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SPRING by Janavi Held

(Editor's note: The following was composed by my late friend, Janavi, who passed away in 2018. Her work has been memorialized in a website which includes an annual micro-grant in her name. Click here to visit it.)

When I was a child I lived in the Garden State of New Jersey...

Our home had gardens on all sides and a large compost pile in the back yard next to the vegetable garden. This process of composting was magical to my young eyes.

Heat arises breaking down of old forms. Beautiful dark earth hides deep beneath the layers of ice and snow. As the melting begins it reveals a nourishing tool for planting new life.

 As spring arrives the sky opens, the air warms, bits of green on tips of branches search for the sun, and early flowers emerge from the moist dirt.  Transformation is in the air as the composting of the winter unfolds her gifts.  

I seek transformation and the gifts that trail behind me as I emerge from a Dark Night of the Soul. I watch as those gifts gradually blossom in my heart. These gifts, born from a deep plunge into the nether regions of my psyche, are precious gems cut from invisible places the conscious mind cannot see nor interact with.

It is the Anima mundi, the Soul of the world, the person of God, who can see and transform darkness into a blooming flower. I wait and watch as tectonic plates in the deep shift and the gift of love leaps into my ever-waiting heart.

(Click play to hear the author recite her poem) 

by Janavi Held

My breath mixes with blue
And delirious summer diamonds
Those flowers

The heart of the earth
Bite into sunshine
Like the unfailing sting of rain
Warm color of mountains and wind

Warlike, always new
According to the almanac
Keeping track of ploughed lands
And vines

That keep moving to the sky
Up where pollen flies
And silence is victorious.
Ether, laden with the waves

Of twilight
Garlands the mortal chain
With endless impermanence.
Spring brings hope

Eyes watch
The forgotten dregs of winter
Following death
Where life takes her.

Flaming city of western sunset
Like hubris and tears
Darkens constellations
Of primitive aberrations

Of the exploding sounds
Of unspoken dawns
Growing from the anniversary
Of so many daybreaks

And the flesh of man falls
The ocean awaits his blood
At the edge of civilization
Reciting the testimony of flowers
And farewell cities
Of thwarted legacies.
A tyrant
With mortal eyes

Feasts on the memory of angels
Inheriting their repose.
And after this
Spring returns

Violent as birth
The steel of winter has gone
Warmth is an explosion
Blinding the sleep of ignorance.

Art by the author, Janavi Held

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. Her work has been memorialized in a website which includes an annual micro-grant in her name. Click here to visit it. 

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