this green (2014)

today’s cold, crisp leaf passes me by

why do we not connect as we once did?

 

i fear that this green will not come again in all of its freshness

why do we not remain in life as we once did?

 

for certain, no good comes of joy without equal parts pain

joy, the flutter of the leaf still connected; pain, the moment of parting ways

 

but what to call the reality of dead wood, where there is not a leaf in sight, but only a thickening numbness?

~

 

the world and places like it (2014)

The most beautiful thing. © Saara Punjani 2014.
The most beautiful thing. © Saara Punjani 2014.

dearest,

why do we go all around
the world and places like it?

why do you want to take me where you’ve been?

~

what makes you whole
makes me whole, too

the feeling you seek,
is my life

 

how long will we flit,
two bees on the same flower
returning home to tell stories
of the most beautiful thing?

 

what you love, is what i love too,
though i am not your bee

you needn’t see with my eyes,
you needn’t feel with my heart

to know how hundreds of fields
become one

sinking ship (2014)

years do not slowly shape this knowledge,
as waves tend to slowly shape shore

put us in a room of strangers aboard a slowly sinking ship,
and no one need explain what to do

~

if a man leaves a room, and we dislike him,
we paint that dislike onto his memory
so as not to have to dislike ourselves

but if a man leaves the world,
suddenly, all surfaces are occupied;
where now do we place our colours?

~

in a sinking ship, none are friends,
and yet, we know each other well

in my eyes, you can see your grief;
in your grief, i see all of me

never have we shared a meal
as candid as this one,

and today, i wear my face without paint.

no longer (2014)

who can say what should be done?

~

no longer can i breathe without running,
no longer can i eat before moving,
no longer can i speak before listening

no longer can i do
before asking,

what if,
what if all i am furthering
is irrelevance?

~

have you come here to sit,
or have you come to work hard,
so that you may make something
from nothing at all?

~

play without work
makes only a stomach ache

and love without change,
a costly, boring painting!

i care not for the pleasures
unless
you first give me of pain.

the frame (2014)

i would love to be in your movie

see how you frame those in love?

their breath, crisp on water wings
their abode, all of nature’s backdrop
every celestial body shaamil in their moment

would that i could be the one in the frame,
the one in the midst of it all

~

their love through the lens,
the viewer twice-removed

you are her, the beloved in the frame,
says the one farther removed than i

 

living in you (2014)

living in you is a sober kind of intoxication

in it, my capacity to give increases,
and a focus resolves: that each day must be lived

~

what you must do, is what has been assigned;
all you need know, is your task

will you be the one blade of grass that refuses to bow in the wind?

~

it’s incredible how fortunate we’ve been made;
it’s incredible how fortunate we’ve become.

your place (2014)

take a step back from the frontline
– it is not your place

remove yourself from the head of the table
– it is not your place

step back from the position you’ve given yourself
in the world where you give yourself such prominence

those strings you think you hold,
are an illusion

 

if we told you to build a mountain,
or if we commanded you to fly,
you could do nothing

faced with the impossible,
you would harbour no illusion
of your own inherent limits

if you were to try, you could only whisper a prayer,
knowing you would have to rely
on Someone

 

see what you’ve forgotten in your careful preparation;
see what you’ve overlooked in your careful research?

the ant does not concern itself with the possibility of an eclipse

 

remember your role; your place.

 

navroz (2014)

what is new about this day, navroz?

is it simply the flip of a sunny switch, or the overnight emergence of garden weed?

what do you want to be?
what do you want to change?

~

you have had the winter to yourself

now, prepare yourself to be grown

prepare yourself to be tamed, pruned
and tethered at the hands of another

prepare yourself to shift your roots
in accommodation of those that grow beside

it hurts, the pain of limiting yourself
though you know your own potential
to spread far and wide

but, if you shift your roots appropriately,
you will have set stage below ground for what will come to be above

what harmony you create in the hidden
is in every way what will come to be seen, outside

your choice to curb the tumorous growth of your self
is the reason for the interwoven canopy above

which is you (2014)

i walk the narrowest road toward you,
no less fine than a hair

if there is anywhere to fall
it is directly into the mist below,

which
is you.

