This is the second version of the first ghazal I posted a few weeks ago. The encouraging reception I have received to poems I have posted has encouraged me to work on putting together a book. So, any constructive criticism is welcome at any time.
Savor soft sweet taste of delight in a dream
mind’s eye receives a joyous sight but a dream.
From birth to death one strives to achieve success
every effort a flight to fulfill a dream.
Alone and agonized the artist works for years
to create a work that ignites many to dream.
Are these visions that descend within the dark?
Or are the actions in stark light the real dream?
Words fail to capture treasured moments of bliss
though Skywalker invites you into her dream.
O.K. it’s Sunday, I’m late, but this was one I did have to think about and find the time to write – been way too busy. Here is the prompt as Kellie Elmore wrote it “I was given this prompt once: to take an ordinary task/object and make it sexy. To write about my selected subject in an intimate way, playing on words so that the reader would be unaware (and maybe blush a bit). I am passing this challenge along to you. Think you are up for it? You can always reveal your subject at the end OR you can leave us to guess, which in my opinion, is way more fun!”
My love sought me for years
over journeys into darkness
through miles of lostness.
His embrace was beyond
any touch I had ever known
his kiss filled me with a comfort
that never vanishes
his touch is beyond gentle
into a joy that challenges
every moment of living
My love is the one
I searched for years
stopping at others doors
only to find tears
When I found him
at first I did not know
He was just there
holding me so
with his words
And then I knew
I took refuge
and search no more.
I sat alone in the small dark Poettential Unlimited Poetry Theatre in Harlem with my eyes closed, resting in its silence when a circular light appeared in my mind’s eye. Years later, Grandmama, the woman in his home I was staying in Los Angeles, one morning handed me a tabloid sized journal. I did a double take because the full page photo of the man on the front page looked like one I had known in Chicago who called himself, Just People, J.P. But, the name beneath the photo was Swami Muktananda. I took the paper with me to read as I soaked in the tub. I looked like a prune when I got out of the tub because I could not stop reading the journal until I finished it.
For months, I had been trying to meditate with a group of dreadlocked musicians but it didn’t make sense to me. Now, Muktananda’s words were like a lightbulb and I understood. I found a Siddha Yoga group in Los Angeles and sat in meditation with them and saw the same light I had seen years ago in the theater. The amazed response of the more experienced meditators surprised me. Eventually, I attended an initiation with Swami Muktananda.
For years afterwards, I struggled spending months sitting for up to two hours with much of the time my mind running like a wild stallion. Then years passed when I didn’t sit at all. I left Siddha Yoga and became a Sufi. Then finally, ended my quest for a spiritual home when I took refuge as a Buddhist in Denver. Since moving to Hopiland I have found myself able to meditate fairly consistently for 10 to 30 minutes at a time. Recently, I had the fortune to receive meditation teachings from my teacher, Shenphen Dawa Rinpoche, to provide a solid base to my practice.
Responses to last weeks question: I thank everyone who took time to respond. Interestingly those who liked one version over another were very definite. But, several suggested that I combine the best images to create a stronger poem. Then, as I worked on that, I realized that a verse in the second poem deviated from the middle rhyme scheme. So, below is my final version, a new poem, but one that communicates better some of my experiences in meditation.
Silent petals are minutes of meditation
starlight and moon cower to meditation.
In her youth she dreamed flights of fretless singing
her voice found its power in meditation.
New year tosses arid vows on barren sand
I seek the flower bloom of meditation.
Hold the ambrosial sweetness of emptiness
wealth fails to tower over meditation.
Dakinis carve verses that make mountains cry
Skywalker devours time with meditation.
Usually when I revise a poem, I see it as much better than an earlier version, however, as I looked at this poem, I could not decide which is better. So, dear readers, I would appreciate receiving in your comments which one you think is best, #1, originally written in 2002 or #2 revised in 20ll. Thanks for your assistance.
#1. Ghazal 6 – Meditation
Quiet are the black hours of meditation
starlight and moon cower before meditation.
She dreamed flights of fretless singing when young.
Some find a voice of power through their meditation.
A New Year tosses arid thoughts on barren sand
I seek to experience the flower bloom of meditation.
Hold tight the ambrosial sweetness of emptiness.
Wealth fails to tower over ernest meditation.
Dakinis write scripts that make the mountains cry.
Skywalker seeks to devour time with meditation.
Quiet drinks liquid hours of meditation
stars and sun cower before meditation.
She dreamed flights of abandoned singing when young
now showers melody in meditation.
New Year tosses arid thoughts on barren sand
seek to smell the flower of meditation.
Relish ambrosial sweetness of emptiness
wealth fails to tower over meditation.
