Morning Prayers

It has been quite awhile since I posted a poem. Here is a one I wrote recently after my morning meditation time.

Morning prayers sit silent. Hear the breath, feel the eyes close, air on the skin; the stillness of the body.
Prayers move in and out on the stream of the breath. Anything and everything which could ever be spoken,
Every story which molds, enters and exists in a lifetime is birthed and released in one breath … after another and another.
Empty of the sound of ones own voice, prayer rises up and around, perfumed incense in Union with the Divine on the inhale and exhale.
What more can be said.
Oh yes, Oh yes. I pray with my words, my voice, heart. So many prayers spoken in so many ways with so many words, the litany of mantra.
Endless emotions, supplications, intercessions; in the car, late at night/early early morn, on the knees, face to the floor, during a walk,
Out the door, in the in-between of anything and everything. Endless, unceasing, upon the lips…
In silence the invocation of Pure Presence, the Breath of God echoing upon my own, a call and response. In the Union there is nothing else.
No-Thing in the prayer mala but breath… nothing to fear, or to dream, to hold onto or let go.
Only this moment, this breath, the Breath of Union; a sacred merge.
Nothing else to know or be.
 

Mirabai Ceiba – Between the Shores of Our Soul

Mirabai Ceiba creates beautiful music! They have recently released a new cd of poetic songs from the works of Khalil Gibran and Rumi, melodious and pure, titled Between The Shores of Our Soul. Below is one of the tracks from their new cd titled Ocean of My Soul. The video is enchanting. .

 

Mirabai Ceiba Between The Shores of Our Souls

CD REVIEW: BETWEEN THE SHORES OF OUR SOULS
by Alan di Perna

Between the Shores of Our Souls is an album that enfolds you in a beautiful dream. Delicately wrought of shimmering sonic textures and soft, beguiling vocals, it is a dream woven from the eternal heart-play of divine love and romantic love. This intimate musical and lyrical space is a world well known to Mirabai Ceiba’s Markus Sieber and Angelika Baumbach, longtime lovers, partners in music, poetry, life and the shared path of the spirit.

Subtitled Songs of Love and Longing, the album draws from the divine poetry of Rumi and Khalil Gibran, two masters of a long literary tradition that takes the burning desire of earthly love as a metaphor for profound spiritual devotion, and vice versa. To this, Markus and Angelika add their own inspired lyrics in English and Spanish, not to mention their own distinctive musical sensibility.

Mirabai Ceiba brings something unique and entrancing to world devotional music—a sepia-toned European aesthetic. Between the Shores of Our Souls is bathed in a soft-hued aura of cinematic romance, tempered by a kind of Nick Drake/rainy afternoon introspection and the hazy impressionism of the Cocteau Twins, albeit rendered on acoustic instruments. For this is very much an acoustic album. A pristine recording by Chas Eller and Jamshied Sharifi puts you in a realm of the senses where you can palpably feel the gossamer touch of Angelika’s fingers on her harp and piano, the plangent depths of Markus’ guitar, the hushed rustle of the string quartet that embellishes many tracks. Through it all, Markus and Angelika alternate lead vocals like lovers playing a game of hearts. But the game grows most glorious when the duo’s voices twine in sweet octaves and harmonies.

Between the Shores of Our Souls is an album that is universal in its appeal, with enormous potential to transcend the “yoga music” market. For it speaks not of abstract spiritual concepts or exotic deities, but simply of love—something which resonates deeply in all our hearts. This is an album that whispers gently in your ear, a disc to spend some quiet time with either a loved one or alone with your own yearning heart. The dream it weaves will stay with you long after the last languid, hypnotic notes fade into the ether.

Spring ~ Oh Spring

It is spring in Central Oregon. The sunning is shining down through a soft blue sky. Laundry hangs fresh on the line, lilacs and bleeding hearts embellish a glass vase upon the table, their perfuming floating. The backdoor sits open, the patio chairs send out an invitation to stop and revel under the warming sun. Birds chirp, tweet and flutter in the trees; from the birdbath. Bees are buzzing and busy flitting and finding.