 

the end of your rope
is always in sight

all i must do is stretch out my hand
and you send it my way.

your rope – a lifeline for one who drowns
when in fact there is no other sea

if there is anywhere to drown,
it is directly into the height, width, and depth,

which
is you.

i’ve found you, me (2014)

i like you, me

you may be my twin sister unrealized

 

are you in my pen or in the page?
am i holding a magnet, that you rearrange your essence to meet me?

 

i am fond of you, me

you may be my outlet,
the electric source of all my harmony

or perhaps my inlet,
a moonlit sanctuary where only the tide governs our mood

ha!
i’ve found you, me
and i am  not going to let you go!

~

you are exactly me, but better;
my counsel, my friend

your presence is better than a thousand praises to my name

give me hope! and keep me content

be my voice when all else is a confusing din

the friend (2014)

the signs of maturity within us say:

o dear heart, the friend will come again tomorrow

 

the friend lays beside, though he may rest elsewhere;
the friend knows you by your eye

the friend loves you more than you can know,
in dimension after dimension untold

~

look with a different eye
and you will see him holding you together from within

look with a different eye
that you may know him even after he departs forever from sight

~

o my love:

you are my footing, my keystone,
my place of rest,

my pilgrimage, my refuge, my harbour,
my nest.

 

she was beautiful (2014)

The inner became the surface, and she was transformed. © Saara Punjani 2014.
The inner became the surface, and she was transformed. © Saara Punjani 2014.

she became beautiful in love

 

her face, a lantern, her skin the translucent paper
her lips, they flamed and they were alive

what i saw on her, was what was in her;
the inner became the surface, and she was transformed

 

she became no more desirable than before,
but there was something

her shoulders were relaxed; her spine too
her breath was steady

 

she was beautiful.

you are home (2014)

dearest,

it’s okay to be the one that loves more

to be the one that speaks less

to be the one that reaches out for a strong hand

isn’t it wonderful
that you can be so in need?

isn’t it wonderful
that you can feel so in need?

my dearest, dearest, heart:

it’s okay to put the self to rest
and to yield to your need
for the beloved

~

i close my eyes and
my forehead is so naturally drawn
downward, to rest at your feet

i cannot do other than bow

this is where i am
and this is where i belong

something in me knows
you
are home.

what is winter (2014)

Winter, somewhere near Ottawa, Canada. © Saara Punjani 2013.
Winter, somewhere near Ottawa, Canada. © Saara Punjani 2013.

dearest,

has not spring followed every winter of your life?

your task is not to hurry along the new season,
but to grow your stores of patience
so that you may quietly weather the cold

 

in cycles you fall and rise
in cycles you pain and grow

 

what is winter if not the ultimate growing pain?

your task is not to despair in the receding light,
but to close your eyes in proportion
so that you may continue to remain in harmony

what is winter if not the ultimate preparation for change?

your task is not to cling to what once grew on you,
but to let what has served its purpose gracefully fall away
so that you may remain open to embrace new plantings

what is winter if not the ultimate opportunity for reflection?

your task is not to cry, not to blind yourself with the memory of what once was,
but to bravely face your bare reflection in frozen pools
so that you may know what you are at your core.

my heart is becoming blind (2014)

my heart is becoming blind,
but finding meaning in a way that was not open to it before

when the eyes were wide,
the fingers were dead; the world of raised letterforms,
unavailable

my heart is becoming deaf,
but finding meaning in a way that was not open to it before

when the ears were sensitive,
the eyes pre-conceived; the world of fresh signs,
overlooked

my heart is becoming mute,
but finding meaning in a way that was not open to it before

when the mouth ran on,
the ears grew stiff; the world of boundless harmony,
unheard

my heart is losing its mind,
but finding meaning in a way that it could only understand
after walking a new path
of learning
of knowing
of being

~

what sense is this?
which fingers grasp the idea of you?
which eyes are open for your light?

my heart grows an entire body around it
though one existed before

my heart causes an entire body to inflate
into the one the existed before

what pushes on the walls of my old self,
wanting out?

am i to burst, or am i to shed,
what was once dead,
what was once me?

