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EARTH CHANT by Janavi Held

One day, as I was sitting on an empty beach on the west shore of the island of Kauai this poem flowed out of me...

It did so as I listened to the sweet moaning of the surf rising and falling, as the gentle trade winds chanted in my ears, as the call of birds drifted through the ether, and the squeak of dolphins playing in the waves opened my heart and mind. 

Photography by the author, Janavi Held


Earth Chant 
by Janavi Held

I am divided 
between extremes 
it seems 
am lost 
have bid farewell 
at any cost 
can’t run to far 
can’t live on air 
can’t shun this  
life I carry far 
can’t grip the past 
can’t touch now 
can’t dive to deep 
or stay too shallow 
can’t mourn the loss 
can’t travel far 
to take this all 
with me when I fall 
life waits for me 
I can now see 
the long  
the short 
what it was for 
is gone today 
so gone today 
so gone today 
yes far, far 
I say. 

Time unfolds 
the cunning lie 
resting now in my eyes 
steps into my mouth 
languishing all the while 
in my ears echoing raw 
summer can’t touch 
what I think I saw 

and I can’t 
hold  
on 
either 
resting 
tethered 
in the dirt 
imprisoned by the sky’s command 
I stop a while 
humbled while 
she chants outlasting my regrets 
even as I take these last few breaths 

Step away 
I step away 
too far 
too close 
I cannot say 

my breath she has 
my breath she keeps 
and I am hers 
I’m lost too deep 

Sleep a while 
yes, sleep a while 
she speaks to me 
not knowing what can never be. 

Oh black night 
when stars collide 
I find myself far inside 
underneath this dammed roof 
with nothing but myself to reprove. 

I watch and wait 
for sun to come 
so that I may start again 
on my journey so long now 

to find what moves my heart along 
in nature is where I belong. 

Photography by the author, Janavi Held




Janavi Held started writing poetry and wandering around with her father’s camera as a child.  At the age of nineteen, she began practicing Bhakti yoga. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Goddard College where she studied poetry, photography, and media studies.  She is on the verge of releasing her first book Letters to my Oldest Friend: A Book of Poetry and Photography.








~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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