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RAJ NANDY Feb 2015
By Raj Nandy : Part One

Background :
The India subcontinent and her diverse physical features,
influenced her dynamic history, religion, and culture!
The fertile basin of the Sapta-Sindu Rivers* cradled one of
world’s most ancient civilization, (seven rivers)
Contemporary to the Sumerians and the Egyptians, popularly
known as the Indus Valley Civilization!
The Sindu (Indus), Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Sutlej, Bias, along
with the sacred river Saraswati, shaped India’s early History;
Where once flourished the urban settlements of Harappa and
Mohenjodaro, which lay buried for several centuries;
For our archaeologists and scholars to unravel their many
secrets and hidden mysteries!
Modern scholars refer to it as ‘Indus-Saraswati Civilization’;
By interpreting the text of the Rig Veda which mentions
eclipses, equinoxes, and other astronomical conjunctions,
They date the origin of the Vedas as earlier as 3000 BC;
Thereby lifting the fog which shrouds Ancient History! +
(+ Two broad schools of thoughts prevail; Max Mullar refers
to 1500 BC as the date for origin of the Vedas, but modern scientific findings point to a much earlier date for their Oral composition and
their long oral tradition!)

On the banks of the sacred Saraswati River the holy sages
did once meditate, *
When their third eye opened, as all earthly bonds they did
transcend !
From their lips flowed the sacred chants of the Vedas, as
they sang the creator Brahma’s unending praise!
These Vedic chants and incantations survived many
centuries of an oral tradition,
When Indian Art began to blossom into exotic flowers like
Brahma’s divine manifestations;
With all subsequent art forms following the model of
Brahma’s manifold creations!
The Vedas got written down during the later Vedic Age
with commentaries and interpolations,
And remain as India’s indigenous composition, forming a
part of her sacred religious tradition! *
Rig Veda the oldest, had hymns in praise of the creator;
Yajur Veda spelled the ritual procedures; Sama Veda sets
the hymns for melodious chanting, & is the source of seven
notes of music; Artha Veda had hymns for warding off evil
& hardship, giving us a glimpse of early Vedic life.)

Through the winding Khyber Pass cutting through the rugged
Hindu Kush Range,
Came the Persians, Greeks, Muslims, the Moguls, and many
bounty hunters storming through north-western frontier gate;
Consisting of varied racial groups and cultures, they entered
India’s fertile alluvial plains!
Therefore, while tracing 5000 years of Art Story, one cannot
divorce Art from India’s exotic cultural history.
From the Cave Art of Bhimbetka, to the dancing girl of Harappa,
To the frescoes and the evocative figures of Ajanta and Ellora;
Many marvelous and exquisitely carved temples of the South,
And Muslim and Mogul architecture and frescoes along with
India’s rich Folk Art, enriched her artistic heritage no doubt!
Yet for a long time Indian Art had been the least known of
the Oriental Arts,
Perhaps because from Western point of view it was difficult
to understand the spirit behind Indian Art!
For Indian Art is at once aesthetic and sensual, also passionate,
symbolic, and spiritual !
It both celebrates and denies the individual’s love of life,
where free instinct with rigid reason combine !
These contradictory elements are found side by side due to
her culturally mixed conditions, as I had earlier mentioned!
Now, if we add to this the constant religious exaltation,
With the extensive use of symbolic presentation, from the
early days of Indian civilization;
We have the basic elements of an Art, which has gradually
aroused the interest of Western Civilization!

The further we get back in time, we only begin to find,
That religion, philosophy, art and architecture,
Had all merged into an unified whole to form India’s
composite culture!
But while moving forward in time, we once again find,
That art, architecture, music, poetry and dance, all begin to
gradually emerge, with their separate identities,
Where Indian Art is seen as a rich mosaic of cultural diversity!

(NOTES:-In the ancient days, the Saraswati River flowed from the Siwalik Range of Hills (foothills of the Himalayas) between Sutlej & the Yamuna rivers, through the present day Rann of Kutch into the Arabian Sea, when Rajasthan was a fertile place! Indus settlements like Kalibangan, Banawalli, Ganwaiwala, were situated on the banks of Sarsawati River, which was longer than the Indus & ran parallel, and is mentioned around50 times in the Rig Veda! Scientists say that due to tectonic plate movements, and climatic changes, Saraswati dried up around 1700BC ! The people settled there shifted east and the south, during the course of history! Some of those Indo-Aryan speaking people were already settled there, & others joined later. Max Muller’s theory of an Aryan Invasion which destroyed the Indus Valley Civilization during 1500BC, supported by Colonial Rulers, was subsequently proved wrong ! Indo-Aryans were a Language group of the Indo- European
Language Family, & not a racial group as mistaken by Max Mullar! Therefore Dr.Romila Thapar calls it a gradual migration, & not an invasion! The Vedas were indigenous composition of India. However, they got compiled & written down for the first time with commentaries, at a much later date! I have maintained this position since it has been proved by modern scholars scientifically!)

From the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic to the Cretan Bull
of Greece,
Symbols have conveyed ideas and messages, fulfilling
artistic needs.
The ‘Da Vinci Code’ speaks of Leonardo’s art works as
symbolic subterfuge with encrypted messages for a secret
While Indian art is replete with many sacred symbols to
attract good fortune, for the benefit of the community!
The symbols of the Dot or ‘Bindu’, the Lotus, the Trident,
the Conch shell, the sign and chant of ‘OM’, are all sacred
and divine;
For at the root of Indian artistic symbolism lies the Indian
concept of Time!
The West tends to think of time as a dynamic process which
is forward moving and linear;
Commencing with the ‘Big Bang’, moving towards a ‘Big
Crunch’, when ‘there shall be no more time’, or a state of
total inertia !
Indian art and sculpture is influenced by the cyclic concept
of time unfolding a series of ages or ‘yugas’;
Where creation, destruction and recreation, becomes a
dynamic and an unending phenomena!
This has been artistically and symbolically expressed in the
figure of Shiva-Nataraja’s cosmic dance,
Which portrays the entire kinetic universe in a state of
eternal flux!
The hour-glass drum in Nataraja’s right hand symbolizes
all creation;
Fire in his left hand the cyclic time frame of destruction!
The raised third hand is in a gesture of infinite benediction;
And the fourth hand pointing to his upraised foot shows the
path of liberation!