Spring springs and the delights are in the being, in the unhurried moments of May-time laughter as color pushes from the earth. Before the headiness of summer and the full bloom sways us, spring enters in her quiet un-contrived way. And it is all the better in the waiting her return. Oh ~  I live for just these days as one unfolds after another as petals in the bud.

Spring invokes poetry – The poetry of Spring in all her quiet glory; her accolades are heralded far and wide. For who can herald rebirth without spring and where would we find the first notes to sing her praise.

In time of daffodils (who know
the goal of living is to grow)
forgetting why, remember how
in time of lilacs who proclaim
the aim of waking is to dream,
remember so (forgetting seem)
in time of roses (who amaze
our now and here with paradise)
forgetting if, remember yes
in time of all sweet things beyond
whatever mind may comprehend,
remember seek (forgetting find)
and in a mystery to be
(when time from time shall set us free)
forgetting me, remember me
e.e. cummings
.

A Poetic Stand

If you stand ankle deep in happiness will it resound pure and true like tinkling bells with every step you take. 
If you stand knee deep in love will it make you buckle and bend in awe of so much; rising again to the day.
If you stand waist deep in joy will you ring out with belly laughs fit for the work of a jester courting the delights of life.

If you stand chest deep in compassion will it soften knots wound round your heart and the hearts of those met in the passing.

If you stand neck deep in kindness will you press your cheeks one to another knowing the other is you.

If you stand brow deep in bliss will you shine forth as a lighthouse guiding others to the promise of Light and Love.

If you lie down under the tree of destiny, drip drops of nectar to cover thee, will you rise up to stand ankle deep in happiness . . .

Sadh Bakshish Boyd

Leonard & Antony ~ If It Be Your Will

I  originally posted these song lyrics by Leonard Cohen back in 2007. I was thinking of the song this morning and decided to resurrect it with music and video. I love Leonard Cohen and this song is so very beautiful, lyrics from the heart of supplication. Cohen’s way with words is pure poetry – how can one not love this mans voice and art. Antony sang this cover of If It Be Your Will at a Leonard Cohen tribute in the film I Am Your Man. His passion and delivery take my breath away. I remember when I first saw it I rewound, watched and listened over and over. I could not get enough.

If It Be Your Will by Leonard Cohen

If it be your will
That I speak no more
And my voice be still
As it was before
I will speak no more
I shall abide until
I am spoken for
If it be your will

If it be your will
That a voice be true
From this broken hill
I will sing to you
From this broken hill
All your praises they shall ring
If it be your will
To let me sing
From this broken hill
All your praises they shall ring
If it be your will
To let me sing

If it be your will
If there is a choice
Let the rivers fill
Let the hills rejoice
Let your mercy spill
On all these burning hearts in hell
If it be your will
To make us well

And draw us near
And bind us tight
All your children here
In their rags of light
In our rags of light
All dressed to kill
And end this night
If it be your will

If it be your will.

If It Be Your Will sung by Antony Hegarty of Antony and  The Johnsons

♥ For Susan ♥

When Death Comes

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps his purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox;

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering;
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth
tending as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was a bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

~ Mary Oliver ~

Two for Monday ~ Poems by May Sarton & e.e cummings

The House of Gathering by May Sarton

If old age is a house of gathering,
Then the hands are full.
There are old trees to prune
And young plants to plant,
There are seeds to be sown.
Not less of anything
But more of everything
To care for,
To maintain,
To keep sorted out,
A profusion of people
To answer, to respond to.

But we have been ripening
To a greater ease,
Learning to accept
That all hungers cannot be fed,
That saving the world
May be a matter
Of sewing a seed
Not overturning a tyrant,
That we can do what we can.

The moment of vision,
The seizure still makes
Its relentless demands:

Work, love, be silent.
Speak.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *  * * *  * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *  * * *

e.e. cummings

maggie and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach (to play one day)

and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn’t remember her troubles,and

milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and

may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.

