I met HawaH yesterday! HawaH is the creator and visionary behind The Poetry of Yoga project. HawaH is a yogi, poet, activist, community organizer, educator, and yoga instructor. He dedicates his life to teaching about solutions to violence and ways of peace. He is co-founder of One Common Unity, a non-profit organization that inspires a culture of non-violence through music, arts, and media. He travels the world teaching through workshops, dialogues, poetry! He is a very inspirational person and I felt lucky to be in his beautiful presence!
Last night’s poetry gathering raised funds for HawaH’s One Common Unity project. Many readers read from his anthology, The Poetry of Yoga. Rick had two poems published in The Poetry of Yoga, Volume 2 and read them along with a few other poems.
I found myself wishing more of my friends could have been at the event simply because it was so incredibly meaningful. The poetry was so moving, the invocation Terilyn Wyre did at the beginning was powerful and brought about a sense of common unity. I so enjoyed seeing friends and meeting new people who are dynamic. The evening made my heart feel warm and happy.
Rick had a stack of poetry neatly folded up in his pocket (!). Here is one poem he brought along, but did not read…
Art of Breathing
I’m falling in love again,
out of an old pain:
the baby blue sky
a sweet powdery haze,
the ocean shushing me
softly in the distance.
Forest chambers echo
the thrush’s skyward flutings.
On the myrtle leaves
the morning light shines.
One after another
the big breaths arrive.
Rick read Ascetic Cave which I featured on another blog post earlier this year. And his poem, Yoga Gigolo was well received, especially loved by the men in the audience! I will not include it here, in the hopes that people will actually want to purchase The Anthology of Yoga, Volume 2, where it appears!! Proceeds go to the One Common Unity organization!
Here is Rick’s snowy owl poem which he read last night. These huge Arctic visitors come to grace our beaches at Ocean Shores in the winter. Damon Point is in Ocean Shores, WA and is where the owls perch on driftwood and hunt.
Damon Point Snowy Owl
I do not want to make you
any wiser than you are.
But to stop and stare,
astonished by your size,
your snowy elegance,
your golden blinking eyes
(with what solidity
you perch upon a snag
overlooking winter seas!)
is to experience the love
of timelessness, to join
the wise in motionlessness
and mute austerity.
I bask in seeing and being seen by you,
being ransacked of all pretensions
by your otherworldly purity
and penetrating gaze.
I stand for minutes richer than hours,
wealthier than days, adding to my years.
I clothe myself in your downy feathers,
I breathe in the coolness of your soul,
I don the precious gems of your eyes
and through you see myself as animal.
On strong wide wings you veer away
as I glide back down the beach,
clad in my new white robe,
the whole world glittering gold.
And here is Rick’s haiku he recited as he ended his reading:
the fat squirrel clambers through
the rose briar
At some point Terilyn came up and read BEING HUMAN, written by Naima. BEING HUMAN is also featured in The Poetry of Yoga, Volume 2. Before reading it, Terilyn told the audience she read this poem recently at her friend’s funeral service. The poem is about being human and had me moved to tears. The whole time she read, I thought about my sister Jeanie, who died two years ago of complications due to Multiple Sclerosis. I kept thinking about what it is to be human, and the silly things we concern ourselves with, about all the life lessons Jeanie taught me, and how what really matters is that we live and love and spread kindness and goodness in this world! Later, I came up to Terilyn to tell her how powerful this poem was for me and she told me that her friend, at whose funeral service she read this poem, ALSO had MS, but had died of ovarian cancer. The poem took on an even great dimension for me at this point!
BEING HUMAN by Naima
I wonder if the sun debates dawn
not wanting to rise
out of bed
from under the down-feather horizon
If the sky grows tired
of being everywhere at once
adapting to the mood swings of the weather
If the clouds drift off
trying to hold themselves together
make deals with gravity
to loiter a little longer
I wonder if rain is scared
if it has trouble letting go
If snow flakes get sick
of being perfect all the time
each one trying to be one-of-a-kind
I wonder if stars wish
upon themselves before the die
if they need to teach their young to shine
I wonder if shadows long
to once feel the sun
if they get lost in the shuffle
not knowing where they’re from
I wonder if sunrise and sunset
respect each other
even though they’ve never met
If volcanoes get stressed
If storms have regrets
If compost believes in life after death
I wonder if breath ever thinks
I wonder if the wind just wants to sit
and watch the world pass by
If smoke was born knowing how to rise
If rainbows get shy back stage
not sure if their colors match right
I wonder if lightning sets an alarm clock
to know when to crack
If rivers ever stop
and think of turning back
If streams meet the wrong sea
and their whole lives run off-track
I wonder if the snow wants to be black
If the soil thinks she’s too dark
If butterflies want to cover up their marks
If rocks are self-conscious of their weight
If mountains are insecure of their strength
I wonder if waves get discouraged
crawling up the sand
only to be pulled back again
to where they began
I wonder if land feels stepped upon
If sand feels insignificant
If trees need to question their lovers
to know where they stand
If branches waver in the crossroads
unsure of which way to grow
If the leaves understand they’re replaceable
and still dance when the wind blows
I wonder where the moon goes
when she is hiding
I want to find her there
and watch the ocean
spin from a distance
Listen to her
stir in her sleep
effort gives way to existence