BY JAN HAAG

ART & POETRY - ACCUMULATIONS

INTRODUCTION + POETRY + MUSIC + ESSAYS + TRAVEL + FICTION + TEXTILE ART + HAAG'S BIO




THE DEVAYANI POEMS

of exhortation based on an ancient Sufi form.



(in alphabetical order)



I began writing the Devayani Poems in about 1988, while living in a Korean Zen Center in Los Angeles.
Devayani is the spirtual name given to me by my Guru in 1980. It means: "Leads to God."




- C -



CARDAMOM

01-01-98 (517, Seattle)


Elaichi, Queen of the Spices,
tasting of clean
tasting of pure
tasting of refresh
tasting of aromatic breath,
prana,

Elaichi





CAUTION

1988?


The hills of the Angel's City
stand forth sharp as a silhouette
under the clouds,
under the smoke.
Sometimes the sun shines through
like the beam of a crystal laser.
They say, O Devayani, the beam of a laser
can touch the moon,
coherent light shines on
beyond Andromeda.
Even beyond the boundaries of the heart,
it shines on,
So much clarity,
O Devayani, so much clarity for we who live
on the hills, in the clouds, in the smoke
would blind our two eyes.





CHANTING

1988?


Her back as straight as a rule,
her repose as solid as stone
she sits in the middle of the music
which makes the bell hum,
which resonates the drum.

Her song the murmuring of bees,
the sough-sough-soughing of pines --
O Devayani, such peace!

Listen to the grey nun
sitting in the middle of the music,
each luminous note,
an infinitely reflecting pearl,
a node of Indra's net.

Feel the waves of the music
as they pass the barrier of silence.
O such peace!

O Devayani, can there be such peace for me?





CHRISTMAS THOUGHTS

1228 San Anselmo, before 12-25-97


O Devayani,
two cultures, or more than two,
the world around

you study and study the world
around,
interested in everything,
amazed that anyone can be human
and not interested in
everyone,
everything,

and yet you succeed only in
putting yourself outside the pale
of America
in being interested in everything
everyone
every culture,
especially on Christmas.

The Jewess complaining the other day about
President Clinton lighting the
Christmas tree at the Whitehouse for
all America, Americans,
and never seeming, even in his
well educated brain,
to realize that All Americans
do not believe in nor celebrate
Christmas.

Take a survey, I thought, I
wondered if there already are more
American Muslims, Jews, Hindus,
Buddhists, Shintoist, Shamanist,
praisers of God in many disguises than
Christians in this country today,
more Americans of other religions
than Christian
already,

who do not put up Christmas trees,
nor participate in the mass buying.
"The season" was bad say the
retailers. Well, maybe
they'll eventually guess
that there are more non-Christians in
America then there are buy-mad Christians,
as well as Christians
who forgo
buying frenzies
to celebrate the birth
of their esthetic
leader.

But Christmas is only a small
symptom
of being alive in a world
where this particular segment where I dwell still wants
to think East and West,
yours and mine,
superior and inferior
developed and undeveloped
civilized and primitive,
how odd the dualisms
are in a world
that has already discovered
that cultures
far higher than ours
flourished
centuries ago
across the mountains and seas,
that we have come down
to modern materialism
from far higher planes,
that it substitutes
for cultures
for grander far older
though less publicize.

O Devayani,
it is so easy for you to see one world,
for you to see the absurdity of
writing a World History
and giving the history of
only the Western world.

Do you belong to a race of ostriches?





CLAIRE TOWNSEND

1228 San Anselmo, before 12-25-97


Clare means clear,
O Devayani,
or, in this case,
luminous.

Clair de lune
means
moonlight,
luminous.

Claire,
O Devayani,
also meant
your friend,
Claire Townsend,
luminous,
as human beings go.

Gazelle-like,
tall, leggy,
bright-eyed,
rosy-cheeked,
often frenetic,
full
of a luscious laughter,

and bright!
bright as the moon,
able to take law notes,
instantly
outlining them cogently in
four colors.
Quickly,

she perceived and did and trusted.
Before she was twenty, talking
to congressmen, senators,
championing the aged.

