Tuesday, December 31, 2013

This Year

I want more than anything
to be accepting of the good things
that come my way
and believe I deserve them,
even as I lovingly and with courage,
say goodbye to the things
that no longer serve me,

Monday, December 30, 2013

Dear Wisdom Tooth,

I am sorry for not having attended to you so far,
I did not realise you were needing more space to grow
and that you had things to say.

I thank you for troubling me now,
when I can understand that you mean well,
for the lesson you are offering me
that sometimes we need to let go of things
we cannot make room for
because they cause pain and anguish and
need to be returned to the universe lovingly.

Please forgive me for having neglected you so long
and for not being aware of your pain.

I love you, and now lovingly give you back to the universe.
May you find peace and space and freedom in your
return to the origins.

So it is, so it is, and it is done.


Monday, December 23, 2013

the homecoming

we printed no ads and
no search parties went out
for the pieces that had gone missing.

they came home later.

it seems they had been buried
under debris from wars, explosions and collapses,
concrete blocks of unfathomable rage
and piles of unclarified drama.

i had imagined they were,
like dogs who run away from home
in the face of noisy firecrackers and explosions,
and unable to find their way home.

i thought they were dead, decayed, rotted,
but they came suddenly, soundlessly,
not the remains of the day,
or a skeletal mass or a thin shadow
but full bodied and whole hearted
and full of love,
these puppies, or pieces, or fragments of love
that had been left in the aisle
and forgotten about
now ready to come home.

Monday, September 9, 2013

seasonal depression

after the monsoon has swept
over the land and ravaged it
into full-breasted luscious bounty,
it recedes
and the whole earth body
dries up and cracks and fissues,
and is parched with deep yearning
for the rains to come again.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

wolves do not hibernate, typically,
but sometimes they accept dark meaningless
caves and do not emerge for long periods.
sometimes it's because it's comfortable,
and at other times it's because a
human-disguised-as-a-wolf-being tried
to tame them with things like
promises and psychiatry.
but wolves emerge, even though emerging is
blinding and painful and uncomfortable
and just quite inconvenient,
and involves the use of frozen muscles that
cramp and uncramp excruciatingly.
awakening is nauseating, unsettling, devoid of
a soft landing cushion to protect the wolf
from the shock of the hard surface that
they optimistically call "rock bottom",
where the roots swing low and offer
crude nutrition and something ancient and known,
yet distorted beyond recognition.
but wolves mend; they evolve from the shock,
they nurse their wounds and find other wolf friends
and cuddle with their old cub-mates
and cling to their mothers
and teachers and fathers and other fuzzy things
and eat whatever the earth offers and they mend.
they lie on the hard surface of the earth
and know they have never been closer to their source.
and when one day they have mended themselves,
and dug their way through the soil
and healed the broken roots...
... well, then they rise.

(like batman)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

where there is a root
there must be tree.
the treeless root
is just as unstable
as the rootless tree,
buried far beneath the ground
with no sunshine or air,
no sense of the sky,
or experience of the wind.
so when one puts down
roots also, it helps to be
prepared to grow
a rooted tree.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

she sat at the table next to the window, watchign her lemon-soda-with-sugar having a panic attack. she could relate completely with the great agitation, the undigested, insoluble sugar and the soda that bubbled over the brim onto the surface of the table, a large, fizzy, unbounded mess. in an almost sadistic sort of way, she was coompelled to keep adding more soda to the glass every time the panic was over, and watch it overflow again.

she sat at this table listening to the babble of tourist voices and the shriefs of the children next door, making this free-flowing mess and thinking about unwritten poetry about a thousand buddhist prayer flags, crossroads and indecision, the unbearable thrill of a first touch and the incomparable pain of a last kiss.

a thousand buddhist prayer flags could be hope abandoned at the side of a hill, surrender, a prayer too precious to name, wishes to secret to whisper to anyone but the hillside, which never falters, never forgets. a thousand buddhist prayer flags speak of pebbles inside shoes, digging into exhausted soles, and of groves where trees whisper and offer reprieve. a thousand buddhist prayer flags are beautiful, and reminders of beauty in extreme pain and great failure and complete brokenness. a thousand buddhist prayer flags are an offering to the fundamental insanity of being human.

and so there may be messes with no boundaries, lands carved into countries and cities and nightmares. there may be love that is simple not enough and many months and years lost to an impossible wish. and loss that breaks through fragile layers and fortresses on the side of the hill that remain mulishly intact through the flood and rooms affected by thunderstorms and people who only wander along the hillside alone, under the thousand buddhist prayer flags, whispering incomprehensibly of abstract notions like possibility, healing, love, recovery, hope.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A rut is a rut
even with
prayer flags
flapping in the wind.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Some trees are full of thorns and spines,
and offer flowers at the end of their boughs--
the most beautiful aspects of their desires, 
a colourful culmination of their prickles and pains.
Others like the laburnum seem to burst 
into colour all over, as though they are so full
and heavy that they cannot help
but flower into multitudes of tiny happy
bursts of yellow cheer.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

oh my love, 

in this land where
the rich are brave and the fine are wiser
than the raw, earthly and honest,
you seem small.

