Category Archives: blog – 7: POETRY

Finally, I am no longer ashamed of my poetry… so here’s the page with no apologies…

Shiva, Swamp, Guru


Shiva, Swamp, Guru
by Barefoot Justine

My longing plays its ripples upon your placid lake,
My forever is the flowing of your loving grace,
My walking is deep study of your truth and light,
My joy it only rises if after you I’ve given chase.

My guru is this swamp, green and one in all as I,
He is the path I walk and the rainfall all around,
He is hot sand underfoot, and tall amidst the pines,
On this path, as within, his wisdom is the ground.

Oh winding guru I felt your wholeness in my heart,
In coming home to your shaded land of golden sand,
Where wisdom of the wolves laps the swampy shores,
Where ash of Shiva’s embers warms me as I stand.

Once trees with fiery hollows graced my eyes with awe,
In my guru Agni danced in silks of red and gold,
Among the ashes, deep as snow, I as Aghori roamed,
Under ash embers burned in Mahadev’s stronghold.

Shiva dances maya in the windsong between the leaves,
He nests my pains into a hole amidst the tallest pines,
My guru is this forest and all I know there grows,
Where Soma’s light falls in Shiva’s deepest shrines.

Be with me Guru on Kuruksetra as I string my bow,
Come to me oh Guru, in the restless dark of night,
Reveal to me your self in dreams if not in words,
May I sleep in your embrace of one of love in light.

Stealing Home


Stealing Home
by Barefoot Justine

I came to be, under suburban skies more blue than Penny Lane,
A carnival-sweet breeze, the air crisp and green as a Granny Smith,
Sundrenched, adrift, a leaf in the Kool-Aid streets of my childhood,
But I was no child, it was now, I was me, No homework on my back.

Grown up or not, I was still the barefoot girl, same as I knew,
Though conspicuous, brazen, topless, tan and deliciously lost,
The air whispering silk and feather nothings across my breasts,
The streets kissing tar and shard threats under my feet and toes.

Children ran by with streamers and smiles flown high as kites,
Their day-off moms and dads, blissful as candy-apple Buddhas,
A market, a fair, Rockwell painting with all the trimmings,
And I stealing home, and I me, one with, but not one of, them.

A feral flush of tingling joy and naughty nervousness teased me,
In rhythm with each delicious step of barefoot summertime freedom,
Drinking a soda pop cocktail of wild abandon and giggly paranoia,
For what if I was spied, discovered, disapproved of or busted?

Oh my!

My nipples plump as strawberries and ruddy as Bollywood skin,
Pointing the way to ecstasies timed to roller coaster heartbeats,
My toes flexible, the chill air licking tickles between them,
As I, a Red Riding Hood, scurried, climbed, snuck and hurried.

Triangulating between three errands and three states of feeling,
Confusion, how to cover the miles and find my way in my errands,
Terror, I might be busted, copped and jailed topless with pot,
Delight, in getting away with my own hot-buttered drive-in movie.

In shorts alone, tattered denim, bells, toe-rings and bangles,
Long curls, brown here, red there, and hippie in the highlights,
Me a flurry of pink and purple, denim and cheap belled jewelry,
My dark chocolate eyes lit like sparklers under disco eyeshadow,

The silk to silk softness of arms rubbing against ribs a reminder,
I was bare breasted, my porcelain belly creamy as vanilla pudding,
Climbing up and jumping down my teacup breasts bobbled and fizzed,
Each jiggle a jarring reminder that I was more than half-naked.

I was Bardot, I was Mara, I was Hazel, I was barefoot Justine,
I was topless in public, my body, a playground, my day a funhouse,
Unimpressed and scarcely oppressed by pragmatism and patriarchy,
Too slinky and sly to let them shame me, tame me or tie me down,


Oh I dreamt every cinnamon and sugar tremble of panic as I went,
Down towards a busy road, buzzing before the miles yet to go,
How could I do it, bare as I was, how would I bear the crowds,
How could I ride this wild tiger, could I make her Shakti mine?

Every block a new adventure, a carnival of sensual delights,
And around each corner surprises, changes in the world I knew,
But all for the better, the streets of nostalgia an exotic bazaar,
I was Valerie, and this was my week of wonders, but all in a day.

I talked with a lady, Though she looked at me, she kept her cool,
“Wow! This is so different, not what I recall,” I said to her.
She glanced at my tits, saying dreamy stuff with marshmallows.
“But I love this place… it’s like Orlando Ohio,” I laughed.

And it was, a curious alley of sculpted delights, a trip, a fancy,
A shopping festival, a parade built right into the walls around,
Colorful as cartoons, and shiny round shapes like daisies and dances,
Like my smile, but spilled out, sculpted and polished top to bottom.

How delicious, the day, trickling like sweet chai in my throat,
How delightful, the ginger warmth of it like curry on my tongue,
An open mouth awaiting each savory bite, each drip and swallow,
One girl, I, running wild through a suburb of earhtly delights.

Each person I passed, shocked, surprised, envious, but indifferent,
Helping me along here, sneering me a warning there, and all as one,
And me as one in them… but for the cops, those bad Blue Meanies,
Trailing me like dogs to take me down like the fair Draupadi…

Though I was already stripped, and all the same, running and hiding,
Ducking around corners when I saw their dark blue battle suits,
And me, child of the forest, running like a stalked and hunted doe,
Tickled as a flushing virgin bride and chuckling like a whore.

