Friday, March 21, 2014

The Spring... Ahhh, The Spring...

Magic of Spring by Maja Trochimczyk

Here, The first day of spring. The Equinox. The day is as long as the night. From now on it will become longer until summer solstice in June. Ancient Persians celebrated it with the holiday of New Year, the Norooz, Nowrooz, or Nowruz in English. On the night before, they had a large bonfire and they jumped over the flames. The moment of passing through the flames was the moment of purification. The fire burned all evil in the past, all bad things, bad thoughts, bad emotions: the horrors, the failures, the hurts. Sins and regrets. Evil burden of rocks carried in the sack on our backs. The fire strengthened the spirit with new life-force, energy, pure light. It destroyed the evil past of dark shadows and gave birth to the light-filled future. Persians do it now, too. It is pre-Islamic custom, from an ancient Zoroastran religion, where forces of darkness and light always fought in the world, in people's souls and minds.

burn, burn, burn
darkness into light
 white fire

Cherry Tree by Maja Trochimczyk
Cherry Tree by Maja Trochimczyk

Ancient Slavic peoples, including Poles, also had this custom, this ritual of jumping over the fire - only it was held at Summer Solstice in June, on the shortest night of the year. Once I learned about the Persians, I understood why. But I never did that, I'm afraid of fire. I'm not a jumper. Not a sports person, either, except for swimming and sailing. I'd love to have a sailboat on a lake, somewhere. Not on the ocean. I do not like salty water. I do not trust the ocean, I'm afraid of tsunamis. That's why I bought a house in the mountains, on high ground.

in an ocean of tears
dreams of sweet water

Sky Greeting by Maja Trochimczyk

All religions have this element of purification, cleansing the soul, healing in the spring. New light, new life. Freedom and joy. In Christianity we have the sacrament of baptism (I was baptized as an adult, so I remember clearly the moment of passing through from darkness to light), the confession (that one is scary, with so many corrupt priests), the Mass and eating light-filled bread (my favorite), and the yearly calendar of rituals - Christmas, the birth of light at Winter Solstice, and Easter, the triumph of light at Spring Equinox.

sun rises
a round loaf of bread
in pre-dawn sky

Constant Return I by Julian Stanczak (1965)

line follows line
gravitational waves
bend cosmos

In a Japanese religion, or spiritual practice of Sukyo Mahikari, the Carriers of Light, people use light to heal each other. The centers of the palms of your hands emit healing light, pure energy that can be directed at someone's head or body, various "knots" of toxic thoughts, toxins in the body. The light dissolves the knots, purifies. The palms tingle a bit when you do it. I went to a spiritual center several times and was purified in this way. I had lots of "knots" to disentangle, lots of toxins to remove, a lifetime of hurt.

I give you
light filled with light
what else?

Magnolia by Maja Trochimczyk

If pink wasn't pink
would you 
wake up, still? 

Ambika Talwar, Susan Rogers, Lois P. Jones and Maja Trochimczyk

Susan Rogers, a friend who is a member of this group, is a great poet. In our group, called the Spiritual Quartet and active for a while, we used to call her a "hummingbird" - for she constantly flickers around, is always in motion, always busy. We also had Lois P. Jones, the fiery "phoenix" reborn from the flames of self-destruction, and Taoli-Ambika Talwar, the proud and royal "peacock" (the bird is a national symbol of India, her home country).

birds scatter
feathers dance
on spring breeze

Who am I? My friends called me a "dove"  of gentleness, serenity, and love. I wrote so many love poems, and read them with such affection, I'm just filled with love, or so it seems... But the Dove is also the Holy Spirit, also the bird that Noah sent from his Arc three times to find dry land after the flood. Two times, it came back with nothing, but the third time it brought back a twig of green, for peace, for the end of the flood, for the spring.

above waves
a dove shines green
in sunlight

mirror says
to the sky
I win

A Brook and Spring by Maja Trochimczyk

orange cup
of nectar 
verdant dream


Meanwhile... I went to the Colliding Rhymes Poetry Reading organized by a fellow Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga, Joe DeCenzo. It was on March 16, at the McGroarty Arts Center, in Tujunga, a part of their Arts at Play Festival. I heard some of my most favorite poets - Sean Hill, a hip-hop artist with a heart of gold and the most astounding mouth capable of making sound effects and reciting a whole segment of hip hop, without a single curse!

Then, there was the surreal Just Kibbe, with his text-message-acronym poetry book and the ibis portrait, Jessica Wilson and Juan Cardenas, the bohemian lovebirds - a poetess and her flutist - and Neil McCarthy, still straight from Ireland, and still in his torn jeans and sandals... For this reading, Justin Kibbe repainted his car yellow - for sun, for Sunland - and asked poets to write on it. Here's my poem, based on a saying by Britta Muehlbach of Phoenix House.

Britta says:
"I fearlessly speak
my truth with love"
I smile, in silence

And here's another very short poem... that I saw, but did not write. I like it. We are what we do, after all...

Tulips in Descanso (FB Album)

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