Category Archives: blog – 7: POETRY

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

The Bear

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TheBear

TheBear

The Bear
by Justine

A bear, the beast upon my chest, a cumbrous coat of want and greed,
If I could move I could not breathe for suffocating need,
If I could move it’s teeth would bare, wide eyed would I recede,
This bear it pins me in my place, my life it does impede.

His gums are black, his teeth are yellow, and bloodstained all around,
His beastly fur darker than nights when stars dare not shine upon the ground,
His breath the sea and undertow in which so many lost souls have drowned,
Beneath sharp black eyes I tremble still, and my senses he does astound.

This bear, the beast, blinds me to my path, no sky blue can I see,
The meat-blood breath it takes in turns and draws my will from me,
I fear to move, so mighty he, my heart it cannot flee,
I forget myself, sweat and cry, and wish the beast to set me free.

This bear, my beast, it caught with me as I scrabbled up Longing Hill.
The brutish rhythm of its breathing drives it’s weight throughout my will,
This bear it snarls holes of fear all through dreams I’ll not fulfill,
Paralyzed the beast presses me to the earth and drives me like a drill,

To blackness I fade too slow, though never a sleep of dreams,
The leaping salmon this bear ignores, like me they fight their way up streams,
Afraid to open my mouth for fear I could never stop the screams,
This bear this beast was given birth through my life of mad extremes.

The black of sleep I would welcome now but dear God it never comes,
A minute here an hour there, the peace of sleep comes to me in crumbs,
Please I beg you, let me sleep and still the army of warring drums,
The bear, dear God, the darkness too, my tallied karmic sums.

I seek release from the dark cocoon the bear around me he did weave,
From this web I would struggle to be free but with nothing can I cleave,
So mighty the links in his chain of web I’ll never have my leave,
For now I must surrender myself, my hopes I must relieve.

The forest of the bear is deep, his dark breath thunders deeper still,
The darkness is his blood, and thicker than the web, it will not spill,
I’ve lost myself to fur, breath, webbing and the darkness of this hill,
For want and need I’d lost my way, ground to powder in my mill.

This bear is mine, my soul released the beast which chased me down,
The dreams I dreamt and the paths pursued lost me to this last ghost town,
And all my needs have grown such teeth and growled all my golds to brown,
I’ve lost my way but cannot pray while this bear he keeps me down.

The Battle

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The Battle

The Battle

The Battle
by Justine Mara Andersen

A thousand slobbering snarling Rakshasa Demons spit rage,
At my hilltop gates, they know the highest weakness of my walls,
They know every secret chambers in the cellar of my heart,
Though time and again I have thrown myself in surrender,
This once I will hold my own with Ma Durga’s fury as my will,
However foul their jibes and cries, we’ll stare them back to hell.

A thousand Rakshasa Demons spit acid at my every stone,
Fueled by the memory of my many sad sinking surrenders,
They have grown large as elephants and mightier than storms,
These demon fires in my skull surge hell throughout my veins,
And though they bash and batter sorrow at my walls without relent,
I grit my teeth and in my fists clench hard-won holy weapons.

They will not advance a single step under Ma Durga’s tiger’s eye,
Whose breath is like a blacksmith’s sparks spraying through my hair,
With rage and fury we set ablaze my oily doubts and tears,
And fly these black fires from our parapet into the clutching horde,
Ten arms of Durga raise their weapons to shield my every failing,
I still myself on trust in her whilst our fiery blaze consumes them.

Emboldened by so many battles won, again the demons charge,
Battering me with obscenities and curses they’ve handcrafted,
From the rhythms of my beating heart and the crimson of my blood,
In peace and with one breath of God I blow out all their flames,
And in the stillness bind them to each nightmare they inspire,
They’ll not have me, this time at last, for I am not of them.

By the still of day I sit beside the fountain, head in hands,
Bowed down under the weight of battle, we bind my every wound.
I catch my breath and hold still the panic, for even now I know,
What horrors are to come this night, I cry to think them mine,
To Temple I go to silence the raging of such deep infected wounds,
And seek the peace of stillness in the heartless hell to come.

They will come and come again, undeterred and in great hordes,
Until I deny them these coals of cowardice crumbling from my soul,
Until I live less my every weakness and live more my every strength,
By day the birds sing golden sunshine swirls above the temple tower,
From below wafts songs of temple spice and the sweetness of prasadam,
Whilst within the Temple of the silent self waits all I have to hold me.

Warring Heart Krishna Sky

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Krishna Sky

Krishna Sky

Warring Heart Krishna Sky
by Justine Mara Andersen

No sleep, no peace, no idea,
A sour stomach a warring heart,
Weak with roiling uncertainty,
I left my little kingdom.

Road below, sky above, so blue,
Blue as Krishna’s hands,
Air warm as Krishna’s cheeks,
I am grateful for the light.

How could anything be so bad,
When Krishna is the sky,
When green clings to winter,
Such color stills my heart.

