My poem “When the bodhisattva wept” published in Return to Mago

Paubha painting showing Vishnu Mandala (15th century). Jayateja, Public domain
O Lotus that blooms from a tear of compassion
fill the air with your intoxicating scent
Remind us
that anywhere there is concern or sympathy for others 
clear water blooms
When the bodhisattva saw the suffering of humanity
a tear formed a lake of pure water
From the clear fresh water grew a single Lotus
From that Lotus stepped the compassion goddess
O dear one, enlightened one
accompany me on this last journey of mine for I am scared
Outside my window the desert lies beneath a sun
killing those who suffer the weight of all civilization on their back
The air here is poisoned with toxins
The water is itself a miracle each time it appears falling over my fingers
yet is refuse recycled from the filth made by people just for the fact that they are human

I sit in a concrete shower
a stranger’s hand be
tween my legs to remove the stink of my existence and that hand is the hand of Tara come to make my transition from flesh to ash peaceful and without pain For that gift O enlightened one you who saw the tears of the world and flew down to bring us beauty I thank you For each indignity I suffer let me see it as a gift a signpost on my way to the other side And let holiness lead me, a craven and flawed creature, the least of all these toiling and struggling souls Let me find peace in the unknowing
Because a tear from the eye of a holy one baptizes me and protects me from all

My poem Last Day published again this time in India–weekender_story-216096

Untimely death declared (one day left!)

One day left! Time to prioritize

Assume the stars say do whatever you want with what little time left

Spend the rent on charming ballet slippers

Dance at the ball until way past midnight Laugh until you wet yourself no matter

Turn all your oh, no!s into oh, yes!s.

Say hello to spring which won’t become a fall

Make some room for pudding—the real kind made of whole milk and eggs

You will need your dogs with you

They will give miniature barks in their sleep

and deep sighs when you give them kisses

Begin now the journey until your dying day

Write your own prescription for poetry

Read out loud every poet you’ve ever loved

Eat a feast prepared with you in mind

Remember the power of word medicine

Confound folks with your command of facts

Suddenly you remember everything you ever knew

Nothing forgotten now

Dementia just another state you’re passing through

on your trip across the great planes and spaces

Tell your stories to an appreciative audience

How you danced to drums in Sitka

How you disappeared into the ocean mists and midnight light

Enjoy mesmerizing accounts of adventure tales

Marvel at a flock of eagles in a single tree

Find a boy who knows the meaning of life

Feel the energy of warriors fallen to a massacre

Tell the folks you won’t be home for Christmas

Fly to Edinburgh and drive to Skye

Take the high road

Let the others take the low road

Sink deep into a leather sofa

Don’t expect anyone to understand

No one will love you with a love sublime

When the last grain falls through the hourglass figure you never had

Join an angel chant in 3 part harmony

We understand

We understand

There was one day left and you

sucked the marrow of those final 24

The formatting is all messed up. But it’s easier to read at the link.

Three poems in newest Setu

The June edition of Setu is now live from Pittsburgh, thanks to Anurag Sharma, its publisher and editor-in-chief.

Here is the link:

Sunil Sharma,

Editor, Setu (English)

Three poems published in the fourth Western Voices issue of Setu (2022)

Many thanks to Scott Thomas Outlar, Sunil Sharma, and Anurag Sharma for including three of my poems in this fourth Western Voices issue of Setu, among the many fine poets included. I appreciate the hard work they perform on behalf of the global poetry community. My apologies for formatting problems in this copy and paste.

Here’s one of the three.

The grackle’s gifts

In my backyard there’s a grackle. His eyes quick,

he finds gifts I do not realize I need. Gives

me his cocked head of attention. Sings love songs only

my Viejo knew, back to keep his eye on me, frustrated

he no longer has thumbs, fists, a facile tongue, and bilingual brain.

The grackle found another’s ring with letters and a date. But now

it’s gone to pay the water bill.

Indigo shards adhere to glass bricks, bend light, distort shadows

both inside the house and out.

My favorite sound is the harsh cry of a grackle.

My favorite smell is the honest sweat of a worker.

My favorite tastes are whisky and sin on his breath,

or the gush of sex memorialized on hands and thighs.

My favorite gift is a lover who pays attention, gets it right.

The one who pulls me into that other dimension where nothing

exists but percussive sound, intimate scents,

secrets muttered through clenched teeth into the back of my neck,

a single black feather left outside my closed door.

Three poems published in 2020 Western Voices issue of Setu

Many thanks to Scott Thomas Outlar , Anurag Sharma and Sunil Sharma for including three of my poems in the Western Voices issue of Setu, along side a group of excellent writers.

(Poem) Ostara in the Key of Bach by Donna Snyder — Return to Mago E*Magazine

Ostara in the Key of Bach for Leslee Becker while listening to Bach’s Suite I for Unaccompanied Violoncello Prelude On the vernal equinox, a lace of rosettes wreathe a maiden’s Read More …

(Poem) Ostara in the Key of Bach by Donna Snyder — Return to Mago E*Magazine

My poem, Sanctified, included in Oxygen: Parables of the Pandemic


She can make the heat death of the universe

a thing of beauty,

and an exploding star an object of desire.

But the gravity

of untimely death eludes her magic. Killers

proceed like a curse written in an ancient alphabet. Death,

indifferent to color or class,

turns crowns of glory into meat hooks, pierces our flesh, steals

our breath, pulls us into the final black hole.

Our bodies, sanctified,

the mix of every color together, disappear

into the ultimate dark.

“Oxygen: Parables of the Pandemic” anthology inspired the “Oxygen” project to help India fight the deadly second wave of COVID-19 and raise substantial funds for GiveIndia and Project Hope, supporting the cause.