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WOMAN by Shivana Sharma

Woman You want me to shrink to ease your pain To bow my head in shame? Because your shame is buried deep beneath your ancestral ash Let Ganga take your piety and wash it well. I will stride as my mother does and speak my words In strange tongues. I have held my belly and bawled When karmic leela bludgeoned The fragile heart within me. My arrhythmic soul Can only dream but Faith is my lineage. Rubescent rivers flow from my story and I fly proudly my red jandhi. You may cremate your shame Let your Maya choke it, smother it, hide it for now. My weighted flight ponders your casket of belief But the sun is in my eye And my bindi whispers Fly.       *   *   * A Jandhi is the flag flown from a bamboo rod to signify the victorious completion of a holy ceremony or puja. Lila (Hinduism) or Leela can be loosely translated as the "divine play. Maya is the Hindi word for illusion. A Bindi is a decorative mark worn in the middle of the forehead by Indian women, especially Hindus. Shivana Sharma

APRIL BLUE & GREEN RAIN by Joan McNerney

April Blue     This is when we search for color to transform cold grey. Rainfall begins its magic  high lighting sky blue.   We see stacks of luminous clouds as plants pop out and forsythia  bursts into sparkling yellow stalks. Just today a breath of warmth brought alive crepe myrtle buds.   Aromatic lilac bushes cluster in soft bunches while birds and bugs encircle them.  Ten pretty trees all dressed up in lustrous greens boogie through noontime breezes.   Get ready for this blast-off of spring! Green Rain I woke up looked out my window and saw green  pouring down.   Trees cascading over emerald grass.   This noon swollen wet bursting water.   Now even heaven is tinted jade  as birds linger  under branches  listening. Joan McNerney :   Joan's poetry is found in many literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Poet Warriors, Blueline, and Halcyon Days.  Four Bright Hills Press Anthologies, several Poppy Road Journals, and numerous Poets' Espresso Review

LIFE'S BREATH by Eva Marie Cagley

Life’s Breath   The humid night air breathes life Wraps you in his black velvet That warms you by the crackling fire pit And Promises you a yellow sunny tomorrow.   If you listen, you will hear his song Of crickets chirping and frogs croaking by the pond. Animals moving in the Brush-A mother deer and her fawn Peering out safe one more night from man’s harm.   Still in the silence we all sit in unity Around The orange flames dancing Tell stories and recite poetry with open mike. Each one Creative-Each tell their stories   Of Dreams-Hopes-Love But together in union we join Spiritually As one heartbeat throbbing into the night. And in this moment, we are all of one spirit- one heart.   As we join with the black soil of the earth We feel the peace-the serenity And thank God for this moment shared Now frozen within time   We will later tell stories of it The funny things that were said And the not so funny as well How we captured it on the painted canvas   Of our life’s-our minds Splattered

COMING TO TERMS by Shernaz Wadia

Coming to Terms “Around here, he took his last breath” said her uniformed companion  and retreated.   the emptiness of a horrifying decade ambushed her…   slowly, softly  grief - pain - anger flowed wet the soil drenched by his blood     Spent, empty, she looked up    a glance met hers on the searing line of loss two sons dead  two mothers mourning   understanding crossed the border barbed wires became loops of compassion two knowing hearts wordlessly sealed a bond of forgiveness Shernaz Wadia  is a retired teacher now living in Pune, India.  Reading and writing poems, has been one of the means for her to embark on an inward journey. She hopes her words will bring peace, hope and light into dark corners.  Her poems have been published in many Indian and international e-journals and anthologies. She has published her own book of poems "Whispers of the Soul" and two volumes of "Tapestry Poetry - A Fusion of Two Minds" with her poetry partner Avril Meallem from Israel.

SHE CHOSE THE PATH OF BEAUTY by Teri Petz

She Chose the Path of Beauty     She chose to stay close to nature  and walk the path of beauty every day.  She finds her power walking  through the trees in quiet solitude  and has a big smile every time  she encounters wild animals.  She stops at the big fir tree  and connects with its ancient energy.  She wraps her arms around its wide trunk  and breathes in the clean air the plants release.  She bows her head to salute the trees  and dances along with the wind  sweeping through the lush forest.  She stops when she hears footsteps  and slows her breath down  to minimize the noise she makes.  To her delight mother deer appeared  with a baby wearing Bambi’s colors.  They chew fervently on fresh leaves  as she is standing quiet and still  like a statue until they pass by her.  She remembers on every walk  how wonderful it is to live here where she can have these magic moments.  She is content to stay close to nature  and walk the path of beauty every day. Nature photography by Teri Pet

