleared
I was still afraid.
At my best
I accept death
As a necessary search, wary
That assign us souls but not the trees.
I want long life, yes,
I want to plant my seed and walk the wilderness.
But not yet.
First I must just sit.
Sit and feel the pain
That keeps me sane.
Eat my meal quietly and remain
In the body I know best.
This morning in the east
The sun rose on the lake. Again
I breathed. I was blessed
And thought to say
Life is not a curse.
If, as they say, the cells
of the body are replaced every seven
years, then I’m a new being
since my sons were newborn.
I have died and been reborn
neither better nor worse yet remembering
feeding them while dancing to Moment’s
Notice, as they attended with new minds.
Having died, as such, I find I do not mind
quiet living with the purpose of a cell
unbound by minutes or moments
as men know them. There are seven
deadly sins, seven ways of remembering,
seven stages in which to have been or continue being.
None of them recur after one’s reborn
and none are known to us from before we’re born.
Of the two young people to whom I was born,
one has lately died. I do not so much mind.
Although I do not, he believed he’d be reborn
and who can say what happened to his soul or cells?
Perhaps in Christ we continue being,
or with some other deity, as the churches claim monotonously, momentously,
demonically and deviously. It seems about as relevant that seven
rhymes with heaven and rhyming’s a mnemonic device (for remembering).
what? To go to the daily discipline to which you were born?
I fought seven forest fires, took seven
lovers, my sons are seven, and my mind
is the sole owner and subsidiary of these memories and moments.
Unless I am to be reborn
they disappear with me. Masefield’s poem continues to be
the most honest and chilling assessment of our souls’ and cells’
disbursement. I can imagine stem cell
research may lead to a cure for dementia, loss of memory
about who you are and where you’ve been.
If one’s not been born
this doesn’t matter. But if you’re being reborn,
in the sense of “he not busy being born is busy being reborn” (Dylan),
then it is best and most correct to consider your last moment
of a continuum with moments endless and entirely in your mind.
The mind is made of cells and moments, seven billion of them.
Remember to be born and reborn, early and often.
Can Poetry Matter
In the debate between accessible and difficult poems
Poets’ poems and poems for people
Only the single poem and private reader matter
Both kinds and anything between can matter or not
Solid or made of air, a vase or heavy clay ashtray
One word repeated or many like a lei
An acquired taste, like wine, and like wine
Not sustenance, yet men die with their miseries
Uncut without it, news and mere matter
I advise everyone to keep a personal anthology of poems that matter
Or not. Perhaps it should be novels. Stones, insect wings,
Feathers, Birds you’ve seen, People loved.
Charles Hayes, a multiple Pushcart Prize Nominee, is an American who lives part time in the Philippines and part time in Seattle with his wife. A product of the Appalachian Mountains, his writing has appeared in Ky Story’s Anthology Collection, Wilderness House Literary Review, The Fable Online, Unbroken Journal, CC&D Magazine, Random Sample Review, The Zodiac Review, eFiction Magazine, Saturday Night Reader, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Scarlet Leaf Publishing House, Burning Word Journal, eFiction India, and others.
Plying the warm waters of a shadowed Sea, speckled with spits of froth and reflected starlight, we ride the ferry for the lost and found. Our crowded cots, tiered across an open deck, pitch and roll, lifting our smell as one, from stem to stern. Legs akimbo with slippered feet, grow across the tiny aisles, bodies hidden by the sacks that haul our life.
On the move, going from crumb to crumb, visions of better fare, or to only home somewhere, our nods of passage show, as the knocking screw calls the tune. Sometimes we wander to the rail and stare beyond. If a light of life be seen, suspicions of how its table fares, or what its bed beholds, float among our spray. Looking along the rail, another’s eye to see, table or bed is quick to know.
With dawn and a port that calls, we rise like Jack’s stalk, among the humps of baggage, mount our loads, as if super ants we be, and string along the plank, to melt into the life we know. Crumb by crumb, visions of a knocking lullaby safely tucked away.