It was easier to teach the vast untutored population through
symbols, images, and paintings in the form of Art;
For a picture is more effective than a thousand words!
The Dot or ‘bindu’ becomes the focus for meditation,
Where the mental energies are focused on a single point of
As seen in the cotemporary art works of SH Raza’s
artistic representations!
Yet the same dot when expanded as a circle becomes
wholeness and infinity;
The shape of celestial bodies of the cyclic universe in its
The Lotus seen in many sculptures, on temple walls, and
majestic columns, denotes purity;
A symbol of non-attachment rising above the muddy waters,
retaining its pristine color and beauty!
The Lotus is a powerful and transformational symbol in
Buddhist Art,
Where pink lotus is for height of enlightenment, blue for
wisdom, white for spiritual perfection, and the red lotus
symbolizing the heart!
This Lotus symbol also finds a place in Mughal sculptural
carvings and miniatures;
The inverted lotus dome resting on its petals, forms the
crown of Taj Mahal’s white marble architecture!
The trident or ‘trishul’ symbolizes the three god-heads
Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva;
As the Creator, Preserver and Destroyer, in that cyclic
chain which goes on forever!
The ***** stone of Shiva-lingam surrounded by the oval
female yoni symbolizes fertility and creation,
Usually found in the inner sanctuary of Hindu temples!
Finally, the symbol of ‘OM’ and its vibrating sound,
Echoes the primordial vibrations with which space and
time abounds!
All matter comes from energy vibrations manifesting
cosmic creation;
Also symbolized in Einstein’s famous matter-energy equation!
The Conch Shell a gift of the sea when blown, sounds the
ancient primordial vibration of ‘OM’!
It’s hallowed auspicious sound accompanies marriage
ceremonies and rituals whenever occasion demands;
And pacifies mother earth during Shiva-Nataraja’s sudden
seismic dance! (earthquakes)
Dear readers the symbols mentioned here are very few,
Mainly to curb the length, while I pay Indian Art my
artistic due!

Despite the many foreign influences which entered India
through the Khyber and Bholan pass,
India displayed marvelous adaptability and resilience, in
the development of her indigenous Art!
The aesthetic objectivity of Western Art was replaced by
the Indian vision of spiritual subjectivity,
For the transitory world around was only a ‘Maya’ or an
Illusion,- lacking material reality!
Therefore life-like representation was not always the aim
of Indian art,
But to lift that veil and reveal the life of the spirit, - was
the objective from the very start!
Egyptian funerary art was more occupied with after-life
and death;
While the Greeks portrayed youthful vigor and idealized
beauty, celebrating the joys of life instead!
The proud Roman Emperors to outshine their predecessors
erected even bigger statues, monuments, and columns
draped in glory;
Only in the long run to drain the Roman treasury, - a sad
downfall story!
Indian art gradually evolved over centuries with elements
both religious and secular,
As seen from the period of King Chandragupta Maurya,
Who defeated the Greek Seleucus, to carve out the first
united Indian Empire ! (app. 322 BC)

Ancient Indian ‘stupas’
and temples were not like churches
or synagogues purely spiritual and religious,
But were cultural centers depicting secular images which
were also non-religious!
The Buddhist ‘stupa’ at Amravati (1stcentury BC), and the
gateways at Sanchi (1stcentury AD), display wealth of carvings
from the life of Buddha;
Also warriors on horseback, royal procession, trader’s caravans,
farmers with produce, - all secular by far!
Indian temples from the 8th Century AD onwards depicted
images of musicians, dancers, acrobats and romantic couples,
along with a variety of Deities;
But after 10th Century ****** themes began to make their mark
with depiction of sensuality!
Sensuality and ****** interaction in temples of Khajuraho and
Konarak has been displayed without inhibition;
As Tantric ideas on compatibility of human sexuality with
human spirituality, fused into artistic depictions!
Religion got based on a healthy and egalitarian acceptance
of all activities without ****** starvation;
For the emotional health and well-being of society, without
hypocritical denial or inhibition!
(’Stupas’= originated from ancient burial mounds, later became devotional Buddhist sites with holy relics, & external decorative gateways and carvings!)

Was built by the Chandela Rajputs in Central India,
When Khajuraho, the land of the moon gods, was the first
capital city of the Chandelas!
****** art covers ten percent of the temple sculptures,
Where both Hindu and Jain temples were built in the north-Indian
Nagara style of Architecture.
Out of the 85 temples only 22 have stood the vagaries of time,
Where a perfect fusion of aesthetic elegance and evocative
Kama-Sutra like ****** sculptural brilliance, - dazzle the eyes!

From the Khajuraho temple of love, we now move to the
Konark temple of *** in stones - as art!
Built around 1250 AD in the form of a temple mounted on
a huge cosmic chariot for the Sun God;
With twelve pairs of stone-carved wheels pulled by seven
galloping horses, symbolizing the passage of time under
the Solar God !
Seven horses for each day of the week, pulls the chariot
east wards towards dawn;
With twelve pairs of wheels representing the twelve calendar
months, as each cyclic day ushers in a new morn !
The friezes above and below the chariot wheels show military
processions, with elephants and hunting scenes;
Celebrating the victory of King Narasimhadeva-I over the
invading Muslims!
The ****** art and voluptuous carvings symbolizes aesthetic
bliss when uniting with the divine;
Following yogic postures and breathing techniques, which
Tantric Art alone defines!
Both Khjuraho & Konark temples were re-discovered by the
British, & are now World Heritage Sites!)

Artistic invention followed the model of cosmic creation;
Ancient Vedic tradition visualized the spirit of a joyous
self-offering with chants and incantations!
The world was understood to be a structured arrangement
of five elements of earth, water, fire, air, and ethereal space;
Where each element brought forth a distinct art-expression
with artistic grace!
Element of Sculpture was earth, Painting the fluidity of water,
Dance was transformative fire, Music flowed through the air,
and Poetry vibrated in ethereal space!


