Pathways of Joy
Copyright ÂŠ 2013 Joanna Moraitis All rights reserved. ISBN 978-1-300-69841-8
Introduction How did I start to write poetry? In 2011, after a very joyful Easter celebration at my house by the sea, I felt a very strong compulsion to write a poem (‘Celebration’) at four o’clock in the morning! An inner voice inspired me to put all my thoughts, and feelings into poetry. I have been writing steadily ever since. I believe that my friends were the source of my inspiration and that we all take part in the poetic process when the poet is affected by a word, a phrase, an event or an action and writes a poem. I would like to thank all my friends who supported and encouraged me to publish this anthology because I believe that by sharing my poems, we are all connected as human beings. I think I can express this feeling better in the following poem! A poem speaks softly to your heart And lifts you out of chaos. A poem sees far beyond horizons And opens the gates of the mind. Joanna Moraitis
Celebration The intermingling of presences. The lapping of the waves onto the shore; prayers, chanted in indecipherable words, your presence and my presence, connecting to the whole. The intimate conversing of couples, the meaningful gestures of love and compassion; the childrenâ€™s pure spontaneity; the burning sun and the penetrating wind, interchanging with the laughter of mirth. Each being throbbing and quivering with bodily yearning; warm embracing with ecstasy and appreciation of separateness and togetherness; the babyâ€™s frustration. The unbearable attraction of minds and understanding; the tears of longing for unattainable harmony and happiness; the continuous flow of ideas and infinite combination of solutions. The aroma and intoxication of fresh bread, delicacies prepared with devotion; the end and beginning of a new conscience; the rising and falling rhythm and throb of melodious voices, ranging from the lowest to the highest pitch. The calm halt of activity in prayer; the exciting welcoming, the nostalgic farewells; the peacefulness of wild flowers mingling with the birdsâ€™ nests in the hollows of old trees; the ecstatic cries of bathers in the cooling water. The magnetism of your glance; the electricity of your touch.
Bread and Flowers Bread and flowers, the essential and non-essential, with torrential power over the world. For the poor- survival and therapy. For the rich- gluttony and disguised corruption. For the poor- grabbing a portion with sweat and tears and a bier with poppies. For the rich- terrorist symposiums with caviar and mansions with rape and lilies. For the poor- a dried husk for the starving and wild anemones to honour a loved one. For the rich- exploiting plastic delicacies and decorating extravagant funerals. For the poor embracing soup from dedicated servers and daisies for meditation. For the rich- murderous waste, waste, waste and bulldozers eliminating the forests. For the poor- pure water and roots in the desert and a wild rose for a lover. When will we awake from our deathly slumber, O my God? And the rich will be poor from their generosity, And the poor, rich from their faith.
Love, Light, Life and Laughter A warm embrace, A dizzy dance, A radiant face, A joyful glance. A crimson sunset, bright, astonishingly. A sudden awakening at dawn. Midday stillness on a sparkling sea. Fearful lightning in a thunder storm. Tender, sprouting leaves from a dead twig. Torrential rainfall filling a dry river bed. The kiss of life to a bather, drowning. The painful emergence of a new-born head. The uncontrollable sobbing of pure humor. Comments on the insanity of life, without sarcasm. Laughing at every day absurdities, without rancor. Enjoying every moment with zest and enthusiasm. Love-differing in intensity, but always there. Light- a glimpse of the divine. Life- birth and re-birth, hard to bear. Laughter- joy and relief to the serious mind.
Why so Cruel, O my Love? Why so cruel, o my love? When you could be throwing a cloak over my shivering shoulders, instead of stripping me naked and stabbing me to death. When you could be feeding the starving birds in a frozen snow garden, instead of hunting them wildly and gunning them down. When you could be holding my hand in a dark alley-way, instead of pushing me into murky mud leaving revulsion for the rest of life. When you could be listening intently to a loverâ€™s sigh, instead of exploiting my innocent fancies condemning me to life-long frigidity. When you could be kissing the forehead of your new-born child, instead of stealing possessions you have been denied. When you could be lifting me up into a heavenly dance, instead of being brainwashed, believing you reach heaven through suicide. When you could be giving me a helping hand pulling me over a stony stream, instead of ignoring a wounded soul-mate on the road, in excruciating pain. When you could be guiding your babyâ€™s first tottering steps, instead of squashing young, sensitive souls teaching hate, hate and hate. When you could be offering a perfumed rose to an honoured guest,
instead of murdering all the delicate flowers in the lush, green meadows. When I could be softly caressing your heaving breast with tenderness, instead of fearing condemnation of wholeness of being. Is it so hard to love? Small gestures- enormous implications. A warm smile. A tight embrace. Why so cruel, O my love?
