Well said.

Labels are but clothes, worn for a while, then a need to discard grows louder. But who will listen against the clamor of how one should be. Even being a human is a label, no matter what gender one labels oneself. Let all labels be held softly until that time one stands soul-naked to the light of Truth.


A poem about the courage to follow your heart

Artwork by author

there are only heroes upon this shore
where a multitude of paths
lead from the still ocean depths

as soon as your bare feet
fall upon your path
you have taken up the mantle
few know that they have

listen, o adventurer
to the urgings of your dreams
to keep to your path
that your heart has laid out before you
where the Helpers beckon you forward

but the cries of doubt
clamor from the city streets
and shadows from the alleys
lurk to beckon you to try their pleasures
and to don the newest footwear

regardless of how long…


An inner dialogue

Artwork by author

I stood in the shower, enjoying the warm water, grateful that we still have plenty of this element that is becoming scarcer in my beloved state of California. When posted in the Peace Corps in Cameroon, Africa, I used a bucket and squatted in the shower. It is not the same thing. Now in the shower, I relax and let thoughts shower onto me as well. I hold the questions that my poetry family is currently focusing on: What is a muse, and does everyone have one? I ponder it a moment, wondering if I had anything to say on…


Stop searching for that perfect relationship out there

Artwork by author

Dear Beloved,
Do not trade God for a phantom.

Do not trade the Sword of Knowing
For a ticket to watch some movie directed by your fancies.

The one you call the mother of your son
Who twists your guts when she answers the phone
Is your greatest friend,
Your greatest lover.

Her scorn and her derision is but a blessing
If only you see them in that way.

If not, she will continue to do so
Until you bare your belly and hold out the knife
And with a loving smile say: Yes!

Yet, you still see this other…

A poem about dealing with life's blows

artwork by author

Today I sat with an angel
watching the surf
pound a rocky cliff.

“For a thousand years
I have watched
countless waves
crashing upon the stone face,”
said the angel.

“Not once did the ocean explain why,
nor the cliff plead stop
or speak in blame.

“All I have seen
is the carving of caves
and cracks forming smiles
and the beauty
of a moment’s foam,
and heard the tympani
of the meeting.”

The angel turned to me
and smiled.

“What else does one need to know?”

— Janaka Stagnaro

Thank you for…

A poem about ending our drive for war

Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay

la guerre, la guerre
the shouts fill the air
politicians, generals
arms makers, bankers
rigid fingers pointing over there
while the mothers of the world shout

but soon the stomp stomp stomp
march in cadence
as the bamboozles blare
and 18-year-olds see themselves as heroes
with a chance of zero
that all will come back alive

while the economic IV
wraps itself around the One Tree
that only hearts can see
go drip drip drip
with the oil we sip

it will only end
when we no longer send
over there
bullets and bombs
and we just stay here
defending what is fair

Why thank you, Melissa. I do like a lot of his work, both writings and artwork.

The Teachings of Yama

Artwork by author

I bowed to Yama in gratitude for this lesson. “How else are men deluded?”

He smiled. “Come with me.”

We left the man to his fate and followed a path to a village. Upon the path lay a large rope. We saw a group of children running from the village in our direction.

“Quickly,” said Yama, “hide behind these bushes.”

As we crouched behind a bush he held onto one end of the rope. Unseen by the approaching children, he began to wiggle it. The children stopped and giggled. …

Janaka Stagnaro

Poetry, parables, articles — spiritual, life-lessons, education, artwork. 9 books. www.janakasartandbooks.com www.mindfulness-meditation-techniques.com

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