Vajra Bell

Autumn comes, leaves blanket the neighbor’s driveway in bright yellow,
same color as the dry straw grass that hairs the hillside seen in bleary morning eye.
Dusty, trees drop their deadweight, birds recline in baking heat screech in protest,
I sit by the little Aztec pot awaiting a flash from the blue,
a bolt from beyond, a strike from the novel outside.

I have imposed my ego onto silence, and better had I remained silent.

The sun has dipped below the horizon and the sky is a deepening blue.
Dusk sets on the embankment outside my window, lit as it is by outdoor fluorescents.
The contrast is immaculate, obsidian shadows, cobalt and mottled khaki and the
gray dust of the fading evening.

Dappled leaves outside the mottled windows, the second story of this old colonial mansion,
possibly once the house of a governor or stables or a tavern.
I should find out the history of this place now that I am so close to it.

Genuine revelation and beauty in the phrase, “We fall both in love and into the grave”,
he had penned in a letter to a dying friend.
Always my companion out of bodily form, the sunlight
my footsteps.

The work is painful but appears to be cleaning my soul,
and whoever could clean out a storeroom without some discomfort?
I feel renewed.
A half-moon of sugar sinks slowly into my coffee.
The chocolate spirals as I stir, forming a
perfect Fibonacci in the froth.

In the corner, two black-clad figures sit facing the wall,
making small talk with hands pursed,
elbows up on the table.
Both have hair in a bun.

Posture not, ye men, for your poses are poor form.

I am tired, yet I lay my head down last night with a smile on my face.
Alan, Alan, Alan, woe to your drinking that it weakened your body so.
Woe to time, that great eraser.
But joy to time and joy to your booze, for your happiness, would be misery
if forced into eternity, and everyone likes a drink from time to time, or three.

I was a child once. It is easy to forget.
Small limbs and low on memories,
high on energy and full of whim.

Out the window is a paradisaical India of my mind,
verdant junglic hills and mossy stone,
warmed by the equatorial sun.
My heart cries out for the divine motherland,
to abandon me into the throng
and come whatever may,
or sadness
or loss
or joy
or great awakening.

The White House is considering arming children- no, sorry- arming teachers,
the children are already armed.
Did they make the gulag and draw plans for the camps in their haste to avoid them?
Did they forget that the fascist lives nowhere else but the human heart?

Chaos is erupting into America.
The veil of democratic freedom is being lifted,
and as it is the masses are noticing that the fabric the lies were printed on
is tracing paper.
The dweller who lurks there is: trust in public institutions to self-regulate.
It has been sharpening its teeth on the legislature
while with its left hand, it stacked the stone blocks of secret courts.
Now white supremacy once again rears its ugly head as
nationalistic fervor and tribal identity, and those whose
narcissism permits them to claim the
center as their seat equate
genocidal ideology
with self-defense
and bleat, and bleat,
and bleat incessantly.

The valleys and fields were yellow, bleached by the autumnal rays of the evening sun.
I heard the flutter of a finch as it passed my ear, and noted the strange curlicues in the embankments,
covered in growth though looking somewhat tired and despondent in anticipation of the coming winter.
It was a hot day, I walked the mountainside, soaking in the sun, breathing lungfuls of mild
pollen air and filling my nose with the scents of nature.

Man must overcome himself again and again, or he is living a death protracted for decades, perhaps a lifetime.
The exertion of the body is an exertion of the will, and the body responds with joy, for struggle is the currency of its elation.

Pay it well,
tip if you must,
for too short shrift the muscles and the bones
is to condemn consciousness to a prison of flesh,
slow decay,
and memory slipping away
into vague dimensions.

Abstinence, not of my own doing but by some fortuitous quirk of fate,
has left me alone with my desires and a slowly clearing mirror.
I stared deeply into that mirror last night around midnight,
and what I saw shocked me.
I have seen it out of the corner of my eye for months,
but the opportunity for escape was constant
and the weight of busywork broke my spirit
and placed me by the window, struggling to draw breath through a straw.
I saw the fool, eyes black round the rims, face sunken and miserable,
chest heaving with dense efforts, frightened and angry.
I have betrayed myself, given this body a sickness,
and I will be the one to steer this fool away from her
pastures of milk and honey and into hard cliffside paths and rocky gullies,
that these muscles long neglected might once more surge with life’s blood.


2 thoughts on “Vajra Bell

  1. Vajra and Bell… Wisdom and Compassion: the path to Enlightenment. I think you’ve given the concept a broader meaning with your so well crafted words. Very moving. Thank you!


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