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jessephotocopyAll best wishes for the New Year to my Dear Readers.

New Year’s Eve─2016─and I’m sick with  stomach flue, or some approximation of that ailment. But I’m feeling good enough, for now, to want to post another lyric on my lyrics page. I’ll put it here as a blog first as my little contribution and acknowledgement of the New Year. Hope you won’t mind a bit longer than usual introduction to the lyric; I think it will aid in the reading of it.

Lilasuka is out grocery shopping with her son, Narottama, and his wife Lyndsey (visiting from Portland). Tomorrow we’ll be celebrating Christmas at our house with them as well as my three, and their five, collective children. They’re all doing mostly wellrelatively (pun intended and both meanings implied) speaking.

My Dad’s gone several years now. Mom’s doing mostly well and is cheerful, for the most part, and even jolly frequently though she has, in the last couple of years, had to relinquish her house and car and move into an assisted living facility. It’s a good one, as those places go and it’s in her home town so she knows all the others there.

I’ve been married to Lilasuka now for fifteen or sixteen yearsI’m not at all good with dates. They’ve been, in many ways, the best of my years. We’ve lived just outside of the Krsna community for the last few of these; it was a returning home for her. Myself, I have very few long time friends. I’m sad about that. Apparently, things in common have fallen away with absence. My most dear rescuer/benefactor/spiritual Master has never left me, has tirelessly followed me around, even when I neglected to follow Him or His behests.

But so much sadness and pain over the years from broken marriages and separated family and friends. I’ve written so many songs and poems in dealing with these things, in attempt to make them “larger that life”. Because life can so easily become small and weak. So I’ve made anthems to the tragic. I know I’m not alone in that endeavor.

Once, Master Kirpal Singh was sitting with some disciples and one of them said to Him: “Master, thank You for everything.” and Master looked at the disciple and said, “for Everything?” The disciple had to reflect for a moment, but then replied in the affirmative.

So that is the spirit of my song here, A Grateful Man (Yes, for everything). The word vichorde, in the lyrics, is a form of the Punjabi term for separation.


A Grateful Man

          Jesse S. Hanson

Vichorde, vichorde; I’ve been in love for so long
My colorful life has gone grey; I know there’s things I’m doin’ wrong
But… someday my ship come in; my confidence is not misplaced
This is the song of a grateful man, for every trial that I’ve faced

 As I look out on these misty hills; so many things they call to mind
A man goes where his Maker wills, and then he leaves it all behind
A wisp of smoke in a lonesome dream, though it seems quite strange and real
I sing this You this song, a grateful man, for every sorrow I’ve been made to feel

              Once again I’m gone to pieces
              In the face of everything that I can see
              My mind has always done just as it pleases
              Unfaithful mind, I don’t know how you can be
              Once again I’m gone to pieces
              In the face of everything that I believe
              My mind has always gone just where it pleases
              Unfaithful mind, I don’t know how you can be

Vichorde, vichorde; He separates the night and day
I feel that I’ve been cast away, so long ago but who can say
In the market place or on a desert island, if by chance our paths should cross
I’ll sing you this song of a grateful man for everything that I’ve lost

Vichorde, vichorde; I’ve been in love for so long
My colorful life has gone grey; I know there’s things I’m doin’ wrong
But… someday my ship come in; my confidence is not misplaced
This is the song of a grateful man, for every trial that I’ve faced







Lilasuka and Jesse at the Festival in Scenery Hill, PAJust got back from a 3 day meditation retreat in Lexington, Virginia―a place in the forest called Sat Guru Dham. The photo here is not from that trip, but in a similar way, I played some of my songs for the other satsangis at the outdoor langar (free kitchen). It was very nice to have even the most cryptic of my lyrics understood and appreciated.

I told a few about how I had traveled to Bangalore last winter and met Baba Ram Singh Ji―spent two weeks meditating and attending His satsangs―how jolly and beautiful and how full of authority He was. How to tell people about Him without proselytizing? haven’t quite figured it out. But here it is, almost a year later and I’m still under His charm.