Ken Allan Dronsfield is a published poet who has recently been nominated for The Best of the Net and 2 Pushcart Awards for Poetry in 2016. His poetry has been published world-wide in various publications throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. Ken loves thunderstorms, walking in the woods at night, and spending time with his cat Willa. Ken's new book, "The Cellaring", a collection of haunting, paranormal, weird and wonderful poems, has been released and is available through Amazon.com. He is the co-editor of two poetry anthologies, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze and Dandelion in a Vase of Roses available from Amazon.com.
A Charcoal Black
Snail trails go round in a spring garden;
warmer breezes beget greening grasses;
lichen and moss cover the old stone wall,
I swear a baby squirrel ran by just now.
Crows are back in their murder covens.
The songbirds are here; more return daily.
Smells of the forest still musty and damp
from winter’s blanket of icy crispy leaves.
Ice sheets have melted away as geese
happily swim throughout coolish waters.
It won't be long before tadpoles and turtles
from the ole Mississippi will happily join them.
A puff on the pipe, and a sip from the flask,
take out the sketch pad from my canvas bag.
Time to capture, using a charcoal black,
moments in time on this springtime day.
Harsh or endearing reason
sidestep the seasonal gaiety
to hide within the poison oak
while wishing to travel back.
Much simpler and gentler times
covet those very sweet rhymes
whisper a lullaby to deaf ears
we take a crimson train home.
I know sometimes evil lurks
on the rim of a soft rose petal
and barbs impale the mind
leaving an icy hand to bleed.
A bleach blue sky, day by day
listing the ways of redemption
always the little things ripping,
squeezing, ceasing the hunger.
My skull is but an empty shell
cradle dreams in black & white
tomorrow's nihilistic color fantasy
and the nightmares of yesterday.
Sail into Eternity
Waves crash in timely succession
pounding sand as shorebirds run.
pelicans soar on flaming wave crests
ships at sail move slowly offshore.
Seaweed drys in the scorching sun
lover's embrace upon plaid throws
fisherman cast into the calm bay
foghorns speak from the outer isle.
Seagulls gather before the twilight
standing upon the rocks and beach.
I'm sailing off into the sunset; but
my hope is to sail off into eternity.
I want to travel home to my beautiful island
where turquoise waters soothe an injured soul.
Listen and you will hear the jungles singing
songs from the past as ghostly drums echo.
Whispers dancing from hills and valleys to
the giant palms and those tall rocky cliffs.
The white sand beaches wrap around the island,
birds and small animals scatter and run about.
Searching tidal pools for tidbits or small meals
those beautiful egrets lift off into the warm breeze.
I'm ready to travel home to the beauty of my island
where the turquoise waters welcome my lost soul.
Purple Feathered Dreams
Sapphire stars of
red diamond glints;
Flowing red cape
in a spatial breeze;
shoes tap in time
dusty sunlit ballroom.
tempests of doom.
searching the heavens;
drenched in skittles,
a color palette ablaze.
feathered and flattered;
a needle to the soul;
I serenade the stars.
Purple Haze echoes,
in stereophonic power;
shred the raucous guitar
all along the Watchtower.
Renee B. Drummond is a renown poetria and artist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is the author of: The Power of the Pen, SOLD TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER, Renee’s Poems with Wings are Words in Flight-I’ll Write Our Wrongs, and Renee’s Poems with Wings are Words in Flight. Her work is viewed on a global scale and solidifies her as a force to be reckoned with in the literary world of poetry. Renee’ is inspired by non-other than Dr. Maya Angelou, because of her, Renee’ posits “Still I write, I write, and I’ll write!”
Have It Your Way
Two all beef prose
Stanza seed bun.
Dedicated To: You Deserve a Break Today
A B.A.D. Poem
(Authored: “A B.A.D. Poem”, “The Power of the Pen”, “SOLD: TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER”, “Renee’s Poems with Wings are Words in Flight-I’ll Write Our Wrongs” and e-Book: “Renee’s Poems with Wings are Words in Flight”).
His ‘N’ Hers
hair is grey.
hands are old
step ‘n’ ‘fetchin’ it.
ankles are swollen.
feet are crusted.
hair is grey.
hands are old
step ‘n’ ‘fetchin’ it.
mind is feeble;
a dreadful song.
hair is grey.
hands are old
step ‘n’ ‘fetchin’ it.