Indian Art is like a prism with many dazzling facets,
I have only introduced the subject with its symbolism,
- without covering its complete assets!
After my Part Three on ‘Etruscan and Roman Art’,
Christian and Byzantine Art was to follow;
But following request from my few poet friends I have
postponed it for the morrow!
Traditional Indian Art survives through its sculptures,
architecture, paintings and folk art, ever evolving with
the passing of time and age;
Influenced by Buddhist, Jain, Muslim, Mogul, and many
indigenous art forms, enriching India’s cultural heritage!
While the art of our modern times constitutes a separate
Contemporary phase !
The juxtaposition of certain concepts and forms might
have appeared a bit intriguing,
But the spiritual content and symbolism in art answers
our basic artistic seeking!
The other aspects of Indian Art I plan to cover at a later
Hope you liked my Introduction, being posted after
almost forty days!
E-Mail: rajnandy21@yahoo.
I have a vicarious pleasure going through your historical journey of Indian art! Thanks for sharing this here! 2 Mar 2013 by Ramesh T A | Reply

The prism of Indian Art is indeed has myriads of facets and is an awesome mixture of many influences some of which you list here so clearly - a very understandable presentation of symbolism too - -thank you for your fine effort Raj. 2 Mar 2013 by Fay Slimm | Reply

Oh what an interesting read with immense information capturing every single detail. You painted this piece of art with utmost care. Truly, it's works Raj…tfs 2 Mar 2013 by John Thomas Tharayil | Reply

First, I have to say, the part about the lotus symbolism reminds me – My name ‘NILOTPAL’ can be split into ‘NIL’ meaning BLUE and ‘UTPAL’ meaning LOTUS. So my name represents wisdom (although it contradicts ME.. LOL). A lot of things were mentioned in the veda and other ancient Indian texts that were way ahead of the time Like the idea of ‘velocity of light’ got considerable mention in the rig veda-Sahan bhasya, ‘Elliptical order of planets, ‘Black holes’ , although these are the scientific aspects. The emphasis on contradictory elements or even the idea of opposites in Indian art is interesting because India developed the mathematical concept of ‘Zero’ and ‘infinity’. Hard to believe Rajasthan was a fertile place but now it possesses its own beauty. It was great to read about the Natraja, ‘OM’ and the trident(Trishul). Among symbolisms, Lord Ganseha is my favorite because a lot is portrayed in that one image like the MOOSHIK representing
When I composed the History of Western Art in Verse & posted the series on '', few Indian poet friends requested me to compose on Indian Art separately. I am posting part one of my composition here for those who may like to know about Indian Art. Thanks & best wishes, -Raj
Shofi Ahmed Mar 2017
A flower that smells of pure bliss keeps an ear to the ground
It's a serene one sitting beneath the stars down on earth
The moon, far, far, seven seas away, loves to drop into her lap.

The Bay of Bengal billows, music has gotten beneath the skin.
The leaves furl out off the deep wood with the birds
singing out to the top of the trees, rhyming with the leafy dance.
Heavensent, that was in one sanguine day in the spring.
The Mother’s Language Movement in 1952 sprouted like this
on the eighth of native Falgun month—oh magic did it unleash!

On that day our beloved brothers were shot dead
They could swallow the bullets with smiles but won’t give up
demanding the official status for the Bangla mother tongue.
Angels wrapped round the martyrs amid lamenting mothers
Laid them on Falgun’s perfumed ground bleeding corpses
Seas of roses bloomed and blew them out red, red kisses!

They are gone not the stone wall of consciousness they raised
Ah, at the sprout of the spring what were they echoing?
Ingrained deep in the soil the pre-designing voice in the planning?
Who can tell? The world gels on February 21 in celebrating!

The angels then snapped up our martyrs’ souls off the land,
placed them on a piece of Heaven where they can hear the jingle.
Down on earth, a nation springs up, has gotten its wake up call!
Stepping on the sweetening arc of the mother tongue melody
the stone turns a flower, all in a butterfly moment soaring to victory.
Thanks to the movement - Bangladesh itself later comes to be!

The sun comes down to the rose painting on the land
In the heavenly Falgun hues it nibbles some wild summer dreams.
“Serene songs of earth stirring the water,” like it comes into play,
rowing the cloud bubbles singing in southern breeze.
Ah, a walk on the sun-kissed kaleidoscope land is a pure bliss.  
Every blossom spray of the wind is soothing sweet
Hop on and play straight to the ruby heart, as if it's a flute.

Mother tongue means speak free, fearless, in full streaming.
Speak the heart to the world without the fear of losing the cloud
that will listen, bouncing back on the brink of the sky river.
Then what did one say, hear, or was awed by in the blooming Falgun?
Could it have been the spring humming in her native lingua
or King David singing in mother tongue by babbling brooks
what in any other language, even with a silver tongue, isn’t possible?

Allah has listened to our martyrs’ crying mothers and fathers
The martyrs’ souls whisk through the galaxies and starry fair.

Soar high over the clouds, take the rainbow's *** of gold away,
Like a hue turns 360-degree in the colourwheel bask into the colour.
Still, dip the toes in Bangla mother’s soil salted with perfumed art
Like Himalayan water swirling down melting deeper deep down
This magicland is polished for everyone be it you, a fairy, a star
or off the ploughed-out barrow a walked out wonder!

A pristine voice duo’s voiceprint gleans to the spring in muse,
Pops in a beauteous scurry and speaks in the mother tongue!
Hidden within the earthy depth, only emerges with time,
only dances in tangent, that day slipped out with the butterflies.
And finally the blue nymphs take the plunge drop down the sky  
That day the mother’s voice triumphed, whose is the most original!
This is a poem from my book Zero and One available on Amazon.
Nat Lipstadt May 2013
Three Minute Warning

A messenger delivers
A three minute warning
As I lay in bed at 10:30 am
(Resting in preparation for,
not from, our oops, early morning hike).

