BY JAN HAAG
+ TRAVEL +
of exhortation based on an ancient Sufi form.
(in alphabetical order)
- D -
1228 San Anselmo, before 1996
Long ago I saved a snippet from your column:
"I have two friends and
I hate both of them.
What should I do?"
I carried it in my wallet
thinking it quite the most amusing thing.
got lost, as Mirabeau would say,
"with all those things."
stayed around to haunt the mind.
It is one of those quick
always there for a giggle
when I begin to think
O Devayani, today feeling blah, a bit
but the sun glittered in the window
you walked out to get
material for a poem.
You walked out,
out into the rain rinsed,
sun bespeckled street
up the hill to visit your new friend, a
She didn't answer your ring or your knock,
tapping on the glass of the door --
her car was there,
just spoken to her on the phone --
until she shrieked, "Who is
"It's me," knowing she'd recognize my voice.
"Which me?" she
O Devayani, I said, "Jan."
"I don't know any
Jan," she hollered.
I kept tapping and nattering,
what to do. "Are you okay?
Are you still alive?"
I had the
feeling she was in there shooting up,
dipping her mercurial
personality in depression,
For she had left a trampoline
my garbage can
in the night,
and I had called to say I couldn't
I had meant to say
I'd keep it for awhile, until after
her SSI inspection,
but the phones were full of static from storms
started a week ago.
I think she took it amiss, thought that
I had accused her of
dumping stuff on my doorstep.
I suggested she sell the trampoline, for she, like my
other new friend,
was drowning in possessions.
Drowning in the
abundance the universe provides to
those who cannot part with pure
nor the trinkets of life.
You were laughing, for, O
you had been, even this morning,
going through your
files, packing them in boxes
to ship away, never to be seen
They'll be someplace.
But you will probably never see them
Even the things, that a few months ago, you thought
would never be able to part with -- into the box they go.
an impatience, a knowing
you'll not look at this or this nor this
Almost everything goes.
Just to have the space, the
how much you want the
the lightness, not to be weighted down by anything.
Alain's gifts, nor possessions, nor her volatile presence
drugs, possibly, and paranoia.
She knows at times she is a burden
to herself and others.
Unwittingly I was asking the
for her to come out of hiding.
At other times,
most times, she is a sprite as attractive as
Athena herself --
charming, gay, radiant.
It makes my heart sink to my boots
think she might be able to survive
only with drugs.
alone, O Devayani, let her be.
For your own peace of mind and for
You are old enough and jaded enough
And with your other
the new friend who wants an ear,
is desperate for an ear
in which to pour
two and five and ten hour analysis
of her new
O Devayani, how interesting
to see --
all these years,
and having had all these addictions --
faulty underpinnings of friendship.
It seems to be about being
But only when and how you want to be heard.
friend, Claudette, was,
the first night we really chatted --
along with Alain,
at a tea shop --
filling us both in about
of her relationship with an alcoholic,
There I sat, thinking,
though it was almost
to know it,
that here are
delights, looking for an ear, and an
outlet for compulsive
not knowing that,
you long only for the
the lightness of nothing
the nothingness of
And some pleasant
Another thing I did this morning was
stop at 28 Scenic
if they had once had a
tacked to the
of their little
The woman, laughing and charmed, said,
people who lived here before -- for ten years --
had a rhinoceros
They took it with them."
"O, thank God," I said, "I
thought I had
After 5/10/96 from 5319, Seattle
O Devayani, you wrote to Ani:
"Save a space on your calendar for
Her tall form appears
in your mind's eye,
enclothed in the smooth
brown robes of a Tibetan nun.
Ani the wise.
Ani who travels a world
dedicated to truth and the wisdom of the
A Rumi, forging connections between
the mundane and the
gently, day by day,
who made wooden crosses from the
until her Catchatoorian manifested
as a lion of infinite
Gracefully settled in life,
Ani helps others come and
expanding the definition of peace,
the meaning of
the delight of stretching the body into
contracting the energy into Chi Gung.
O Devayani, you'll
living a thousand miles to the north.
Devayani, keep in mind
there will be another time and another
maybe even on this earth, where
we'll talk again, and
and gently mind the business of transmuting
and eternity into time.
"Save a space on your
calendar for me.
Devayani will be in San Anselmo between September 10
Part of the time at 457-5903
DEEP IN KRISHNA'S SHRINE
1228 San Anselmo, before 5-10-96
the possibility of nightmares so hideous
with me in the day...
The terror so deep
the sunshine shines
through the jungle enhancing it...
The face of my God strewn across
in the glance of an eye, in the bough of
in the lace of the curtains, in the strange bird's
in the small golden pyramid,
in the immensity of a palm,
cut, trimmed, robbed of its limbs
and now forty feet
Only the Washingtonian is native to America they say
it grows in the desert.
Why am I not there? -- in the
searing heat of the sun,
in the sand, the dust, the small
the wind blown grit --
where nature dries you out, wrings
free of the moisture of fear.
Why does the question terrify you so?
you have witnessed perfection?
