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 www.melong.com

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

Friday, May 18, 2018

The Lilac Thief

OK, it's that time of year and I'm a sucker for lilacs. I steal them by the armfuls past midnight or in the hours just before dawn when there's no one else around. T Here's a poem I wrote about in 2003 at the height of my prowling for lilacs on other peoples' property or in abandoned places. The particular location that most inspired me was at the edge of Memorial Park in Brattleboro, VT. Eventually the bushes died off but for some years they were a bountiful sources of heirloom deep purple bushes.

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

First Lilacs
photo by Jacqueline Gens

Friday, January 19, 2018

A Birthday Poem for Me by Verandah Porche

Jacqueline Gens  on her way 
to milk IO* in the barn at Packers Corner Farm

Jacqueline 1982

Rock walls hold the forest like a cash crop:
...some massive stand of late maturing corn.
A cellar hole, a hearthstone topped with
beaten brick, a spring box like a covered dish:
some raw ingredients of myth. Time is still
the laughing chef. Her favored trick: tectonics.

Six burner blaze on our modern stove.
You whip or simmer with no recipe;
know what to coddle,
when to bruise. Try glacier.
Use avalanche.

Verandah tweaked this older poem circa 1982 (age 32) for my 61st birthday on January 20, 2011, which she posted on Facebook. We lived together for a time at Total Loss Farm AKA Packer Corners Farm in Guilford, Vermont (1976-1982) which she founded in the late 1960s along with friends Raymond Mungo, Marty Jezer, Richard Wizansky among others. Verandah has continued to live on the farm for decades raising her two daughters and scribing her poems.

We met yesterday in Greenfield to discuss details of the upcoming 50th anniversary of Packers Corner Farm. Visit Monteverdi Artists Collaborate here.

Listen to a great VPR interview with Tom Fells originally of Montague Farm and Verandah Porche of Total Loss Farm

PHOTO by Virginia Paige: Jacqueline Gens milking IO, resident Jersey cow (see poem below). Packer Corners Farm, Guilford, VT


Twice, I imagined her name called, once
when my lover came to visit, and then again,
in the root cellar where I strained in the dark
to listen among potatoes and onions.

Twice daily, I called out to her-- I O
toward the back pasture from which she came running
to enter the barn and charge into her stanchen
awaiting hay, and that greater reward, grain.

I squatted on a three-legged stool
tipping forward, my face pressed into her Jersey flank,
right forearm barring her feisty kicks
while I massaged hard udders to let down her milk.

Each time I heard or said her name,
I thought of that other cow driven insane
by furies when thoughts assailed my mind of L.
making me crazy--

Until a tension released itself through her milk’s flow
as I grasped two tits and the warm stream
poured out into the stainless steel bucket
and we both came into Egypt-- I, out of despair.

IO on the run through Monteverdi props,
circa 1978

by Jacqueline Gens
2008 from Primo Pensiero, Shivistan Press

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Some Found Seasonal Ditties/Poems in my Bone Folder

The Telling

Planetary orbits sundry forces pulverize 
matter down to the minute particles 
as centrifugal forces 
gather all to naught
sucked into matrix of unbecoming

to Stardust Breath

Tonight I sort through old family photos for whom there are no heirs.
Me at one, two, three and so on, visits with grandma to the San Diego Zoo, Lake Tahoe, in Malibu. Photos make loving memories but generations heaped up gone now ……..gate gate parasam gate

Spots of Time stopped for a moment

All gone into flames into the unknown
As I enter no-name
Once again

December 5, 2015
Early morning

Into the Light

Slowly the being steps into the light
Herald of greatness to come
Or omens as it moves towards her
"Do not be afraid" it whispers
Terrible to look upon
Even the shwoosh of its wings
Horrible sounding
As the maiden shrinks back
Her belly atremble
Her gaze down cast
to receive its seed

Xmas 2012

Local Man Caught Stealing

from Girl Scout Cookie Jar

What was it he wanted the money for?
.....drugs, baby formula, diabetes test strips
ciggies, booze locked behind glass doors

In the church of stop shopping he wouldn’t need much
just shoes, a new shirt, jeans, underpants, socks

maybe a winter jacket