In The Heart Of The Night

In the city of my birth,
On the third floor of Beckham’s Book Shop,
Surrounded by stacks of books I can only dream of reading every title,
Falling asleep on this worn out couch,
The musty smell making me dizzy.

They call it ‘the city that time forgot’ and continues to forget as we saw with Katrina,
Or the ‘crescent city’ for the bend in the river which Bienville saw as strategic,
Many nights I walked that same bend along the railroad tracks by the river’s edge,
Drinking hot beer procured from the abandoned Jax Brewery,
Oblivious to the rich history I was born into.

Wandering these streets of the French Quarters,
Past the painters, fortune tellers and street musicians trying to make a dollar,
I find myself in St. Louis Cathedral staring at the stained glass,
The pipe organ playing Bach while someone is blowing a horn in Pirates Alley,
Both melding into a complexed whole, as candles from the altar, burn our sins away.

So many nights strolling down Bourbon Street in a haze,
How many ghosts have crossed my path this night,
Dripping in the humid air of summer is like breathing thru syrup,
Or the damp cold of winter cutting you to the bone.

Growing up we’d take the Algiers Ferry across the river to the West Bank,
When night falls on a full moon you can see the city’s horizon shimmering on the water,                                                                                                                          

I think we only leave home so we can love it all the more.
It is then I understand this longing I feel for my city by the river,
You never really get over it, just strike an uneven peace between the heart
and head.

©jc2017-9

*Photo courtesy of Pixabay

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The Advent of the Rising Sun

“Four Ways to Love”

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“The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even heard, but must be felt with the heart.”  -Helen Keller

 

Hope
If I’m allowed to behold one more rising sun
Everything I see is pure as it speaks to me in rhyme
Its’ rhythm moves me forward, its’ essence leaves me in mindfulness
Where all is thou , all is sacred, all is you. Continue reading The Advent of the Rising Sun

The Lamp and the Abyss

My nature is light, nothing but light. When the world arises, I alone am shining.
-Ashtavakra Gita 2:8       

I stand transfixed; my mind’s eye takes in everything before my brain has time to confuse it with reasoning. As this subtle untarnished revelation unfolds, I search my coat pockets for a pen and paper and transcribe into words what I’ve witnessed.

A mysterious orb has exploded while still retaining the contour of its original shape. It reminds me of an eye, dark and luminous rotating in its socket. An Continue reading The Lamp and the Abyss

Daydreams of Shiva

 A poem about the eFullSizeRender (3)ternal…

In domestic environs
So sweet but so numb
I think you have sought
A dance with my thoughts
My thoughts that lay deep
In the deepest of sleep.

You came from a void
And not just for naught Continue reading Daydreams of Shiva

The Snake and the Lion

lion-wild-africa-africanI was gazing intently in the direction of a screen door in the kitchen of a rustic house; observing, as though I were a sentinel on duty, the backyard enclosed by a tall white fence. The house seemed unfamiliar but at the same time, something deep inside told me I knew this place. Outside stood an old wooden barrel with rusted bands wrapped around its girth, similar to the kind used to age whiskey. Looking inside I discerned that vertically it was about 3’ above ground with another 3’ buried in the ground and 3′ in width, and  it was empty. Abruptly, as if on cue, the barrel began to fill with water. As the water’s surface reached the top rim, I unexpectedly heard a sound coming from within the barrel. I caught sight of a snake, waking from Continue reading The Snake and the Lion

If 6 Were 3, What I Long to Be- Act 18 & 27

Falcon-LittleBirdPure imagination, without form, the absence of ego, vertical, the strength of an oak, the rhyme between two words, the silence between two sounds, an open book, a lost manuscript, the knowing that knows it knows not, the rhythm in blues, Perceval in search of the Grail, a student of all, a teacher on call, a blue ocean, a joyful boat, a river that runs, a pond with no ripples, son of the light, a light in the dark, a smile, a good word, a horse with no reins, a blue falcon, the
left hand way, the still point, the dark side of the moon, a train in the night, acceptance, hope, Continue reading If 6 Were 3, What I Long to Be- Act 18 & 27

The Presence of Christmas

IMG_2159Again the ghost sped on, above the black and heaving sea… on, on… until, being far away, as he told Scrooge, from any shore, they lighted on a ship. They stood beside the helmsman at the wheel, the lookout in the bow, the officers who had the watch; dark ghostly figures in their stations; but every man among them hummed a Christmas tune, or had a Christmas thought, or spoke below his breath to his companions of some bygone Christmas day, with homeward hopes belonging to it. And every man on board, Continue reading The Presence of Christmas