aparagraha, the poem inspired after losing our place in the 2017 Sonoma fires, has been included in the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art’s installation “From Fire, Love Rises: Stories Shared from the Artist Community.” Sponsor, radio station, KSVY 91.3 will also feature the poets reading their work. The museum show begins September 29th and features 30 artists and poets who created art about their experience of the fires. Show ends January 6th. I will be there on Saturday, September 29th from 6 to 8 p.m. The poem is below.

aparigraha is a sanskrit word expressing non-possessiveness, non-grasping or non-greediness. it is the opposite of the desire for possessions. our beloved cinque terre, our retreat in sonoma, has burned to the ground. this poem was born from that experience. 

shiva came through this place
smoke signals foretold

Destroyer
wiper of slates

Destroyer, you hit your mark
smeared your body with our ashes

crumbled our city
of material dreams, security illusions.

that which you have reduced to settled piles
disintegrates my grasp of worldly form

with one fierce sweep you’ve left me clinging
my fist clenching

nothing but material ash

oh shiva, open my eyes sealed by
beholding the “Plan”

my hands wail, they pound futile rage,
but all that is left is suffocating ash, a strangle of fear.

run! shiva has swept through here.
run for your life. run until you collapse in the horror stilled by the dissolution
and stand in it, melting like ice in fire

stand in the loss, in the center of it all, in the calm eye of the hurricane
release my false grip

travel through shiva’s eyes where destruction offers a path, that if taken
shows the soul beyond the pointless grasp, false security

aparagraha

shiva, destroyer
cut the cords to my grasp of that which is not my soul

leave only the cinders of what never belonged to me
force my hand open to lay on my heart
embrace eternal heart beat

let what has been taken
blow away in the winds

leaving me standing with palms open
on shiva’s purified ground.

Heart