Saturday, March 31, 2012

Love of Ci'an (Reposted Poem with Poet's Comments)

poet's foreword: After my recent entries about the primarily Buddhist goddess, Kwan Yin (Quan Yin) it reminded me of this poem originally from 2005).`~~TK 

Love of Ci'an

by Tim Kavi

gentle breezes

flew from
frozen lake

I walked it

with my love

near Cixi's place

Then I heard

her gentle sighs

in the full light

of winter's surprise


in the hall of 

the Buddhas 

near a

Temple of Incense

your heart

was fully seen

in the ghostly sheen

mist of

winter morn

I heard

your whispers

to a future unborn

for in the

plans of Cixi
you were


love was but a dream

in the smoke

and carried



yet it

my cold hands
with the gloves

you bought


the Great Wall


to the Deserts

of Dunhuang

as beautiful

as Guan Yin

the wind

that blew between

us and brought

me to your wings

to your lips

two countries
two hearts

that had
now evolved
to mix together
yet now lived
so far apart


each other

in that first

destiny's kiss

but was 

too soon departed

and in that mix
of winter's day
I heard the crying of Ci'an
broken hearted

scheming deceit
would bring the Emperor
at long last
a pitious son

so I walked
and you followed
down the steps
history there, was undone.

Poet's Comments: .

Buddhist and Chinese themes: this poem mentions the Caves of Dunhuang (where sacred Buddhist cave drawings are near where the Goddess Guan Yin encountered the Monkey King). Guan Yin the Bodhisattva or Buddhist Goddess of Compassion is mentioned in the poem as well. The setting of the poem is in China at The Summer Palace in Beijing. Kunming Lake is there, and I did walk on the frozen lake in the Winter of 2005. Later that day, I also had the pleasure of touring the grounds of the Summer Palace, including the Long Corridor and at the very highest point, the Buddhist Temple of Incense. This was in part, a building with a very large Buddha in it and many other Buddhas lined the walls of that place.

The Summer Palace was one of the residences of the Emperor and Empress. As the Qing Dynasty ended in 1908, the last major empress to live there was Cixi who supplanted Ci'an. Cixi was a powerful empress, some would consider a despot and villain, others see her as very intelligent and highly political. Ci'an was the main consort of the Emperor until Cixi became the predominant one and bore the Emperor his only son. Where Ci'an was quiet, loyal, and an Empress known for meekness, Cixi was very much her opposite, skillful and manipulative, and ruling whatever she could with a conniving and mighty fist. Although an Empress was never allowed to make political suggestions, Cixi often did so from behind a curtain. Cixi became the main Empress especially after the sudden death of Ci'an. Some believe that Ci'an was poisoned by Cixi because Ci'an had always been in excellent health until the day of her untimely death.

In this poem there is some encounter with a presence or ghostlike figure, such as Ci'an. Ci'an, who feels overlooked, is longing for love. Her spirit is felt by the foreigner who even comes from a distant land. Like incense, her symbolic nature as part of history spreads out over the Great Wall and then all the way to the Dunhuang caves (which is out along the Silk Road and near Mongolia) where she is like the goddess. As a counterpoint there is an outplaying of this tension between two cross cultural lovers as they are finding each other in love --shown in other verses of this poem. Obviously, some of the verses in the poem are between the two lovers themselves as they find themselves in this historical place, or perhaps, there is an encounter of a man with the ghost of Ci'an! ---- T.K.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Thank You from Poet Tim Kavi

Thanks to everyone who reads my work here, comments, or picked up one of my collections (books). Appreciate the support. It means a lot. :-)~~TK

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

More About Goddesses: Kwan Yin--The Compassionate Goddess (Essay)

The Goddess Kwan Yin, the Goddess of Compassion
by Tim Kavi


With her origins still being debated over, we can at least attest that Kwan means to inquire deeply and that Yin means to cry. This goddess is shown in many forms, but they all show her unique compassion and mercy. Many times you can see Kwan Yin as a slender woman in flowing white robes carrying a white lotus in her left hand which is a representation of purity and the ideal of womanhood. She might also be seen wearing ornaments to show her stature, or without them to show how modest she is.

Kwan Yin is also known as a “bringer of children”. Because of this, many images of her can be seen in homes and temples. In these instances, a large white veil will be covering her whole body and she could be seated on a lotus, rather than carrying one. Instead, a child will be in her arms, or the child will be seated near her. Sometimes you can see her with several children at once, which she is then known to be the “white-robed honored one”.

 Many times you will see Kwan Yin with several hands, heads and eyes, plus a thousand arms. In the palms of each of her hands there will sometimes be an eye. This symbolizes her as the omnipresent “Divine Mother” being able to see in all directions at once and therefore all the problems of humanity. In this image she reaches out to everyone with her extreme compassion and mercy to help console all. Her name is also spelled Quan Yin, or Kuan Yin, and some scholars say that she is foreshadowed by, or is identical to an earlier deity named Avalokitasvara.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

You Can Give Me Your Heart (New Poem)

You Can Give Me Your Heart
by Tim Kavi

whenever you are ready
and safely decide to
I know it is an act of trust
but I say and show in all I do
that I love you

you can give me your heart
I will only love it
cherish it
kiss it
breathe on it
because I love you

I will never ever
hurt you
but only hold you
and your heart so very close

for when I hear it beating
I hear the power of life itself
and I feel the beauty of all love that is

and when I hold it
I know I hold you
your very life in my hands

I hear the rhythms
of your love
and they are the sounds of a universe
a universe
of your never ending love.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Expressive Eyes (New Poem)

Expressive Eyes
by Tim Kavi

Expressive eyes
deep oceans, swimming currents of love
your eyes are the sky of my horizon
the strength of my weakness
the passion of compassion
deep and yet so close
I feel your peace.