I know the road, each turn,
Better than I know my heart,
Each beat is lost to me,
Each thought sly as shadows.

Each shadow a demon’s growl,
A thousand thoughts at war,
A thousand rootless heartbeats,
No rhythm to bind them.

Towards the cows I go,
One grey as my emotions,
One black as my fears,
He will not break away.

The black cow stares hard,
Into his eyes, deep and far,
He will not let me go of him,
The cow he waits, on what?

I bow gently to his soul,
Satisfied, he looks away,
To the grass, to his eating,
And is a cow once more, black.

Once more, what am I? Black,
Grey, or blue as Krishna’s sky?
I am barefoot in the grass,
And little else I need to be.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna,
Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare,
Hare Rama, Hare Rama,
Rama Rama Hare Hare.

Shiva, The Eagle and I

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Shiva, The Eagle and I
by Justine Mara Andersen

Sister eagle as you fly,
I hear the wind in your wings,
As though they are mine,
For are they not?

Mother rain as you fall,
I breathe in your rising mist,
And take it all in me,
As I rise and fall.

Hunter hawk of my woods,
I come to join you,
Together we stand,
And you allow it.

And wild turkeys beyond,
Still as the mighty hawk,
Steady is our stance,
We four are one.

White skull of the deer,
Mounted above my window,
Eagle, hawk, turkey and I
Will be bone too.

Lord Shiva in my eyes,
Show me that bones and ash,
Are nothing but rain,
For we are all as you.

Om Shivoham.

Om Shivoham.

Om Shivoham.

Titiksa

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Titiksa
by Justine Mara Andersen

How well do I wish him?
Now I wish him well away,
Yet it’s his mad infection,
in my skin like a splinter.

I want nothing from him,
Not even his sad failing,
Nor any further falling,
Other than from my mind.

I wish him well but only,
If he be gone and done,
Silent to me as old bones,
Done to me as any scar.

How well do I wish him?
I wish him nothing less,
Than I wish for myself,
Peace and all forgetting.

Peace and all forgetting.

Titiksa.

The Waiting Room

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The Waiting Room
by Barefoot Justine

Loneliness is a shabby waiting room,
The magazines like tattered Bibles,
And I have read them all before.

I wait sick, sweaty as a child,
Whose belly ache is the very sun,
Where all my joys are burned to ash.

The wait is longer than a splinter,
Ocean deep, a canker in my skin,
And I can see no end to it.

The lamplight dims and this room,
Consumes me into its empty belly,
And I forget that I was waiting.

So I curl into a ball and forget,
That loneliness is a waiting room,
And not every bite I swallow.

Then you appear faint as a phantom,
A misty shimmer, a hesitant yes,
Yet with a shadow that denies me.

Though my ears perk at the promise,
I dare not see you with my eyes,
And burrow down my old dark hollows.

Wait… I dare to think it so,
Was that you that whispered,
And stirred me from my blankets?

My fear-cramped fingers do uncurl,
Hesitantly towards your warmth,
Yet with hope in their reaching.

Dare I remember the truth,
That loneliness is a waiting room,
One small place and nothing more?

Are you there, beyond the door,
Dare I uncurl into the cold,
Do I dispel the cling of darkness?

I have before, left this room,
Only to be shoved back within,
Wearing a skin of newfound fear.

I curl back my fingers tight,
Plug my ears with old doubts,
Squint against the light of hope.

Are you still shimmering for me,
Holding the door open a crack,
Warm and tremorous, like me?

Eyes closed I recall the sun,
Golden in a sea of brilliant blue,
And remember what I once knew…

That loneliness is a waiting room,
And I do not have to stay here,
I do not have to wait here.

Dare I smile as I warmly cry,
Dare I move an inch for fear,
You will run like the doe?

If I uncurl and leave this room,
I will need to eat and drink,
And I will need to be held.

Tell me when I may burn it down,
that grave, that coffin, nothing that,
This shabby little waiting room.

Lines & Questions

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Lines & Questions
by Barefoot Justine

I will give and I will take,
I will watch you cry tears,
I have served like tea.

My regrets are of the heart,
My mistakes have legs,
And they chase me down.

Each demon I battle is mine,
Like a lifelong lover,
They know me as a mother.

I skip like an old album,
Stuck in well worn grooves,
Like a bed I despise.

I suffer my every excess,
And celebrate my extremes,
And wonder which am I.

My mistakes are like wool,
I wear them like a choker,
And sweat under them.

I see myself repeating,
And hear that I know better,
And ask, who is that I?

Who is that curious I,
Can I tolerate being,
In her skin another day?

Or can I love all she is,
Can I know that this I,
Is perfect as she is?

I am this and then that,
Love, hate, peace, anger,
I am light and I am darkness.

I am a beast and a flower,
I am anger and compassion,
And you will see what you will.

I am a beast and a flower,
I am anger and compassion,
And I will be all I must.

Shiva, Swamp, Guru

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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.