Breakfast will be ready in 3,
Get your **** in gear or else
It will be cold, I'll be mad,
And you will answer to a
Higher Authority.

No problem cause I already know
All I need is two.

Splash water on my face
Now I'm presentable
enough to the human race,
current company probably won't be happy,
But I ain't telling her, are you?

Shave! You crazed?
It is a three day weekend,
Every day a July Fourth,
Celebrating freedom from the European tyranny,
Of shaving smooth  every day!

Splash water on my head, count with me,
Five brush strokes as you can plainly see
Is a classic case of overcompensating
In my geling n' hair stylin'

Brush my teeth, well,
I hope 2 full minutes of rinsing with  CVS
Green stuff, mouthwash, will have to suffice.

Blast my deodorant both sides,
Long and strong, wearin' now
My bold blue *** husk of musk,
Cause I am a very considerate fellow
Who happens to really have stunk.

Clean T- shirt and shorts,
Yes, clean underwear too,
Leaves me a whole minute to write this scribble.

My flip flop noises coming down the hallway,
Are the butler announcing our joint arrival,
Me and my poem.

Lest you think this is paean to men
Another grand male boast,
Be advised this ditty be writty
By a man who, while no longer gritty,
Just put jelly on his scrambled eggs
And ketchup on his toast!

Mmmmmmm there might be a poem
Lurking in that too...
Sigh, a true story.
Terry O'Leary Dec 2013
Ill-fated crowd neath foreign cloud: the Silent City braves
against a sudden sullen flood, unleashing lashing waves,
which washes stony structures clean with radiance that laves.

Deserted streets, once dense retreats, spin yarns of yesterday,
with  faded words no longer heard (though having much to say)
since teeming life (at one time, rife), surceased and slipped away.

Within its walls? Whist buildings, tall... Outside the City? Dunes...
They frame a frail forgotten tale,  in carved unwritten runes
with symbols hung like halos strung in lifeless, limp festoons.

The City’s blur? A sepulcher for Christians, Muslims, Jews –
Cathedrals, Temples, vacant now, enshrine their residues,
though churches, mosques and synagogues abide without a bruise.

A church’s Gothic ceilings guard the empty pews below
and, windswept blown above the stones, a maiden’s blue jabot.
The Saints, in crypts, though nondescript, grace halos now aglow.

Stilled chapel chimes! Their clapper rope (that tongue-tied confidante)
won’t writhe to ring the carillons, alone and lean and gaunt –
its flocks of jute, now fallen mute, adorn the holy font.

Stray footsteps swarm  through church no more (apostates that profane) -
their echoes in the nave ring thin, while chalice cups maintain
a taste of brine in altar wine decaying in the rain.

No face will come with jagged tongue to sing a silent psalm
nor paint pale lips with languid quips to pierce the deathly calm,
nor pray for mercy, grace deferred, or beg lethean balm.

Six steeple towers, steel and stone, drab daggers in the sky!
Their hallowed halls no longer call when breezes wander by –
for, filled with dread to wake the dead, they've ceased to sough or sigh.

No cantillation, belfry bells, monastic chants inspire
and Minarets, though standing yet, host neither voice nor crier -
abodes and buildings silhouette a muted spectral choir.

Coiled candle sticks! Their twisted wicks no longer 'lume the cracks
with dying flame in smoky swirl mid pendant pearls of wax,
since deference to innocence dissolved in melting tracks.

Above! The dismal ditch of dusk reveals a velvet streak,
through which the winter’s wicked winds will sometimes weave and sneak,
and faraway a cable sways, a bridge clings hushed and bleak.

Thin shadows shift, like silver shafts, across a cruel moraine
reflecting white a wisp of light in ebon beads of bane
which casts a crooked smile across a faceless window pane.

Wan neon lights glow through the nights, through darkness sleek as slate,
while lanterns (hovered, high above, in silent swinging gait),
haunt ballrooms, bars, bereft bazaars, with no one left to fete.

Death's silhouettes show no regrets, 'twixt twilight’s ashen shrouds,
oblivious she always was to cries in dying crowds –
in foggy neap the spirits creep... a clutch of clammy clouds.

No breath will come  'cross jagged tongue to sing a silent psalm
nor paint pale lips with languid quips to pierce the deathly calm,
nor yet redress the emptiness that shifting shades embalm.

The castle clock, unwound, defrocks! Those peerless speechless spokes
unfurl the blight of reigning Night by spinning off her cloaks,
and flaunt the dun oblivion, her Baroness evokes.

Green trees gone dark, in palace parks, where children paused to play –
now voiceless things on phantom swings, like statues made of clay,
mark marbled tombs in graveyards groomed for grievers bent to pray.  

The sun-bleached bones of those who've flown lie scattered down the lanes
while other souls who hid in holes left bones with yellow stains
of plaintive tears (shed insincere, for no one felt the pains).

The terrors wrought by conscience fraught once stalked and lurked nearby
to rip the shrouds from  curtained clouds, frail fabrics on the sky –
now wraiths that scream in sleepless dreams no longer terrify.

And fog no longer leaks beyond the edge of doom’s café,
for when she trails her mourning veils, she fills the cabaret
with sallow smears of misty tears  in sheets of shallow gray.

Beyond the suburbs, farmers’ fields (where donkeys often brayed)
exhale a gust of barren dust where living seed once laid
and in the haze a scarecrow sways, impaled upon a *****.

A silo, still! Like hollowed quill, a ravished feather’s vane,
with traces of bespattered blood, once flowing through a vein.
The fruits of life, destroyed in strife... ’twas truly all in vain.

No souls will come with jagged tongues to sing a silent psalm
nor paint pale lips with languid quips to pierce the deathly calm –
they've seen, you see, life’s brevity, beneath a neutron bomb.


