Rara is an incredibly creative writer, author, and poet. She spreads love and wisdom with every blog-post. She also models being accountable for her thoughts, words, actions and attitudes. I encourage you to read her most recent poem, and to explore her blog.
White Boy Privilege
Last night, I read about the poem Royce Mann, age 14, presented in a school competition… he won the competition. This morning I found it on YouTube. I knew it would be controversial but was still surprised at the flood of nasty comments the video received.
Whether you agree with it or not, I think the content deserves to be heard and thought about.
The words to the poem can be found at the bottom of http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/13/us/teen-slam-poet-white-privilege-hln/index.html
Note: A slam competition is a competition where poets read or recite their original work
Family (Echo Poem)
On Thursday, Sreejit announced that this week’s Dungeon Prompt will be the last of the year due to his upcoming Walking with Intention event. He proposed that we write about Family.
Around the same time I read an echo poem written by Oliana on Traces of the Soul. I decided to see if I could create a poem using that style.
Oliana stated that in an echo poem “the last syllable or two of a main line is repeated, perhaps with different spelling or meaning, as if an echo; usually this echo will be indented to a point under or beyond the syllable it mimics and will function as an independent line of one or two syllables.”
Here is my beginner’s attempt!
left home at seventeen, did not look back
life unfolds- study, marry, children arrive
challenges occur- divorce and illness
families of choice materialize
ancient wounds healing, become whole again
belonging and connection do abound
Loosening Your Grip (Acrostic)
Living and learning that is our task
Each encounter, removing the masks
There are no shortcuts, no easy way
To live life’s journey, day after day
Instruction manual? That would be nice
Not possible? Then here’s some advice
Gripping your plans with hands of steel
Gives pain, misery, endless ordeals
Open your hand, the path to reveal
As I wrote the acrostic, I remembered a poem that I have loved for decades. The author is unknown.
I asked God for strength that I might achieve.
I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health that I might do greater things.
I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
I asked for riches that I might be happy.
I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might have the praise of men.
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life.
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for, but everything I hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am, among all men, most richly blessed.
Written for this week’s Dungeon Prompt.
Weekly Photo Challenge: Forces of Nature (Acrostic)
From birth to death and beyond
Offering beauty and protection
Rendering love unconditional
Creator, sustainer, destroyer
Energy that has no bounds
Sharing all that she has to offer
Only “the times they are a-changin”
Feeling our neglect, our abuse
Nature’s crying, can’t save us from ourselves
Another earthquake, people dying
Temperatures rising, ice caps melting
Upon us come floods, superbugs, disease
Realization is dawning, but is it too late
Eager earnest effort is essential
(Note: The quote is the title of a Bob Dylin song)
Written for Weekly Photo Challenge: Forces of Nature
Branches Reach for the Sky शखाः आकाशं प्रप्नुवन्ति (Haiku)
In an earlier post, I shared pictures of blooms on a tree that is in my back yard.
I realized later that I wanted to give readers a better sense of the full majesty of the tree. It is much taller than my house and covers a significant area in both my yard and my neighbor’s. I decided I would do that by taking photos of different parts of the tree.
सौन्दर्यम् उन्नतं तिष्ठति
मूलनि पृथिव्य़ां गभीरं खननमं कुर्वन्ति
शखाः आकाशं प्रप्नुवन्ति
beauty standing tall
roots in earth digging deep
branches reach for sky
Do you know what type of tree this is? (I don’t.)
A Life of Service
May My Hands Be In Service
I met Amma, a spiritual leader from Southwest India, in 1989 when she was leading programs in Seattle, Washington. A friend had invited me to go with her. I had no interest in attending, but when I was asked “Yes” came out of my mouth. As the music started that night, I burst into tears. Even though I had no previous experience with Indian music or Eastern spirituality, I had a strong sense of being “Home.” I cried for hours. Later in the night, I received my first hug from Amma, who is known as the Hugging Saint. Her hug felt good, but I was much more interested in the music!
I was intrigued enough by my experience to go to the programs the next day and to the last day of a retreat she was leading on Orcas Island. Afterwards, I was invited to be part of a group who was seeing Amma off at the Orcas Island airport. As she prepared to board the plane, I started crying as if my heart was going to break. I found my behavior extremely bizarre since I barely knew her and I saw no reason for my intense emotion. Six weeks later, I was at Amma’s programs in New Hampshire and six months after that I was with her in India.
Over the next few years, I continued to experience huge separation grief whenever I was leaving Amma, even if I was going to be seeing her again days later. My grief was particularly intense whenever I left Amma’s Indian ashram. At times, I wondered if I was going crazy. As I struggled to find some explanation, I remembered that Amma had said that those of us who are attracted to her have been with her in previous lives.
I knew Amma generally didn’t answer questions about past-life experiences, but I decided to present her with my theory at the next opportunity. When that time came, I told her I believed I had lived with her in an ashram before and that I grieved to return to that familiar “home.” I added that I thought my “job” in this lifetime was to be in service in the world and to learn to feel connected to her when I was not with her. It seemed to me that it was fine for me to come to the ashram every year, but that I should not live there.
When my comments were translated, Amma responded, “I recognize you.” I looked at the swami (monk) who was translating, puzzled. “She is telling you, you are right,” he said. My eyes filled with tears. She had said she knew me! I experienced the joy of being known and the relief of having my reasoning validated. I was not crazy. There was a logical, albeit unusual, explanation for my overwhelming grief.
My life had been focused on service before I met Amma, and it has continued to be. I have visited Amma’s Indian ashram almost every year since 1989. I feel connected to Amma when I am with her and when I am not. I also feel connected to the ashram when I am there and when I am not. I am so grateful for all I have learned and experienced in this lifetime.
a life of service
my friends and clients
becoming a better person
leaving the world a better place
hard work? …… maybe
what could be more fulfilling
Amma’s 2015 North American Summer Tour schedule can be found at http://amma.org/news/ammas-north-american-summer-tour-2015
This post was written for Dungeon Prompts: Hard Work: What Does it Mean to You?
Nature’s Miracle (Haiga)
An Offering (Haiku)
Handful of petals
Offering to the Mother
From my heart to hers
The Haiku was written about a Bhagavati Puja I attended last night. The photographs were taken after the puja had ended.
Waking in the Night (Troiku)
I have been intrigued lately by a form of poetry that Tournesol from Traces of the Soul and Tournesol Dans Un Jardin has been writing. (See Courting Moon.) The style is a new form of Haiku called Troiku that was developed by Chevrefeuilles.
In this style, there is a three lined Haiku that is the base of the poem. The author then creates a separate Haiku using each of the base lines.
Here is my first attempt at writing a Troiku!
Waking in the night
dreaming about Sanskrit
It’s time to blog!
Waking in the night
Mind on overdrive
Dreaming about Sanskrit
Will I ever learn?
It’s time to blog!
Ideas rolling in
Can sleep another day!