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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.

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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.

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Winter
(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)

208

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

 

           

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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. (:<)>

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Spirituality

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.

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

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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
grasping
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

 

 

 

Some folks know, Lilasuka and I have plans (informal ones, I mean, not blueprints) for a house on our little piece of property in West Virginia. Although, completely realizeable, God willing, it has taken on the status of a dream house to some extent. I wrote a little poem about it, which is the subject of this post. Since the house does not exist yet, except in our minds and hearts, I’ve included a picture of/from the site of the house to be in twilight.

As always, I hope you enjoy the post and I thank you for stopping by and visiting my blog. Please leave a comment if you’re so inclined. jesse

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O House
jesse s. hanson

O house of our future, upon the hill
I’ve sat in you, perfectly still on a fair day
with the sun going easily across the sky
and sometimes I wonder
as the soft bundled clouds go strolling by, I tag along
remembering, forgetting, as I please

Yet, now I’m on my knees
they call this longing, love
I hope that’s what it is­—and that it’s not an end in itself
because the appetite of the world is a dragon of lust and violence,
anxiety and madness
and I have this eternal, ageless longing
and I’m ultimately defenseless
and I’m so afraid that it’s all endless

In our house that sits among the stars
where we belong, where we are on a quiet night
your voice and mine sound good and true
our hearts full of wonder
listening to the night birds tender song, and to you singing along
thoughtful, hopeful, part of it all

Later, crying out
It’s just a dream; you had a bad dream
But, wasn’t it so all along—with every moment flitting by?
There’ll be nothing left, because nothing ever really was but entertaining
scenes, so well contrived, we’re just the dead that are alive
What seems most real is the awful heartache
that, with tears of sympathy, survives
so sadly watching, twas never born and never died

O house of dreams, made for children
a place to play, a little buildin’, in the morning sun
dress up and dress down, I hear you chant and I meditate
is it any wonder
the teapot’s whistling, “It’s not too late!”: more to it than fate
keep remembering—always—don’t forget

I’m fortunate to have two pieces come out in print this month by a couple of exceptional publishers of short fiction and poetry: 

One is a selection of flash fiction that was accepted for the UK based Indigo Dreams Online anthology, Crab Lines Off the Pier. Indigo Dreams is at http://www.indigodreams.co.uk/  My piece is called “the pulse of life”.  The anthology can only be ordered in print.
Indigo Dreams Online is the home of three great magazines: Reach Poetry, The Dawntreader, and Sarasvati. Add to that, the anthologies and there’s something for everyone. The operation is headed up by Ronnie Goodyer and his partner Dawn Bauling, both exceptional writers themselves.

 The other selection is at Down in the Dirt  http://scars.tv/dirt-new-issue.htm which, as you know, is published in both print and online. I see I’m in good company here as both Tim and Sal from All Things That Matter Press are in the June issue as well. I sure enjoyed your stories, guys. Anyway, my selection is called The Ghost Poet’s Memorial. It’s an excerpt from my novel, Song of George/Portrait of an Unlikely Holy Man, modified to read as a short story.

As I’ve stated before, Down in the Dirt does a very nice job presenting a contributor’s work. They included my bio, previous credit on a poem that’s part of the piece, and a reference to my book and ATTMP. Full service.

As always, thanks for stopping by my blog.                  jesse

Jesse S. Hanson’s spiritual fiction novel

Jesse S. Hanson's spiritual fiction novel

Click picture to Buy or learn about my novel