In the end there is one dance you’ll do alone…..

in the end there is one dance you_ll do alone

 

For a Dancer ( by Jackson Browne)

https://www.facebook.com/OfficialJacksonBrowne/

https://www.gofundme.com/saving-janavi

paypal.me/pools/c/87lRidKXWt

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Book Giveaway

❣️BOOK GIVE AWAY!!!❣️

❣️Dear Friends, We are giving away a hardcover copy of Janavi’s beautiful book of poetry and photography to draw attention to the fundraiser. She is seriously ill and needs your help. To enter please give a donation of any amount or if you are unable, please share this post with as many friends as you can.

https://www.gofundme.com/saving-janavi

❣️After you’ve donated or shared please click this link to enter. You’ll be asked to watch a book trailer with a review by Catherine Schweig and poem read by Janavi Held

https://www.amazon.com/ga/p/d87d82713d695b19…

Thank you friends❣️ We are grateful for your help

 

 

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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

Review by Anita Neilson

Letters to My Oldest Friend
by Janavi Held (Goodreads Author)

62048552

Anita Neilson‘s review

Nov 04, 2017
This is simply glorious. The words flow gently across the page in a waterfall of despair and hope, grief and faith, pain and joy. Together with beautifully crafted photographs of the natural world, it is a wonderful, precious undertaking. The poems will resonate strongly with anyone afflicted by a chronic illness or spiritual malaise. Quite breathtakingly haunting in their longing for God. The pull between enjoying the delights of this Earth and the soul crying for greater meaning is much in evidence. For example, in the poem “Eternity”, the poet says, “in this world of change I am longing for You yet I am drawn again and again to the shiny fortunes of this shallow world.” This reduced me to tears, so near was it to my experience of life. These are the sweetest, most poetic, most haunting of verses, to be savoured again and again. Buy a copy and keep it close to you, so that each time you feel sorry for yourself, or angry at someone (even God), open it and read a verse or two. Your spirits will be lifted!

The Land

The land-
she does not
know ownership
nor boundaries
languages
nor skin
moving where she will
inside or out
of our impositions
she takes
the sun
from all corners
and the rain
from all directions.

~ Janavi Held © 2017

ice and humming bird

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.

 

Excerpt from Martin Luther King Jr. Nobel speech

“Yet, in spite of these spectacular strides in science and technology, and still unlimited ones to come, something basic is missing. There is a sort of poverty of the spirit which stands in glaring contrast to our scientific and technological abundance. The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers.”

-Martin Luther King Jr. Nobel speech

IN THE SEA WITH TRAFFIC

Review of “Letters to My Oldest Friend”

Review of “Letters to My Oldest Friend: a book of poetry and photography by Janavi Held

How many of us have had or taken the chance to dialogue with our soul, our maker, the deep slope of annihilation? Every poem and photograph in “Letters to My Oldest Friend” is such a dialogue. Inspired by her own devastating illness, Janavi Held, long a spiritual devotee, cuts through veils of hope to directly address her God: “the heart inquires–answers blur en route to thoughts.” The intensity of her passionate seeking allows the reader to share the moments of transcendence as well as the pain. Her questions are our answers.

Marcia Newfeild
Poet, teacher, and author of books for children

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2085836692?book_show_action=false

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“Letters to My Oldest Friend” is now available on Amazon

Purchase now on Amazon

Reviews

In praise of Letters to My Oldest Friend

Like many God-inspired poets of India’s Bhakti or devotional past (Mirabai and Chandidas come easily to mind), Janavi Held—writer, photographer, cineaste, observer of small miracles—chronicles the arrhythmia of a heart in love with Divinity. Letters to My Oldest Friend is a revelation. In elegant, spare verse and contemplative visual imagery, she gently cautions that we are victims of speeding postmodernism at risk of losing our souls, and that we will find the tools of our salvation in the quiet, unassuming details of everyday life. Here is a much needed roadmap to our inner geography, chartered by a gifted voice of conscience and our own better selves. Read, look, savor, and be inspired.

