she said,
how long has it been since
we last saw one another?

i said,
i'm not sure.
i haven't been counting.

she said,
strange. i thought you
a bit more organized.

i said,
organized is for
the unoriginal.


in the molten magenta that is this morning
when the birds are yet asleep
i feel the poetry that is me

silent and unconscious… unaware of
an offering of presence and existence
an invitation to make history of mystery

come to me speak to me
i am here i am spirit
i am ears… flame
i am yours

i dare not be without this worship that is
a meditation on excavated tenderness
a reminder to enter humbly the shrine

to lay flowers before the awaiting altar
to sing the opera that kneels inside my throat
to become the risen phoenix with the omniscient eye



despite the voices saying, don’t!
i do.




jasmine tea brews in the teapot
the curtains ripple at the window
maria callas cries from the speakers
erratic sunlight caresses the doorframe

and i…

a rawness
an open vessel
curved and poised for
all of these impermanences

it's sunday
that, too, is impermanent



she said,
i’m falling.

i said,
we fall.
and we rise.
and we have a clearer view.


early this morning, i was cleaning out one of my desk drawers, looking for my box of violet ink cartridges, when i came across a small journal i had kept while reading the writings of c. g. jung. what pleasure i took in becoming reacquainted with my thoughts from days long past and believed forgotten! what joy to see the words so eloquently scribed! 

describing moments
i had thought lost 
and forgotten

but i remind myself… it is not in writing about them that events are immortalized. it is in coming upon them… uncovering them… discovering them… a second time… and then again… and again... and again.

finding… that is the treasure.

even forgotten words are never lost…
only found:

in certain darknesses
where words have no faculty
over stifled emotion
where there is no language
to describe experience
what matters is
the placement of self
before her shadow
hiding in plain sight
hoping to evade confrontation


that is the treasure.



and here we are
once more.

shall we...?



and inside
in the wind
for a spell



rebellion. it’s a challenging thing. it’s a necessary thing. the occasional rebellion is just as necessary as the usual one. the small rebellion is just as necessary as the big one. but it’s the small rebellions, it seems, that bewitch the spirit unto somatic… no, HOLISTIC… ecstasy.

this morning,
though a stack of books cried for connection,
and a clinical paper begged for completion…

i indulged a small rebellion.

rather than sit in my office… at my desk… surrounded by all of the objects and subjects that are such an integral part of my daily life… i went into my kitchen… and cooked up a tempest.

roasted whole chicken with herbes de provence. potato and onion wedges with fresh lavender buds. cracked black pepper, fleur de sel, and generous swirls of extra virgin olive oil over everything. orzo with homemade tomato sauce, basil, garlic, and yes… more extra virgin olive oil. fresh garden salad with raspberry walnut vinaigrette.

and though it is not winter,
but sparkling summer,
while i cooked,
i indulged in one of my favorite drinks…

one tablespoon of valrhona cocoa powder.
two dollops of belgian candi.
one cup of piping hot full cream milk
(yes. full cream. nothing else will do).
one wild carousel ride with the spoon.
one small respite (patience is bliss)…
while a delicate skin formed at the top of the brew.
one sprinkling of cayenne pepper.
one pinch of sel gris de guĂ©rande.

one large plunge into the lap of luxury.

these were my humble… and heady… pleasures for today!
this was my small rebellion.
small… but not secondary.

the clinical paper?
that’s a big rebellion.
it’s not going anywhere.
i’ll address it tomorrow.



something mythical happened today. 

i was at a used bookstore, browsing the shelves in the mental health section, my hands caressing the names of the authors imprinted on the spines. satir. and perls. and lowen. and the voice of norah jones entered my consciousness. and the music seeped through my flesh. and... in the face of self-consciousness... and social propriety... my body rocked. rocked. rocked. at the mercy of nothing but the virgin drive of its own voice.

my inner critic tried to divert me from my flow. and my inner judge called me 'silly.' but my joy knew joy. and what can step in the way of that? what, i ask? 

i did not allow those voices. there was no place for them. there was only room for movement. euphoria. and trance. there was only room for self inside a world of limitless dimensions. there was only room for body. and breath. and bones.



she said,
there’s no more conflict in my life.
i’m not sure what to do with myself.

i said,
what does conflict do for you?

she said,
it keeps me occupied.
it keeps me ‘with cause.’

i said,
what is it like for you
to be without conflict?

