Saturday, August 1, 2015

A Couple of Drafts for Years of the Fire Monkey and Wood Rooster

Here is my draft for 2016 Year of the Fire Monkey

Ho you Fire Monkey
Adorable Familiar of blessed places

Resourceful, enchanting

cunning when need be
Your chatter can flattens the dolts of ignorance
when you take charge in a carpe diem kind of way
Your Ballast of confidence
Lifts our spirits
Seer of the future
Interlocutor to lost opportunities
Let’s take to heart
the ease of your swing from here to there
Always awake in the fire.

Here is another draft for Year of the Wood Rooster in honor of poet Anne Waldman born in 1945

Such [iridescent] display...variant [indecent]
Cockadoodiling us awake
Each day without fail
As reliable as the sun
you rise to summon forth
bright scrys of portend
Forth with acuity for the larger meanings in the scheme
Of all so-called phenomena
Beneficent scribe to the downcast
Outsiders, the end stop
You set the bar high
A million hands in the fire
No task too daunting
Harbinger of new, always fresh
our number one

Written Night of the Blue Moon, July 31, 2015
Shelburne Falls. MA

Like rising dough this is in the proofing stage I will beat down once more before finalizing. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

What is the Mansion of Elements Project

For some years I have written an annual New Year Losar poem loosely based on the Tibetan system of Animal/Element combinations. Similar to Chinese astrology, the Tibetan system contains 60 such combinations. To date I have completed 10 of these in sequence based on real time you can link to below.

Now that I am retired,  I am currently working on completing all 60 animal/element combinations in collaboration with visionary artist Ingmar Pema Dechen. 

So far I have completed the following combinations: 

2007 of the Fire Pig (This will be revised as it was the first in this series)
2008 of the Earth Oxen
2009 of the Earth Rat
2010 of the Metal Tiger
2011 of the Metal Rabbit
2012 of the Water Dragon
2013 of the Water Snake
2014 Year of the Wood Horse
2015 Year of the Wood Sheep

2016  Year of the Fire Monkey
2017 Year of the Fire Bird/Rooster

Needless to say these are not “great" poems but they are interesting. Over the years many people have expressed appreciation. My process is not any official astrological training or reference. Nor do I intend any disrespect to the Tibetan tradition of astrology closely aligned with training in Tibetan Medicine. 

Mainly, I meditate on the animal, then the element which I combine with a kind of intuitive sense of the year at hand. These particular poems seem to write themselves.  The results are strangely in harmony with the “official” forecasts.  They also reflect my own personal mind training at the time. I’d like to compile the complete version of all 60 animal/element combinations as an offering to future communities of practitioners in the Vajrayana and Dzogchen lineages.

They are meant to inspire and encourage people on the long and enduring path towards realization.

My main inspiration comes from my teachers and poetry mentors including Chogyam Trungpa, Chogyal Namkhai Norbu, Lama Tsultrim Allione, Anne Waldman and the late Allen Ginsberg. Many Thanks to  dharma and poet buddies sharing the path. Thanks everyone for all your support over the years.

This blog will serve to chronicle and record this process.

Jacqueline Gens
Shelburne Falls, MA
July 8, 2015, revised February 14, 2016, revised February 22, 2017