by Janine Canan available at Amazon.com (click
on title for reviews and ordering info):
Rises Like The Sun: Invocations Of The Goddess by Contemporary American
Women Poets, edited by Janine
in France, put your elbows
the table and order with heart, my Dear.
at all the lovely lively people
over a kir.
in France, sink your fork
leeks dripping heaven.
the waiter gazes into your third eye,
the flavor, and sigh.
in France, indulge your beauty-
small scarf, a silken vest,
whirling gold earrings.
naked joie de vivre will suffice.
in France, let your hair down,
eye to sparkling eye.
your feelings snap and soar
a kite rising in the wind.
in France, sing your desire
your entire choir.
mousse a l'amour
send your coloratura even higher.
in France, stay longer than you can-
your fortune on the wheel.
let this incarnation sweeten
a fat pink carnation.
among the Ruins
in Teatro Marcello
young Romans in long black dress
flute and piano.
the massive stones of ancient apartments
boulevard traffic courses.
few capped columns stand at attention
fluid sonatas permeate
warm filthy air.
longer required to serve tyrants,
stones relievedly crumble-
the girls gaily trill on.
brown hair cascades down one slim back,
dark crop crowns the other,
four bare arms
among the moonless ruins.
audience listens, speechless.
grumble louder and louder, but the flute
not allow them to drown her out.
into her notes, she intones
charging the night
her radiant will.
Night in Rome
young couple in white and black shirts,
a white clothed table on the Piazza Navonna,
asked the waiter to take their picture.
over creamy cannelloni, they smile
countless forms of humanity parade
the cobblestone square.
somewhere, a tenor sings.
horse-drawn carriage clops by-
no particular destination.
suave waiter in the smooth white jacket
a large brown long-lashed eye
the lens, and clicks.
silvery woman at a nearby table
no photo to recall the vivid instant-
yesterday she too promenaded in magic.
lamp of the sky is softly lit-
lights of the piazza slowly come on.
waiters, jovial, consoling, know
brief is this delightful play.
does the ancient city bother to scour
darkening walls-soon, soon they will be rubble.
the poet who takes this notation-
knows how she will be cast
the next entertainment.
of the Himalayas
the monsoon clouds
in from Bengali Bay
Himalaya's snowy peaks.
young yogi steps out of his cave
the first faint light,
his notebook and a long staff.
nearby, a silent bear
the tall dark-haired man
he climbs through brilliant beds
rhododendron, orchid and lily,
hymns to the Great Mother,
the top of the white mountain.
the pure sky he turns his gaze
search of the One
planted this magnificent world.
young yogi contemplates
wide blue snow lotus
buried in snow between two rocks.
are you here all alone?"
asks. "Your beauty
to be adored.
you give yourself to someone
your lovely blue petals
and return to dust?"
cold breeze blows
the Lotus shakes her head,
forward: "You think I am lonely?
I am one with all.
love these pure heights,
shelter of the blue parasol above."
he longs to pick this solitary flower
reminds him of his own life.
if I crush your silken petals?"
will only be glad," the Lotus smiles.
fragrance will radiate everywhere
the purpose of my life will be fulfilled."
do you come?" asks the old swami
sits under the ancient banyan.
wish a mantra," answers the youth.
will have to wait."
Swamiji, I need it now."
back next year."
many days, then, must I wait?"
long as I require," the old one smiles.
so the young seeker waits patiently.
fourth day the swami says:
have a mantra for you, but first
you will always remember it."
youth bows deeply, surrendering his promise.
swami leads him down to the river,
he stands silent, eyes closed.
last he says, "This is your mantra:
you are, whether behind bars
in hell itself, always be cheerful.
my boy, cheerfulness
of your own creation.
remember this mantra."
loved her dutiful father
wanted, how she wanted
love her dangerous mother.
course she loved the collie dog
the buttermilk cat;
all, the quiet night,
blinking their diamond eyes.
didn't feel like an American,
did she feel (as one of her patients
on) like a Martian.
loved France, native America, the soul
India where it all began.
wondered about reincarnation.
hedonistic- a transcendent gimlet,
mussels (fishermen slumped
peaceful blue unison on the dock),
drenched in garlic,
an intelligent waitress.
liked for things not to be perfect
then they became perfect.
yes, a vast striving for That.
she a feminist? How not.
adored, reveled, floundered, and soared
eye-opening heights, pure Himalayas
shakti, the divine feminine,
Divine Mother, Her.
was she? Only time will tell.
the rose was told
looked young for her age,
was not flattered.
she wasn't blind- she knew
no longer looked like a dewy bud
he dead to the rich ripe musk
rising off petal after petal
rolled like Persian carpet from her Source.
CANAN translated Star in My Forehead: Selected Poems by Else
Lasker-Schuler. She edited the award-winning anthology She
Rises like the Sun: Invocations of the Goddess by Contemporary American
Women Poets, and more recently The Rhyme of the Aged Mariness:
Last Poems of Lynn Lonidier. Her short story series, Journeys
with Justine, her collected essays, Goddesses, Goddesses,
and two new collections of her poetry, Changing Woman and
In the Palace of Creation: Collected Works 1969-1999, are
forthcoming. Dr. Canan, a graduate of Stanford and NYU School of
Medicine, is also a psychiatrist. She resides in Sonoma, California.