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SOMETIMES by Janavi Held

I created this slide show to recapture an Underwater experience...

Being buffeted by the strong currents off the west coast of the Garden Island of Kauai, encased in a snorkel mask, flippers, and with a disposable underwater camera in hand, I took these photographs, barely able to see what I was looking at, peering through the mask, through the lens, at a constantly rolling, tumbling seascape. 

I dug out this poem, Sometimes, to add to the soundtrack, from a poetry journal I kept on my frequent trips to the island to visit my mother. It contemplates identity, and the recognition that my most authentic self surfaces in communion with nature, in communion with the endless creations of the Divine. 

Image by the author, Janavi Held


Sometimes
by Janavi Held

Sometimes I am all of them!
Aphrodite
and the woman
who craved the sea
and sprouted gills at night,
whose hair turned to seaweed,
the woman with red-earth running in her veins
and gold sunlight knitting her hair together.

And
sometimes
I am such an ordinary women
taking up little room
walking unnoticed
inside a shell
of space
and skin.

I don’t last long without seaweed in my hair
those days roll by
collapsing me
on top of
me.

I am the woman running free at night
unable to breath without the full force of the wind
liberating the fallen arches of my heart.

I was the girl who dreamed of magic.
Now
a woman
with empty hands
I spin this magical tapestry
from the golden threads
birthing inside my chest
keeping
my life
together.



(Click play to hear the author recite her poem) 




Janavi Held is the author of Letters to my Oldest Friend: A Book of Poetry and Photography. She has also contributed poems to two poetry anthologies, Bhakti Blossoms: A Collection of Contemporary Vaishnavi Poetry and GODDESS: When She Rules: Expressions by Contemporary Women. Two of her poems were shortlisted for the prestigious Hamilton House International Poetry Prize awarded by the University Centre Grimsby, and published in their anthology "Eternal". Janavi 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 held a bachelor’s degree from Goddard College where she studied poetry, photography, and media studies. She passed away peacefully in December of 2018 after having battled a brutal illness. You may read more of her poems and view her artwork on her website here and Facebook page here

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