I’m Still Here

EDITOR’S NOTE:

(re-posted from: https://womenspiritualpoetry.blogspot.com/2018/06/i-am-still-here-by-janavi-held.html)

This was composed by a very gifted and beautiful soul: a regular contributor to our poetry project, and dear friend of mine, Janavi Held, whose life is gradually being taken from us by an incurable illness. She has been suffering from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and Internal Adhesions for six painful years now, and neither her insurance nor the government healthcare will help her. She reaches out to us, her sisters, as a last plea. This is a poem she wrote yesterday on her birthday, in which she offers us the gift of her friendship. May it touch your generous hearts and inspire you to reach out to her in her plight.

Dear Friends,

The last time I was able to leave the house was by ambulance on my way to the hospital. After many long hours in the emergency room I was admitted and taken upstairs. After everyone left I sat on the hospital bed, knees to chest, bracing my body against the pain and trembling.

The light of this cold day was fading. I turned my eyes to the large window, a window I hadn’t seen before, as it seems I’ve been looking out the same window for years; at the same trees and sky and flowers, the seasons changing and rolling by, folding into each other. But, this evening as I gazed out this new window I tried to look beyond the gray of the hospital roof in front of me, I looked as far as I could see out at a bit of sky and the dimming, blue, winter light. In the distance the I saw the ever-faithful view of the Rocky Mountains also dressed in blue sparkling lights, and white sparks of snow and ice glimmered in the the fading light. Now –in this quiet moment– wet, warm tears rolled down my face as I remembered a line from a poem a by a dear friend:

“Unveil yourself of your flesh shield/and let your spirit out into the dance.”

I cast my glance into the wind, chasing after it, and the beauty of the fading light, as I felt the dingy walls of the hospital collapse. And for a moment I was free. Weeping sweet tears I feel asleep.

When I was nineteen and took up the practice of Bhakti-Yoga, I was told by a dear friend that in ancient Vedic times gifts where given to others’ on one’s birthday. So, today I give you the gift of a poem about friendship.

I AM STILL HERE

Life speaks in turns

and listens

love comes out of season

even unbidden

and I find in you

a love that stays

long after

the light has gone away

and flowers have closed

their precious eyes

I am still here alive

listening to the sounds

and sometimes the cries

and visions of your life

you’ve shared

with me they drench

my eyes

with your sweet smile

in you I see the heart of

mother earth

as you have loved her

from your birth

she sings through your eyes

and dances in your heart

as you write and paint and

dance your life into art

to you my friend I lend my heart

for life

for I treasure Yours

and keep her safe

where time does not decay

and love never falls away.

~

(I wish I could write more, but I can’t type well anymore; these words were dictated).

My Sister Sue, my God-mother, Marcia, and my cousin Erica, have started a fundraiser. If you are inclined please share the link widely, we are dependent on all of you to spread it around, as our resources are limited. Click this link to help. We would be most grateful.

Wishing you all peace & much love

~Janavi Held

Janavi Held 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 holds a bachelor’s degree from Goddard College where she studied poetry, photography, and media studies.  She is author of Letters to my Oldest Friend: A Book of Poetry and Photography and in 2017 two of hers poems were shortlisted for the prestigious Hamilton House International Poetry prize and were included in a book titled Eternity. Her poetry also appears in several anthologies that emerged from the Journey of the Heart Poetry Project, to which she has been a regular contributor, and is featured in the Bhakti Blossoms anthology on poetry by contemporary women in the Bhakti tradition.

*For submission guidelines, click here.*
Janavi held.jpg

I wish I had Wings

I wish I had wings
I’d leave this prison
of gravity behind
and go up and up
grazing the tops of
dazzling green trees
swaying in the wind
I’d soar through
the mists of bright clouds
breathing in freedom
and moist particles
of fog and rain
I’d turn my face
to the sun
warm
warming
my insides
breaking the prison
of flesh and bone
wide open
I’d bathe in sweet
moon rays
and drink
the dust of stars
filling my heart
with ancient light
I’d look down
at the swarming
earth, but I’d never
look back.

Janavi Held © 2017


Break & Fly Free

Time Unhinged

Video with spoken poetry below


Hope

 

Time Unhinged

Dreamt of exterminated images,
and forgotten doubts,
of unhinged time
with the hollow

of silent bones
thundering
in the wake of restless flowers.
Blinded by

a vigilant morning
I enter the mists of loneliness
seeking laughter and daydreams
(to counter the emptiness)

too long for counting
these days
press down
on my chest

cementing the architecture
of my sad inheritance.
I establish hope
burying her under

the obliging tree
in my back yard.