She was ebullient.
O Devayani, you've always wondered
why that "bull" is in
ebullient.
Suddenly you know why.
Claire was ebullient,
light as a laser
and determined as a bull,
light and bullish,
light and effervescent,

impatient with passion,
determined to bring peace to the earth.

She had a passion to see,
to see, O Devayani,
to see so clearly,
to do so exactly
what her luminous visions
kicked up dust, like the bull
who paws the earth, snorting,
then charges.

She was luminous with desire
to create
in this world,
to ferment
in this world
her clare ideas.
She manifested in life

the beliefs she saw
painted in effulgence,
smeared in brilliance
across the screens of this world.
Before law she did film,
20th Century Fox,
a "baby mogul,"
and after law she did film,
independently --
the last one,
the story of
Peace Pilgrim,
the fitting achievement of a lifetime.

Her high pitched laughter,
like a sine wave,
creating the mantra
of her life
as clearly as
OM,
as clearly as the
jewel in the lotus,
Om mani padme hum.

O Claire
you left so early,
O Claire,
Devayani thought
you would be there forever,
like the sun.
Even at distances
of time and space
your warmth shed radiance
scattered compassion --
your bullish
nature
enforcing the
effulgence of God.

We'll miss that light,
O numinous Claire.
We must shift the hologram,
rearrange the knowledge that some place
on earth you are shining.

You left,
O so early,
Claire,
to distribute
your chromosomes
among the stars,
to dance about in the air we
breathe.

In remembrance, O
Claire,
Devayani says:
There are some people in the world
you don't have to hold tightly,
there are some people in the world
you know you can trust.

There is music so perfect
you need not hear it twice.
It changes existence like a brush with a star,
like a nudge from light itself.

The bullishness of light --
who can stop it,
O Devayani?
Who can stop the laser
racing to the moon.

Clair de lune,
O Devayani
Claire has become
the light of the moon.

Cherish
the kiss of moonlight,
so light.

Who can touch light?

Claire did.
She is gone!

The Pilgrim of Peace smiles,
"She is here."

Her story is my story.
I asked her to come a little early,
so we could take a walk,
have a talk,
perhaps increase the light





CLAIRE TOWNSEND (long line)

1228 San Anselmo, before 12-25-97


Clare means clear, O Devayani, or, in this case,
luminous.

Clair de lune means moonlight,
luminous.

Claire, O Devayani, also meant your friend,
Claire Townsend,
luminous, as human beings go.

Gazelle like, tall, leggy, bright eyed, rosy cheeked,
often frenetic,
full
of luminous laughter,

and bright! bright as the moon,
able to take law notes,
to outline them quick! cogently in
three or four colors.
She perceived and did and trusted.

She was ebullient.

O Devayani, you've always wondered
why that "bull" is in ebullient.
Suddenly you know.
Claire was ebullient: light as a laser
and determined as a bull,
light and bullish,
light and effervescent,
seething with passion,
ferocious in her longing to bring peace to the earth.

She had a passion to see,
to see, O Devayani,
to see so clearly, to do so exactly
what her luminous visions
kicked up dust, like the bull
who, snorting, paws the earth.

She was luminous with desire to create
in this world, to ferment in this world
her clare ideas.
She manifested in life

the beliefs she saw painted in effulgence,
smeared in brilliance across the radiance
of the sky,

ideas whose
luster
outshown the Aurora Borealis'
splendor
flashing, jagged across the sky.

Her high pitched laughter,
like a sine wave,
creating the mantra of her life
as clearly as
OM,
as clearly as the jewel in the lotus,
Om mani padme hum.

O Claire, you left so early, O Claire.
Devayani thought you would be there forever,
like the sun.
Even at distances of time and space
your warmth shed radiance,
scatter luminosity,
your bullish nature enforcing the effulgence of God.

We'll miss that light,
O numinous Claire.
We must shift the hologram,
rearrange the knowledge that someplace
on earth you are shining.
You left,

O so early,
Claire,
to distribute your luminosity among the stars.
to dance about in the ether we breathe.

In remembrance, O Claire, Devayani says:
There are some people in the world you don't have to hold tightly,
there are some people in the world you can trust,
there is music so perfect you need not hear it twice.