she said,
i don’t… well, strangely… i feel conflicted…
like if i’m not in conflict, something will
come out of nowhere and want
to fight me all over again.

i said,
it sounds like, in your fearful avoidance of
conflict, you’re creating it for yourself.

she said,
yes! yes… that’s it!

i said,
embrace your no-conflict reality.
sit inside of it.
sit with it.

she said,
but what about those things
that will want to fight me?
i know they’ll come.

i said,
sit with them, too.
one day, what fights you
will be what sets you free.



another mindful serendipity...

hopscotch in white heat

jagged pebbles stumble
on the bumpy pavement

the oaks gaze with envy



this... yes, this... is the quietest hour. 

my breath rasps against the solitude.
my lungs expand and collapse.

the ground caves with resignation.
the emptiness creaks with resolution.

where am i when i am not inside this moment?
where are we when we are not inside ourselves?

i glide my lips across the thinness of the air.
a song erupts inside my throat.

i am my own moment in time.
who will tell me otherwise?

will you?
will you...

will you sing with me?
will you join me in this chant?

sit with me, for a spell.
but, please... don't fill my ears with platitudes.

i am my own moment in time.
will you tell me otherwise?

i rest my temple upon the neck of this noiselessness.
my eyes close in acquiescence.

i am my own moment in time.



she said,
you know how you always remind me
to write down all the things
for which i am grateful?

i nodded.

she said,
lately, i’ve been feeling
an overwhelming ingratitude.

i said,
one more thing for which to be grateful.
even ingratitude is feeling… and being…
and awareness… and nowness.



last night
as i moved my body
with mindful presence
it was my feet that screamed
the loudest, crying, “set me free!”

but, then… how easily
we think we can modify history!



how leisurely the rush of words, this morning! a liberation… like looking out of a window and recognizing that, outside of me, there is another dimension, one that becomes integrated into who i am just as soon as i’ve acknowledged its presence. just so are the words, and the emotions that gave them birth.

but, no! this is not about emotion. this is about something much more primordial than that. this is about… sensation…
i feel the symphony of that word.
i let it swim inside my mouth… embrace the rims of my tonsils… tease the tip of my tongue.

i allow.
i live.
i am.



driving in a full-blown storm
blinded by silver sheets on the windshield

i navigated, as though the road 
were made of silkworms, working
their magic beneath the falling sky

i did not only hear
but listened
with presence

to voice and strings alchemize
and fly, with intention,
and strike, with precision, their target



she said,
sometimes, i feel the need
to medicate myself.

i said,
what does self-medicating
do for you?

she said,
i guess it makes me feel
like myself again.

she paused.
or maybe it makes me feel numb,
like there is no self at all.

she looked at me.
now that i’ve heard myself say it,
that truth makes me shudder.
what do you think i should do?

i said,
don’t medicate your self.
meditate her.



do you want to know a secret?

yesterday… i met a beautiful person. shy. quiet. unassuming. and… colored with a vapid hue of fear. as we sat and talked, i wondered just what forces had brought us together. what does this person need from me? i thought. and… what do i need from this person?

but then… the veil dropped. my curiosity faded and was replaced with acceptance… and contentment. i didn’t know what to expect, and neither did that person. but it seemed we both knew that whatever was going to be… it was meant to be.

it’s so beautifully… amazingly… peculiar how certain people drift into our lives at certain moments… and how we drift into theirs… and how it all happens in precisely the way that it does. i sometimes pause… and ask… why? but the truth is… it doesn’t matter at all.

nor does it matter if the relationship be good… or bad. what matters is that the experience be nourishing… and teaching… and filled with blossoms. and all manner of blossoms are welcome, as far as i’m concerned. the poisonous and the innocent are equally appreciated… and equally nourishing.

as rumi says: “this is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. first, to let go of life. finally, to take a step without feet.”

oh, how diaphanous it is to just let be… and let free!



another mindful serendipity...

sunday newspaper hurled
outside my office window

timeworn thud
new resonance



she said,
i don’t know where i am,
sometimes. i am here,
but not here. what do you
make of that?

i said,
take what you can from
being elsewhere,
but always come back.



i have been writing. and reading. reading diaries. reading letters. reading journals. i prefer to read the unexpurgated versions of all of the above. i don’t like reading writings that have been cleaned up and made “appropriate” for the general public. my take on it is: if you don’t want to read about someone’s sordid private life… don’t! we all have the choice not to make that investment, after all.