For whatever we lose(like a you or a me)
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea

Praise Song For The Day

Inaugural Poem by Elizabeth Alexander

Praise song for the day.

Each day we go about our business, walking past each other, catching each others’ eyes or not, about to speak or speaking. All about us is noise. All about us is noise and bramble, thorn and din, each one of our ancestors on our tongues. Someone is stitching up a hem, darning a hole in a uniform, patching a tire, repairing the things in need of repair.

Someone is trying to make music somewhere with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice.

A woman and her son wait for the bus.

A farmer considers the changing sky; A teacher says, “Take out your pencils. Begin.”

We encounter each other in words, Words spiny or smooth, whispered or declaimed; Words to consider, reconsider.

We cross dirt roads and highways that mark the will of someone and then others who said, “I need to see what’s on the other side; I know there’s something better down the road.”

We need to find a place where we are safe; We walk into that which we cannot yet see.

Say it plain, that many have died for this day. Sing the names of the dead who brought us here, who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges, picked the cotton and the lettuce, built brick by brick the glittering edifices they would then keep clean and work inside of.

Praise song for struggle; praise song for the day. Praise song for every hand-lettered sign; The figuring it out at kitchen tables.

Some live by “Love thy neighbor as thy self.”

Others by “first do no harm,” or “take no more than you need.”

What if the mightiest word is love, love beyond marital, filial, national. Love that casts a widening pool of light. Love with no need to preempt grievance.

In today’s sharp sparkle, this winter air, anything can be made, any sentence begun.

On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp — praise song for walking forward in that light.

Maya Angelo ~ Nubian Queen ~ Every Woman Should Have…Every Woman Should Know…

MAYA ANGELOU'S BEST POEM EVER

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE...
Enough money within her control to move out
And rent a place of her own even if she never wants
To or needs to...


A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE...
Something perfect to wear if the employer or date of her
Dreams wants to see her in an hour...

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ...
A youth she's content to leave behind...

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE...
A past juicy enough that she's looking forward to
Retelling it in her old age...

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ...
A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black
Lace bra...

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE...
One friend who always makes her laugh... And one who
Lets her cry...

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE...
A good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone
Else in her family...

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE...
Eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems, and a
Recipe for a meal that will make her guests feel honored...

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE...
A feeling of control over her destiny...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
How to fall in love without losing herself...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
How to quit a job, break up with a lover, and confront a friend without ruining the friendship ...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
When to try harder... And when to walk away...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
That she can't change the length of her calves,
The width of her hips, or the nature of her parents...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
That her childhood may not have been perfect...but its
Over...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
What she would and wouldn't do for love or more...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
How to live alone... Even if she doesn't like it...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
Whom she can trust, whom she can't, and why she shouldn't
Take it personally...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
Where to go... Be it to her best friend's kitchen table...
Or a charming inn in the woods...
When her soul needs soothing...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
What she can and can't accomplish in a day...
A month...and a year...

MAYA ANGELOU

may my heart always be open to little… (19)

By e.e. cummings

may my heart always be open to little
birds who are the secrets of living
whatever they sing is better than to know
and if men should not hear them men are old

may my mind stroll about hungry
and fearless and thirsty and supple
and even if it’s sunday may i be wrong
for whenever men are right they are not young

and may myself do nothing usefully
and love yourself so more than truly
there’s never been quite such a fool who could fail
pulling all the sky over him with one smile

If It Be Your Will

seraphim2.jpgIf it be your will
That I speak no more
And my voice be still
As it was before
I will speak no more
I shall abide until
I am spoken for
If it be your will

If it be your will
That there is a voice be true
From this broken hill
I will sing to you
From this broken hill
All your praises they shall ring
If it be your will
To let me sing
From this broken hill
All your praises they shall ring
If it be your will
To let me sing

If it be your will
If there is a choice
Let the rivers fill
Let the hills rejoice
Let your mercy spill
On all these burning hearts in hell
If it be your will
To make us well

And draw us near
And bind us tight
All your children here
In their rags of light
In our rags of light
All dressed to kill
And end this night
If it be your will

If it be your will.

