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STRETCHED CANVASS by Pranada Comtois

I was slowly walking short distances on the Atlantic's shore during the period I wrote this poem…

I was nearly dead inside, and hadn't yet faced that my 28-year relationship with my life partner needed to come to a close—should have come to a close some years earlier. The shifting shells on the shore created pale, dripping-like patterns that reflected my melancholic heart. My toes wanted to touch the nourishing water as I remembered the Bhakti analogy that the soul's nature is similar to the demarcation between the ocean and the sand. 

The line between water and sand—spirit and matter respectively—is sometimes wet; sometimes dry. The self chooses where she wants to invest herself and thereby is nourished from that nature.

Desperately wanting to be held by the divine, I saw my steps leading me, slowly, painfully, indistinctly—like the colors of the shifting sands—yet somehow surely, too, like each step I was taking. I had a faint sense of trust in the intelligence of how life; I just couldn't sense how it would look like as it unfolded.
"The Riviera Maya Sands" by Gabriel Bulla

Stretched Canvas
by Pranada Comtois

White sand extends wide

the shore like shells flutes

in settlings of crunchy cockles

of soft sienna-amber

near low-tide water.

Tilted canvas pours wet, paints

flow in wrong direction:
fawn green, pale sandstone, tans, whites

drip down by little rushes
the picture gives way
to unlimited scenes.

There’s something about

walking on the wet part.

It’s as if walking past

many seasons, many births,

one slid atop another

and the world

a thousand destinies

shift and transpose
forming one distinct

with the next step
set down.

Pranada Comtois is an author and spiritual teacher of Bhakti's Wise-Love: the spiritual evolution of love in our daily lives. She illuminates this practice in her new book Wise-Love: Bhakti and the Search for the Soul of Consciousness (Inword Publishers, 2016) Pranada lived for 20 years as a contemplative-ascetic in the ancient Bhakti wisdom tradition. She spent the following 20 years raising a family and running two multi-million dollar businesses to exemplify practical spirituality in the world. Her teachings draw from both experiences, and she has published them in Integral Yoga, Rebelle Society, Elephant Journal, Tattooed Buddha, Journey of the Heart: An Anthology of Spiritual Poetry for Women and other journals. She is featured in the film Women of Bhakti as she was one of the first to speak up for gender harmony in the Bhakti tradition in the mid 80's and 90s, successfully organizing the first steps against gender injustice while publishing Priti-laksanam, a quarterly journal advocating women's rights. She served as managing editor for the Bacopa Literary Review for six years. Her passion to inspire women continues to fuel her work to this day. Connect with her on her website here or facebook here. 

~If you are interested in seeing your poetry appear in this blog, or submitting a poem by a woman that has inspired you, please click here for submission guidelines. I greatly look forward to hearing from you!~ 


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