Come what may.
hair is grey.
hands are old
step ‘n’ ‘fetchin’ it.
A B.A.D. Poem
Dedicated to: A mind is a terrible ‘thang’ to waist so ‘WATCH’ WHO YOU DOG’!
‘Killin’ Me Softly with His Babies
(APRIL FOOLS; LOVE POETRY CONTEST POEM.
Hosted by: Deborah Brooks Langford)
she knew not
You guessed right,
killing her softly
Gives her 10 more babes
“OFF THE WALL”.
MJ sang that song;
done gone wrong~~~
of a son;
“you ain’t the one
who sat down
there it is…
she sat her eyes on
Mary’s lil’ lamb
who looked liked
the marrying type
of a man;
fast as he can!!
But it was said,
he gave her 10 more kids
up and down
Who would’ve ‘thunk’
Jack and Jill
a pale of water;
“better sell them
an’ let us through
cause we ain’t
Rapping Ronald Reagan
cheese for you!”
A B.A.D. Poem
Dedicated to: Ol’ lady in prada shoes; so many children she needed the matching purse too! Chaaarge!!!
that big bed,
I detest Massa
my ‘OWN’ kids
A B.A.D. Poem
Dedicated to: Genetic connection!
James Nichols is an emergency medicine physician and father of five children who has been writing poetry for twenty-one years. “My early poems are locked away and don’t deserve the light of day. I can look back now and see real progress, however, and that’s the only reason I look at my earliest writes now. To not be able to look critically at your own work is a poet’s death sentence.” He says poetry and writing are his therapy and balance the stress of his “day job”. He was a student athlete in college and consumed with the demands of his education and career for the first thirty years of his life. He now finds the perfect balance in being able to escape in his writing as well as process the difficult times he’s encountered. He says reading a great variety of poets and writing has allowed him to understand people and just how diverse the world truly is. He has drawn inspiration and influence from poets across the spectrum including Plath, Bukowski, Dickinson, and Angelou. “Great poetry is that which provokes an emotional response on an almost subconscious level that drives my own creative process.
The Land of Eternal Sun
A certain gravity defies the lightness of that moment.
Pale light seems to fade but you know better,
for the moon always smiles
at lovers and tragedy.
She's not having it, not tonight.
Too much booze, too few hours,
and a tomorrow that promises nothing
fuels an impulse from a place
few know and fewer will ever see.
She's seen it.
Hell, she lives there most days
until she can drink her way sober,
just enough to see the sadness
for a second that she swears
she can screw out of you.
Hell, let her try.
It's better than a bullet and cheaper than Prozac.
And here you are, full circle.
All of this a moment of thought
The lunar laugh is mocking.
The summit reached
and just as quickly gone.
Descent is gravity's bitch
and she's got her claws in you.
Surely you will awaken soon,
but the sex-sweat
and her snores eliminate that option.
In a few hours that will seem like days,
she'll creep out before the dawn
and you'll feign sleep to avoid conversation.
You will drift eventually
to where she's beautiful
and you're happy
and there's no moon to tell you otherwise
in the land of eternal sun.
Bumping The Glass
From here it's beautiful,
but I always loved silence.
isn't that what they call it?
All the slaves to capitalism
swirl in the crucible of the city
Occasionally they bump the glass
and withdraw as if they've touched fire.
They are reagents
with an unlimited catalyst of competition,
the unnatural fear of failure
melting their souls
into reflexive clones.
From here it's obvious that thought
is the discarded by-product
of this ghoulish experiment.
Still they grind, claw, bite and tear
at the very safety net they woven.
Circular, blinded, and dark-ages fearful
of the nearly invisible
yet suffocating glass.
Such a sad and silent sight it is.
I wish I could tell them how infinite and beautiful
it is beyond the beaker below,
but I would be lying.
I only have to look heavenward
and see the poor resolution
and shimmering diffraction of the stars
to realize I'm simply trapped
I always wondered what jumpers thought
at that very moment.
I'm pleasantly surprised that mine
is rather selfless:
Perhaps I'll shatter the glass
they can only bump.