It changes existence with even a breath,
like a brush from a star, like a nudge from light itself.

The bullishness of light -- who can stop it,
O Devayani?
Who can hold back the laser racing to the moon?

Clair de lune, O Devayani,
Claire has become
the light of the moon.

Cherish the kiss of moonlight, so light.
Who can touch light.
Claire did.





CLIMATIC CHANGES

1228 San Anselmo, before 12-25-97


O, Devayani, the sun has little strength
to part the clouds,
mist hangs in the air,
and rain.

The coolness and dampness of winter
shroud the trees, the flowers, the garden,
yellow with blossoms. which cries for heat.

People put on their scarves and their sweats again.
O Devayani, they speak to each other about the weather.
It is unseasonably cool, chilly, they say.

O Devayani, you push deep into the covers at night for the warmth
wondering about the next ice age.
O, Devayani, ages have come and gone across the earth,

They will come again.
Will we know the beginning of the next burning?
The next mortal freeze?

Who will believe it? The floods come and we rebuild.
When will the ice drive us south?
Will the ice drive us south?

When will what we have made of the earth devour us.
Will it devour us?
this civilization without mercy,
this civilization without sunlight.

O, Devayani, this civilization is without sunshine
in the summer.
Without fruit in the fall. Without rest in the winter.
Without generation in the spring.

If you stab through a human heart with an icicle,
it leaves no trace.





CONSIDER SLOW COOLING

11-30-97

"I made my first sculpted human figure from five different metals. But when I had finished welding it together, I took the hot metal out into the cold winter air and the whole thing contracted at different rates. It flew apart in my hands. That was my lesson in slow cooling. There was no saving it. It flew into hundreds of pieces."
Harold Schwarm



Hmmmmm, Devayani, five metals,
hot to cold,
contraction at different rates,
leaping back to stasis,
it'll shatter in your hands.

Consider the surprise element.
White snow all around,
a hot new sculpture in your hands,
the frigid air like God's fist
shattering it into drifts.

Consider the sound, popping
and hissing, cracking and
still small shieks in the stillness
of an early dawn dedicated to
creation. Explosion!

Consider the smell, the ice-fresh dawn,
the sun contemplating its rise, the scent of sun rays,
the bare, structural trees, standing,
their odorless limbs angular to their trunks,
sap gone to their roots.

Consider the taste: Hot metal even in
the kitchen has a taste of over-ripeness,
enriched. Chruuuuuuaaang! The smell/taste
is gone, melting like daggers
in the snow, the taste of feathery water.

Consider the touch, hot in your gloves --
you must have been wearing gloves.
How hot can a statue be --
while being transported into
glacial conditions?

You can touch the fragments,
but not the whole.
Before the fire there was belly,
buns, arms and legs,
a noble head, texture like a human skin.

It stood in your hands for a few moments,
maybe longer. Out of the fire, on to the ledge,
or the floor, you watched it while putting on
your overcoat in the hot/frigid air of the foundry.
It wasn't very big on the ground, the dirt floor.

You fingered it with fleecy gloves, thick
leather on the outside.
Take it home! You're tired of the heat,
of the sweat of creation.
You stoop, retrieve --

O Devayani, watch this! --
walk down the hall,
push open the great double doors,
grateful the foundry isn't yours.
Someone else will damp down the furnace,

douse the lamps needed to illunimate the cavernous
space even in the day.
You've got a human figure now;
you feel you could slip through the molecules
of the door without opening it,

but settle for a conventional exit.
Your genius is in the work. The conception.
Thud! Explosion! Your hands are flung out
and crumpled in,
there's a hit in the belly.

By the time you worry about your eyes,
the fragments are skidding on the ice
of the walkway that brought you empty-handed in
and will take you empty-handed out,
the ice air like fire in your lungs.

Should you pick up the pieces
like shovel slashes in the snow?
You made a human figure,
O Devayani, did you see the human figure?
-- attracting the fog

in the frigid air,
condensing the light,
feel its response to the freedom of the world,
the air, the breath of existence! --
exploding in the snow.