i remember when vaslav nijinsky’s diary was first released… the diary of a man who had lost his senses. except. his writings had been cleaned up. scrubbed of all the madness. and oh, how the words glowed with perfection! then, after a spell, the publishers got their wits about them and released the original, uncut version. a masterpiece!

why would anyone take the liberty of censoring the words… the life… the essence… of another? i find it ridiculous when adults try to protect other adults… or children, for that matter. no one can protect anyone from the truth… from reality. even children will seek out their own truths, and they will read whatever they hunger to read… secretly.

we all seek the learning experiences we need in order to grow in the way we need to grow… and be. we all find what we’re seeking… somewhere.

it all begins with desire… uninterrupted… unfiltered.

and nothing is more desired… more uninterrupted… than what is forbidden.



certain evenings
i have a burning need
for solitude

and please do
hold the pity
for someone else

solitude is

neither an aloneness
nor a loneliness

but an integration
and an empathy



this is what happens when
all the latent layers of
who you are

are touched by fire
curl back
and s    

by one... 
by one...

and f
           o   n
in a m         d

citing what was uttered
by the air




wor(l)d without end



it was the storm
that kept us awake
last night.

it was the cacophony
of ardor and danger’s
midnight dance.

how many times
must we talk about it?

how many footsteps
from moving to sensing?

how many storms?
how many sleepless nights?

how many awakenings?



another mindful serendipity...

last night the old moon dove
inside my inkpot and grinned
as the words bubbled
at the open rim

Good morning, April! Good morning, National Poetry Month!



beyond the physicality of voice
something speaks to me and says
i'm still here. still here. do you remember

and i think to say
no, of course i don't
but the lie is strangled
inside my throat

beyond the embodied presence of words
is the ephemeral resonance of truth
gossamer sometimes
ephemeral (perhaps
or so we tell ourselves)
but real

and you are real
and i am real
and we are together

just like we have been

and yes, i do remember

and never let me tell you

and on
and on
and on
we stay


as springtime arrives
night draws me
closer into her atmosphere
further from the air of day
which breathes on me and
leaves me stifled with
too much conformity
too much intensity
too much expectation

and as we are together
night and i
i pray day to observe
how we sit with one another
how we talk without speaking
how the space between us unfolds
receiving without question
delivering without condition
without asking how or why


another unsent letter

Dear W.,

Sitting with you and others around a table, listening to you talk about the void inside your core, I felt the urge, for one moment, to reach out across that smooth field of solid wood, and touch your hand. The pain was so red in your proudly blue eyes. The hurt was so vivid, so electric, so bright. But that was my urge to deliver something… perhaps because it was something I too wanted delivered to me. After hours of being present with words… through silence… words… silence… I craved the tangibility of… oh, touch!

Do you want to know the truth, though? I am ever awkward in the presence of another’s giving. I am a fumbling mess when someone extends their gift-laden hands to me in offering. But then… when you looked me so fully in the face, so fully in the eyes, gripped my cold fingers between yours, stuttered as your tongue angled shyly over the rims of your lips, and said “Thank you, Nevine,” so shudderingly… how could I not receive?

What joy! What blood! What tremors of absolution! What communion, my friend!

Tonight, though my body is depleted, my spirit is full.




after our love…

there are nine gates to my body
the tenth is a secret door

i shape-shift into a shadow
a spectre on the floor

my love my love my love
this door this door this door
this air this wind this song
this floor this floor this floor

your mouth your throat your skin
my moans my flesh my bones

dance me, my love
dance me
sing me, my love

unlock me, my love

there are nine gates to my body
the tenth is a secret door



she said,
sometimes, i feel as though
i’m inhabiting someone else’s body.

i said,
and who, in the meantime,
is inhabiting yours?



on the pages clean of words,
agitation reigns.

what of you?
what of your absence?
what of this whiteness?

what of your presence?
what of my aliveness?

after the sunrise,
came the storm.

it tangoed,
leaving its toeprints in the sand.

did i pretend to have the last word?

i am a confessional. i am a hand glass.
i am a hall of flawless mirrors.

one hundred thousand pages of confession,
you once wrote.

did i pretend to have the last word?

after the storm,
comes the sunrise.

come to me.
speak to me.

on the pages inked with words,
tranquility reigns.