I think you may be springtime when the seedlings reach for sun. Something fresh is in the making. A new verse you have begun. As the years began their march, you found your summer's voice. Midlife had left your pondering. Did you ever have a choice? By autumn you were somber with some stanzas more resigned. The path ahead's much shorter than the one you left behind. Here you are this winter's night when your work's complete at last. Your voice echoes in the seasons dividing all the years since passed.
The Filthy Flame
Dirty nights fall.
Blazing stars smolder.
I catch the falling sky.
Humanity cinches the wire,
forgets the net.
I endure for now,
though the load is staggering
and the human condition terminal,
asphyxiated by hatred's filthy air.
Smoke looms ahead
as my vision dims.
I fear the fall to come,
for Hippocrates illuminated insight
when the cross bore a savior,
not a flame.
I am a prisoner
of a mind
diluted in delusions
I am failure’s slave,
obediently I lie until
the truth is all I hear.
I am a conduit of guilt,
fear, pain, and hope,
each clawing to be the first
oblivious to the ransom
that is never paid.
I am easy.
I commiserate with sinners.
I don’t believe in saints,
Temptation is but a beautiful rose
on my coffin.
I am a thirty-third year senior
in the school of mistakes,
top of my class.
I am all I feared
and nothing I regret.
it doesn’t make much sense.
How it must
in random flight
evolve to intelligence.
Infinity of space,
dark matter’s loom,
parallel universes arising.
Yet light erased,
upon event horizons.
define just who we are.
Do we die,
firm to flaccid
and recycle through the stars?
Where are we?
and undefined dimensions.
Perhaps we’ll see
through wormhole extensions.
yet still we cast conjecture.
is that we’re limited
until some future lecture.
But is it time
or is it space
that fills the cavity?
The missing sign,
the saving grace
may simply be gravity.
We may find
our fleeting reality.
there’s always uncertainty.
A passionate writer and literature enthusiast, Arushi Singh has been experimenting with free style poetry for a few years. She is from Delhi, India, and is currently studying literature Mount Carmel College, Bangalore. She suffers from borderline personality disorder and depression and the core of much of her poetry is a fragmented set of tales about her battle with these. She dedicates much of her work to those who have the same kind of struggle and hopes they find a voice in her poetry.
She can be found at –
IN BETWEEN GRANDMOTHER
In between grandmother’s scandalous stories
and the little prints of thumb
in between Carol’s secrets whispered and the
Genesis of the long gone rum
in between howl and forgotten ancient words
and fickle minded dreaming sons
in between sand and time and life and wine
She breathed her last as a corpse
Don’t blame me
I’m a wild lover of words
I’d sit on my chair with two chambers in my chest
And one in my gun
The other hand shot bleeding blue.
Bleeding ink for you to breathe
Like smoke from my lungs
and the purple screen with the editor’s inflatable rejection
of the goddess of
the red light dreams
I wait and heave
with the chinless smile for the open screens
like poetry behind the shameless dream
you seem a little tired a little cold a little dejected a little bitter
let the purple blank again so you write out your next
in the hopes of seeing the purple screen turn a mellow green
but hey that’s life
a million dreams heaving under the weight of a single scream
a voice it seems a little loud it drowned a thousand
it broke an angry owl
so you just turn that upside frown back down
to finally see
the dreamless dream
Shawn Nacona Stroud lives just outside of Columbus, Ohio with his two dogs. He fills his time working a full-time job while hard at work on his second Master’s Degree. His poetry draws on both observation and life experiences. His poems have appeared in various magazines and online journals including: Chronogram, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Eunoia Review, and Melancholy Hyperbole.
How can you love me if you all want
something different? I’ve tried
so hard to please you, each spring
dressing in the finest lace of my blooms
until your fields are gowned in white. Radiating
the sweetest perfume nature can produce.
Even still, occasionally, you’ll trample
right through me as I sway mindlessly
in the warm June breeze.
I am not the regal rose of the garden
or the varied colored tulip everyone stops
to adore. Nor that pink whore azalea
one can buy at any store. Yet,
I’ll not implore you to notice
my various natural beauties, to stop
your abuses and indifference toward me.
Each spring pollinating, I hold power over you, and I
relish when bees attentively tickle
all of my lovely petals.
