surrender.here.now [poetic teaching]

(krishna says in the og bg)
he who teaches those who do not want to hear
is performing an immoral act
                but you couldn’t anyway

it is only at the point that you ask the question
that you can hear the answer

it is only at the point when it begins to dawn on you that maybe
all the methods you had available to you thus far
aren’t going to be enough

all we can do at this point is to
share our journeys with one another (thanks, ram ram dass)

as the heart opens
again, if they surrender

vairagya letting go
the karmic eventual non-attachment
the most sincerest of seekers, or life experiencers, will feel

        as the heart opens
        again, if they surrender

all paths lead to the same place
you can get some of the dynamics of method
other pilgrims walking the true path without a path to follow
only the heart opening
watch in wonder

        as the heart opens
        again, if they surrender

sick in the thick of (fighting) love, dammit [poem]

        I do(n’t) want to fall in love. (i’m afraid of it)

I don’t want to risk saying goodbye to the fire in my heart, to the dancing queen in my soul, to the get-up-and-go that makes me who I am. I don’t want to leave behind all the things that make me the me I love the most. Free spirit. Artist. Unconventional bohemian babe who teaches yoga and heals with her hands, and also swears like a badass sailor bitch with a shot of Jameson, another of Patrón, and a sweating Busch light on the bar before me. I want to climb those trees in the furry-filled fuzzy Northwest, and those mountain peaks in the sacred Himalayas. I don’t want to make decisions using my left brain. I don’t want to say I’m sorry, and really mean it, when I realize I was less than considerate of the man waiting in the truck. I don’t want to cry when we’re an hour away from our departure point. I don’t want to have nausea, those fucking butterflies that come, or the weight gain or weight loss that accompanies an emotional experience us humans aren’t blessed to have enough to make sense of within our minds. I don’t want to fall. Fuck. I don’t want to fall. I want to cling to my path, one that has no rules, that believes everything is gray—never black and white, ever—but is a foggy gray filled with regular doses of tye-dye and psychedelic hippies and EDM. A path that sings to Bieber and Johnny Cash. That is full of naked swims at sunrise in the Sawtooth mountains, and naked golden-hour dips amongst canoers and fallen birch trees in the Upper Peninsula. It’s a path that lights my life up bigger and bolder than any path I’ve tried ever could.

        What’s the worse thing that could happen?  (he asks, my therapist, best one ever)
        I roll my eyes, laugh at how silly it sounds, but I tell the truth
for me, the worst thing that could happen is he could be my forever person and I could change and get married and have some babies and live in the woods amongst the woodpeckers and fawns and…
        I laugh. I cry. So does he
        This hurts (my ego who is not vulnerable but strong and willfull and free, don’t you see!)
the reason I’m most terrified is because this is truly unexplored (and i don’t know how to do it)

how do you just be, without a heady head swirling with option and adventure?
how do you just let go of agenda, roles, and truthly keep both feet inside the door?

        just be, I suppose
        let life happen, I suppose
        feel the feelings, I suppose
        cry and vomit and let yourself be
        sick in the thick of love, damnit

shirodhara: an ayurvedic oil awakening [poem, and embodied request]

drip
drip
drip drip
drip drip
drip drip drip streammmmmmmmm

warm oil streams across my face
pours from a pot above my head
falls an inch below my hairline, just above my eyebrows

running softly across my skull
rushing rivers to my temples
swimming in a swirl of curls
oil pools beside my head, towel on my hair

third-eye sleeping safely, kept under iPhone lock and key

life nectar continues to caress, sweet sweet fragrant oil
thinking momentarily fades away, sweetness in to take his place
simple sweetness, supple powers, of the lady with the oil
inner knowings wait for outer silence sweet sweet sweet

muddled being, struggling with decisions, none
crying heart, lamenting heart, learning not to love, but love
how to disappear and live again, shirodhara oil can you also come

minutes, hours, lives pass by as truth and grace remain
to hold supple hands of a woman in her prime, within an oil awakening

You bowed to me [poem]

how many days have you walked into my room,
rice on a tray, dal, quiet as a mouse
careful not to wake my sleeping son
while seeing my mess, some shame
an american queen, closet concubine, waiting for the work to be
done at a desert hotel with
a pool

today for lunch I demanded plain spaghetti
        just boil it and bring it here! I heard myself yell at the phone

why did i speak like this?

disgusted with undercooked beans, abundance
of sunflower and rice bran oil, and salt

tonight for dinner I requested fancy dal not on your menu
one prepared special for entitled tourists like me
        dal makhani, it’s possible? I ask
        sab kuch milega, you say

when you brought it to me, my robe
closed tight around my chest, lights low, I opened my door, my world,
you entered, placed the tray on the table, silent

        you rose, met my gaze, pressed your palms in
        anjali mudra, opening your heart

my breath left me
        thank you, thank you, I said
        who am I to be so proud?
        I meant it

I longed to be a beautiful woman [poem] // tale of our first solo scooty adventure in the desert

I caught my shadow on the single-lane asphalt road with broken rocky shoulders that drew a line south in the Thar, save a few curves of sanddunes drifting across the surface. My head was tightly wrapped in an emerald green pashmina from Jaipur, the scarf tail dancing behind our bodies roughly one hundred kilometers from the Pakistan border. It was 95 degrees at ten am. Before we’d set off that morning I covered my son with the usual heavy gray cotton flap of his baby carrier, attached him tightly to my body, and drove down the slippery stone slabs of the fort first gate. It was the first time we’d ride here just the two of us.