As It Is or As It Should Be Morning coffee shared in the rumble of the streets. New connections dared, as the heart fiercely beats Loving solutions put forth, in caring compassion. Appreciation of human worth in the lands of oppression. Fervent, fiery arguments about the spiritual worlds. Meaningful, fatal accidents onto the numb brain, hurled. Messages sent everywhere, in the twinkling of an eye. Shocking secrets laid bare, the innocents’ unbearable sigh. Destroying nature’s fruitful ground. Looking on in tearful pity, as the cruel, ugly mound spills over the flowers of sensitivity. Travelling incessantly to work in a senseless occupation. Dark memories always lurking, extinguished by the screen of addiction. Mirthful, hilarious happiness in a sudden burst of love. Meditation’s soothing caress feeling the presence of the dove. Is this as it is reality or illusion? Is this as it should be hope or disillusion?
Busy doing nothing You can be busy doing nothing and idle doing something. You can be angry when you’re sleepy and tranquil on sudden awakening. You can be crying when you’re singing and ecstatic when you’re sleepless. You can be worried when you’re planting and happy when it’s hopeless. You can be glad when it’s thundering and sad when the sun comes out. You can be energetic in a heat wave and exhausted in a snow storm. Our world’s gone topsy turvy in this crisis-ridden time!
Hope A tiny word with vast horizons. In endless torture, the strength to endure, in the deepest pit, the courage to go on, in the deadliest disease, the belief in a cure. In utter desolation, a blade of grass, in the darkness of despair, a ray of light, in the hell of separation, a tender kiss, in years of constant digging, an ancient site. A child’s hope for a sunny day’s picnic, a youth’s hope for a lover’s letter, a student’s hope for an excellent mark, a widow’s hope for a meaningful dream. You need hope to go through the labyrinth of life, you need hope when you are abandoned by all, you need hope when you are in torpid depression, you need hope after terrible trauma of war. Bridging the gap between reality and illusion, bringing tranquility back to our soul, magically lifting us out of confusion, hope’s guiding our compass towards our goal.
Friendship Like a thunderbolt, you entered my life suddenly appearing on the horizon. Your lightning smile and loving glance disarmed me into confusion. Feeling the intimacy at once, chemistry of common purpose. Deep understanding on meeting your eyes, give and take of harmonious connecting. Inseparable- like two lovers, touching on subjects beyond imagination, supporting each otherâ€™s precious causes, solving problems with love and compassion. Laughingly staying up until dawn, watching great dramas tearfully, picking wild strawberries up in the mountain, bathing in icy streams cheerfully. You were there in depression, I was there in separation. Writing a poem for loss of a loved one, comforting after a painful fall. United in mind, affection and joy, helping each other out of the mire, leaving the gender of material world, soulmates approaching the eternal fire.
Powers Faithâ€“ believing in oneself, the inner self is pure, the outer self is sure, moving mountains without help. Expectations- shifting thought, from darkness into light, out of sight to into sight, with tidal waves on all. Energy- continuous creations, oneness and uniqueness, pushing into endlessness, bearing more vibrations. Decision- altering directions, weighing mental powers, backwards, sideways or towards, to love-evolving flowers.
Warm Bread Crumbs Warmed by love, from the heart given, sharing bread crumbs, sweet taste of heaven. Tenderness in the eyes, a fleeting gaze to cherish, a touching caress. Love will never perish. A moment brings an earthquake, inspiring awe. Saving an uncuddled babe, true parental care. Serving the distressed, denying the easy way. Many sleepless nights, conscience-stricken days. Loving all humanity, listening to its needs. Acting without vanity, dissolving what impedes. Beauty in a cockroach, a locust in a rose, Shadows in the sunlight a moon beam darkness glows. Warm fervor for creation, kindled within the heart. A myriad, moving harmonies in the divine work of art.
Joy A myriad moments and more, finding a mother-of pearl on the shore. Embracing a smooth tree trunkâ€™s neck, inhaling a salty breeze on a windy deck. Wiping away tears of frustration, listening to pianissimo to silence agitation. Feeling the need of a friend at a touch, the loving response to a childâ€™s sudden clutch. A connection of two minds towards true understanding, the rapture of creating something astonishing, savouring the companionable taste of happiness, the chorus of cicadas at mid-summer dizziness. Watching the blinding, crimson, sunset sinking. Smelling the warm, flavour of the brown bread baking. Finding a long-lost cat, hungry and haggard. Offering the first fig to my beloved. Inner and outer senses in their entirety. Timeless, spaceless joy, a moment in eternity!
A Sanctuary and a Stronghold O my lovely brothers and sisters! Journeying in the same direction. Our stronghold is our defence, our sanctuary, our protection. I see each other in ourselves, reflecting all humanity. Male and female fusing ecstatically, and withdrawing in stillness of tranquility. Outwardly, acts of tremendous force. Inwardly, acts of prayerful persuasion. Energetically, proclaiming a sacred cause. Intimate connections in refreshing meditation. Fierce campaigning against ecological catastrophe. Eloquently leading a life of pure service. Rigorously protesting about human atrocities. Passionately treading the path of the spirit. Articulately, damning cases of human abuse. A change of heart from sharing experiences. World-wide demonstrations on controversial issues. World-wide participation in silent meditation. Putting plans into action- the world is changing, refining human nature- a new perspective. The outer and inner elements are uniting, spinning upwards in a spiral of creative wholeness.
