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Yoga Poetry

We’re fortunate to have Kansas’s poet laureate on board as a regular blogger. These are her poems, either directly related to yoga practice, or related to yoga’s bigger purpose.
  • Possession


    Have the sun right there in the west on its own time,

    ready to fall away exactly when it should.


    Have the cello late at night between your legs, your right arm aching

    as you try to press one note into another.


    Have the waltz in your mind.  Have the orange in the large grey bowl,

    your fingers holding its scent of new light and promise.


    Have the walls clean for a day after painting before the kids come

    with their expressive hands. Have...

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  • Yoga Poetry - The Slant of Everything

    Yoga Poetry - The Slant of Everything
    Always just to your right, an angle at sunset

    or slashing down from the pilot light of the clouds,

    the slant of everything. Sometimes, no danger,

    just heat lightning and crickets to echo the humidity.

    Sometimes everything lifted on one sudden breeze,

    surprisingly cold as it slants through the summer

    opening between day and night. The golden west

    calls past the horizon ahead. The shimmering east

    loses its heat and stillness. The moment transparent,

    the air thin so that what you know and don’t...

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  • Yoga Poetry: Speaking to the Wind

    Yoga Poetry
    Speaking to the Wind
    Where are you now, wind, when you’re everywhere?

    Jack rabbit of shadow, rustle of dry grass.

    Then it’s night, and you sweep through the center

    of tree or field, your hands too in love

    with what their wrists do when dancing.


    What unfolds its wet wings in the shimmer

    only to be dried into flight by you?

    What climbs a happy slope of light

    then the walls of the sky start, clanging happy

    fast down to the earth where a dragonfly


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  • Yoga Poetry: Finding the Question

    Finding the Question
    Is it the wind from the cedars

    brushing the wet ground,

    the nests of the wrens

    tucked into the rock’s eve?

    Is it the storm over the horizon

    willing the dark night

    to lighten with change?

    Is it the old love unrequited

    still burning underground,

    the bitterness of what I wish

    I didn’t say or lose threading

    through branches in winter?

    from the branches in winter?

    Is it the land across the open

    ocean where blues blends blue?

    Is it the slim...

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  • In Gratitude

    In Gratitude
    The wind thanks you, unfurling over the worn horizon

    so it can billow into night. The stars too, whether talismans

    of light dying or just being born, behind the small birds

    arriving or staying behind, who balance gratefully

    on thin branches of the coming winter. The squirrel

    in the field, the hidden fox, the mammals under and over

    ground, find a way out of no way. The world is composed,

    is composing itself, anew even in a narrow time: flashes

    of red on a gray day just before the red-winged...

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  • Yoga Poetry - Do You Know Where You’re From?

    Yoga Poetry
    Do You Know Where You’re From?
    Blue falling off its ledge

    the expanse collapsing into

    pale rain or nothing but sun.

    Do you know where you’re from?


    The sea-shaped gullies break or gap.

    The herd lost in the woods that should

    be in the field. The scalloped rises formed

    by wind or its absence. Do you know where

    the motion originates in a field of big bluestem,

    the single point where the fire began?


    All along the interstate belting the hills flat,


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  • Spring Yoga - A Poem by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg


    Spring Yoga - A Poem by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg
    Pre-Vernal Yoga Class
    Look at the tips of branches: green buds almost ready

    The grass newly shaggy. Bundles of miniature hands,

    pale purple, just opening their palms into lilac.


    The damp sky wants to evaporate itself pure blue.

    The four women in this mid-day yoga class want

    to soar into strong arrows and subtle warriors


    but it’s still pre-vernal: everything, everyone

    just on the edge of bursting out of the narrow shoots

    of winter’s...

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  • Step Out of Your Own Way


    Step Out of Your Own Way
    So easy to forget how to walk through
    your thoughts, to let the weather in your head
    erase the weather threading itself, right now,
    through the trap lines of the wind, the tunnels
    of quiet between the rushing grasslands.
    So simple to stop seeing what time
    wants to show you.

    On the edge of the train’s calling, a whistle
    half lost in the merciful sweetness of the wind,
    you can hear the stories of sky as large
    as your heart, or what your...

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  • Yoga Poetry for Spring

    Yoga Poetry for Spring
    You come through the gate,
    and your life on earth begins:
    green wavering into the hue
    of early spring, the growing
    heat pouring leaf into form
    just as you did, are doing,
    will do with lack, rain, rivers,
    kisses, wind, and horizons
    that come each turning.
    You stand up in your dream,
    lean on the fence, look wide
    toward the lights spilled
    across the black expanse
    that carries the world.
    The next destination pours
    toward you as you walk.
    A thunderhead powers upward,
    spends itself over the past,
    behind you to your left.
    You turn...

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  • Yoga Poetry: Who I Didn’t Know I Was


    Yoga Poetry:
    Who I Didn’t Know I Was
    I didn’t know I was a runner, even in one-minute spurts between

    long walks on uneven sidewalks. I didn’t know I could balance

    upside down in the middle of the day, sometimes without

    the friendly wall to help me. I didn’t know I could reach beyond

    the aching hamstrings to hold the lonely foot in my happy hand.

    I didn’t imagine the sun would spread across my lap like an old

    family member who remembered home when I exhaled. I couldn’t

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