Yesterday’s article, Onto a New Year, was the first of the new year. I said in the article how I wanted to start the new year off in a Low Density Lifestyle kind of way, by featuring poetry all week long.
In yesterday’s article, I featured poetry by David Tucker. Today’s article brings a new guest poet, Susan Jefts.
You may remember Susan from a few weeks ago, when she guest wrote the article, Life is Poetry.
Susan is back today with some poetry to help get us in a Low Density Lifestyle mood, to help us feel lighter of mind, body and spirit.
And if we were to have any type of New Year’s resolutions, that should be it – to feel lighter.
And so, without further ado, here are some poems, by Susan Jefts.
BARDO* OVER THE HUDSON
Words. Born out of vibrating air
at West 26th street, air of myth and poetry.
Words. Some danced patterns for me outside
on the sidewalk as I headed toward midtown.
Words. I ran into more the next day
below the Columbus statue in Central Park,
arranging themselves on purple pansies that
startled me out of any remaining winter.
Words, hanging languidly outside the window
at Café Europa, their fairy bodies hovering
between creme brulée and Carnegie Hall.
Words, at the wide throat of the Hudson
as my train rambles northward. These words
flicker like unborn fireflies unversed
in the art of direction, or rhythm, or sound.
They are the ones I want.
These in between words, lingering low in that
bardo like place, the sacred gap the mystics so honor.
Here, that place floats on smoky mist over the Hudson.
Air between Gotham and Lake Tear of the Clouds,
life receiving and life giving,
Between being and becoming,
the word, the image,
*Bardo: a word of Eastern origin describing the continuous state of oscillation between certainty and uncertainty, bewilderment and insight, that characterizes all of life, a state that by its nature creates gaps, spaces in which profound chances and opportunities for transformation are continuously flowering – if they can be seen and seized.
Tricycle Magazine, winter 2001
I am looking for poems tonight.
I’ve just pulled one from this leather couch
and another has risen from my jasmine tea.
There is at least one written along the white ridge
of the mountain visible from the window
and another along its gradual southern slope.
I think about the one I can’t see
where the mountain meets the valley
and the valley, the village,
or perhaps it’s a river and
the wild moan of the trees. The gasp
of the night owl on her flight
through the black and ash pattern of the forest
under the broken light of the moon
that leads to an open field,
a small lit farm and the rise of a hill.
Winter appears there as in a Chagall,
blue horses in the field rise up, float with candles
in the heavens, drift back down to the river –
river sacred swirling myth that flows from
the once golden valley, from the mountain
that sits like a chapel, reflected light
and a pinnacle of breath.
two days after Christmas
snow has fallen.
A carol sounds from the kitchen:
The carol stays with me
and Christmas drifts further away.
What remains is this.
Silence after snow,
long blue shadows,
a white farmhouse
and not far off,
a stand of evergreens.
I don’t know how to put together
the world again, I can’t stop
the February rain. But I know
these few moments this morning –
when words are starlings
flitting in and out of my mind
and all I know is this space inside
that feels a little
like God – nothing to fill,
nothing to say,
just this pause
The Bon people of the Himalayas believe a little imbalance is a good thing and portray this in their art. Everything is a little off, on purpose, and everything is needed and everything is good.
Snow dragons above
lotus to the left
mandala in the middle.
unity and blossoming mind.
Snow dragon says
wrath and fire
The yin and the yang
the four directions
the wrathful one and the protector.
Fear and love
all inside the lotus.