Birth Birth is a mingling of pain and joy, struggling from one world to another. The tremendous power of thrusting forth into a space of restraining powers. Birth of a new revelation, breaking free from past limitations. The stupendous power of spiritual language in a world of decadent imitations. A pure soul arises for the whole of mankind, speaking of love, unity of purpose. The worldly cannot bear the white light of truth and eliminate the cause of their blindness. Heralding a new age for humanity, initiating a new race of man, bringing about a new revolution, a new stage in our evolution. The new-born babeâ€™s absolute purity, full of hope and energy. The new-born revelation is a direct channel of love, magnetism and electricity.
Ghost Town Cold silence in the abandonment, a city full of life and laughter. Now, run down with littered pavements, stores, closed and dark with tattered posters. Myriad merchandise displayed, assistants, mopping floors, in a trance, hoping for sustenance from their pay, quietly forlorn with a haunted glance. Coffee comfort souls paying today, tomorrow’s too scary to imagine. Life goes on- come what may, the sea’s uneasy, too deep to fathom. Going to the court- it’s occupied, going to the bank- too long to wait, buying the essentials, no luxuries allowed, forced extravagance, for a niece’s sake. The market, once the pride of town, reeking of silence, dirt and strays, leaving behind our designer gowns, struggling through, we’ll find a way.
The Ocean of Life Lifeâ€™s an ever-embracing ocean, waves of breaking agitation, spraying foam imagination, sparkling stars of meditation, pulsing rhythm of the calm, swinging swelling of the storm. Under currents of sudden change, sandy secrets to the surface, sinking feeling â€“ being estranged, shoals of fish - a sense of purpose, cleansing power of salty sea, cherishing life with fervent glee. Pressing an ear to a cockle shell, a roar so vast and yet so tiny, in the brine - the pain to quell, pearls and marble stones so shiny, O so manifest and hidden, pilots, wrecks are mystery ridden! O ocean, immense kaleidoscope, altering the rhythm, to and fro, seething with currents of passion and hope, from silver blue to indigo, the rays of love permeate the whole, through the waves of joyful care, swimming strongly upwards, where the bells of death will never toll.
The Delightful Donkey From time immemorial you eased the burden of life, your slender, sure-footed legs, your compact, sturdy body. I can ride you, I can load you, you’re a steadfast, faithful friend. For farmers- a humble servant, circling wells to bring up water; overloaded, trudging uphill; pulling wagons through undergrowth; guarding sheep against predators; kicking out when need is seen. Refusing to budge when danger is felt, calming down a nervous horse, nanny to a new-born foal. Bonding with miners, carrying gold, going underground, without a rope. ‘Beasts of burden’ through endless deserts. Your strident ‘bray’ is heard by asses, miles and miles away. Therapy pet for problematic children. Riding companion climbing a mountain. Needing a little straw and grain. Vulnerable babies drinking your milk. Your humble service to mankind is more than I can bear. You deserve our friendship and all our devoted care.
Keep Going If I come up against a mossy, stone wall, I can climb over it or go round. When I scratch my face on bushes of sharp thistles, Iâ€™ll retrieve my steps, step by step. If my loving passion is gently rejected, I chant a prayer of acceptance, with a melancholy sigh. When the loneliness of being alone is too overwhelming, I will plunge myself into creativity. If the beauty of a melody makes me weep, I release all my feelings in a joyful flow. When I touch the sensitive chords of your heart, I will feel the ecstasy of the oneness of all. If the response to my gift is rapturous. my reward is a long, caressing hug. When gratitude springs up from an unexpected source, I will go up to the top of the world. If my feeling of hopelessness is too much to bear, I share my apprehension with a beautiful friend. Lifeâ€™s pathway is bound with pitfalls and fragrant orchards, avoiding the lower ground which has no depth, striving for the higher ground which has no height.
Thoughts Millions of vehicles at great speed, one lone driver going grey. Never a thought of anotherâ€™s needs, only time and sweat and pay. Plastic litter scattered in mirth, trash and carcasses by the roadside. Scarcely a thought for our green earth, beauty or being a childrenâ€™s guide. Ignoring a lame man on a bus, dodging a red light, endangering life. Seldom a thought for our fellow creatures mainly, ego, stress and personal rights. Stunting the animals and plants for fast growth, making the soil work twice over time. Sometimes a thought for our precious health more often deceit, profit and fame. Scenes of compassion appear all around, a helping hand when an earthquake breaks. Catastrophes and terrible happenings abound, awakening of conscience arrives in their wake.