Under the Charm

 I can see my desires rising up so clearly
I can feel my loss; falling down so dearly
the gift of love, again, missed so nearly
It seems that life is a game that no one can win
It’s all arranged so cleverly and queerly

Are we born to live?
Or are we born to die?
Some say we can choose our view
yet both the young and the old
still wonder why
and neither know what to do.
Whether we look at the earth
or look beyond the sky
none of it, real or true

Then You come with Your revealing story
with Your mystic love and Your graceful glory
into the world for some time
of all things forgotten, You remind

Then all our weary old hearts are breaking
with Your every familiar glance
Then the very earth begins shaking
just like our trembling hands
Then the pains of all the ages aching
pour forth at such a chance
All relatives and dreams of relatives we are forsaking
as You walk upon these ancient and bitter lands
Then, no more plans are we making
under the charm of this romance

But, what of our failures; what of our crimes
Every moment our guilt is exposed in these hard times
You say, “Judge not!” but all we do is judge
We wipe the mirror, but we only make a smudge
My friends say, “Jesse, don’t take it so seriously, man!”
My answer is that we all do what we can.

Then You come and Sweet Justice falters
goes out the back door with his chains and his altars
with his curse of impending doom
and now, at last, we can breathe in this room

Now the timid day dreamers are free to make friends
Now the desperate self-defeaters can make our amends
We lowly floor cleaners will stand as women and men
Even these of ghostly poor demeanor may come forth again.


Jesse and friends on couch

Wow, I published this without a title. If forgetfulness was the goal, I’d probably be quite successful.


As stated in a previous post, my upcoming memoir and my upcoming collection of song lyrics and poetry is now an upcoming work of the two as one.
So, in this post I’ve included both a song lyric and a poem:

The lyric is full of the gloom of winter. It has a pretty and melancholy little finger picking melody which carries it along I think. I hope readers will be able to appreciate it standing alone here.
Yet it doesn’t entirely stand alone, as the poem is a hopeful one of a spiritual Springtime.

As always, I really appreciate your coming by to read. Please leave a comment if your so inclined.     Namaste, jesse

p.s. The photo is from Seattle in my street musician days, back in the 70’s.


(a song lyric)

Every day I have to come back
Every day I have to bring myself back
from this love or some other
from my cold-hearted brother
the untrue friend

We spend these years together
We search for God and then He finds us
Yet now you write and call me never
You fill the empty miles on this crowded bus
with all this nothing to discuss
fair weather, fair weather

Every day I have to wake up
Every day I have to shake myself up
from this love or the last
from all daydreams of the past
      the faithless lover

With the innocence of the intimate
in the spring we planted a child
In expectation of the benefit
we believe that nature has smiled
but your heart is never reconciled
and that will mean the end of it.

Every day I have to come clean
Every day I must admit what I’ve seen
of this love and all the rest
No love can pass the test
     the false God

creates the hope that lasts so long
as we dance by the midnight oil
as we sing the traveler’s song
where in the garden of  love we toil
where we grow like dreams in the fertile soil
until the winter comes along

Every day I have to write a verse
Every day I have to fight the curse
of this lie and every one
for the truth that must begun
      for the only one

Only the hopeless have reason to hope
Only the lost can be found
When finally we come to the end of our rope
at the end of the world there is a sound
something to stand on when feet leave the ground
some light in the darkest… where we grope.

Love Like the Spring
(a poem)


Baba Ram Singh Ji of Bangalore giving darshan to a four-legged friend

Maybe now Spring will come, now that news of You has preceded
Winter has been left with all the burden
he was given no choice
he could give but little comfort, yet he gave what was needed

We’ve dreamt of you in colors white and true and pure
We’ve imagined You—we didn’t know who You were
when we would go to bed crying from the cold
when we’d wake up, still dying from growing old

Are these the days of old, or is the world yet young?
For all we know, we’re in the dark
just primitives around the fire
all simulation, full of wow and flutter
ending lonely, homeless, reduced to mutter
while the world races along on fuel and spark

When my Master left, I had not yet begun
I stood alone on the hot sand beneath the burning sun
I turned stupidly, confused, and in all directions
not another living soul to understand my objections

When Winter came, it was good to be buried
under the snow so deep, under the frozen grass
until the longing could stir again
But as a seeker I have no skills
I go this way and that; so vulnerable against strong wills
But could my weakness prove to be Your strength at last?