Dakinis write scripts to make strong mountains cry
Skywalker devours time with meditation.
It’s Free Write Friday again. Had to pass on last week’s because we were traveling. This one is a bit of wordplay but touches the heart of the prompt provided so kindly by Kellie Elmore
For the sake of keeping when nothing can be held forever or held onto Even memory declines and fades in the flow of time. Or for the keep of saking such moments of joy, laughter, love lingering even as memory fades. A lifetime filled with collections of clothes, jewelry, books, dolls, photos, CDs the paraphernalia of life the material objects we hold onto when what we want most to keep is a view vastly voluptuous energetically soaring above our mundane minutes. Keep to not forsake the wealth we accumulate in sharing our endless fount of caring compassionate courage that cures the loss of any material thing.
In the past few weeks the kind comments I’ve received from many readers, and an increasing number of likes have made me feel that my writing is reaching and touching readers and fellow writers. So today, I want to thank all of you who take time to read my poetry, stories, and occasional observations. I have been writing since I was a child. And I have always wanted others to share in the joy I receive in creating word pictures. WordPress has provided me this opportunity.
Particularly, I appreciate the comments many of you share on a regular basis. Your observations are a creative conversation that motivates me to keep writing. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Double rainbows rise
soft arch from mesa to sky
The Ghazal (pronounced ghuzzel) is a poetic style from the Middle East which I learned about in 2001. I wrote only a few and then revised several of them years later. This is the first one I wrote and I don’t know if it’s a revision or not. I called it imperfect, because this one does not follow the traditional scheme exactly. The style of the poem includes the use of the poet’s name in the last verse.
Leaving a taste of sweet delight came the dream
opening my mind a joyous sight although but a dream.
What are the schemes of men about but fulfilling their dream?
When an artist inspired does shout others critique the dream.
For years thousands do toil to realize a dream
even the planting of soil is to make flourish a dream.
Is that soft vision in the dark merely a fleeting dream?
Or is the action of day stark a cruel unending dream?
Are these words by me written in a dream?
Or is she, Skywalker, merely another dream?
This week’s prompt me took me to an unexpected place.Thanks to KellieElmore.com for another intriguing prompt.
The room filled with yellow light and she felt herself ascending into the light like a feather on a wind current of energy swimming in a sea of emotions beyond space and time into an infinite sphere of softness swelling into an overwhelming wave of sensation smiling in the arms of warmth and love that could not be explained or limited she was happy. Finally after weeks of unspeakable unbearable pain it was gone she was released she could rest in the comfort of that sweet yellow blanket of joy and welcome so long in coming.
Gently the nurse closed the old woman’s eyes, gazed on the now serene face, and wiped away her tears as she walked out of the room.
Friday has now become my favorite day of the week because of these inspiring prompts provided by Kellie Elmore
This time her prompt led to the following short story or is it flash fiction?
Her name was Serendipity and she loved to hear her father ring the syllables out like a song Ser-en-di-pi-ty, his voice started off high and ended in a sweet bass, as he’d pick her up, or tickle her, or kiss her good night. When she started school, teachers would ask what she was called at home. Her deep black eyes opened widely and she sang out, just as her father did Ser-en-di-pi-ty and she smiled broadly as her classmates laughed and musically sang out her name.
Of course, finally, in fourth grade, the stern, unsmiling teacher asked, “Do you know what your name means?”
She had never thought about it, it was her name. Do names have meanings? She waited impatiently for her dad to get home and before he closed the door, she ran to him and said, “Daddy, what does my name mean?”
He closed the door behind him, and sat in the chair, pulling his shoes off. Serendipity stood right next to the chair, staring into his bold blue eyes. Gently he pushed her hair off her face and smiled.
“You, my beautiful child were a gift to me. My wife and I had been trying to adopt a child for years, because she could not give birth. Then she died. But, I still wanted to raise a child, I wanted to share my love and good fortune with someone.
“None of the adoption agencies wanted to let a single man adopt a child. Then I had an assignment that took me to the Somalia. I was helping out a refugee camp and visiting the hospital and I felt a warm hand grab mine. I turned and a very sick woman held my hand but in her other arm she held a beautiful baby. I looked at her and she looked at me. Then she let go of my hand, picked up her baby, and handed her to me. I looked at the mother and could see she was dying. I looked at the baby and fell in love immediately.
A Somali doctor translated and told me the woman wanted me to take her baby because she did not have any relatives left and I looked like a man who needed a child to love. The doctor told me he could help me adopt the baby, if I wanted her.
I said, ‘Oh, yes, and I will name her Serendipity, for she is something good I found without looking.’”
Serendipity’s face burst into a sunshine smile as she hugged her father tightly.