Beyond the Silent City’s walls, the victors laugh and play...
They’re celebrating PEACE ON EARTH, the devil’s sobriquet
for neutron radiation death in places far away.
Michael W Noland Sep 2012
[A] is for
Archer with
Arrow through his
Apple, very
Applicable, to the
Amounts of
Adorning his heart, in
Attributes, that impart, the
Admiration, of
*******, in this
Acting out of
Arrogance bit. he is,
Astute, in his
Allure, and
Aloof, in the
Air, of
Aspiration, in which, he was
Alienated in the
Agony, of
Assassins, the
Aforementioned. lights, camera,
Action. recipe of the
Admirals of
Aliens, that
Attacked, with the
Arms and fists, of
Arachnids, now
Aching to be
Activated in sudden
Allegiance to the
Answers, of the truth.
Accumulating wealth for
Anarchy's of
Angels in
Academies of the ever
After life .. . of silence.
****** strengthens in these
Accolades of violence, in
Alliance to
Appearing in the
Arson of
Apathy, happily, to
Anguish in the
Amputation of my
Abdomen, if it meant i'm a real
American, even, when, only
Ash, remains.
Acclimating in its remains
Attained, the
Articles of my pain, in
Affluent shame, next time ..
Aim... oak

[B] is for the
Bah of
Black sheep, and
Bit¢hes, fat cats,
Bombarded in the
Bastion of
Berating the
Be-seech, of
Brains, to feel
Bad, about the
Blotching of
Binary codes, erroding, the
Blanked out
Books, of
Back the
Bank rolls of
Betterment, from the
Back of the
Bus, as i'm
Busting guts, in the
Butts, of *****
Benched, but
Beautiful, in the
Battle, in the
Bane, of existence.
Baffled, in the strain of
Belligerence, in
Beating the
Butchery into
Brains, in
Bouts, of
Bobby's for
Bags of
Before, affording to
Bombs, is just
Bottles on the
Benefactors of
Bashing with the
Beaks, of
Birds, with no
Bees. just a
Being, trying to

[C] is for the
Courting the
Choreography, in
Circumventing the
Contrivance of
Calibrating, to the
Contours of
Celebrating the
Cylinders of
Correcting the
Calculations, of
Coughing, in
Coffins of
Cobble stones, from
Catacombs, in the lands of the
Capturing the
Claps of thieves, sneaky
Cats, of greed. its
Comedy. oh
Comely, to my
Cling of
Cleanliness, and for your self

[D] is for the
Dip *****, as they
Deeper in the
Deliverance, of
Dying to
Delivered in the throws of
Defiance of
Demeaning that which
Deems the
Dormant of the
Dominant, to be
Demons of
Dooming us for
Deploy the,
Damsels in
Defiled and
Detestable and
Dead. in the thump of
Dumbing down the
Debts of,
Dire regrets.
Dissect the
Daisies of,
Disillusion, in the current
Diluting night into
Disconnecting the
Dots of the
Dichotomy, and arming me, in the
Diabolatry, of,
Demonology, as i watch me
Dwindle away, the

[E] is for
Everything in nothing,
Eating the
Enigmas of
Exceeding in the
Essence of
Escaping the
Elegance of the
Elements in the
Eccentricity of
Exhaling, the
Exostential blessings, of inner
Entities, and renouncing the
Enemies of my
Easily to appease
Extracting the lost
Embers of
Enlightenment, in
Excited delight, but to later
Entice, the fight, and
Escape, like a thief into the night of
Entering the
Exits of
Elevators leading no where, to
Elevate, this useless place,
Encased in malware in the
Errors of
Every man,
Enslaved, of flesh and
Enveloping the core of
Everything, that matters,
Enduring, the chatter, of
Ever present in
Ever made to take

Funk the
Ferocity of
Fandangos, with
Fooled in the
Fiasco of
Falling through the
Farms of
Flying in the
Fame of
Fornicating on the
Fears of
Fish getting their
Fillet of
Feel me in the

Granted with
Giblets of
Gratitude and
Greeting the
Goop and
Gleaned from the
Glamour of
Ghouls in
Gillie suits,
Getting what they
Going, in the
Gallows of a
Gaffed by

Hello to the
Horizon of
Hilarity, in
Hope of
Happy, to
Heave from
Heifers, to
Help the
Hobos in
Horror, to
Honor the
Habitats of
Herbalising the work
Horse, named
Have Not, in the
Houses of

Ignore the
Idiots, too
Illiterate to
Indicate the
Instances of
Idiom in the
Inaccuracy of
In the
Intellect of
Irritated with the
Illusion of
Illustrated upon the
In the
Illumination of

******* the
Jokers, and
Jimmy the
Jerkins from their
Jammie's, in
Jousting off the
Jumps, in
Jokes, and
Jukes of
Jesting for
Jury's to
Judgment from the
Jeans of

**** the
Keep of
Kool aid men,
Kept in the
Kilometers of
Knifing the
Knights of
Keeling over the
Keys of
Kaine, with the
Kick of a

Love the
Levity, in the
Laments of
Levitating in
Living in
Laps, of
Looping, but
Lacking the
Loom of the
Locked with
Leeches of the
Leering of
Limbs, that
Lash at the
Lessers in
Loot of
Lost letters,
Lest we
Learned in the
Lessons of

Marooned in
Masqueraded as
Memorization's of
Mantras, but
Mikha'el the
Mundane, who is
Mused of
Mangling the
Monitor, but
Maybe just a
Moniker of

Never to
Navigate the
Nether of
Not to
Nit pic the
Naivety of
Neither take
Name the
Noise of
Nats in the
Nights of
Napping in the
Nets of

Ominous in the
Omnipotence of
Orifices in
Offers of
Ordinances in
Optionally an
On-call Oracle, in

Perusing the
Pedestals of
Pursuing the
Plumes of
Piety with the
Patience of a
******* on the
People with the
Pianos of
Portals, in the
Points in the
Pats of
Poor, but

Quick to
Qualify the
Quitter for a
Quill in
Quivering of
Queried in the
Quakiest of
Quarantined to a
Quadrant, of
Questing the
Quizzing of

Relax in the
Relapse of
Realizations, and
React with
Racks of
Rock to
Rate the
Rep of the
Roar in
Rendering of the
Readiness in the
Rallying, of the
Refracting of
Realigning, the
Rearing of the
Realm, and