You begged Him to accept that man on the end
who had consumed alcohol and meat, so then
Maybe, for me too, You could put such a request
that could soften His heart—since I can’t pass the test
since I’ve never become strong like the rest
since all my failures, I’ve confessed

Maybe You will appear like the Spring
bringing the sun and the rain in contrast
over the windswept hills of this time
Maybe love will have no choice
but to sing of my pain and loss with Your voice
but to answer with the future and to leave behind the past




Stepping out on a limb with this one. Hope you will appreciate it. Had to get it out; it was weighing me down. As always, I am very grateful to my readers. Please comment if you feel so inclined. I’m glad tomatoes are out of season. (:<)>



It seems like the closer we get to people on the outside
the farther away they are on the inside
I would gather my friends about me
but I can’t bear to feel that lonely

I heard my friend crying out
in the mournful way of the forlorn
and I ran to bring some comfort
but when I arrived, that voice was dying out
and I was greeted with such scorn

Spirituality is a lonesome battle
don’t kid yourself, old son
Spirituality is a bitter pill
don’t look at anyone
Spirituality is a chain gang, man
the worst is yet to come
Spirituality comes as a hypocrite, saying
This is the way it’s done
Spirituality is a blind eye turned
to the dying embers of the sun
Spirituality is an empty park
where the children used to run

Spirituality is a well of impatience
where we drink our leaders’ poison
Spirituality is a pecking order
where the strongest beast is the one enjoying
Spirituality is a parade of masks
in which, all secrets are revealed
Spirituality is a fairy tale
where the hearts of fools are sealed
Spirituality is the sport of the pompous
of the gurus and the pundits
Spirituality is for the hairy apes
My god, I’ve been there, done it

Aren’t you tired of what spirituality is?
of what it has become?
Aren’t you tired of, even religion being more pure
I thought maybe you were
Aren’t you tired of dying in false promise?
of your brother being your enemy?
I’m tired of spirituality, I tell you
I’m a spring wound tight to breaking for spirituality
I’m a lunatic with hands a’shaking

Get me out of this god dammed spirituality asylum
where no one has a clue!

Think all you have to do
is say God, God, God
Well… I’ll hide it from you
If you want them to think you’re crazy
just tell them one thing that’s true

Spirituality is a firm and stern correction
for reaching out to anyone
Spirituality is the distant echo
of a graveyard full of fun
Spirituality is the common thread
of the burned out bitter ones
Spirituality is perpetual movement
toward nothing ever getting done
Spirituality is at the gates of fear
where the pitiful wailing songs are sung

All I wanted was to love and be loved
How did I get involved with this spirituality?

I heard my friend crying out
in a voice so lost and real
and I ran to bring some comfort
but when I arrived, that voice was dying out
as if, after all, it was no big deal



Setting My Sights

Setting My Sights

Yes, I’ve been conspicuously absent. I’ve been working night and day to establish our  BlueHome Artworks consignment shop within the New Vrindaban Community.  I started a blog there as part of the online store/website: The BlueHome Blog, where I talk about the value of thinking small, in terms of supporting small and local businesses, artisans making hand crafted products, agriculture, etc. Village economy, really.

So you can check that sight and blog out if you’re inclined to. Here, I intend to maintain my personal stuff, including my writing, my spiritual quest and ponderings, etc. I know; it’s a summer picture I’ve posted, but the current view from our home is a little bleak right now, since we don’t have snow yet—at least not any that’s stuck. But as you can see, it is snowing on the picture anyway.

So here’s my new poem. It does, in fact, contain some of those ponderings. I hope you enjoy it. As always, I invite you to comment if you feel like it.

Setting my Sights

Jesse S. Hanson

My Father is dead but my real Father lives
My real Father is dead but my even more real Father lives
Jesse is gone but then he never was
I never could find him
Just some vague familiarity with someone who always disappointed

Where is my family, my kin?
I wait for them on the shore where the boats come and go
But not them, no
Where are my dogs and my horses?

I don’t see them run and bark and whinny
Over the hills, willy-nilly
Where are my girls, where are my boys?