Café Du Monde
Powdered sugar dusts our table
like strewn blow, I feel
a buzz tingle through me, numbing--
the Quarter becomes resonant. The traffic,
a line of light along Decatur Street
whose rattles and prattles dull
voices and laughter echoing across Jackson Square,
quivers in gaslight shadows. The people here
are all one face to me, drawn like insects to the light
of a distant jazz from the Rue Bourbon.
How happily they sacrifice themselves to the darkness
surrounding the Vieux Carré. Behind,
a barge bellows its inevitable departure--
everyone here yearns for somewhere
beyond this moment with me.
When I die, wings of fire drape the sky.
North to south is ablaze, and the sun a bullet hole
bleeding out once again, becoming
the emptied wound of the moon, now
corpse-colored upon my cinders. The filmed over
eye of the dead of night. It's alright
that this descending darkness is death. I’ve grown
accustomed to the emptiness of midnights.
I must become like the owl which stalks
mice to sustain this afterlife, I must
gulp each soft morsel whole
to endure long enough to feel
heat rekindle within, those sweet agonies
as I burst from the ashes at dawn!
I knew you were brittle, fragile-
marked box, dropped and damaged, still
when I opened you like a tucked cardboard-
lid, your potential had the gleam of porcelain,
the beauty of a dashed china soul.
For years I labored puzzling
your fragments and slivers together, glue
pearly as semen on my fingers. I thought
eventually something new would grow from you,
stunning as a Grecian vase on a cheap mantle, and yet
the lines of my efforts wore, fissuring you entirely.
I’ve never reassembled you again.
All afternoon I’ve watched the day slide
eastward, its greys pawning themselves
to the churning green wall of Ohio's horizon. It withdraws
until its stooped in its obligations; a bankrupt sky
glares down. The clouds are such riches now.
A priceless commodity--
precious as gold and stark as silver.
They dwindle and darken
in the distance. The stars
glint with their meager lights,
as unimpressive as loose change
scattered across an emptying purse of night--
a destitute darkness devours us.
Megan Denese Mealor is a full-time writer and mother to a beautiful three-year-old son. Her poems and short stories have been featured in more than twenty publications since 2012, most recently Sick Lit Magazine. She lives in Jacksonville, Florida.
He taught himself calligraphy
during his driftless days
hopping islands and
hoping to lose himself
in sumptuous, senseless rhythm
amidst the clamoring blazes
and graveyard ghettos,
piles of boulders and bones,
hellish ruptures mauling skies.
Cool-eyed and soundless
in his reeling restraint,
he sketched impetuous ballerinas
in the funereal barracks
parched and poisoned with
the boisterous stench of
reverence, despair, bravura:
a grim carnival of phantoms
peddling peeling sideshows.
Pappaw painted porcelain ponies
for smudged sisters in weary pinafores,
handed out bubble gum cigars
to the hollow-voiced orphans
drifting in the rubble.
He found denotation in detonation,
regalia in the skeletal faces
staggering in haggard conquest,
ascendency etched into the echoes
they left behind to atone for
their sacrilegious tempests,
gray infidel snow.
Five Mornings Later
these parking lot ghosts listen well
silencing their silencing
against the frigid embryo of dawn
obscuring the delirious shuffle of
tenuous scars and evanescent sedans
overtaking the dreamless diameter
created in covert, insidious corners
where the faintly-faring congregate
in rummaging distressed quartets
to pillage streetlight and camraderie
to speak in bloodless languages
escalating from quick to marrow
freeing swaying, cryptic melodies
we must, we must remember fondly
the pillars now powdering between us
gangrene granite withering with atrophy
they foretold this farewell in chamomile
you never rest your speculation on me
you never touch your finger
to my trembling
I pieced together mine
out of heirloom anecdotes
and alien bits of familial folklore
from the trenches of a childhood
bristling with rickety shadows
erratic and fitful, existing in the
garish borderline where I stored
all my barbed angles in kitschy boxes.
He once healed a disarmed duckling,
unleashed titanic plodding tortoises
into our shaggy gray yard adorned
with weeping willows spilling woe
into the prodigal soil poisoning azaleas.
He stood over me in every sandbox,
commanding the construction of castles,
his tenacious shade shrouding all reverie.
