More Words

Reflection on Yoga
 
I did not rush,
I did not force,
though I wailed inside
with remorse
for all those years lost,
as I pushed, pushed
past myself.
The Jana Yogis say:
“Neti, neti,”
“I am not this, I am not that,”
on their search for knowledge
of one’s true nature.

To find one’s soul is easy.
To stay one’s self, impossible.

Did I run
into any bear or moose?
Yes, just not with my eyes.
And yes,
the ridge line too,
was beautiful
yet, every
mountain crest
leads to a road.

To hike one crest,
one mountain for eternity
without stumbling across any roads,
yes, there are some places,
I am sure,
inside and outside of ourselves
the eternity of existence,
pure consciousness, moksha, samadhi,
whatever you want to call it.

We all try don’t we?

Strive for that moment,
climbing the mountain
like a newborn
crawling from the marsupial pouch
of its mother,
outside of her,
outside of ourselves,
outside the wheel of rebirth,
sweating, crying, squealing,
and at the top it’s all worth it,
the chest
full of breath
rising and falling without count.

And then we have lunch.

August   2014

India is…

India is
a never ending sunset.

India is
a holy pilgrimage of men,
sacred cows chewing on plastic bags.

India is
a tree of red-listed monkeys,
dolphins and whales
grazing the beaches
of the Arabian Sea.

India is
a home for all the extinct
souls of the world.

India is
uncertainty
in a restaurant,
in a relationship,
in life.

India is
like this.

It is possible.

India is
a rip tide,
the test is
how calm you’ll
swim back to shore.

India is
a stray dog in love,
a man eating tiger,
a herd trampling elephant,
a destitute farmer.

India is
aborting girls,
strangling women
and outcasting widows.

India is
a-changing,
reforming,
developing,
consuming.

India is
holy water,
holy plants,
holy animals,
holy men
and
holy women.

India is
a female goddess
in the form of an an eagle
with a broken wing.

It is like this, only.
It is possible.
Namaste.

December 2014

Fall Reflection Begins  (2013)
 
A Shallow Summer Swim  
 
I found out today,
water lilies smell
just like lilac.
 
It hit me right away,
the same scent as when
I reached for those purple clusters,
a bouquet for my teacher
on the first day of school,
a Russian tradition.
 
What is summer but limit testing?
Heat, sweat and hormones
rushing, swarming like mosquitoes
on a camping trip at dusk. 
 
How far can you swim,
how far can you run,
how long can you love,
how much can you trust?
 
Funny how things come back 
full circle, 
life taking shape when you least expect it. 
 
Barely a year can feel
like a lifetime of summers,
revelations.
 
Chief Blackfeet,
I now understand you:
“The changes of many summers have brought old age upon me.”
 
 
Psychology of Addiction
 
“Spread your legs, Bitch”
and “she’s trying to
domesticate a feral cat,
what am I supposed to tell her?”
 
Patient testifies,
“Sometimes, I’d take the .57
revolver, empty the bullets except for
just one and
hold it up to my head.”
 
Relapse can be a healthy part
of the recovery process except for
clients who overdose,
but become a statistic
allow us
to more accurately make
the necessary calculations
to better understand
the psychology of addiction.
 
Plans
 
Plans, plans, plans.
Like
drop-
lets
of water from the sky,
absorbing, disappearing
vanishing
slowly from sight
of the human eye.
 
Fish surface secretly
in the steamy, morning lake
while I’m learning to give in
to the concept of fate.
 
My own wishes and desires,
succumbing to the present
absorbing all life has to give
like droplets by a desert.
 
Cold rain, hot sun
Light and darkness
All around, all at once.
 
While you slept,
two birds landed 
to take a look
and that was enough.

Spring Poems (2013)

Olfactory Senses 1

The smell of crepes frying,
buckwheat boiling,
lanolin on my hands,
your large sweater
and your scent
draping over my body.

I am lost,
confused in trying to
find my own.

