Bio Note: I am a psychologist, yoga teacher and late blooming poet who loves hiking in the mountains near my home in Boulder, Colorado. I recently graduated with an MFA in Creative Writing from Western Colorado University, where I studied with Julie Kane, Ernie Hilbert and David Rothman. My poems have appeared in journals such as The Lyric, Blue Unicorn and The Orchards.
Sit like a mountain, alert, legs crossed, hands on thighs, chest lifted, gaze soft. Join your palms and close your eyes. Watch one breath, then another. Allow your mind to stop. Sit there on the mountaintop, inhale, then open your mouth wide, sing ah… and slowly close your lips through oh to mm. And so you chant one syllable, three times. Om is the sound the cosmos makes, the Word before the cosmos comes to be, the self-same sound of wind, of silence, the sound before the first sound, the groundlessness that takes you by the throat before you come to be the sound you hear when you sing Om.
It’s no small feat to balance on your side, reclining on your thousand-headed serpent couch, a lotus sprouting from your navel, head propped on your palm, three fingers clutching your big toe, one leg stretched up as if to show off your supreme divinity, how casually you dream this fathomless universe into reality. Does your beloved, Lakshmi, ever ask you to consider making a few changes— to lighten up the cosmic drama just a bit? Does she, for instance, wonder why you send those avatars to wake us from our dream, when waking from a dream is but a dream?
Artwork by Lorene McDonough
Do not let these verses go unsung. I call on you, whoever you may be whose eyes have fallen on these words: read the poems aloud, mouth them with your tongue, your lips, bless them with your breath, your voice. Recite them to yourself or to a friend. Read them once and read them once again. When you make them sing, I rejoice. When you see Vishnu on his serpent couch, the pantheon of gods behind your brow, why not read aloud and let them breathe? When you place your palms together, bow, the Light in you bows to the Light in me and sings: Om-shanti-shanti-shanti-hi.
©2020 John Steele
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