The path was edged with desert cacti who wore silken flowers of faded fuchsia and tiny white pearls. The road cut through fields of harvested cumin, gathered into stone-topped drying piles amongst scattered mounds of sandstone boulders. The road curved through one small village of people who lived by shaping them. I smelled dirt. There were sandstone homes, carved beautifully, but most were square squatty concrete buildings, some with bright white lime and turquoise facades.

Muslim shepherds in sweat-stained dhotis with bulging inner pockets, slender frames, walked slowly behind dreadlocked sheep and black goats with twisted horns and rectangle eyes. Six or seven golden and burnt black camels in shade, sometimes alone, like the saggy backed bony cows who occasionally wore 15-inch horns. We passed by dung and clay huts with straw circle tops. Kids chased our scooter, which made me nervous, but happy to be seen. I smiled at the older humans, being, waiting for me to pass.

I longed to be a beautiful woman in a movie, the kind who poetry and novels are written about, dressed with a green scarf round her head, tied at the neck, pair of wheels under her, upon an open road.

Going deeper into the desert, I continued toward the Shakti temple an hour from town.

My dreams were now alive in the shadows on the ground.

The same, questions of your father [poem]

        the boys in the temple today
        spoke down to me, questioned
        again, about your father

eyes, pure white, open and embracing
circles of brown round black, still believing these are
more beautiful than any anyone has seen

        I regret what I told them
        you will have children. never leave your sons, I say
        please do not do what some of your real fathers did, I think

I turned my back and walked away from
my choices, the surprise and hypocrisy and beliefs
your parents, my parents, just products of lifetimes

        I hope the questions stop
        It’s not the Indian way, they say
        abortions, preferred. you think, they think, silent

your father, being human being, a man
tender boy made in mountains, naive, frightened
existence we created, they created, were created, are created

        truth, still a mystery to me
        father will love him, he is his son, they say
        it’s too dangerous to try, you say, they stay silent

nearly two years have passed. I am not the same
surely neither are you alone, in the secret of fatherhood
missing, or dead. to us you seem the same

        I hope the questions stop

Worth, part 1 [poem]

what is my worth?
        she asks me, a good idea from the shower, she says.
        she struggles too, with depth, an eagerness to know
        both of us

pulling clothes from the line, sandy feet
shuffle on the marble rooftop

        nothing, I smirk
        the easy answer, my attitude, my honesty, my pride
        there is no value, no real worth, inside my moments
        it’s all just now, anyhow

no different am I from the tree just beside
she has no leaves, no blossoms, no bark, yet is
holding tight to the ground, yet gives
shade for the man in gray, offers
view for the bush-tailed chipmunk, a
perch for the pigeon pair I saw mating once, a lustful quickie on a pillar, silent
picture for the neighbor servant
girl wearing red

        who am I but the dust that flies
        into my child’s eyes, my own
        belonging neither to me, nor life itself
        able to die more quickly than
        one takes, chooses, a life

        it’s all a dream, I fear, I feel
        jaded as the years drag on

Is awareness always so solemn?
        I’ll ask her that, I think

Holi, part three [poem]

fuuuuuuuck you, spirit speaker
the mind turned off you say, and still
bedroom photo wall with you and Ferrari and female form and framed
achievement from European schools
next to Buddha, and boddhisatva
        do you see?
        do you see the what the fuck, the #horriblebeautyofitall?
your mother, your wife
caring for me as I craved to care for you
judging me, curious, cynical with pity, and seeing

my son cried after eating soap in your shower
as I rinsed green paint from my hair
head back in the cool water stream
bliss came for a moment, in the scream

i wonder if your wife poisoned me
in stress, and surrender, i soften my already lightening hands
hand over my child to your queen
just as I gave my heart to you, with longing, loss, and
a silent plea for help

there you are dancing, drinking, again,
with the salon curtains closed
        you prance into the parlor
        showing me your smile, I smile
        your skin, barney purple paint on brown
your wife, laughs in her ownership
your mother, hands you a shirt

the hours pass, I sleep beneath photos of your father
your grandfather, next to my son, with neither
you sleep in a walk-in closet
is this the norm, for you, for us, I dream, we wake

you sit in a circle of men, cousins
these men eating sugar, drinking chai
talking of choosing a wife for the youngest god amongst you

        isn’t that just too sweet…
        you joke, should we choose a wife for your son
        why not? I laugh. Can you hear my hatred
        and jealousy within this idea?

bearing uncomfort no longer
feeling alone in india for the first time
here, many months of settling, rising
strong, I flee drooling son on my knee, rooftop offers space to breathe

        empath, i am breathing
        neon parakeets in trees
        pigeons on the pillar, a pair
        i watch them mate for the first time
        so open, fast
        then pause for two minutes alone to fluff feathers
        take care of themselves, become bigger