Winter Colors

Let me be white and black
like snow against
a cold, dark stone,
so you can see
just how I feel
with all the clarity
of winter.

I touch and go
with your heart
like a game of football
in the matters of the
sport and the heart
I am equally unskilled,
unsure of who to toss the ball to.

I run as fast as I can
to the other side of the field when
I see you coming.

But deep down,
I want you
to tackle and pin me
to the ground,
hold me there,
shoulders pressed
into the grass,
heaving,
that you just stay there and
listen to me breathing.

Olfactory Senses 2

The smell of the earth
in spring:
black, wet and uncovered
from snow
like the mucus swathed
black lamb born of a white mother.

Earth,
I walk upon you,
with my feet
I press and step
on all your organs.

Please forgive me,
for I do so with
the same reverence
as when I pulled
the lamb by his hooves.

Yellow Daffodils

Void, black and wet
your eyes
washed by a sea
of endless thoughts,
dark, deep and
frigid enough to kill.

Yellow daffodils
this spring
line the road
I am driving down,
eyes squinting from the
the sun and worry.

At the dance,
I am slow, heavy
weighed by the
burden I asked
you to share.

Pain, suffering
all of it
I could live with,
let go, if only
it was my own.

                                                   Spring Poems 2013

Blank

I feel so blank now that you’re gone.
You took it all with you,
Did it fit inside
the case of your guitar?
With so much weight
how will you ever get far?

You said you liked driving
but now you’re walking
and you could be in this car
going back to a place
you’ve never been before.

This is your life after all,
not just a poetic metaphor.
Like a game of basketball,
you walked off the court
because you couldn’t slam dunk.

Where are you now?

Tell me,
are you drunk?

                                                 Nov 2012

Я Хочу…

В место предисловия,
Я хочу мужчину из Таджикистана –
кожа белая как свежая сметана
с деревенского базара,
от Московского мороза
на щеках, яркая румяна.

По утру прохожу мимо его,
в это время он снег отчищяет
по моем пути до метро.

Я говорю на трех языках,
но ему ни слова сказать не могу.
Ах, Боже, стыдно как хочу,
поцеловать и растаить его яблочный румян
который каждое утро мне сияет
сквозь снежный, городской туман.

                                                               Feb.  2012

¡Empujame!

¡Empujame!
A mi me da miedo
dejar está tierra,
saltar de está piedra
por los pozos invitan,
me miran azules
de tus ojos,
corrientes rojos
en una isla de locos,
lava volcánica botado
por el corazón,
tú voz me despertó
como el buzón.

¡Pasa! ¡Pasa!
¡Adelante! Entra!
Para ti mi puerta siempre está abierta,
una hamaca de Guajira colgada,
¿será que no sabes estoy enamorada?

Jan. 2012

Dear Mr. Photographer

Dear Mr. Photographer,
Lend me your ear!

I do not want to see
Another image I have seen before,
Did you hear?

Not another
Iraqi civilian on fire,
Not another
Millionaire on trial,
Not another
Embryo growing in a vial,
Not another
HIV patient with a smile,

I can handle the truth
Even if I’ll never win at a
Coney Island booth.

 Mar.  2012

Под Утро

Вот он стоит и Я
Подхожу к нему и обнимаю,
Деда,  деда, деда!
К себе так крепко  прижимаю,
И на его спине, маленькие, мои руки,
Как  будто небывало вечной той разлуки,
Всей взрослой силой обнимаю тот верный силуэт.

Но таит он в руках моих,
Открыв глаза я вижу – его нет.

Apr. 2012

Today

I yelled at the dog and
slapped the cow.
She spilled my milk.

Jan.  2012

Girl!

Let yourself manifest.
No need to wait
For that man to caress
Your breast.

God’s grace erased
From the surface of your face,
Origins debated
You’re just a
Planet, reincarnated.

Your scent is everywhere,
Watch out!
He’s a hungry bear.