Joshua M. Greene
author, Swami in a Strange Land: How Krishna Came to the West 2016

 

In her beautiful debut collection of poems, Janavi Held takes us on a journey of awakening, as she explores the ways in which her relationships with struggle, time, nature and beauty in this world, relate to her burgeoning relationship with the divine. From a restless: “there are so many stories in my lost heart” to the epilogue’s triumphant: “the heart speaks softly now,” her poems and photographs artistically chart the course of a soul moving gracefully through existential angst, as revealed to us in this prayerful dialogue with her “oldest friend”.

 Catherine L. Schweig
Founder of Journey of the Heart Poetry Project Editor of Poetry as a Spiritual Practice (Golden Dragonfly Press, 2016)

“Letters to My Oldest Friend” is a classic spiritual journey, starting with the anguish of her losses – of mobility, of mind (she says, but the poem belies it), “wrapped in a blanket of thorns”, then to the longing for the spirit, the Friend, and finally a joyous reunion with spirit through nature. I read these poems almost with tears. I also thought of how poems like these, especially the opening ones, could create compassion in the reader for all the sick and disabled from whom we tend to avert our gaze. Janavi Held’s language is beautiful and evocative, as when she writes, “remembering is a lost art/in the mind of these misshapen times.”  The book is, quite simply, a gem.

Nina Mermey Klippel
author,”Tricks of The Light and Other Poems”, 2010
editor, The Village Zendo Bulletin

 

Book Trailer

 

 

 

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Monsoon Dreams

snow black swan

 

Monsoon Dreams

Bleached and tattered
bark of tree
leaves mired in wild wind
endless sights
of fragrant meadows
transparence filtering
flying pollen
and wet laden clouds
with white
and gray
monsoon dreams
inside atoms
resides the
restless
Master
playing
in a forest
of His
own making.

Janavi Held © 2017

My book of poetry is now available for pre-order:
on Amazon

Divine Names

Divine Names

Your divine
Names wander
into my words
my open mouth
drinking that
temptation is
utterly fed here
sitting under another
spring sky.

We have been
together for so long
yet, during the cold,
wet winter
I forgot to be happy
forgot the feeling
of Your warm air
on my skin
and how
Your flowers
make me laugh.
And today
I can’t remember
why I left You
forsaking the
authenticity
of our eternal
friendship.

Janavi Held © 2017

Somewhere Seasons

Flooding

Flooding. jpgThe Sky in the heart.

Flooding

Within the
shadowy waters
of illusion
I built thick
castle walls
sunken deep
in those hazy waters
my heart froze
and slept for eons.
Awakened from this
deep sleep of ignorance
by a flood of
Your liberating
monsoon rain
You’ve opened the sky
in my heart
and the
walls of my fortress
are a sunken wreck
I have floated
to the surface
waves
crushed my body
as I rose You
carefully collected
all the lost parts
and knitted me
together with
Your lovely hands
saturated with
eternal love.

~ Janavi Held © 2017

Out on This Natural limb

Out on This Natural limb

 

On the ends

of wind-waving branches

I build my residence

watching all manner

of creatures grow into living

the fragrance of the wind

carrying pollen and ozone

feeds my inner ocean

as long fingers of sunlight reach

the vast expanse of my seeing.

Out on this natural limb

I wait for morning

clinging to the inside

of the earth’s desires.

 

~Janavi Held © 2017

Flying

Soaked

Soaked

 

A dead sea soaks

in memory

its form

now shapeless

has far to go

to be lost to

the little bits of

thought still

swimming its

dry banks.

 

My thoughts swell

memories tremble there

old incomplete sentences

structured in timeless

yawning, titanic clouds

blocking the realness of

now.

 

Janavi Held © 2017

 

Watching

Horizon

Horizon

 

I move too

as the waves

pierce the horizon

that distance

unattainable

longs for me as well

to embellish my ears

with wind

to swallow my eyes

inside that insatiable horizon.

 

Janavi Held © 2017

 

Birds and Beaches