My songs are dead but my real song sings
My dreams are dead but my real dream waits
For me to wake up
From dead and dying dreams

I have to set out
I have to go on a fearsome adventure
I have to set out across the wilderness with only faith
Since I lack courage
Since I lack vision
Since I lack identity

I’ve always had to cry as the years have gone by
Where are my rolling prairies?
Well, those men have plowed them
Where are my towering hills and splendid valleys?
Those men cut them down, dug them out, they were sold out for baubles
And a plastic future
Where is my beach, my little house on the ocean?
All washed up, built up, soiled, overgrown, weeds and litter

My land is dead but my real land lives
My Father is buried but my real Father lives
My real Father is cremated but my more real Father lives
Jesse is gone but then he never was
I have to go to another land
I will grow weary of this childish tantrum
These sentimental tears

I will become forgetful of all things behind me
Become tired of mourning a life that did not care for me
A home that was not there for me
I’ll set my sights on the unknown distance
Across the ocean of this lost existence

My Father is dead but he’ll be forgotten
My real Father has gone on ahead
My even more real Father is here waiting.

This is a very nice interview of my friend, Andrea by James Bean on a radio podcast. James is doing some interesting and, I think, productive work spreading the good word about spiritual things, in general, and the ancient and yet, ever current, Holy Path of Sant Mat, or The Path of the Masters, specifically. You can find James at:!/SantMat
March 7

Spiritual Awakening Radio Podcast: My Guest is Andrea Zucchi, from Rome, discussing the teachings of the Italian mystic and spiritual teacher Shri Sirio Carrapa, of the Sant Bani Ashram – Ribolla. For Streaming Audio, go to:  

James Bean's Spiritual Awakening Radio Podcast: My Guest is Andrea Zucchi, from Rome,...

Dear readers, I’m currently in the process of compiling a selection of my songs and poems, with the intention of creating a volume that will include both. However, the songs to choose from vastly outnumber the poems—I’ve been involved with the songwriting much longer. Consequently, I’m in the process of writing poetry, to help the balance. Happily, I’m in a poetry writing mood.

So I wanted to share my newest poem here, for the words, which is about my spiritual practice and is in memory of my great Friend and spiritual Master, Ajaib Singh.

Thanks, as always, for coming by to read my blog. I welcome your comments.
                                     Namaste,   jesse s. hanson



the author's spiritual Master, Sant Ajaib Sing (Sant Ji)



for the words
–jesse s. hanson

How can I go forward
how can I be quiet
with a mind that will not
I close my eyes but the words fall from my ears
and will not stay inside
I’m so afraid of my imminent destruction
the awful risk of spiritual failure
I’m afraid of being driven from Your love
onto the featureless plain, alone
where no conversation with a friend of God remains
where no one sings and all songs are in vain
A most insistent, utterly silent voice is calling out in mourning
in anxious petition
In such uncertainty I scrabble about
unable to focus
on trembling hands and knees
for the words
that could catch Your ear
bring Your attention to me here 

I can’t speak for fear of losing something
I can’t be still for the hope of seeing someone
I’ve lost all fascinations
but too late
too late, too late, too late…
Don’t let it be too late
Ajaib,  strangely wonderful, mystical lion
I’ve no recourse but Your good graces
I’ve haunted this place behind a million faces
and still, no one recognizes me
though I’ve appeared again and again with my relentless longing
although I’ve married their sons and daughters
fought beside them in their wars and died with them
filled their skies with my crazy raucous laughter
and then filled their bellies with my fetus
looked into their eyes, playing the infant
I’ve learned their ways, holding their faith
lost my way on their bitter streets
fell beneath their heavy feet
to return without their sympathy
I’ve lost all fascinations
but now my back is old and weak
and will not stand for dedication
to Your purpose
to Your perfect words of love

so… You repeat them in me
until I’m stronger
Having said it
having asked it
I lie down in exasperation
and dream a dream of realization

Across the glamorous sky in perfect silence
the moon in pallid dream reveals the course
the stars in all their brilliance cannot match her subtle bloom
flower of the night
keeper of the secrets
long held by the lovers and those inspired
to seek the distant truth within
O gentle light, so wan and thin
under which to weep for boys and men
whose character is never spent in vain
by whose delicate form my heart is soothed again
Ignite a pale spark of my resolve
a reminder, after all
What else is there to do
out on this trail of incarnations
I’m going to leave, for now, ambitions
concerns and dangerous missions
release them to the earth below
forget the things that I remember
and remember that I’ve come here searching
for words that tell no story
words that speak the truth
in the stillness of silence
in the music of unborn conscious spirit
no clinging now
no owning
no question how
no thinking
collecting words in mental silence