yet, you are so big, so huge...
one wonders how many forces had to
come together to put you in a box
and make you smaller.

you are beautiful and so complete
so full of beauty you think is extinct.
and i hope one day you can be
huge, messy, disastrous and full.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

the in-between
the synapse
that space that doesn't belong
that ocean you cannot cross
the water that pulls you in
that depth you cannnot hope to pull out of
the thing that consumes you
that infinite thing
that isn't you
and so close to you that
you may never know where you end
and it begins.

is that space where thought fails
rationality succumbs
and you remain unknowing
in the unknown infinite.

punctuated by little islands
tiny lonely spits of land
where everything can be known
reasoned with
bought and sold
explained and ripped apart
into tiny knowable bits and pieces.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Every Small But Gargantuan Leap Of Faith Really Frickin' Matters

A year ago, towards the end of January, I was asked by my psychiatrist to either go home or be institutionalised. I was having what I believed were "panic attacks", which turned out to be episodes of deep-rooted anger and sadness, which were very destructive both towards myself and towards people that I loved. specifically, these episodes affected my boyfriend, who I was living with at the time. After three months of episodes which occured almost daily, going back to my hometown (away from the boyfriend) was a welcome respite.

It made no sense to me. Though there had been some indication of a deep-rooted problem in the past, for which I had sought therapy at a time, there really had never been any kind of conscious awareness of such deep hatred for myself, such anguish and fear of abandonment and such terrible anger. It seemed as though my body had preserved these experiences and feelings for this time, when they were triggered and it was sort of "safer" for them to emerge. I was breaking down, and I see this as an elaborate process - a process that is still ongoing and through which I lose parts of myself and recover others, and become a fragmented, sometimes hollow and sometimes messy, visage of my former self.

I am writing this right now, with the same man lying next to me and snoring gently, because two nights back I slid back to that dark space. And yet, despite the horror of the days before, today there is a shift (so palpable that even I, instinctively sceptical about my body, believe it) towards something that feels like togetherness and safety.

I also am writing this because I want to acknowledge and celebrate the many hours of practicing Marshall Rosenberg's Non-Violent Communication, therapy, Eugene Gendlin's Focusing and just plain old support and acceptance from my friends and family, and these fine, somtimes infinitesimal, momemts of connection and hope. I also want to acknowledge and celebrate the joy and tremendous value of being broken because I think most often we measure the "success" of our stories in terms of whether or not we are "better" or "happy" without recognising that happy, better and wellness are not states of being so much as they are processes.

For some reason, a lot of people I know are going through this kind of shift. Perhaps it is simply that I have finally found some sort of direction I want my life to move towards that I am reading a lot of articles and books about just this thing - imperfection, being broken and fragmented, being many weird parts of oneself at once and nothing specific. I also want to write because I have a need for contribution. I want to say that every step, no matter how small it is, matters.

Last year, on the anniversary of my mother's death, I drank a reasonably decent single malt and committed to working on myself. At the time, it was a commitment constructed on an amorphous sense that I could be happy, better, well, and a palpable reality that my relationship was not working not because there were differences between us that could not be resolved but because of the indefinite, borderless reality of my struggles with myself. It wasn't the absence of love or connection, but the presence of such huge loneliness in me that it was difficult to reach beyond it.

In the last couple of months I've touched on an image within me: the image of me, alone, at a huge beach with great vastness and emptiness of land and ocean all around. I have realised this image on the tangible level - in that every part of my body seems to feel this image. Focusing teaches us that the body preserves our expereences and that in accessing and accepting those parts of yourself that seem stuck, you can heal. As a child, I feared the ocean. I feared that it would suck me in and take me far, far away from the known and loved into the unknown and unreachable, and I would be lost and never found again. It was a terrible fear, and stretched also to my mother - in that I feared it would take her away.

In some senses, the ocean was life itself, and I recognise now that love is, for me, that unknown quantity, the continent from which I fear I cannot return.

The truth, or so it seems to me, is that every moment of connection is like this ocean. Every connection invariably and infinitely transforms us. We cannot make an honest connection with someone without being changed in one way or another. Also, we are not in control of this, and that can be really scary. But at the same time, I think that is the point, pretty much, of living. That is the living energy they speak of in Non-Violent Communication, that fundamental life-energy one touches on in Focusing.

I'm writing now to say that this ocean (which may be different for everyone... for some it may be a desert, for others it could be a sock... that's not really the point!) isn't crossed in a day. Tt requires a leap of something along the lines of faith, which is difficult to define and different for everyone. and really sometimes steps towards this seem really stinted. You may not really know what you're doing and how it helps - whether it is yoga or NVC or meditation or whatever the hell. It's not important what it is; what is important is the intention. The intention to change. The willingness to accept your own brokenness and falling-apart-ness and mess.

