Being Honest

Standard

Preparing a class on satya,
truthfulness
I discover I’m growing tired.

And still I press on,
looking in book after book
for the perfect words
to resonate with my vision
of the class

But my body is tired,
and my mind is hazy,
and I’m not being productive.

The minutes stretch on,
even more tired now.

It was time to be honest with myself.
“Girl, you need to go to bed.”

“Okay,” I said.

NaPoWriMo 2015 Day 23: Orestes

Standard

Today’s NaPoWriMo.net prompt sounded interesting so I gave it a go.  Grabbed my tarot deck, picked a card at random, wrote for five minutes, and then made a poem.

Here is the card I chose, from Juliet Sharman-Burke and Liz Greene’s Mythic Tarot :

two of swords

It shows Orestes caught in the middle of a big feud between his mother Clytemnestra and his father Agamemnon.  Not a happy story, and not the happiest of cards, admittedly.  I almost threw it back in the deck and mined for a happier one, but I decided that it takes the fun out of things to only ever want to write about fun. Um.  So now for a poem…

-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-
He holds his head in his hands,
this poor young boy,
caught between his Mother and his Father.
Tormented by inevitability
any choice he makes will lead to sorrow, loss,
and he fears the consequences,
but choose he must.
Grey skies with storm clouds on the horizon,
soil a barren wasteland,
terrain rocky and unforgiving,
he is a long way from home.
They try to claim him for themselves,
but they do not see him.
Did they ever question what he wants?
He stands in pure white,
but soon his garment will be stained with blood.
Will it be his or another’s?

Storm clouds gather on the horizon.
He holds his head in his hands, aching.

 

NaPoWriMo 2015 Day 22: Forest Longing

Standard

The forest has been calling me
and my heart answers
but my hands keep doing laundry
and my feet are pacing
back and forth across the wood floors
as I vacuum.

The forest has been calling me
but I have not been able to answer.

And this is why I am crying.

-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-

Today over at NaPoWriMo.net we are invited to write a pastoral.  From what I’ve gathered it’s an ancient form of poetry and calls our attention to nature, landscapes, and human interactions that unfold there.

I love nature, and a part of me feels displaced, confined, oppressed even if I have been separated from the natural world for any length of time.  This past week my husband and children were ill, and I didn’t have the freedom to run out into the woods the way I would have done if everyone had been well and adhering to their normal routine.  In short, I was feeling pretty miserable inwardly with all of the neediness and no free time.  I tried to capture this feeling somehow in my poem today, even though feelings are slippery and don’t want to be captured.

NaPoWriMo 2015 Day 21: Wisdom is Burning

Standard

Here’s the prompt for today over at NaPoWriMo.net.  It presents an “erasure” poem, in which words are eliminated from a text to create a poem.  I wracked my brains trying to figure out from which kind of text I’d like to extract a poem…hmmm.

And then I went downstairs to one of my bookshelves and sifted through some books for a few minutes until I came across Paramahansa Yoganada’s little pocket-sized book entitled Metaphysical Meditations.  I found a page that struck my fancy, and I created an erasure poem.  

Here is the original:

on worldly pleasures

 

And here is the poem I created by importing the photo into the Sketchbook app, trying to find a “paint” that matched the color of the page, and then “painting” over the words I wanted to erase.  I love technology.  I didn’t have to find a photocopier to reproduce the image,  I didn’t use any paper and I didn’t have to break out any White Out (or breathe in any fumes).  Winning!

erasure poem

Wisdom is burning.
I am flame.
All cherished ambitions
ancient passions
dreams
are consumed by
my own blaze.
I am myself.
I am no longer a slave.

NaPoWriMo 2015 Day 20: What I Know

Standard

The prompt for today over at NaPoWriMo.net asked us to write a poem based on what we know.  That gets heady for me.  How much do I know, how much do I think I know, and how will my not knowing hinder my growth?  I think I’ll stick to the basics.  Anything complex right now might fry my poor tired brain.

-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0–0-
I know that I am a woman;
but is that true?
Yes, of course yes,
I gave birth to two children.
But does that make a woman?

I know that I am tired.
I know that when tired
the best thing one can do is rest.
I know that I want to finish this blog post
and I want it to make sense.

As my eyes struggle to stay open
the chances of my being understood
diminish quickly.
I know they are open now:
I’m staring at the screen.
Is it time to shake my head and go?

And what else do I know,
and what else do I not know?

NaPoWriMo 2015 Day 19: Landays for the Afghan Ladies

Standard

Today’s NaPoWriMo.net prompt took me pretty deep.  It introduced me to the landay:

Landays are 22-syllable couplets, generally rhyming. The form comes from Afghanistan, where women often use it in verses that range from the sly and humorous to the deeply sardonic and melancholy.

It linked to this in depth article that not only gave me more of a feel for the landay, but it also helped me to see a little more of what life is like for Afghan women growing up with no real access to education and few if any personal liberties.  It told the story of a teenaged woman who reached for poetry when nothing else was available to her and found herself connected with a group of other women poets who encouraged her to continue. But her story is not a happy one.  I found myself all at once feeling heartbroken as I read of her fate but also profoundly grateful for my own, being born into a family with the means to support me on my path of self-discovery, at a time when self-discovery is encouraged, and in a country that provides me with the freedom to make those discoveries on my own terms.

I wrote my landays for the Afghan women who search for themselves in spite of the terrible oppression they are forced to live with.  I have hope for them.  I will not give up hope.

-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-

My sisters, I did not start this war.
The foolish ones who chose it suffer forevermore.

***
Completely covered from head to toe,
They may hide your body; let them try to hide your soul.

***
Love and light forever reign supreme.
God sees neither borders nor the color of your skin.

Napowrimo 2015 day 18: Self Love Now

Standard

The prompt for today at napowrimo.net references the midnight ride of Paul Revere, today being the 240th anniversary of that famous ride. We’re invited to write a poem that shares some kind of urgent message whether it is historical or metaphorical or whatever–it’s very open ended. Ahem. I’m writing on my phone because my husband is hogging the computer, so don’t expect too much outta me tonight.

-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-

It is urgent
that you learn
how to love yourself now.

Search deep within,
notice the resentment,
fear, anger, notice
the shame, pain
guilt and regret,
the jealousy,
the self-denigrating thoughts.

Take a deep breath
and make space for whatever comes.
Learn how to love yourself
in this moment.

When you are kind and gentle
with yourself when
you are compassionate and
accepting
you become a beacon of
lovingkindess.

In a world wracked with
senseless violence
every bit of light counts.

The world has need of your light.
Find it deep within
And know who you are;
Your knowing will bring all beings
closer to peace.

It is urgent
that you learn
how to love yourself now.