I just felt that I had to post this particular review of Song of George by spiritual fiction author Judy Croome, not because it’s such a flattering review, which it is, but because of the attention to detail, regarding the novel, that she has expressed.
I must say that in the comparisons to the work of the old Russian novelists, she has really gone too far. Nevertheless, I really appreciate her sincere focus on specific aspects of a work that I consider an experimental effort.
That she referred to that experimentation as pure art was, for me, a deep honor. That she quoted from my poetry, was a  joy. She referred to the book as a challenging read (that that was a good thing) and I am again honored and grateful. And that she addressed the fragile love relationship between George and his followers in such a poignant way was very touching to me. Finally, Judy saw the story as representing a philosophy of hope, which really made my day. I hope my readers will consider Judy’s wonderful and compelling novel: Dancing in the Shadows of Love, based, primarily in her native rural Zimbabwean bush country of  South Africa.
 Art & Anguish,September 17, 2011
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

“Song of George: Portrait of an Unlikely Holy Man”is not a novel…it’s pure Art. This intense, unusual story contains original prose, poetry, song lyrics and artwork, all welded together by a thread of human suffering reminiscent of the great Russian authors such as Dostoevksy.

Although they are very different stories, at times the struggles and comradeship of George’s disciples reminded me of Solzhenitsyn’s “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich,” with its portrayal of just how much anguish humanity can endure despite enormous odds, for “We lay like scattered bones on the floor of her lair, mother earth some, broken splintered things, white against the dirt, the pain is gone.”

In “Song of George” much of the suffering comes from in the treatment of the inmates by the guards, but even more comes from their supposed distorted realities. One of the major themes in this nuanced novel is the exploration of how one defines madness (is George mad or is he a visionary? And who is to decide which he is?)

When you pick up this book, expect a challenging read in more ways than one: dense with characters, packed with philosophy and resonating with compassion, “Song of George” forces the reader to examine different realities through the lives, minds and experiences of three students interviewing (mainly) numerous inmates in a prison mental institution.

Despite the need to concentrate hard, the pace of the story is fast and the author’s portrayal of his multitude of characters is simply superb. Each character is unique and fascinating, even the less appealing ones such as Jaiden. The author’s compassion and understanding for those of us classified as “insane” clearly runs deep.

Throughout the book I felt I was reading profound truths about life. From the suggestion of reincarnation (in Toby’s story) to a conversation about “low burning fires” the student Jeff eavesdropped on, the themes of this immense novel are shrouded in a sense of futility and despair at the ugliness of a world that denies ultimate truths in favour of modern commercialisation, materialism and alienation. When George was freed on parole, the collapse of the inmates’ fragile serenity at the loss of their holy man, is symbolic of the apocalyptic threat to humanity facing us as we turn away from the universal language of Love and a spiritual path.

And yet this was an uplifting story. The glimpses of hope were there: Harold/Horatio’s relationship with his sister Illy, who believed in him against all reason, ultimately becoming his safe haven, almost a “reward” for his innocence despite all that had been done to him. The final scene, despite the ambiguity of the closing paragraphs, also suggests that all hope is not lost when the little girl on the stoop shames the boys tormenting George into helping him.

With its weighty philosophical nature, this novel needs more than one reading to be fully appreciated. Like all good novels that endure, each reading of “Song of George” will, I’m sure, raise more questions and offer new spiritual insights for its readers.

Finally wrote my review of War and Peace: Original Version. I try to include here, reviews that have some relation to spiritual fiction. Although that is a rather debateable aspect of this novel, I do think it exists, as it does in much classical literature. Hope you enjoy the review. As always: thanks for stopping by my blog. I’d appreciate it if you’d leave a comment if so inclined.
                                           Jesse S. Hanson


Heroes and Heroines or Failures and Fools… or both?


