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…
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…
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
Today I sat with an angel
watching the surf
pound a rocky cliff.
“For a thousand years
I have watched
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
“What else does one need to know?”
— Janaka Stagnaro
Thank you for…
la guerre, la guerre
the shouts fill the air
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
bullets and bombs
and we just stay here
defending what is fair
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. …
Through love’s forest’s countless miles
hide and seek we play;
one moment a frown, another a smile,
relationship’s night and day.
In a moment still, I hold your hand,
before a whim tells chance to roll its die,
where off to the heavens you may dance,
while into the hells I may cry.
As we go round this spinning wheel,
our game of chase becomes more clear;
as your hand rises, lifting the veil,
everything about you shines more dear.
As prettiness fades before beauty true
in the muddy tracks of our together years,
you who prod me to open and move,