Steer the
Serenity in
Sustainability, and
Slither through the
Seams of
Secrete the
Sobriety of
Salivating upon a
Slew of
Supplied in
Slain in the
Steam of
Sadly, i

Titans in
Turbulent in
Teething of
Telemetry of
Tortured of
Told in
Turrets of
Terribleness, from
Tikes unto
Toys for
Thrusted upon by the
Tyranny of

Unanimous is the
Ugliness in the
Undertones of
Undergoing the
Unclean in the
***** of
Uplifting the
Ushers in
Undergoing the
Ultra of

Venial in
Viciousness of
Vilifying the
Vials of
Villainy in the
Veins of
Validity of
Violence, is
Valiant in the
Vacationing of

Whelp in the
When you can
Wave to the
Whipping Where the
Whimsical Were
Way back in the
Wellness of
Whip its,
Wrangling my
Worms, as
War shouts are
Wasted in the
Walks of

Xenogogue, of
Xeons, turn
Xyphoid, in the
Xenomenia of my
X, my
Xenolalia of
X, to
***. im lost in the
Xenobiotic zen of
Xerces, on a
Xebec to the
X on the map.
Xenogenesis, in the
Xesturgy of my

Yearned from
Yielding, to the
Yodel of
Yeahs, to the
Yapping of
Yanks, over
Yucking it up with the
Yawn of a

Zapped from a
Zone i
Zoomed with
Zeal in the
Zig and
Zag of my
Zest, upon a
Zionist, or
Zeros or ones, just
Zip your
Zip locked. and
this is a work in progress
Alyssa Underwood Jul 2017
The joyful heart is the buoyant heart—
empowered to rise above its circumstances,
unweighted, unburdened, unbound,
tied only to that which would lift it higher,
untethered from anything which would
pull it down, pull it under or suffocate it.

It's the free heart, quiet and at rest
yet jubilant and uncontained,
the celebrating heart, the praising heart,
the thankful heart, the heart set on pilgrimage,
bent on adventure, journey and romance.

All the while it's a waiting heart
because it's a yielded, led heart—
a heart which doesn't run ahead of the LORD
but willingly, quickly to the LORD—
a heart that though eagerly anticipating each
twisting turn, next horizon and changing path
keeps its eyes fixed not on the scenery
but forever on the Shepherd
because it's a heart persuaded
that He alone is the Great Reward
for which it has always been looking.

True joy is only ours when we find an endless
source of satisfaction, and of these I know only One!
The secret to all joy is to crave Him above all else.
The joyful heart is the one addicted fully to Him,
desperate for Him to the expense of all else,
willing to sacrifice everything to have that craving satisfied.

Joy and idols, I have learned,
do not easily reside together in the same heart.
So if I find that joy is chased away
the most likely culprits are my own desires.
What am I wanting more than Jesus?
For if intimacy with Him is the supreme goal of my life
then nothing can arise which I'm not enabled to bear with joy.
There is, I suppose, nothing so reliable as suffering and loss
to expose all of the hidden idols within me.

It's surely those who have suffered the greatest
and most frequent losses for Christ who are also
most capable of knowing the deepest and most abiding joy.
For it's when we've been stripped bare of everything else
that we begin to know for certain that our joy is based
not on the temporary blessings of our circumstances
but only on the presence of the Eternal Blesser Himself.

Sometimes He offers to us all that is in His right hand,
but for any with eyes truly opened to see
the most precious of times may be those
when He offers to us only the intimacy of His right hand.

Rivers of sadness can open up
into wide gulfs of endless delight and
are often the very courses needed to carry us there.
When all is lost, we find to our amazement
that, even so, we still have ALL
and no one can rob us of it.
When He takes everything from us
He proves Himself to be EVERYTHING to us.

"For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain."
~ Philippians 1:21

"I want you to know how hard I am contending
for you...and for all who have not met me personally.
My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart
and united in love, so that they may have the full riches
of complete understanding, in order that they may know
the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden
all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."
~ Colossians 2:1-3

"I say to the LORD, 'You are my Lord;
    apart from You I have no good thing.'...
Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more...
    LORD, You alone are my portion and my cup;
    You make my lot secure...
I will praise the LORD, who counsels me;
    even at night my heart instructs me.
I keep my eyes always on the LORD.
    With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
    my body also will rest secure...
You make known to me the path of life;
    You will fill me with joy in Your presence,
    with eternal pleasures at Your right hand."
~ Psalm 16:2,4a-5,7-9,11

"Though the fig tree does not bud
    and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
    and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
    and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
    I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
    He makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
    He enables me to tread on the heights."
~ Habakkuk 3:17-19

"How lovely is Your dwelling place,
     O LORD Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints,
    for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh cry out
    for the living God.
Even the sparrow has found a home,
    and the swallow a nest for herself,
    where she may have her young—
a place near Your altar,
     O LORD Almighty, my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in Your house;
    they are ever praising You.
Blessed are those whose strength is in You,
    whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
    they make it a place of springs;
    the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
They go from strength to strength,
    till each appears before God in Zion."
~ Psalm 84:1-7

Fake Knees Oct 2014
Celebrating the heart-rending realization that my habitat is a hole in the ground like I am celebrating my birthday.
Accusing this sink-hole as the real devil's advocate the same way that I blame everyone else for the holes throughout my head and in my walls.
Celebrating the pitiful realization that instead of patching them, I fill them with stuffed animals and cover them with hand-me-down paintings that clash with the colored pages from my little sister.
I start celebrating every black and blue mark.
I made a new rule to never spend my money on white blinds or patterned curtains.
Not on a place so ******* dark.
It's defeating trying to move on and out in a realm where there just isn't enough light.
And I'm ashamed to admit that I've found comfort in it.
I'll make another toast to that and stop celebrating for tonight.
judy smith Apr 2015
The DisArt Festival aims to bring people together through different modes of art to further the discussion about disability and community. One such way the Festival is doing so is through fashion.