 

Leonard Cohen 

“Dance Me To The End Of Love”

Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic til I’m gathered safely in
Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love

Oh let me see your beauty when the witnesses are gone
Let me feel you moving like they do in Babylon
Show me slowly what I only know the limits of
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love


Dance me to the wedding now, dance me on and on
Dance me very tenderly and dance me very long
Were both of us beneath our love, were both of us above
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love

Dance me to the children who are asking to be born
Dance me through the curtains that our kisses have outworn
Raise a tent of shelter now, though every thread is torn
Dance me to the end of love

Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic till I’m gathered safely in
Touch me with your naked hand or touch me with your glove
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love

Leonard Cohen

A Bit of Jack Kerouac

Poem


I am God

 

 

Haiku


Came down from my

ivory tower

And found no world

 

 

(Enlightenments)

 

When you become enlightened

you will know that you’ve

been enlightened all along

 

*

 

Alright, I am sick of this

enlightenment – now I’m

dumb again – the

delicate blue morning

sky through the tree.

 

*

 

Don’t worry about food,

Little John, there’s some

e v e r y w h e r e

 

*

 

Allen says “When people get

religious they start feeding

e v e r y b o d y

 

*

 

–The morning of

the end of my enlightenment

 

*

 

Enlightenment is: do what

 you want

eat what there is

 

*

 

The soul burns out the eyes

 

World, it’s about time you

realized there’s too much food

for everybody to eat

 

*

Springtime and Live Sadhana

So I took a bit of a break from blogging, letting the posts sit as they may. At times there is nothing new to say. The energy of the spring equinox was so beautifully and jubilantly lovely, I wanted to revel in it and not be distracted or articulate. Bulbs are bold in their bright sun turned faces, trees rich in bloom, the smell of thawed earth…spring sits upon the doorstep; life breathes again, like Lazarus awakened from a deep sleep. And for that moment thoughts still and words cease. The wonder of it all…

“…This shivers me; I swear

A tune so bold and bare,

Yet fine as maidenhair,

Shakes every sense.

I’m five times five a man; I breathe

This sudden random song,

And, like you, bird, I sing,

A man, a man alive…”

And who wants to sit before the computer with the task of translating senses to words…”not I”, I cried, “Not today, not now, tomorrow maybe, tomorrow somehow”. I will steady my breath and collect my thoughts and focus to paper, to paper words upon the white space, painting portraits of spring landscape transforming the blank to pictures of delicious delight…and be lost all over again in the intoxicating revelry of spring.

****************************************************

On another note, last weekend here in Central Oregon; we had live sadhana and gudwara, a small gathering at the Tumalo Yoga Center and home of Jai Hari Kaur and Singh. The troupe from Eugene, Amrit Sadhana Kaur (home for spring break) and Nirinjan Kaur and Siri Amrit Singh, brought lovely chants and kirtan to our outpost and blessed us immensely with guitar, harmonium, tablas and voices. So lovely and beautiful. The vibration filled the space, flowing out upon the land, into the water and the air, carrying it to every nook and cranny of lava rock and juniper tree.

Many heartfelt thanks to Nirinjan Kaur, Siri Amrit Singh and Amrit Sadhana Kaur for joining us in this celebration of spring; this sacred sound in our desert home. May they grace us with their presence again and may the vibration from this day move through the heart of the land and the people stirring chords of healing and love.

For the Art of Love

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful;

it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;

it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.

For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect;

but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away.

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways.

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood.

So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.   1 Corinthians 13

 

The Trouble with Love?

Aahh…love. It sounds so lovely doesn’t it? A world full of love, a home, a community, a family; it fills our dreams, awake and asleep; awakening us to a world which holds the potential, to move beyond the ordinary and into the extraordinary. Love is preached from the pulpit, in the synagogue, temple, gudwara. Its virtues are expounded and its script fills the Holy books. We are in love with love and the promises it may bring.

