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STORMING by Janavi Held

There is something thrilling about a storm...

The thrill begins as the air starts stiring, and bits of moisture, leaves, and all manner of flotsam and jetsam are uplifted and drift through the restless ether. God’s elements become vividly apparent. The weather of the world is not under our control; and in this mechanized world we’ve come to live in, the stirring of a storm is a reminder of the tiny place I occupy in this vast universe.

In the tenth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, called The Opulence of the Absolute, there is a verse, that begins: "Of purifiers I am the wind...", I find that this chapter encourages me to meditate on God by seeing him in all of creation, the vision that the divine is in all things, both animate and inanimate. It personalizes God; in this meditation the vision of a supreme artist comes to the fore, and the art is that which feeds, loves, and sustains us in everyway.

At the end of the poem I contemplate how I don’t have much to give back to God for all the beautiful gifts he gives, how he maintains me, and so I offer a dance, a dance of words.

My Slideshow below: The Painted Sky, refers again to the painter, the anima mundi: the soul of the world.

Photography by the author, Janavi Held

by Janavi Held


A sound describes the wind,
looking at dusk skies
almost blue, almost black,
windstorm rising from northern bellows,
Venus sitting in my heart-sky
brightest of all.
Tears on the cheeks of space- whisper,
trees fight for meaning,
describing beauty,
can't touch that divinity
I am speaking words, only words. 

Tips of daylight linger in gray clouds,
sparking contrast,
storms coming
restless and true
nothing to be done but stand
with this restless spirit,
who embraces atmospheric songs
as God's words come from silence
swallowing nature
digesting her essence
surrendering to brief silent stillness,
it rises again
to meet the disobedient heart, only heart.  


Oh wind!
Put me down, put me down
for you never stay long enough.
I could run from you
to an indoor tomb.
But I can't leave Your fingers for long
I would drown and drift.
Instead I will meet You
escaping my enemies.
Your friendly air
never refuses to touch my skin.
You are my only dependable,
friendly relative.
My fingers reach for all your textures,
my eyes eat all your tastes
as you transform me
into your wind.


Dusk settles into night. 
Sparkling blankets appear,
dancing for You
although I am smaller than
those luminous bodies
I dance for you
into the night
I dance.

(Click play to hear Janavi recite her poem to her own photography) 

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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