I woke up.

But at least in dreams I’d returned, and stole this home as mine,
Free at last, to live the colors of Saturday Morning cartoons,
Free at last to shed the past and dance alive my own fairy tale,
If only for an afternoon, if only for a dream, if not forever…

And ever.

Less To Me Than Falling Leaves


Less To Me Than Falling Leaves
by Justine Mara Andersen

Why the vine of thorns, if it is the nature of the bloom to fade,
Why the vine of thorns, if it is the nature of the bloom to fade,
And why the prick in knowing my fragrant youth is like a rose?

If poetry speaks truth, then words need be plucked like flowers,
If poetry speaks truth, then words need be plucked like flowers,
How thin then the fragrence of a thousand thoughtless words.

When the wisest of men say Shiva resides only in the silence,
When the wisest of men say Shiva resides only in the silence,
Why at Temple do I forever find him in chaos din and clamor?

If Brahman is light hereafter, how can I know this self to be,
If Brahman is light hereafter, how can I know this self to be,
When in a shell of darkness I have heard the song of Atman?

If in resigning to defeat, why is there a sadness warm as honey,
If in resigning to defeat, why is there a sadness warm as honey,
When all my grandest victories are not but gilded suffering?

May victory and vainglory bend me like wind through wildflowers,
May victory and vainglory bend me like wind through wildflowers,
And may both victory and defeat be less to me than falling leaves.

Goddess Of The Azaleas


Goddess Of The Azaleas
by Barefoot Justine

In a sea with no sound but my own warmth and vibration,
In such resonance Shiva, Atman, Aum and all resolve,
To Destroy, create, maintain, I, one sinuous forever,
In whose gravity particles alive as fireflies revolve.

And I, a Goddess, aglow, the color of the azaleas,
Ten arms undulating in waves of roiling magnificence,
Three eyes closed in the silent harmony of eternity,
No din of thought to dim the melody of pure existence.

Floating in the cosmic sea, a mountain of sacred peace,
Soaring weightless over rock and tree, river and sod,
And I am light, and I am joy, and I am life hereafter,
And light and joy and life in self are all as one in God.

When Shiva Whispers


When Shiva Whispers
by Barefoot Justine

When solitude comes to me as its lonely worst,
A cloud of suffering mists my mornings.

When solitude comes to me as the breath of Shiva,
my vision is awash with shimmering saffron.

When I am she alone battling in my darkest hollows,
With a soured stomach I long for silence.

When all and one purr like twin tigers in my heart,
Silence flows clear as crystal springs.

When I alone am bloodied by demoniac struggles,
I see no path to virtue or release.

When I alone am one with all and one with truth,
I have no desire for the songs of men.

When Shiva seems to me but paint and fragile plaster,
No wisp of peace wafts from stillness.

When Shiva’s whispers warm my ears full of grace,
I melt into him with tearful trembles.

When maya barks its verses to me the virgin Mara,
I cannot hear the wisdom of the shlokas.

But when I wander quietly the lush green forest,
Every tree drops leaves of grace and wisdom.

Jai, jai! Every tree drops leaves of grace and wisdom.
Har Har Mahadev! Har Har Mahadev!

I Dreamt Of Flight


I Dreamt Of Flight
by Barefoot Justine

A dozen times two, have I dreamt,
Of flying under my own power,
Of joyous release high above all,
Of boundless breathless deliverance.

All that was needed was to run, to jump,
Until all my dragging anchors fell away,
Until each ticklish jump took me higher,
And I let go of all that held me down.

Such ecstasies I had never known,
Until I broke my body from the chains,
But with time each chain replaced itself,
Like the Hydra’s head, one for two.

After long years my dream was fulfilled,
Ringing clearer than any earthly bells,
This clarity had blossomed in another world,
More solid by far than this one we know.

More true by far than my own beginning,
This flight was my destiny fulfilled,
A second life lived in a parallel place,
Rebirth into a world of other dreams.

Never had I been more alive or certain,
That I was, that all was, or of what was,
Never had I been so singular, or satisfied,
That what I am, and of all that is, is real.

“This time,” I said, “it is no dream,”
And I began to levitate above all,
Above all worry and above all pain,
Above all bounds and limitations.

But for the limits of my rutted mind,
Which worked to root me to the ground,
A mind that had ruled me like a tyrant.
A mind now banished beyond a wall of will.

And all, yes all, I did was one,
Was one sacred task, to simply be,
To simply find clear focus on liberation,
To refuse any doubt that weighed me down.

To say no to any thought that ground me,
To let go, to be, to simply fly,
And I held this singular center in me,
In the third eye, a focus like a fire.

I flew eye to eye with the call of eagles,
Wind danced my hair like ripples on the water,
And all of eternity spread out before me,
No memories, no wants, no fears, just joy.

Yet when I woke, no disappointment came,
No sad regret in waking to this gravity,
Because I knew I had been boundless,
I flew, and I am that girl that flies.

I had lived without limits, I had enjoyed,
A second manifestation, another life,
In a world more real than all my mother knows,
It was no dream, that is stone to me.

And I brought back The Destroyer’s clarity,
That of knowing that I am boundless,
And all I have to do is say no to suffering,
And say yes to the eternal sea of milk.

The mark of a brush free from self doubt,
The beat of a heart free of regret,
The song of a muse free from censure,
The focus of a mind free from distraction.