On Friday, the DisArt Festival hosted two events to talk about accessible fashion, a workshop in the morning and a runway fashion show that evening. The Festival showcasedOpen Style Lab from MIT, Fashion Has Heart, Kendall College of Art and Design fashion students and Spectrum Health Innovations designs for people of all ages with disabilities.

Friday morning at 9 a.m. students, designers and festival goers came together in the Ferris building at Kendall College to discuss their involvement in the Festival.

“(Through the DisArt Festival) we wanted to do something that flipped perceptions on its head,” says Chris Smit, director of the DisArt Festival.

Open Style Lab began as an extracurricular student group at MIT where students wanted to create functional, stylish clothing that people with or without disabilities could wear. The group pairs a person with disabilities up with an engineer, an occupational therapist and a designer to work together to create the most comfortable, functional and good looking garment possible.

Fashion Has Heart is a Grand Rapids-based nonprofit that makes clothing and boots designed by veterans to tell their stories. All proceeds of sales go toward veteran support.

Kendall College was approached by Spectrum Health Innovations about creating clothing for kids that receive occupational therapy at Spectrum. Many clothing companies that make garments for kids with disabilities are not sure how to do so or sell their product at a prohibitively high price. Students in a fashion for action and function class were each teamed up with one child and made a one-of-a-kind, fashionable garment that the child would be proud to wear while also being helped by it.

At 7 p.m. Friday night, there was a fashion show in the same room at Kendall College to show off all the designs from the different companies. All of the models featured in the show were local to the Grand Rapids area. Led by Robert Andy Coombs, fashion coordinator for the festival, the event was a packed house, with nearly 300 guests filling the runway space lit with green and pink festival colors while a DJ played club music.

Open Style Lab created three jackets that were easy for people with disabilities to put on and take off but were not only for Disabled users. The Lab really wanted to focus on making multi-way gear as to include more people and to bring more attention to bringing accessible clothing into the mainstream.

Fashion Has Heart featured five of their styles, each with a t-shirt and a pair of boots that tell the story of the veteran who worked with the company to create the design.

The Kendall College students created five styles over the course of the semester and were able to showcase their pieces on the kids that they were created for. The kids benefitted most from compression clothing, so the students were challenged to create clothes that they kids would want to wear but would also help compress and engage their muscles.

“Fashion is communication,” says Liz Bartlett, the Kendall College professor that teaches the fashion class. “It’s a way for people to express their identity. DisArt celebrates identity differences but also our similarities.”Read more |
Graff1980  Jul 2015
Graff1980 Jul 2015
Our nation is a father
Who spends sons unwisely
Wasting their wonder
On warrior blunders

In nations swelling pride
We see our children
Committing suicide
Honor bound to pursue
Patriotic truths

If mothers ran the world
Would it all be better
Or would maternal malice
Malform modern intent

Blue eyes telling lies
Of war and all its’ glories
Grey hair sitting there
In old reclining lawn chairs
Celebrating fantastic stories

But I know the lives lost
Were not always spent wisely
Were not always sacrificed justly
Why does it feel like no one else sees
Have I become Don Quixote

Fatherland motherland
Better planned
Would be brotherhood
And sisterhood
All that love spent for the good

Like this poem
We have lost our way
Perhaps better stanza
Will return the wisdom
Of our better sages
Nat Lipstadt May 2015
a woman, confident in her cuddling abilities...

that's all any man wants,
a woman, confident in her cuddling abilities,
who knows the when and why of differing
cuddling styles...

a woman, confident in her cuddling abilities,
who knows when to leave a man alone
alone in his man-mourning time,
distance needed,
letting his ex-rage dissipate or
watching his red and blue football
redefine ignominy...

a woman, confident in her cuddling abilities,
that when the man low whistles, eyes adrift,
she heartily agrees and is
reciprocity rewarded regularly
with hunk alerts of

that's all any man wants,
a woman, confident in her cuddling abilities,
a tigress in the bedroom
she asking, try this, I'll love it,
served with a desert demo of awkward afterward,
his less-than-perfect cuddling abilities

a woman, confident in her cuddling abilities,
who doesn't abhor partner silences,
comforting they are, in their own ways,
lying side by side, interrupted only by peccadillo body noises unexpected and
sheepish apologies and loving arm stroking

a woman, confident in her cuddling abilities,
who lets the man roar, top of voice,
when imprisoned in car,  
his voice, un enfant terrible,
performs with Creedence Clearwater
a sing-a-long in traffic, asking
"Have you ever seen the rain"
while amidst Israel-leaving-Egypt
Sunday beach traffic on the L.I.E.

a woman, confident in her cuddling abilities,
when it's pheromones  alternative mode day,
he celebrates Carole King day,
she demonstrates her cuddling abilities,
par excellence, with kisses and tissues

a woman, confident in her cuddling abilities...

a woman, plain confident in her abilities
no matter the situational status,
when confronted by
she smiling says "why not,"
when he proposes,
a movie and dinner in a fav haunt?
"plenty excellent enough" her answer,
spoke in a rising voice
full of unfeigned delight

a woman, confident in her cuddling abilities,
accepting the unexpected airport embrace
on a moving sidewalk, unexpected delays
with the aplomb of a well lived life's
long term sustainability perspective

when he kisses her hand for no reason,
while driving 75 miles per hour,
she only winces internally,
the other hand vise-grasping
the other door's handle,
who brushes hair wisps in a dark movie,
celebrating her Bathsheba Everdeen's
duality of strength and tenderness

a woman, confident in her cuddling abilities,
that when on second date he proposes
a non-exclusive relationship,
confident enough to high-five respond,
and laugh about it,
seven years on

a woman, confident in her cuddling abilities,
that when she reads it,
analyzing the oeuvre as
"too **** personal and
as usual
too **** long"

that's all any man wants,
a woman, confident in her
cuddling abilities
in everything...
even a little occasional criticism
Entirely fictional, of course.

L.I.E. is the Lomg Island Expressway, a/k/a, the longest parking lot in the world.
Red and blue football team, the NY Giants.
Bathsheba Everdeen from Hardy's "Far From the Madding Crowd."
Alternate song choice, the Eagkes "Take It Easy."