There are nightmares to return to
every hour of the day:
his face with the laughing eyes,
of his age and his worry and his distress
made young with
the compassionate laughter that knows
when the sun
comes round again
the day-mares, the terror, the heart piercing pain
will pulse delight.
shut your eyes to the
to the glitter and the gold.
Terror belongs in the
beneath your silent eyes,
within your shadowed heart.
Open your ear,
open your heart. (?????)
(Line probably missing CK)
DID YOU KNOW,
155 San Anselmo, before 5-10-96
O Devayani, that the diversity of the world is one?
One is the
diversity of the world.
Did you know that the way to wisdom is
that the many equal the sum, and the sum is
and one is the diversity of the world?
O Devayani, did
you know that to be right
is to serve the many, to serve the
diversity of the world, to serve
the one which is the diversity of
Shiva is one and he danced the world into
Shiva is the diversity of the world.
Do your dance.
Honor the one and the many
Be right, be righteous, honor
one which is the diversity of the world,
honor all the diversity of
the world for it is one.
DIWALI, PALIMPSEST IIIa
Tomorrow, the new moon, invisible, will begin her waxing, O Devayani,
the darkest night of the year, know that the year
begins again tomorrow, after the
night, when the sun rises
tomorrow, sheds its new light, taken from the
candles, a million lamps to illiuminate the
dawning year, the coming of the moon-
light that will
shimmering in your heart, in each heart opened to the young year,
new year, the lights, the candles, the lamps, the glow of
amber golden flame in the
the new years, O Devayani, night
after night you will watch the moon, silver in her
lights, rise from the darkest night, when even the stars dare not
absence, announcing her presence, the
eight hundredth time in your life. How many
how many lights of new moons waxing, olds moon waning, the lights
numinous in your heart, O Devayani, celebrate Diwali, Om Shanti,
DIWALI, PALIMPSEST IIIb
the night the new moon,
invisible, begins her waxing, O Devayani,
the year, know that the year begins after the long,
when the sun rises, sheds its new light, takes on
candles, the illiumination of a dawning year.
The beginnings of
each year, the festival
of lights, shimmers deep
in your heart, each heart opened to the
glow of golden amber from
the flames, candles, lamps, the fire
of the lights, of
O Devayani, night after night you will watch the moon,
her light, rising in the darkness, where even the
stars dare not glitter.
Absence announces her presence: the
eight-hundredth moon of your life
O Devayani, how
many lights of new moons waxing, olds moon waning, the lights
creation, desolution, decay, how many new risen, newly born moons
and rising suns
will shine upon earth, arcing across the blue-black
cloudless sky, inciting luminosity
in your heart, O Devayani, how many? Celebrate Diwali! Om
Shanti, Shanti, Shanti-i
DON'T GET UP
5319 Seattle, after 5-10-96
the sugar rides high in the blood,
deep in the toes,
the world crashes around with
The sun's gone out of the sky.
There's no one to talk
to or cry.
A jet roars overhead,
taking off for the moon.
You would go, too,
to the moon,
off to the moon with the goony
decoctions from grey matter,
dreams, hopes, soporifics,
that put you back to
Leave it alone, leave it alone,
Dance in the moonlight, sleep in the sun.
All will return to the quark.
DO NOT SEEK TO BE RIGHT,
155 San Anselmo, before 5-10-96
O Devayani, for it is a concept as thin
as a negative, as blank as a
void, for all is right
all the diversity of the world is
every moment of time and the sun and shade,
moment of warmth and coolness, and mist,
every moment of the
incandescence of desert heat
every moment of ice and the glacial
every heart beats and is right, every rhythm taps to the
of the dance. O Devayani, do your dance
follow your heart,
love the beat of all the dancers.
Whirl, Devayani, whirl to the wild
rhythms of the dance,
Sway, O Devayani,
the left, melt to the right,
sway to the lilting slowness of the
become one with the currents of air.
Do not seek to be
for righteousness is a negative concept.
things be as they are, Devayani.
Describe them if you wish, O
but do not judge them.
Describe them as they
Each described tree and each undescribed tree
belongs in the
Do not be righteous toward the trees.
- B -
Beauty, before 1996
Burning, 05-06 before 1996
- C -
Frost Mourning, 01-30-00
The Empty Page, 12/18/97
Etruscan Goddess, 1997
Every Human, 01-12-98
Fed Up, 11-02-97
Feeding Frenzy, 1995?
In A Judeo-Christian-Islamic World,
Interstellar Space, 07-05-97
Lets Look At The Old Films Of India,
Micro Paleontology, 04-24-97
The Nafs, 12-26-97
No Words, 1-10-98
Of Spiritual, 1-11-98
Palimpsest (Ecstasy), 11-16-97
Palimpsest I (Sphere), 11-17-97
Palimpsest II (Diana), 11-22-97
The Place Between, 1-3-98
Point of View, 7-5-97
The Roaring Silence of God, 4-3-95
Steady Drizzle, 04-28-97
Two Tomatoes, 1995-96?
The Woman Who Had No Necklaces, 10-26-97
Copyright © 2002 Jan Haag
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Jan Haag may be reached via e-mail: email@example.com or
BY JAN HAAG