POEMS ON FEAR AND FAITH by Carolyn Chilton Casas

How Not to Take in Fear   Find a quiet path to walk alone. See how ocean waves roll with the pull of a capricious moon, and the ancient oak holds ground in a thrashing wind. Fling praise up to vultures  circling overhead. Bow like nature to the coin tosses of circumstance.   Consider a tree for a confidante.  If the journey leads to water,  count on faith to help you  swim safely to the far shore. Climbing a tall mountain  is a great remedy for fear;  stride upward until you feel  the generosity of Mother Earth.  New muscles will evolve gently,  proving you are stronger than any fear. How to Know Faith   Before you can know faith,  you must bear a message that knocks you to your knees,   endure a shock that takes breath away, like diving into raging ocean  waves on an icy winter’s day,   although the blow may bring  a blessed numbing, amputating  most sensation left within,   time will melt this fleeting shield  forcing you to make your way  toward the inconvenient truth;    then, bene

FIGHTING FOR MY VOICE by Tracie Nichols

Editors note : Today, in celebration of International Women's Day , we honor the expressed voices of women all around the world, which are so very  valuable. We also honor the unexpressed voices of women, which are equally valuable, and which we long to hear. The following is a poem on these hidden voices, offered to us by Tracie Nichols, who facilitates workshops designed to help women release their voices. Journey of the Heart is giving away three of these workshop sessions today, in honor of all women struggling to share their voices. Now, some words from Tracie:  Most of my life I've been exploring human and wild nature through words, making sense of this intriguing, sometimes overwhelming world we live in. Writing, especially writing poetry, helps me uncover... the truth of who I am. I know first-hand that writing poetry is a life-changing practice, that's why I facilitate writing workshops and groups for women, now. We all deserve the chance to transform the way we th

A GLIMPSE OF SPRING by Joan McNerney

A glimpse of spring   shy blue morning black trees etch sky   children skipping over puddles   bramble on snow soft birdsong   listening to water race downstream   winds gently kiss my forehead   grass shoots push through first thaw Joan McNerney :   Joan's poetry is found in many literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Poet Warriors, Blueline, and Halcyon Days.  Four Bright Hills Press Anthologies, several Poppy Road Journals, and numerous Poets' Espresso Reviews have accepted her work.  She has four Best of the Net nominations.  Her latest title is  The Muse in Miniature ,  available on  Amazon.com  and  Cyberwit.net *For submission guidelines,  click here. *

WHOLE by Ana Lisa de Jong

Whole Could it be we each are branches of the one tree? That love is the sap connecting us. That leaf by leaf we are woven as thread into the other, that there is no standalone limb that is not fused somehow into the trunk, and has its anchoring piece. And that the wholeness we seek is both the fullness of the body of the tree, and the completeness of our own individuality shining as a mirror, looking similar but with our points of difference, that together we might make an entirety - our own longings just the shape of ourselves reflected in the other. And to come home to ourselves is something like smiling in the dark across the embers of a fire into another's eyes, skin, face. glowing with the same heat as the dance of flame, and knowing that this countenance that shines is also our own back reflected. Akin in the way that we are all fronds of the same genus of tree, the same plant that lifts its arms, and drops its foliage, each leaf and limb through which the sap runs in spring

BELLIS PERENNIS by Amanda Jane

  Bellis Perennis   While she sleeps Under the watchful eyes of the sky.   A push of daisies under her pillow Chains of dreams wrap her heart While they float so high Her face, so peaceful Her eyes, sleepy shut.   Splashes of crystal-clear waterfall Splash down her cheeks Crashing on the structure of her face.   A dream of warmth Of Mother Nature A woman she truly loves.   A spring of life in her heart Blossom so fresh She looks so happy So peaceful As she enjoys her rest.   While she sleeps Under the watchful eyes of the sky. Amanda Jane (West Yorkshire, England) is a woman of nature she enjoys getting lost in the world and admiring its beauty, she loves listening to the birds tweet their song and listening to the buzz of the bee. Her true love is the major oak. She likes to imagine its visitors of the past and often wonders about the wrinkles of its bark. she loves admiring their offering to the planet. She believes that we should all be as wild and free as the sea while letting the