If you can’t bear
The childbirth tear,
Kick him to the curb
Like a wild mare.

Easier said.
Than done.
For you
It’s easier
To be gone.

Human rights advocate
Speaks out against
Your fate –
His right to mate,
But it’s too late.

How can we make
Peace with his kiss
On your virgin lips?

Trembling finger tips,
Callused hands
Running over
Eleven year old tits.

Witnessing all of it,
With a machete
Want to shred him to bits
But instead throw paper fits.

Dec. 2012

Nothing Left

There is nothing left to shield, nothing to hide,
nothing to cover, nothing left to fight,
in this empty yard, Harlem project housing,
just a grocery store that don’t look promising.

Overpriced, underpaid, they say
the cost of living here is going up every day.
Ladies getting thinner, forgetting
how to live without their IPOD mirror.

New York City lost its style,
everybody seems to be dressin’ the same,
professionally nonetheless,
tryin’ to get ahead in the game.

No body wantin’ to be bothered
With messages of peace.
I can’t believe this
sight of man’s destruction,
Also called human consumption,
Recommended by the government,
Even if you can’t pay rent.

Deeper in debt,
Life white and black
In any season,
Money bought everything,
except meaning.

                         Jan. 2012

A Pedro

Caminando descalca
sobre piedras frías,
lejos.

Acuerdo de tus manos.

Una noche en el pueblo
llena de estrellas y yo,
durmiendo al lado del fuego
en la cocina.

                                   Jun. 2011

Mountain Man

Is it true?

I’ve heard about bear and elk
and other magnificent creatures,
all hiding inside of you.

                                                 Nov. 2009

Untitled

Oh, sweet moment of happiness!
Sure footed on this tightrope,
Let me crawl and swim
Downstream to a land unknown.

May 2009

College Essay, Revisited

I remember waking up and staring out the window, leaning over the windowsill on my toes, fascinated by the gray clouds clustering on the other side of the glass. It was one of the few times I had witnessed the world before dawn but there was no time for lingering.  I had only one chance to sneak into the kitchen before my grandmother would order me back to bed.

Dashing through the shadow cast by a kitchen window, I caught my grandfather chuckling in approval of my devious plan. He was applying shaving foam to his face with a round, metal brush with coarse bristles. Squealing with joy, I brushed past my grandmother, indistinct in her role, and hopped to safety in his lap. It was now official, I would accompany him and the new army recruits on their fishing trip.

We boarded the bus at o-five hundred hours sharp. I was lost in the scent of cologne and freshly ironed uniforms. Working for the military, my grandfather regularly received gifts of grain and wine from people in town. I played with the typewriter in his office.

Sharply clad young men produced hearty belly laughs in response to my rambling stories. As an eight year old, I insisted on reciting the folktales my grandfather told me before bed and recounted winter days when he would wait for me downhill just to effortlessly pull my sled back up, over and over again. In my mind, there were so many more I wanted to tell, stories of picking watermelon and eating it with slices of black bread and garlic, going to play with my neighbor’s horse and our late night summer walks. We had all the time in the world, until my bedtime, leaning on the chipping, green fence looking out into the quiet street of our tiny village. We discussed important things in life. Especially reasons I shouldn’t bring home any more stray dogs.

Many seasons passed this way and another. It was another one of those cold November nights charging through Brooklyn, the tyrannical wind and icy rain stripping trees bare and silencing even crows. Thousands of miles flash before my eyes, stream across the Atlantic Ocean, narrow rivers, snow covered pine forests, through the chipped green fence and focus in on the still living room. There my grandfather is resting in front of his first color television set. The high ceilings create just enough space for the Asian Rose tree planted in a pot beside the wall decorated with a red rug, windows draped with white lace. I know he is wishing to see me, hear my laughter resound in the empty hallway just one more time. His heart has already stopped. I know as he takes his last breath, I am somewhere amidst his blurry thoughts.

                                                                                                             Sept. 2003

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