I see your soul there
it is lit up in the night of modern existence
drawing me, calling me to be free
in your love.

your eyes are so alive
with love, shining so bright
they will carry me back and forth
like a leafy sailboat on your love
floating on the deep waters
that calls me to harbor
safe and sound with you.

And when I see your eyelids closed
I still feel your eyes of love
all around me
when you are sleeping they still watch
over me
and when they open I see such beauty
that I am nearly overcome.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Masks of the Goddess: Returning from War (New Poem)

Masks of the Goddess: Returning from War
by Tim Kavi

Masks of the Goddess
concealed You
I realized that every one
was the revealed You
real and true

uttered silence
not raising the head
pilgrims prostrated
on the consuming hill

path to your vision
to your purpose
blinded to your will

but seeking in faith
glimpses of You
the road winds upwards
straight and out of sight

climbing a ladder
into the freezing
clouds of delight

there is only silence 
in the chilly night

dancing there
flowing blindly
getting a faint view

the raining tears
of sorrow's calling
wanting to gather her young
too many are missing
killed by the death that war had brung

the tears
fall down from heaven
or was it the misty
impossible to reach?

it seems too far to go
carry me somehow
on your bridal wings

my weapons fall from my belt
there is nothing in them anymore
they are dull and stained too red

my hands too dirty
my heart too callused
my hair too matted
my beard unshaven
long and flapping in the wind

my heart carries the wounds of those recently dead
my Goddess I had forgotten what you said
I could not show compassion
their smell reaches up here

forgive me my schemes born in war
my heart won in fear
my wounds deeper than bullet holes

deceived me took my soul
this death is evil's whore

I am lost and alone
do not know my way back
but must soon descend

hope you forgive me
and love me
I will come home soon.

Friday, March 9, 2012

More About Goddesses: Saraswati--The Artistic Goddess (Essay)

More About Goddesses: 

Saraswati – The Artistic Goddess
by Tim Kavi

For every Indian artist, the goddess Saraswati is a major influence. To them, all art – old and new – starts with Saraswati. She is the Hindu goddess of music, knowledge and creative arts and is also known as Vak Devi, or the goddess of speech.

Originally from the creation of the goddess that Brahma fashioned after himself of whom half was woman and half was man. The woman part of this goddess was called Gayatri, but later she became known by several other names, one of them being Saraswati.

She appears always in all white and usually is seen riding atop a swan, but sometimes can be seen on a peacock instead. She plays music on a veena, and holds in her hands a mala, or prayer beads, and palm leaf scroll to show knowledge.

Indian students take the power of Saraswati very seriously, and a daily mantra can be recited to supposedly improve their concentration, memory and power in their studies. They regularly worship Saraswati in hopes to do well on their tests, as well. There is a temple, Vilma Vashi, which is solely dedicated to Saraswati.

In yoga, Saraswati is represented as the neutral channel in a trio that also includes the lunar energy channel which symbolizes the river Ganga and the solar energy channel which represents the river and the Yamuna goddess. Then the upward flow of the Kundalini goes straight through the central channel, Saraswati, to pierce the chakras and bring liberation. This convergence is called Triveni Sangam and takes place near Allahabad.

In summary, general aspects of the Goddess Saraswati includes her status as the wife (consort) of Lord Brahma and the fact that it is she that possesses the powers of speech, wisdom and learning. She has four hands representing four aspects of human personality in learning; mind, intellect, alertness and ego. 

Often, she has sacred scriptures in one hand and a lotus (a symbol of true knowledge) in the second. With her other two hands she plays the music of love and life on the violin (veena).  She is also often dressed in white ( a sign of purity) and rides on a white goose (swan). Regardless of how you view her, and in what manifestation, surely the Goddess Saraswati is one of the most interesting Goddesses in the Hindu pantheon.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

My Love's Ashes (new poem)

My Love's Ashes
by Tim Kavi

when in the signs of Winter's thaw
I journeyed with the monks then
the snow is melting
empties into the river
flows into the sea.

life is neverending,
it flows and flows
changing forms
constantly reborn.

a butterfly
a new sun in the cosmic dust
a flower peeks through
the dirt, in the sun's loving touch.

I carry your ashes my dear
the crying nearly stops
in fact, the monks look like jumping
gazelles dancing on the mountain path
ducking between lillies and rocks
on the winding road.

where is that silly Sun
Wukong? Stealing peaches again
or laughing
until slapped by Kwan Yin?

The wind is picking up
my ears hear the calling sounds
memories of your sweet voice
I love you, my love
always singing my eternal choice.

the valley of Dunhuang
tombs cannot hold you there
for we shall paint you
on the wall, previously bare.

my tears fall
like your ashes into the paint
the monks are master mixers
in the puzzles that life brings.

on the wall they paint
Shadows and Dreams of you
in the cave of Mogao
burning incense songs to you.

I am silent now
praising you, the Goddess
revealed in the fresh
I seek you again
there is no more flesh
I am seeing that remembered
smiling face
always, in your soul's embrace.

afterword: always remembering that all is sunyata.~~TK