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WHEN by Janavi Held

This poem from an unpublished collection I wrote in 2010…

The collection is a refection on Time. It speaks of communing, or speaking with God about how, as life passes, as time passes, the things that pull me away from divinity, from my spiritual path, fall away, becoming less relevant, as the vision of all living things as a family of souls gradually becomes more vivid in my heart.  That eternal family of souls that will live after the body dies. This is the vision I wish to strive for in this poem, and in my life.

This slide show is a series of photos I took while standing amongst a flock of seagulls on a misty beach in southern California. I used this poem after I put the video together, because the motions of the birds felt, to me, like the motion and flow of the poem.

Photograph by the author, Janavi Held

by Janavi Held

Whenever the future finds me
when memory is gone
when longing no longer reminds me
that remaining here is wrong.

When the night tells me
that all this romance is done
when all along I’ve known You
and memory is long.

When air-castles lose their altitude
when roaming the moors of time
when I am lost in attitude
thinking everything is mine.

When You and I can talk again
face to face, as in the lasting land
when You and I take time again
to remind me who I am.

When memory goes out walking
out in the fields of time
when I make my life for Your liking
and can’t remember what is mine.

When oceans lose their salt
and I am swimming deep
in the autumn twilight, staying
where I can no longer sleep.

When all the world around me
does not resemble time
when souls animate the foundry
of this everlasting ride.

(To listen to the author recite her poem, just click play!) 

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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