Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Precursor to The Butler

A few years ago at the AWP Conference held in Washington D.C. I experienced a "Sighting" so vivid I wrote a poem about it. At the time, I understood that domestics must have played an important role in the social life of the capitol.

Domestic Sighting

Summoned at dawn
In search of Starbucks
At the Omni Shoreham
in Washington DC
I take the other elevator
Leading to the basement
Into a dead space I see
A legion of grey-clad maids
With frilly aprons and long skirts
Descend down the stairs opposite me
to the Palladian room with crystal chandelier
I’m curious who these Black ladies are
Some crippled gripping the railing 
Their bodies ample and tangible
In crisp attire of formality
Their faces glowing

Only later do I ask myself what are they doing 
Then and there, in uniforms of another era
as they congregate in the large empty ballroom
at 6:00 AM

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Beats in India -- A Film from the Asia Society

I came across this film posted on the Allen Ginberg Blog. The video is from the Asia Society conference on the Beats in India. While India was having an important impact on American spirituality, the "Americans" gone native in turn were changing Indian economics and culture.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

First Lilacs

The Lilac Thief

This year I looked for lilacs
off the beaten track
in places no longer tended –

A different kind of boundary,
long rows where once houses stood,
lots now empty.

I love the deeper purple of old bushes,
their crushed bloomets falling into my hand
taken from gnarled bark bearing heavy plumage.

I am the local lilac thief,
that one who stops to follow
the scent of unseen blossoms.

Jacqueline Gens

Monday, February 11, 2013

LOSAR POEM for Year of the Water Snake

So this is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius
That long awaited communitas, with its panacea of universal love
Destined to unlock hard hearts.

Let the water snakes torpedo with their periscopic heads
As they propel us into sights beyond the norm to shed
Fixations, mental concepts and mean thoughts, our usual
Stale fare.

Let’s take our daily frights into the realm of self-manifest
Shed a skin; trade our complacency for wisdom mind
Wake to never ending freshness
And the minds true liberation

May all beings unearth the bounty of their innate treasure
And share in the grace of harmony
Released at last when love will steer the stars. 

Jacqueline Gens
Tsegyalgar East
February 11, 2013