I guess the first responsibility one has in writing a review of War and Peace is to be clear about what version is being reviewed. My review concerns, War and Peace: Original Version, translated by Andrew Bromfield, Paperback, 912 pages, Published September 1st 2008 by Harper Perennial. The 912 pages is short by most standards ( shows 383 editions and the lengths of some of these editions can run into several thousands of pages, divided into multiple  books. The most common versions read by English readers run something less than 1500 pages, I believe.


Whew, I’m glad that part’s over! It’s all quite relevant, I’m sure, on the one hand, which edition/version we’re talking about and yet on the other, perhaps not so much so. There are the issues of a “happy ending” or not, philosophical “fill” or not, etc. Leave it to the Tolstoy geeks, I’m sorry. It’s not the only good story in the world and, great as he was/is, he’s not the only great writer in the world. I don’t personally see how saying that detracts anything from his greatness or the novel’s greatness.


So let me begin by saying, It’s a great novel. I felt a strong sense of loss when I finished it. It had become a friend over the nearly five months that I was reading it (I’m a slow reader and I have a very busy life and I was reading other books simultaneously).


I must say that if I hadn’t been coming into it with the expectation of it being a great novel, I may have abandoned it early on. Those glamorous society parlor soirees, full of gossip and all manner of arrogant types of conversation would have done me in. The fact that the author was obviously critically mocking the characters didn’t help much. I think that when it was written, such authorial mockery may have served an important purpose and been quite entertaining, as well, but we’ve had such a diet of it over the years of my life that I now find it quite boring and repugnant—the stuff of soap operas. Still, I cannot deny, Tolstoy was a master of minute observation and when the stuff of his writing is sincere, I was in constant admiration of that ability.


My other problem with the novel was the fact that it was written from the point of view of privileged society in the first place. My Australian Goodreads friend Laurel sent me her thoughts: “With Tolstoy’s two great books, Anna Karina and War and Peace, he very much writes about family life. You feel as if you know the families concerned. For me, it is his greatest achievement.” I could not help but agree with her about the contribution regarding family, but it’s just a personal thing with me: I’m not often fascinated by the family doings of the rich and famous. So when I remarked that I was likely to remain a bigger Dostoevsky fan, that was perhaps the reason. Personally, I am a product of middle class America. From that starting point, in the board game of life, I have occasionally travelled through the slums and the low places of those without “opportunity” as it is usually called, and I have, in turn, traversed, on other occasions, the high roads and visited the lofty nests of the well-to-do. There are good and bad people in all walks, and I’m not comfortable anywhere, but certainly not in the lap of luxury.  


I think the greatest delight in reading War and Peace is that the reader is always kept guessing as to the quality of a character’s character, so to speak. My favorite one, Pierre is a perfect case in point. For some time I thought that he was the only character with character. Later, I became convinced that the same was true of Prince Andrei. Up and down I was thrown and plunged through my identification with individual personalities. Whether it was in terms of family relations, or those of friends and peers, or those uniquely military or nationalistic, the story always had me going, pulling for this character or that, despairing in his or her shortcomings and reveling in that same one’s transcendence.


The war scenes, though relatively brief, are very powerful. Ultimately, War and Peace is an anti-war novel. I think it’s also a pro-Russia novel; I mean to say a work that revels in the character of the pre-socialist Russia. But it seems so ironic that Tolstoy freely expresses this love of country while he relentlessly mocks every one of his own characters and the entire Russian mentality. He openly portrays the Russian military organism, from the beloved sovereign to the generals to the foot soldiers, as absolutely clueless. He places no value whatsoever on the genius of anyone in command (not even Napolean, the enemy’s great emperor hero who is widely acclaimed, even today as a military genius). The business of war, the author sees as baseless murder, yet the business of peace he seems to see as ridiculous comedy.


There is really one primary question that I have, and I think the reader must decide for her/himself: are there any heroines/heroes in this great sprawling and endearing epic? I believe there are only three characters who genuinely concern themselves with any higher, spiritual questions or pursuits in their lives; how those questions or pursuits are resolved is, to me, part of the same primary question.


I do highly recommend War and Peace. I think it will be a joy to discuss it with others—a joy one won’t be able to relate to unless one reads it. 




The old dragon and the baby


Jesse S. Hanson’s spiritual fiction novel

Jesse S. Hanson's spiritual fiction novel

Click picture to Buy or learn about my novel