Category: A Poem

Throughout the year, I gather windfall as I walk around the property, where in the forest area the amount of fallen branches covering the ground can be significant. Sometimes it seems, as soon as I clear one area, more deadwood appears. I have learned to accept unpredictability as part of the way of life I have chosen here along the edge of wilderness.

darkoaksI take my gatherings to two collection places: first, near the large fire pit with a concrete bottom, metal and stone surround; second, next to a fire bowl given to me by my daughter. This second place also has a metal rack holding dropped cones I collect from two pine trees on the property.

Recent perambulations caused me to conclude that the second collection area was getting overloaded with firewood and cones. It’s time, I decided, to burn the sagging piles, and there had been a good rain, recently, to make it safe. A nearby water source is ready with hose. In my mind, I was already locating a pair of heavy duty gloves, a shovel and other tools.

Today is the day, I think. Yet my plans get sidetracked as I drink my morning tea. I am watching a 1988 conversation between Bill Moyers and Joseph Campbell. The author of The Power of Myth shares a quote:

The best things in life can’t be talked about. The second best thing is misunderstood. The third best thing is what we talk about.

Intrigued, this quote causes me to reflect on why my teacher was so insistent in his encouragement of my life as a writer. Poetry especially, I have noticed, is a process daring to bridge that which can’t be talked about with what is often misunderstood.

The conversation I am watching and hearing causes me to put my other plans on hold. I feel inspired to continue working on my most recent poem which reflects my yearning to express the inexpressible.

 

Traveling Song for the New Year

Driving north, I hear a song
dancing up the sushumna
like a sudden heat of sun and more.

Once again, I must remember
what to do with brake and pedal
when my head opens to the sky.

I remind myself rapture is natural,
here, beyond narrative,
beyond the drama of destination

I take myself 70 miles per hour
through a fearless wind
towards the unknown.

A Poem Personal Updates

GURUDEV

 

 

To Sri Swami Satchidananda

By Krishnadasi

 

 

 

You say humans have never seen

their own face

only a reflection,

and in those countless mirrors

lakes, pools and rivers

are pictures that don’t exist.

 

We smile and dance

to world illusions

unless

glass or water clean and still

and pure mind listening,

 

awake and quiet;

then, you promise

we may catch a glimpse

quick as the heart of a butterfly

reality

moving across our screen.

 

© YOGA JOURNAL, 1976

 

 

This poem was published when I was known by the Sanskrit name, Krishnadasi, which means servant of Krishna. I was living at the Santa Barbara Satchidananda Ashram at the time. Later, Gurudev suggested a change in my name to Krishnaprema, meaning the divine love of Krishna, which someone told me was a promotion. I did not, at first, accept this change with enthusiasm, because I was attached to the intense experience which brought about Krishnadasi.

 

Gurudev noticed my reluctance and teased me about it. Eventually, he wrote to me and explained how he considered Krishnaprema to represent the best way for me to move forward on my spiritual journey. Fortunately, I had already had a change of heart. I was able to embrace his words and have found them to be an inspiration in my life to this day.

 

Gudrun

A Poem Personal Updates

  • 1.          He Returns
    
    
    	His sound surrounds me,
    	and it is lovely
    	that aimless thoughts
    	do not need to be my friends
    	or my enemies.
    
    	The red-headed woodpecker
    	searches for soft bark,
    	and I do not have to wait	
    	for something
    	else.
    
    
    2.          Rain at Last
    
    
    	I move stone and sand
    	around the water-logged walkway.
    
    	I welcomed the rain.
    	and now I welcome sun.
    
    	The nature of opposites
    	brightens my neighbor the forest
    	without apology.
    
    
    3.           December Moon
    
    	After the rain, a clear night
    	shines full moon against
    	the early dark.
    
    	I open the driveway gate for you.
    	Quickly, a cloud surrounds the white circle
    	with rings of gold.
    

A Poem

A quote sent to me via one of my students:

Personalities are born once.
A mystic many times….

I am not Shams Tabriz,
But a light within his light.

The poem reminds me of my teacher who passed over a decade ago. His light continues, and is the same within us all.

I still remember the strong scent of rose when Gurudev, unexpectedly leaving his assigned seat, sat down beside me at a movie premier. Earlier, I had been asked to wait, for a time, before I entered the theatre, finally, just before the room went dark, my name not having appeared on the list. I was later than I wanted to be; embarrassed, I sat far in the back.

 

 

To Gurudev, Again

88 years you walked the firm
and the soft
through space thicker than water.

Your father called on your gift
for the rhythm and dance
of words.

You planted seeds unknown to me
until now
a tree of gratitude has grown.

 

 

November 24, 2014

A Poem

  Midnight Vigil




Between forest and farm, we appear to sit
without moving;
leaned back
in our chairs.

We ride the light from our eyes
to the stars.

Meteorites flash and fall,
oaks heave bright auras.

Inside oceanic wind,
our ship rotates
through space.

A Poem

Kundalini

 

I see a rainbow inside;
outside, nothing but light.

Kundalini,
that which awakens.

Being here, kundalini
does not relate
to there.

 

Whenever the word, kundalini, comes up in conversation, which it has lately, I remember an intense and confusing period where my perceptions were shifting dramatically.

TreePoseLSD.epsOne way to describe the awakening of kundalini is that it is an intensification of internal energies, which can be a smooth rush of energy coming up through the center of the spine, or if there are physiological/psychological blocks there may be unusual manifestations of heat, reactive neurological movements, or other processes that may be difficult to understand. However, eventually, the process of kundalini works to remove the blocks and to create a transformative experience.

After years of integration work, I see now, that such times of challenge can lead to incredible growth spurts. Sometimes, the growth feels as if it is moving too fast and that can be confusing.

I am looking at some of the books I have read on the kundalini experience. I learned that the information I gleaned from my research, though very helpful, was not always totally reassuring. Much more important was and still is to have people in one’s life who are understanding. Without my daughter’s acceptance and support and the help of friends and students, the journey would have been much more difficult.

One massage therapist said about the kundalini energy–“It’s like a Maserati engine driving on a dirt road.” This is an awkward experience until the physical and energetic bodies are integrated.

Each kundalini experience is unique and that can make it harder to work with, because there’s no one way that is correct. The kundalini process can be very puzzling to the outside observer, because it is such an inward process. However, with a positive and nurturing environment, the kundalini can blossom and transform one’s life in a beautiful way.

 

A Poem Personal Updates