Inspirations: Poetry

Journey North

White Birch lie boned-out Bleak and naked against the fretful sky, Or, is that my narrow eye Believing them defenseless Not content or warm within? Limbs silhouette early twilight Dusted in first snow— Debutantes waltzing in white Full of every promise. Does my view affect them, As beholding me changes you? Their skeletal branches Reach into my mind Asking other possibility. Eyes wider now I lean into their curve until We weave together nude, not naked, Flushed out, vibrant Arms branch-entwined Lifting into purple shadow. Asana: Vrksasana/Tree Pose. Standing tall, pull one foot up high into the opposite thigh. Press foot into the thigh, and thigh into the foot, stabilizing the pose. Bring hands into prayer pose, or lift them overhead. Focus on what is beautiful and promising. Health Notes: This steady pose works on balance, leg strength, and calming the mind.

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To Reach Another Shore

(You can sing this old timey rhyme to a rousing marching-rhythm, which feeds the heart, moves us out of fear, & leads onward in courage.) How do we then cross over Leave behind known shore Decide to walk on water Abandon shallow shoals? When our lover lies in danger And we’re running out of time Can we navigate deep waters Leave the construct of our mind? Does faith fund itself Truth sieve old wrongs through right Are ‘always’ with ‘never’ Past habits dour blight? Guided only by our longing Not knowing why or when The soul’s pole star direction Leads toward home again. Asana: Purvottanasana/Intense Front Body Stretch Pose. Sit with legs extended, placing hands, with fingers toward feet, by the hips. Taking a deep inhale, lift hips up, pressing soul’s of feet into floor, lengthen and strengthen legs up. Pay attention to keeping big toes down and parallel. Open chest, and heart, let head extend line of the back. If it is not yet possible to keep the feet down, try ‘table Pose.’ Bring feet close to buttocks, and lift the hips up, forming a table-top from knees to head. Health Notes: This Pose strengthens wrists, arms, and legs, while it invites us physically to breathe more deeply into what calls the heart to open. We are not only expanding the chest, and elevating the heart to the highest point, but opening the lungs, metaphysically, invites in more life. Ayurvedic Notes: Like Yoga, the mind-body care of India’s ancient healing system includes spiritual philosophy, not necessarily religious, that brings practical applications to every day habits. Kapha Doshas is often unbalanced when bodies head into cold, wet weather. They need to avoid stagnation. Therefore practice a more energetic Yoga routine, stimulate desire with new poses. Let go old precepts and… Read more »

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Harvest Moon

Harvest Moon The moon made the sky round Then plummeted down Through inky blackness, Over streams of geese, Shredding vaporous cloud. She stopped We rose, Hand in hand, Toward her standstill light. Two shadows lifting off the hill, Chagall’s night lovers, Rising on dreams Suspended in longing From many moons attended Waiting harvest Coming this night. Asana: Ardha Chandrasana/Half Moon Pose. Begin from the long low side stretch of Utthita Parsvakonasana/Extended side Angle Pose. As you lift up and out, over the R leg, balancing, with the R arm, parallel to that leg, feel yourself lifting into your dreams, opening your heart to the moon, to that feminine Self within that holds and nurtures your dream-space, no matter the disappointments. Health Notes: When we lose our ability to dream, or to renew lost dreams, we lose our juice, and thus begins the slide away from life. Ardha Chandrasana, strengthens leg muscles and increases balance, and when we open to its fullness, perhaps, it helps us dream again.

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Walking Hand In Hand

We walk hand in hand Facing forward into leaf-dappled sunlight Straight from last night’s slivery silver sun-straffed moon. In between we dreamed This is the dream. This hand in hand hour seen Precious, shimmering, passing. A morning’s ephemeral mist, A breathless breath rising Here and gone. “Only a dream,” we say Except, we held hands, We saw. Wordless words crossed space Informing cells Their memory of secrets holding everything— Retrieved and wondered over when all is lost. But this, this informs the new life, another cycle, This, our expanded, grateful now Holds steady through broken days, When clouds of mourning dull the eyes, Obscuring sun and stars. Storehouse of beauty bank coals within. Let my hand remember his.

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Solstice Hour

Solstice has always seemed a night for the soul. Perhaps it is only the onomatopoeia, or imitative, echoic principle at play? With the greater and greater need to simply ‘stand still’ as the earth spins along at it’s magnificent speed, Solstice is a soul-moment when we nurture and connect to earth and one another in a breath of stillness. We also harvest soul-food in ritual, chanting, fire, dance, shared bread, laughter. We are creating Sangha. Solstice Hour The last bright hour quivers Holding lady night at bay. ‘Tis Sol’s glorious moment The Samadhi Tribe has gathered Tributes to lay. Bowing out his rule We stand still to the tattoo While Ancient-Ones circle, In spans of fluttering desire Memories intact, They see us touch the earth as they did Embracing in the dance. In this hour we make our magic Where desire-laden Spirits mesh Through drum and call and fire Un-holy words form sacred text. Asana: Join the dance with your Yoga tribe this Friday night. Become part of the brotherhood sharing itself, embracing the earth, and our connections.

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The Artisan’s Rose

The Artisan’s Rose “Hephaestus, fashion me as a summer’s rose That fears not winter. Guild my thorns fine as Aladdin’s scimitar, Matching the inner lip of the Crescent Moon. Curve my petals not as an artist creates dreams, Rather as You, my artisan, Soft-hammers gold into rabbit bites of love. Mold me from the white heat of this day So my butter-petals will slide off, And I will surrender all this glory Gratefully, at vesper light.” Asana: Choose a pose, or craft a series of Asanas that make you feel as fine, and beautiful as a favored rose. Feel your colors, your scent, your leaves & stem opening/surrendering to summer’s heat. Health Notes: Ayruvedically, we are in Pitta territory; time to cool our jets, not over-schedule, over-stimulate, stay up late, or push the river. Rather, be in the river, of the water. Practice slow Asanas, and Pranayama. Take time for massage, or at least self-massage with cooling coconut oil. Eat meals at regular times, preferably cool, heavy, dry foods, with sweet, astringent, or bitter tastes. Reduce salt and oily foods.

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In Memoria

In Memoria: Blood memory of time Coughed in turbulence that tubercular life An arm severed when but a boy. Blood wedding, for Lorca knew. Blood drained in leaches, through dark lesions When memory could hold no more. Those faces– mine. Known to you. You my mother, my friend, My Captain, my child, my slave. Mated in blood, we turn and twist As one another, Time and again, and time without time, Becoming one for the other, one for all, one. Asana: Go where you can be touched by your memories. Find a silence and depth within a pose that allows, even beckons old, darkened corners to stand in greater relief. Press your nose into the window of time and see who appears. Let your breath lead the way.

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Nirvana

Nirvana Spring sun whispers compared to August fire Its timid warmth more cherished As though it can only outline, Tease out fullness And fool’s folly, hope. Surviving another cold sojourn The bone-life, Where Nirvana comes hard April incandescence uncoils us, Small Garters twisting on warm logs Shedding to shape-shift. Asana: Vrksasana, Tree Pose. Stand in Tadasana, bringing R foot up as high as possible inside L thigh, toes point down. Inhale, lifting arms up, balance. If you are touched by ‘Nirvana’ sway into ‘Dancing Tree’ by shifting hips away from R knee, open arms to sides, lift chest higher and feel the whispers of spring light. Do both sides, of course. Health Notes: Vrksana strengthens leg and ankle muscles, increases balance, and offers a place of stillness, even when it ‘dances’.

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