He was tyricannal at losing or winning,
his bike was gray and gleamed with gloating.
He conditioned the other cul-de-sac cherubs
to toss pebbles at my head because
I would always somehow deserve it.
Now he scowls through every Easter,
sighs resignedly under his breath
at the anemic table littered with the dregs
of our lifeless inheritance.
He checks the wall clock
above the white brick fireplace
in the pitted den
every time our mother speaks.
He asks me nothing,
I ask for nothing,
matching mazarine eyes
never failing to
The Ones Before Ours
Crazed as cobras they were,
purging venom in the hollow dust.
They came hunting sovereigns,
more indulgent gods, a hotbed
heaven devoid of all restraint,
finding bygone littered bones
blistering in flimsy haystacks.
But who were we to unspell
their impassioned appellations,
to reduce their brazen testament
to indigenous residue?
We found carvings of infants
and infernos and idols lost to
the chronology of salvation,
cryptic sagas of spontaneous courage,
romance brimming in the stones.
They claw our crowing windows
when the half-moon is sizzling,
carnal excision still burning in
their shivering nomadic bones.
Asylum Patient 141
the most uncertain of us,
rusts the very bones of saints.
It steals the fractured heart of science,
filters it into fairy tales,
We angelicize our demons
in this frenzied, fetid freeze,
this place of Cimmerian shade
and unadorned obscurity.
We play both violence and victim,
as they falter hand in hand.
Here, we are anonymous
in our absolution,
riotous in our remorseless misery,
teasing stifled screams into
black winters, yawning stars.
Our malignant veins
flow with rabid venom;
our hearts retain
the incineration of the sun.
They confiscate our secret languages,
our apple seeds,
our potential for potency.
In here, we forget
the calamity of our daughters,
the sageness and solidity
of our mothers,
every cursory gaze of adoration
every mountain moved
by the brothers in silhouette
we memorized long ago.
We unleash our cheerless skies,
repel our distant thunder.
To absolve ourselves of stigma,
we accept thoughtful torture,
Contrition is a price
we cannot afford to pay.
There are damnable stones
we cannot unthrow,
now that our mirrors
now that our walls
have been razed
to righteous earth.
We locked away our maladies,
relishing our ragged wounds.
Now we dance for no one
but the mirage of moon peering
through barred immunity.
After the unknowing
comes the sequined ballroom haze.
After the unbecoming
comes the boundless beaming Bellatrix
warring with Polaris
up in the seasick night.
Pranab Ghosh is a journalist, blogger and poet. His poems have been published in Tuck Magazine, Dissident Voice, Leaves of Ink, Hans India, Literature Studio Review and Scarlet Leaf Review, among others. He also writes short stories. He has co-authored a book of poems, Air & Age. He has also translated a book of Bengali short stories into English. The name of the book is Bougainvillea And Other Stories. He, at present, lives in Kolkata, India.
Worldly Man turns Yogi
In front of a burning pyre sits a man, his torso bare, a white cloth worn like a lungi at the bottom. He sits erect in front of the pyre, the flame from which is now dying out. He is looking straight at the top of the flame, from where the smoke rises. He is trying to chart the flight path. The path of the spirit of his beloved, who has now turned into ashes.
The coy look, the black
eyelids casting a mystery
around the downcast
face. The red bindi,
the golden sari with blue
anchal. Etched in memory is
the first look of his beloved
and then wife for twenty years.
All have gone up in flames.
The first evening out.
The bhelpuri, the
phuckas, the mela,
the ride in the toy
train, the boat ride
in the ‘death cave’.
The end of courtship
The first child born.
A baby girl. A bundle
of emotions. An ocean of
expenses. Love wins.
Expenses are managed
and forgotten. The
joy lives on.
Today after 20 years of ‘sansar’ – the baby girl in her late teens – the bride departs. The man is still looking at the flame. His friends have left. His relations too. His soul companion, his daughter, is still waiting for him, all alone, outside the ‘samshan ghat’. The man sits erect, watching the dying flame rise, dance, flicker and then finally die. Everything has come to an end:
The fight. The tears.
The joy. The laughter.
