Monday, April 22, 2013


Icons of commerce have supplanted
the enchanted pigs and random bananafish
that once demarcated one realm
from another.

Homespun mystics, once solitary,
chant panting prose, tartly and smartly.
They are now jumbled up with
gift-giving children who, evading
aftershocks and playing concertinas,
take flight with silk parachutes
and swim through the air.

Two doorways intersect:
one leads to mermaids,
the other to the street. Sweet.

©2013 Joanne Tenenbaum

Sunday, April 14, 2013

God Smites me and I Reel

I am a bell ashiver at the clapper’s thud
a door flung open to the swimming stars
a silver ribbon dancing in invisible wind
a footfall stamping the earth in dance
I am that place where hand and drum collide
I am the eye of the cat in which resides
An image of the allinall
dancing singing birthing bleeding
growing, groaning, dying, and whole.

I am a breath.

I am darkness cracked open to expose
the light the light the unquenchable light
inside the most charred or bleeding heart.
I am the light gushed forth from the Ark first seen.

Silenced by its golden fire, newly sacred,
I move carefully, trembling lest I spill the light
that filled me then and sings in me still
thirty years and so much darkness later.

©2013 Joanne Tenenbaum

Missing Geshela

When I see photos of Tibetans
I scan them for a glimpse
of my teacher's face
hoping to stumble across
a face in the crowd
a lama at the table
some image from the past
to comfort me.

Empty exercise.
My teacher is no more.
Useless to seek him now
Whose face I could not see

©2013 Joanne Tenenbaum