Yesterday, a year or more after the beginning of my spiritual awakening (i.e. my huge meltdown), I had a total freak-out and felt pretty much like the world was coming to an end. My lover - the keeper of my things - told me that he wasn't leaving. I know now that that's not a blanket statement that binds him to me for all eternity. The point is I could hear him. I did sit and cry like a mental patient; but, overwhelming though my feelings were, I remembered my Focusing practice and found that I could distinguish between my Self and my feelings. And when eventually I could go to bed, I looked myself in the eye in the mirror, and told myself this: "I love and accept you. and no matter what happens, I will never stop loving and accepting you."

I think we, those who are in the process of huge changes and also little changes, are never not broken, like the Goddess Akhilandeshwari (who I honestly know very little about, but she is awesome), who is the patron of cataclysm and rebirth and who is beautiful in her vulnerability. We are never not broken and that is glorious and important... because without being broken, we would never see anything beyond the uncracked surface. And within this never-not-broken-ness, when we make shifts, they are small but they are hugely significant.

Everything is not not broken for me, but for the moment I have learnt this: every single small thing you do for your well being - whether it is to read a "silly self help book" or to take a yoga class or to draw something or to call a friend or to simply write out your junk for the internet to read - it matters. Keep it up. Take small steps. Celebrate little moments of connection. Love and accept yourself... and no matter what happens, or what you do, never stop.

what is it about journeys that is so powerful,
that it makes songs and poetry come alive
with expectation, hope, dreams that resonate
and trigger a chord hidden somewhere deep?

i wish to travel on a road unbroken,
trampelled upon by memories and histories,
and i wish to read a book dog-eared
to the point of crumbling, underlined annoyingly
and scribbled upon with such urgency,
as though the writer's words created something
so power in the reader that it
simply had to be written down immediately.

the new and the shiny loses relevance for me
in the face of this history of use and
continuity of meanings and thoughts...

it's as though we're all travelling along
a messy web of human thoughts, ideas, energies...
crazy lines made with various crayon colours
across a page once new and shiny and blank
and now so gloriously dishevelled and alive.

Friday, January 25, 2013

thoughts from the rabbit hole....

At the height of my insane trip down the rabbit's hole, I had an experience and a thought...or maybe I experienced a thought or something. The thought was that we experience everything at the molecular level. So it's like every cell experiences that which we think or that which we are, which is all very fuzzy, the thinking and the being. The point is that whatever it is, the being, pretty much happens at the cell level. Last night I felt lonely, on the cellular level. It was alaaaaaarming because in those fleeting instances, slowed down so I could really feel them, fucking weed, I was lonely on a microcosmic level - where every idea and thought and notion and aspect of my being was amplified into thousands and thousands of cells feeling the same shit. And I wondered if everyone feels this way, of if Leon's experiences were different...like maybe he didn't feel lonely, so much as he felt concerned...and maybe this thing that we feel in those moments when we feel so very much is the primary thing that we are, you know? Like maybe my crazy internal diatribe has been telling me all this time that my story is just this story of infinite loneliness, and though the upper level cells may mock it, the inner level multitudes experience this, every moment of every day. So maybe when stories trickle down from above to this internal infinite space ... that ocean I wrote about not so long back ... they affect the ocean, slowly. And when the change happens, it's a sea change, every particle, every ounce, every being in me changes...

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

the unknown continent

Inside me is this vast open space
which might be an ocean or a desert,
just something enormous and lonely.
I don't know where to begin.

I think sometimes you scare me.
I can sense the reservoir of experience,
the happy, the lonely, the sadness.
All that I can never know,
and I don't know where to begin.

I wish I was everything,
the boat on the ocean and the seaweed within,
the road you take when you come home.

I wish I could be everything,
the valley through which the river flows
the mango tree, the forgotten dream,
you and me and the spaces between.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

my wish for the new year

I want more than anything
to grow and to love,
to be vulnerable and in that strong,
to explore the ancient depths
and be present to
the infinity of the present. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


in the wasteland left behind by
the battle that has raged for
the last week, and month, and year,
and an eternity before,
there is now, along the cracks on
the parched earth, a subtle movement,
even though there is no rain from above,
a resurgence from within,
a stirring deep beneath the cracked
and abused surface, which has seen
so much blood, pain and war.
maybe it was a fleeting notion or only
a passing word.
maybe it was a hope, a dream, a promise
that caressed gently back to awareness
the sleeping demon.
or perhaps it was something violent,
a disaster, a wound too deep to ignore,
and a burning emptiness
that finally touched and woke that
which has slept far too long.

(this poem is about the very personal and political experience of this new year, and the awakening of many things, both within me and in people i see around me... for me, on a personal level, this has been about womanhood, humanity, compassion and a great need to wake up and contribute.)