Alone the man looks at the ashes. There is a touch on his shoulder. He looks back. “Simanti!” He was about to exclaim. No it’s not his wife, but the representative she left behind. “Maya, looks exactly like her,” he thinks. “Dad, it’s better we leave,” Maya implores.
The man rises. His
desire, his laughter,
his agony, his pain,
all ashes now, are
The yogi is born!
Becoming a Yogi!
The body is the source
of all pain. It causes
sufferings. It brings tears.
It enjoys. It devours. It
glorifies you and finally
it gives up. Your mind gives
up all worldly pleasures and
all the zeal to seek those.
It recoils within and looks
for inner peace and inner joy.
It forgets to seek happiness
outside and finds it within.
It has by then renounced.
But true renunciation comes only
after you have experienced
the worldly pleasures and the
And once you renunciate
You become a YOGI!
The death of Simanti triggered in the man the process of giving up all worldly pleasures and made him look within for eternal happiness. He stayed a man of the world. Yet be became a yogi, who did his ‘karma’. His daughter successfully completed education and then he got her married and helped her settle down in life. These were all his duties and he performed it dutifully. He was at peace with himself. He was ready to leave this worldly habitat of his and finally reunite with his Simanti.
Not all yogis are born thus. But most of the worldly men, who mentally metamorphose into yogis – if you look beneath their veneer you will see that they lose or give up something very dear to them in life and then become renunciates. They stay duty-bound; engulfed in their ‘karma’. But they stay yogis at heart. Far away from the worldly pleasures and pain they build a castle of peace and happiness within them and happily live there.
LIVING LIKE A YOGI!
F.E.Walls’ poems appear in Pontoon, Ekphrasis, damselfly press, Avocet, & Strange Poetry among others, the writing text, Writing Across Cultures, & the anthology, Peace Poems V. 2. The poets who inspire her include Tomas Transtromer, William Stafford, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, & Jane Kenyon. She blogs at http://wordandimageworker.com.
How many secrets does the river hold?
How many letters did you throw from the bridge
listening to distant bells call the hour –
your Buick parked nearby at midnight?
How many secrets does the river carry away,
soaking the ink from the paper
into the mouths of fishes,
into the swirling black depths?
That secret you hold closer than breath,
release it into the purifying stream.
Let the bells toll another’s death,
feel the rain touch your face.
The baptism of stillness can be yours.
Each scrap of your betrayal
erased in the swift channels,
so you can believe come morning
in your own innocence.
Sister Mary of Christ leans toward me,
our forefingers touch, then hook around each other
through iron lace dividing the cloistered room,
air in the convent still as the cross.
In her black habit, she talks of boysenberries
tied up carefully on horizontal wires, carrots thinned
to the call of songbirds, and her ceaseless
prayers for the world.
Finishing my news of our parent and siblings,
then, I feel my slow-burning anger,
her semi-annual letters that arrive promptly
like the bell that calls her away to vespers.
From your side porch, one day
your wordless grunt loud enough
to call me from my kitchen,
blood dripping from your cupped hands,
clots flooding mouth and nose,
I jumped the fence to staunch the flow.
You feuded with your neighbors
on the south. Their diesels hurt your head.
You said, Not zoned commercial, and turned them in.
Their high fence built to the sidewalk impenetrable.
They blocked your driveway,
you blocked theirs.
Early on, you chased boys from my yard, watched my house,
lent me shovels, you said, Everyone calls me 'Nellie,'
later on, Not so good today.
Some days the drapes were never drawn.
Then, you outlived your sons.
Across the fence, I was a shadow to your clouded eyes.
You called to me beyond your roses.
An Affair of Dreams
He has etched her into his garden
among the nocturnal lilies,
again and again, amid the brief, white lilies.
She has gone into the soil, to humus
where his hands caress its darkness.
He molds this soil around the roots of plants
stolen from the green house,
their tiny roots untested by rain, wind or sun.
Beware, they may take hold,
grow into redwoods, or a forest of birch,
an avalanche of poppies.
This soil never diminishes
but erupts replenished, ripe with life, solid yet loose.
Then, he will let her feed him small tomatoes,
sweet as candy, and blueberries.
Just do not close that door to the dream
and leave her unsheltered,
pulsing for his touch,
with this knowledge of ruin,
this secret ruin.