your place in the world (2014)

you are a single gem in the diamond necklace of the world
next to all others, your shimmer joins in the collective
and there is only the symphony of all,
each note perfectly timed

but set apart, we can truly examine
what is you
your depth, your clarity;
what you bring to a darkened night

look at you, in perfect harmony
look at you, a part of the whole
look at you, so capable of being;
so sure of your place in the world.

the most free / on the page (2014)

some days i wonder if you remember me

you have so many to attend to
but i still wish you would come to see me

~

what does it tell you, dearest,
that of all the expression you could choose,
you chose poetry, the most free

~

then,

perhaps
expression is the way
to find you

perhaps
you remember me
when i remember you

perhaps you, o free one, always come
when i ask you to meet me
on the page.

the day (2014)

up until now you have seen nothing
a glimpse here, a slip there

the day i throw back my robe and reveal my full self to you,
the day i push back the drapes of my interior,

that day, will you know me

~

give me a seed
and i will grow a garden for you

give me an cup
and i will brew an ocean for you

give me a little love,
and, dearest,
i will make a lifetime
for you

hello, beautiful (2014)

i take up space inattentively over two seats,
legs jumbled, in the midst of thought
riding home underground,
writing in my notebook

hello, beautiful

a short latino man intrudes
with a smile or with a leer — i can’t decide

 

at one time i might have
cringed reactively;
strange creep

but today i smile

what does it take from me to be gracious?
here is an opportunity to live
up to what he claims to see in me

he leaves the subway car,
perhaps in search of another
to teach something to

~

does the tree look down at the shade-seeker in disdain?
does the bird turn up his beak at the admirer and say,
shut your ears,
you are not worthy
to hear me?

 

if beauty is with you
it is by no effort of yours

~

and did he not say those words to me
while i was holding the pen?

when else am i beautiful,
if not when being what i am?

when else am i beautiful,
if not when beyond myself,

if not when living in you?

~

thank you,
man from the subway;
thank you very much!

send it out! (2014)

dearest,

what does it mean to have a perfect moment,
when we do not know if the next moment will come?

these moments that you are living,
are the perfect moments

~

when love beats its fists on the walls of your throat,
let it out!

love,

at once the maestro of the universe
and the twinkle in the eye of the playful child

it wants to be known, it wants to flow

 

don’t let it sit in you, fermenting

send it out!

blessings accumulated (2014)

do you
deign
to give the stranger a smile,
to give your friend a single grain
of the love over which you keep such meticulous account?

what of yours will lessen if you unlock yourself
to let someone else gaze upon your treasure?

 

you were only given anything
because Someone thought
you knew what to do
with these gifts

 

give away whatever does not fit comfortably in your existing cupboards

or,
don’t,

and watch how heavy you become in the corpulence of blessings accumulated

 

whatever you keep beyond what you need is
simply,
ingratitude.

potter (2014)

a potter sees clay

what would you like to be today, love?

let me shape you, fashion you,
let me hold you and mould you,
let me press you and caress you,
into what you once were,

into what you have always been

 

my heart sees you,
though to my eyes
you are a lump of clay
like any other

 

i know where you came from
and i know what you want to be

i will release you from your matrix;
i will love you into who you are
and who you have been.

circle (2014)

recognizing you
adds
nothing to
me

subtracts
nothing from
me

then
why is crimson more crimson
why is fire more bright
why is everything more everything

when i recognize you?

~

your name on my tongue;
unfamiliar, ill-fitting,
foreign;
a language i do not know

then, i make myself a mule,
a beast of burden,
an ox putting one hoof in front of the other;

like that, i say your name in a circle

the dumb beast, my tongue,
in rote;
my fingers, silent,
looking for you

in a circle

and then your name makes sense
somehow

you become my language

you, in the circle

and suddenly i go beyond the circle,

that has no beginning, no end

something lifts off of the cold, un-breathing beads,
taking off

something either comes to life or something dies;
it doesn’t matter which

the circle transcends itself
the transcendence, no longer any shape but yours
which is to say,
no shape more or less than a circle
no circle more or less than a shape
no circle but circle
no shape but shape

no you

but you