Monday, February 04, 2019

Great Clips

The following poem draft was written for my poetry group based on Gary Snyder's "Bubb 's Creek Haircut," one of my favorite poems

Great Clips Mohawk Trail Plaza 
hair salon in GreenfieldMA next door to Big Y
a uni-sex cut arises out of shorn chemo curls
carpeted in arcs on linoleum floor
I may not spit like a man but I got me
a man's haircut still burning with shame
silent chants of Tare Tare Tare to calm 
my already bad day worse
deemed an ugly visage staring scornfully back at me

Dear Jacqueline....Our best understanding is that what we included in the package for last meeting was the policy as modified by subsequent Board vote. 
No need to go around in circles about this, however.  
twenty-one emails later
I am disappointed  still not heard

earlier check up at Valley Medical
blood glucose higher than usual
blood pressure ok
looking forward to Mississippi trip walks
practice with Ingmar and Sergio
moderate meals eaten same time everyday
thinking of snakes awakening seeking reprieve
from winter cold
Can they really come into the house 
through plumbing to curl up
under toasty bed covers
sneaking about a common feature of Mississippi life
I read on the internet
now, I'm decades back 
at Tara Mandala siting on the banks of San
Juan river naked with the Methodist mom
Rocketeller wife as we watch our friends
across the river squealing in joy playing with Ute mud
said to be healing
then a snake swimming upstream towards the 
embankment with ladies its flat torpedic head
hideous senses a target
crackling twigs behind us on the outer bank
as two men with heavy boots stand above us
while we cover ourselves best we can
they evaporate into the bushes
were they real or a snake vision
I tell the Judge of our housing authority 
in response to his latest email I will continue to circle
as needed on topics of relevance
I will not remain silent thinking all this jumble
snakes real or not
as I tip Jesse at Great Clips Hair Cuts. 

February 2, 2019
Highland Village
in Shelburne Falls, MA
where I am currently an elected  town commissioner for public housing

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Vajra Poem for These Times

We are the flame that melts conceptual mind 
 We are the flame that protects the indestructible mandala 
 We are the flame that dances in the fire 
 We are the flame that kindles endless compassion 
one candle at a time 


Written by Jacqueline Gens following a fire puja on Khandroling

Photo courtesy of Rosemary Rawcliffe

The Thin Line

For David Hernandez
A grandfather whose kindness I can never repay

The fires are lit to stave
Off first hoarfrost
The harvest in
With its scent of rot mingled
Amid sweetness
Overhead winged
Cry out in joyful unison
On their way home

Below crickets trill
Las Abuelas begin the story
Stitching us to the tapestry
Weaving our fate
Into the fragile web
Gossamer threads between
Being and non-being
Betwixt between
The thin line of here
And over there
Outside time
The fires are lit
For love and
Heart’s desire
Before extinquished
In final glory
And all is well

Day of the Dead installation, KPC October 31, 2016
Photo by Jacqueline Gens

October 19, 2016
Tsegyalgar East

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

A New Poem: To my Shambhala Friends In the Year of the Earth Dog

Dumb drunken magic show
Stupidity I sing you into the light

Dumb drunken magic show
Come forth you wily humping dog

Drunken dumb magic show
Unreal as a shadow on the wall

Drunken dumb magic show
Let the sparks of cognition light up
The mirror of your mind

Dumb drunken magic show
Heal all hurts, breathe in hot doggy horniness
Breathe out light elegant concourse

May women and men dance
The great circle of wisdom
Igniting fires of love
Melting hard heartedness

Oh dumb drunken magic show you are everything
Oh dumb drunken magic show you are nothing.
Let’s celebrate our mutual awakened heart!

Written In the charnel ground of public housing
July 7, 2018 in light of scandals in the night
Changchub Choetso aka Jacqueline Gens

A mash-up of the Shambhala Anthem and A Gift to Be Simple played by Walter Fordham. Who can forget those words.....Fearless the Warriors of Shambhala .........

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Recent Reviews Published in the Mirror, International Newspaper of the Dzogchen Community

I've been writing regularly for the Mirror since 1994. The following reviews are currently online at

A Review of Jennifer Fox's film, The Tale

A Review of Lama Tsultrim Allione's Wisdom Rising  Journey into the Mandala of the Empowered Feminine

A Review of Malcolm Smith's, Buddhahood in This Life

A Review of  Joseph Goldstein's, Mindfulness a Practical Guide to Awakening

Other older reviews can be found here reprinted at Poetrymind