I retreat and again busy my time with your wife
your friends new wife, pregnant, covers her face
when you walk in the room
you, patriarch, who lost your wallet in your celebrations
and left me hanging with the women, behind the curtain

        I ask to leave, immediately you find your keys
        perhaps also seeing a way out, or finally seeing me out
        comfort in the exit, alone at my side

I have that repeating thought from days long since known to me
’ll never fit in, ever, maybe never, here, maybe nowhere
Numb and silent, and still there is relief

On the back of your bike, my son sandwiched between our pelvises
Feverish head under curls, his hat and shoes lost on this day
You search for speech, more seconds with me
        I pass up the doctor, the diapers
        Your hint at dinner
        Too much, all too much, I’ve had enough

past the laxmi temple, you swerve
near the shiva temple, you stop outside our home

whiskey in your eyes, I try to meet you, but cannot
you look at my son, unable to meet me, i cannot

        love you, and still
        i see myself stronger in solidarity
        knowing that you, gurujj
        are also not enlightened as much
        no, moreso not, than me

I hold my son and turn my back and walk away

       i’m in the home you gave to me

in the waking body [poems]

It’s true what they say
About holding back
Or letting go

You never really know
Which is best
So you try both

Nature’s way
You begin at birth
And re-find…
     if you’re lucky.

The other, created
Taught to and at you
Scared souls…
     there’s freedom.

—–

Hearts don’t actually explode
From emotion
Overwhelmed inside the all-consuming force
of their feeling.

Just as throats don’t actually close
They constrict
Requiring, equipping both their burn
and their burden.

Eyes though, they do decide on change
They surrender
Knowing no alternate way of freeing and exploring,
their fear and their love.

—–

Get your ground
     let it go
          leap into your adventure

It’s only now,
     trust truth om
          no backup plans required

Adapt and flow
     move when you’re moved
          let life evolve through you

—–

Placing bets
On the head
Or the heart

Life’s gamble
     It’s your call.
Both likely win
     In the end.

But which game
Is more fun
to play?

– robin 12/23/18

make me a space to be, god [poem]

make me a space
space to breathe
space to be, god

        make me a space amongst sturdy pines and cedar, spruce
to sacred hills and silver boulders
blowing bells, bansuri
water cold, original ice
discipline

himalayan stream, become
        om namah shivaya
I ask not of any earthly lover but of god

        make me a space on ochre earth and sienna sand
to the dunes and gray green cacti
whistling rattle whips
ancient earth, eternal light
discipline

desert wind, become
         om namah shivaya
I ask not of any earthly lover but of god

make me a space
space to breathe
space to be, god

If your eyes are still open [poem]

If your eyes are still open
when the birds begin to sing
stay awake
pour the tea
open the book of love songs
and poetry
wrap your shoulders in a shawl
sit outside
on your balcony
watch the sun change
the sky
from muted gray to lavender and peach
to soft faded blue
and notice the fir trees
and mountain paths
and terraces of wheat and rock
and prayer flags fluttering
in the barely moving wind
and hear the dogs beckoning
each other
to join the bell-wearing donkeys
and the day
and sip, sip, sip
it all
in

Sunrise Selfie in Dharamkot April 27 2017
Sunrise selfie at my hOMe in Dharamkot, Himachal Pradesh, Northern India. April 27, 2017

Do not ask for a heart made of different clay [poem]

Moon child, my curly-haired moon child, Lay your self open, bold and full of breath, alive, on that still-warm concrete roof, between the Ganga and the hills, and ask me what it is you long for…

But do not ask, ever again, for a heart made of different clay. For I poured my Divine Self into your being — I wanted you this way.

I wanted you to cry those tears, to surrender then resurface, to dance in most pure ecstacy, despite your person’s fears.

I wanted you to find your comfort in the trees and on the shores, to climb up into mountain meadows when you couldn’t hear me any more.

I wanted you to lose it all, to break and say goodbye, to the life you thought you lived, full of fantasies not made for freedom, that couldn’t help but make you cry.

I wanted you to dive so deep into your darkest blues, and only then get a glimpse of Self, in the will-less space of softened ego, without that name, without that mind, without much of what you thought you knew.

I am pleased that you’re still with me, crawling onward toward the light, but now, accept this grace, embrace pure courage, burn what lingers of fictitious flesh still keeping you afright.

Stop resisting, my dear moon child, trust the flow you feel. Release into this moment, for what is is mystic magic, a story sage and seer know as real.

But you’ll breathe it into life solely when you fall in love, with that not-so-broken human heart made of cosmic clay, that needs you to stop doubting, start freeing, and fully soar above.

You have the power, you carry the light, each moment has prepared you. So take one final surrendering pause, then release, my curly-haired moon child, and with love become the truth.

So do not ask, ever again, for a heart made of different clay. For I poured my Divine Self into your being — I created you this way.

….. Rishikesh, India. April 2017.

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