…And this is the deal with love, it is not a romantic or virtuous gift bestowed by a God outside of ourselves. It is not an emotion. It is a way of being, a state of awareness. Love is inherent in all things. When I understand this way of being, I will experience love within and without and all that is inherent in this awareness will be my experience. We tend to engage with the illusions of love…”someday our prince (princess) will come…” roses bloom, birds sing, the barren becomes fertile and the desert blooms. All the thorns in our life will become petals and Utopia is our playground.

Love is a sadhana and seva. If I choose the discipline of awareness it will create an effect; it has its asanas and correlating breath. Adjusting my posture , tending to the inhale and exhale, practiced with consciousness and intention over a period of time will produce a result. As with any yoga, it manifests an awareness which will move me into an expanded state of truth. Truth is love. If I live in the awareness of love, then I will experience love and I will walk in the reality of love. I will manifest love, attract love, and bestow love.

And such is the trouble with love….it is not magic or a fairytale. It is a choice. It will only manifest itself to the degree in which I serve and surrender. If I am filled with fear and doubt, sorrow, disbelief, judgment and guilt, then this is how I will love. I will send out this belief and call the same belief system back to myself. It will surely be met, as it seems the greatest disappointment in the human experience is in the “story” of love.

My heart, my heart wants to bloom forth in the abundance of love; to sing the melodies of truth unfolding within the being and seeing. I want to move way….way beyond the mind and its attachments, allowing dreams and fairy tales to fall away in the awareness of the breath. If I sit within the breath of love, I will be love. As I breathe, so I am.

 

“Gone, gone, gone beyond,

Gone completely beyond.

O awakened mind!

So may it be.”

 

The Heart Sutra

Lotus Love – The Kiss of Light

In the sacredness of this day,
I sit upon the lotus flower and
inhale soundly the fragrance of Holy incense.

Deep within the center of the blossom,
upon the throne of the Adi Shakti,
the Goddess of creation plaits her hair;
glistening with the dew of ambrosial nectar.

Holy, Holy is her breath; perfumed by her
transcendent purity. Inhale her scent fully
in the truth of golden knowing; bow deep,
heartened awareness of her complete fruition.

Purest melodies couple in the current of her
voice; stroking…whispering…nurturing
the pulse of seed and ova…coaxing the
still-point of conception from her petaled womb.

Flow, flow; merge through the throne of bliss.
Gather root-deep the mysteries of cosmic tides;
sail the world ocean upon the blooming lily bed;
birthing, bestowing; Kiss of Light upon the brow.

Sadh Bakshish Kaur Boyd

Patriot

alice-walker.jpgI recently read a book title We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For by Alice Walker. Ms. Walker continually stretches to tackle subjects which rest heavy on the collective conscious. Her attention to these subjects and activism in creating awareness and change, keep her a strong, powerful, feminist voice in the wrestling of our demons…whether these demons deliver themselves through prejudice, tradition, suppression, subjugation, ignorance or fear. Ms. Walkers presentations emerge, creating ripples as she brings to the surface the discord of our dysfunctional systems; displayed through race, religion, gender and class. I appreciate and am thankful for her voice.

Below is a poem from We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For….

Patriot

If you
Want to show
Your love
For Americans
Love
Americans
Smile
When you see
One
Flowerlike
His
Turban
Rosepink.

Rejoice
At the
Eagle feather
In a grandfather’s
Braid.

If a sister
Bus rider’s hair
Is
Especially
Nappy,
A miracle
In itself,

Praise
It.

How can there be
Homeless
In a land
So crammed
With houses
&
Young children
Sold
As sex snacks
Causing our thoughts
To flinch &
Snag?

Love your country
By loving
Americans.

Love Americans.
Salute the Soul
& the Body
Of who we
Spectacularly
&
Sometimes
Pitifully are.

Love us. We are
The flag.

Alice Walker