Inspired by this:;=style&action;=click&module;=NextInCollection®ion;=Footer&pgtype;=article
Izzy Jul 2017
First Minutes
The discovery sinks in as we spring into action
Adrenaline kicks in, heart pounding, blood rushing.
My mind confusedly putting pieces together.
First Few Hours
Calls are made to paramedics and cops and investigators swarm our house.
Our car goes faster than what is safe as we follow the ambulance as it carried what we would later learn was only her body and a few dedicated paramedics.
A time of death is announced and more tearful calls are made, this time to family and later to friends.
We leave hours later surrounded by a mournful silence.
First Day
We sat on the on the couch in a shocked silence, which was only broken by my calls to her friends, the ringing of the house phone and doorbell.
First Week
The silence was deafening and I had to escape.
So I returned to school after making arrangements with my family for the cremation and shedding my own tears for the first time. I caught the last two classes of the day and began burying myself in my classwork after telling those who needed to know.
First Month
Our own questions were behind every turn as we handled finances, possessions, settling things and celebrating her short life.  
I began to tell more and more of my friends.
Second Month
The pain was still fresh and stinging,
My mother returned to work for the first time.
Third Month
I held back my tears in English.
The play we read reminding me of her and running lines with her the previous year.
Fourth Month
I let it get to me while locked in my room, wishing it was my boyfriend's arms around me instead of my paint-stained jacket as I painted the canvas as black as I was feeling.
Recording my tears for him and watching how he hid his own watery eyes the next day in class as I honored our promise.
Her birthday passed and my mother planted flowers.
Fifth Month
After an uneventful spring break, my dad began staying home from work, unable to handle the weight of his thoughts.
Sixth Month
School ended and summer began and for the first time in what was now fourteen years, I didn't have a sister. I was alone.
Seventh Month
Slowly but surely the pain faded, with the help of scattered therapists, counselors, and mountains of support from family and friends. Summer traditions continued but were never the same.
Eighth Month
The weight of her absence doesn’t rest on my shoulders as heavy anymore.
Ink stains me with her memory. The pain I felt, saw and personified over many pages as we still face it.
My father has returned to work as we each learn to deal with the missing piece of our family in our own ways.
Ninth Month
School begins.
It's my junior year and school is starting for the first time since 3rd grade without my sister. My mother would always take a "first-day" picture, the tradition faded when we attended different schools. Maybe it wasn't so annoying after all.
Tenth Month
It's October, my, our, favorite month. Lost memories run through my head along with missed opportunities. Did we even carve pumpkins last year? Last year we argued about passing out candy but both ended up falling asleep. When was the last time we went to the County Fair? The Mullet Festival? Missed opportunities for silly reasons.
Eleventh Month
The Holiday season is kicking off. Soon it will be Thanksgiving. Her absence is noticeable as I stand amongst my family and celebrate. The only ones who don't ignore it are the little ones, repeatedly asking where she is as the grownups look uncomfortable. I don't know what to tell them.
Twelveth Month
The Holidays are in full swing and I can't help but think of the last one we all spent together. She passed before Christmas. They aren't the same anymore.

One Year
Its hard to believe that a year has passed without her. Her room is the same as if shes just at school. We spent the anniversary doing things she enjoyed, like taking the family dog to the beach and sharing cotton candy.
We haven't moved on, not in the slightest. My mother still cries, I don't think she'll ever stop. But as the days pass I can see how it gets easier and easier for my family to be happy again.
Cecil Miller Dec 2015
No jingle bells ring around here
Since you've gone away.
White snow blankets ev'rything in sight,
But I don't wanna play.
I don't feel the merriment, the mirth, nor cheer,
It's not like Christmas at all
When you're not here.

It's not like Christmas at all,
When you're not here.
I don't feel like celebrating
When you're not near.
When you were in my life
I never did know drear.
It's not like Christmas at all
When you're not here.

A wreath adorns the cold front door,
Your somewhere on the outside,
Frolicking in the wonderland,
Your world is unfurled and wide.
You will never have to know
A life spent all alone.
You will always find somebody
You can call your own.

It's not like Christmas at all,
When you're not here.
I don't feel like celebrating
Without you, Dear.
I keep hoping by some chance
That in my door you'll reappear,
It's not like Christmas at all
Without you here.

The ornaments, tensile, and lights,
Hang on the evergreen.
The Yule log burns, and warms the harth;
The carollers, outside, they sing.
I can't face the new year
By myself, all on my own.
Things haven't been the same
Sinse you've been gone.

It's not like Christmas at all
When you're not here.
I don't feel like celebrating,
When you're not near.
Come back for the holidays,
Then stay all year.
It's not like Christmas at all,
When you're not here.

(Nobody's under my mistletoe -
I won't cuddle when the night is cold.)

It's not like Christmas at all
When you're not here.
I don't feel like celebrating,
When you're not near.
Come back for the holidays,
Then stay all year.
It's not like Christmas at all,
When you're not here.
I wrote this when I was about 23 years old. (Early 1990's 20 years ago) It was the first in a long series of Christmas inspired lyrics I've written. I reworked it just a little over the years, but it is mostly faithful to the first draft. On June 4th 2016, I added some words for backing harmony about mistletoe. O removed the revious reference that was in the second verse and restored it to an earlier rendition and extended the somg by addion of an additional choral refrain.
Adam Struble Jun 2014
further into the wilderness
power at the spine base
low vibrations of water over stone
aqua skin-green singing opening
pink flowers dance in the garden
opening and breathing-  undulating
the slow breathing of the earth Mother
rush of waterfall and river
over stars and lovers
pink eyes open all around us
we walk forward and gently **** the future
kiss the goddess and she turns severe
in the river she sweeps you
the unmoving pillar is quickly toppled
into the cold embrace of the rush
lessons from the water goddess- levels and cycles
undivided soul reaching up for connection
we are flowers in the garden of delight
we are children of the fire and of the light
the sun kisses the water-  lovers embrace in the open air
we are the sun and the water
we are balanced in the womb of mother nature
we are order and chaos
we are life celebrating life
we are the universe making love to itself

— The End —