CREAMY CARAMEL COFFINS

10-31-02



The morning of Halloween Devayani wakes
to candy at the door, wrapped
and balled and shaped into Skull
Pops with two spider rings, one
orange and one black, a widow,
no doubt, along with two Creamy

Caramel Coffins in which to sequester
her teeth after the wild invasion
of sugar and sweetness and remembrance
of escape from former Hallows' eves
into the silent contentment of All
Soul's Day, the inevitable Day of

the Dead. Shiva gets the spiders
while you're out for your morning
walk, across the Aurora Bridge, high-flung
and never before walked -- in glorious
sunshine, Tahoma, the mountain, out, colors
ablaze in response to the first

grass-whitening frost. After Shiva'a morning
foray -- breaking your favorite glass in
his passion to pat everything to
floor level for tumultuous play -- Shiva
strides about, a full body undulation,
the hunter's elegant slink, Creamy Caramel

Coffins quite beyond his ken. Spider
body parts lie scattered about among
straws he steals from my coffee
cup. The neat packages of life
I once knew as each day's
progression, are transmuted moment by moment

into Trick or Treat. Mostly tricks
via Devayani to keep from being
buried alive in Creamy Caramel Coffins
and treats from Shiva, licking his
chops, testing my flesh for delectation
as he prepares his broomstick flights.





"CREATION IS A DESTRUCTIVE ACTIVITY."

The Presence of Shiva, p. 250

5319 9th, after 5-10-96


I

"Creation is a destructive activity."

O Devayani, the fury rises in your blood!
Don't do it!
Don't make it!
Refuse your humanity!
Side with the Great God
Siva.
Asked three times by Brahma,
Siva refused to create humans.
Twice he tore off his phallus,
send it ravaging through the world,
called it to a halt in a pillar of fire.
Illumination.
All illumination declared:
Creation is a destructive act.
Don't do it!
Don't create.
Remain in your loneliness,
weep for your partner,
weep for a companion,
weep for something to do
outside your absolutness, but hesitate!
Hesitate!
Hesitate to create!
To bring into being
this being of infinte greed,
of rampaging evil,
of willful negation,
of determined self-regard.

O Siva, O ascetic God, Devayani weeps.
Brahama forced, tricked, coerced
you into creating propagating beings.
You didn't want to do it.
You didn't want to do it.
You didn't want to do it.

You forced Brahama to use his own seed,
and none of your own.
O Siva, O ascetic God, Devayani weeps.
"Creation is a destructive activity."





II

Creation "...violates the integrity of the indefinable absolute,
making manifest and disseminating its contents." p.250


Trying , even not seriously,
to become a creator of music, O devayani,
has destroyed the mystery and
beauty of the uncreate
to understand is to destroy






III

"...the extend of the manifest world;
the four orients refer to the movement of the sun.
They indicate the cosmos under the rule of time." p.251





CYBERSPACE

1-14-97



O Devayani, you are nervous as you begin this,
this first experiment of writing directly
in cyberspace.

Where will it go? Who will see it?
Who will care?
God?








-D-

Dear Abby






INDEX




Introduction to The Devayani Poems


- B -

Beauty, before 1996
to
Burning, 05-06 before 1996


-C-

Cardamom, 01-01-98

Caution, 1988?

Chanting, 1988?

Christmas Thoughts, before 5-10-96

Claire Townsend, before 5-10-96

Claire Townsend (long line), before 5-10-96

Climatic Changes, before 12-25-97

Consider Slow Cooling, 11-30-97

Consider Slow Cooling, 11-30-97

Creation Is A Destructive Activity, after 5-10-96

Cyberspace, 01-14-97

Cyberspace, 01-14-97


-D-

Dear Abby








Copyright © 2002 Jan Haag
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Jan Haag may be reached via e-mail: jhaag@janhaag.com or jhaag@u.washington.edu





BY JAN HAAG

ART & POETRY - ACCUMULATIONS

POETRY + MUSIC + ESSAYS + TRAVEL + FICTION + TEXTILE ART

INTRODUCTION + HAAG'S BIO



21st CENTURY ART, C.E. - B.C., A Context