Gratitude lost

Used to be the bird settled down on the green you sowed, its chirp saying thanks    Gaia glad    now when it perches on some green, there is a riddle for the sky - and you - to solve    how can the bird even speak to the sun's flare with such flutter?    Gaia spins an urgent tale    no sooner has it been said than the words are felt futile   then forgotten

koi kahe ye kis ne kaha tha, keh do jo kuch kehna hai
meeraji keh kar pachtaaya aur phir kehna bhool gaya

who said say what you have to say?
I said, regretted, then forgot to say


the storytellers tail

when you spin the tale, the x-axis meeting the why of forlorn metastasized asymptotes of utmost hubris, the storyline mutates into song mutates into symbols that retch out meaning from the shell that numbed as it echoed –

when you tiptoed on the storytellers tail ouching the eastern spirits sense of unwantoncy, the tarred streets cried for old ground compelling the poem to tend to the low – the burn of roots & the crafting of impossible syllable –

the borrowing of the forest

Noting the absence of ceremony fire in her stories, Dharamsherni took to a desert where no sants, bhakts or shaikhs - sacred or recreational - were remembered. Sand took form as poetry sprang to quench the mirages’ imagined thirst. There was Number and then the science of Number where taking earth apart from its founding poems - though a tad violent - was deemed benevolent . Dharamsherni saw no forest so she borrowed one from stories from a passing mirage. It was borrowed on market terms with high interest, the science of Number being the middleman. Joy longed to breathe fire back into the forest, but the Numbers intervened citing the infeasibility of it all: the imagined debt was unsustainable, but something could be worked out, the professor of Numbers claimed. Of course there would be war and senseless killing, but nothing that could not be wrapped up in benevolence and parceled off as bits of future. This is one telling of how dreams stopped being fountains.

Exigency of water

Take the withered  mountain and try to find its lake whose atoms 
are forever running late    they cannot choose between the exigency 
of water and the posterity of stone    reach of loss equals the reach 
of small equals the hundred wishes that stand with petals & fronds
I catch the passage of these petals & fronds as if it was my name 
carved out in song    as if the algebra of difficulty is measure of frailty
if only finality confirmed origin    would that the child chide sky -

Bringing the sun back

To the sun I say my greetings as I did the day before
to the sun’s

memory   can I recall which sun I bore witness to?
whose warmth

is like my own, cradled in the same lava that burns
every sun

which looks like my own   can I bring that sun to you?

I am preparing myself so that I might remember the teachings of my grandfathers. I would like to give these teachings to you. I believe that, together, we can begin the journey back to find what many of our people left by the trail. This will be a journey to rediscover a way of life that is centered on the respect for all living things. It will be a journey to find the center of ourselves so that we can know the peace that comes from living in harmony with powers of the Universe. I do not believe in isolating myself in the memories of the past. I do believe that with the teachings of yesterday we can better prepare ourselves for the uncertainties of tomorrow.

– Edward Benton-Banai: “The Mishomis Book: the voice of the Ojibway”

iii poemses

as the timidity of morning relents, the
    whorl of ashless stars
    climbs up into the gut

of heaven to teach it love – relents
    the crawl of moon as
    it detaches from each

world   the peripheries of relent give
    mark give stone give
    the vapid liquor of gray –

the thread of beginnings is
    taught the how of
    howl & the hum of

humans – lost in the sunsome
    day, the riverbed
    listens   it trades

secrets – what morning knows
    it secretes while the
    thrum of nettles bakes –

the fulsomeness of each torn leaf
    voids the argument of
    dark   touch the

thorn of thunder & it will silence
    your need   reach into
    the budless sun where

creatures of light scatter into
    a priestly muttering
    of the whoness of wonder –