Founder Acharya His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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A Poem For The Poets (in Eight Parts)
By Sankirtana Das, ACBSP   |  Jul 01, 2023
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Photo by Pixabay

Allen Ginsberg wrote,
“I saw the best minds of my generation
Destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked”
Mr. Ginsberg, sad to say, they went mad
Thinking that God came to America
In the form of a fix or an LSD pill.
But you found out from Swami Prabhupada
That God came to us in the form of the Holy Names
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.
And I thank you for your help with his mission.
Soon after meeting him
you referred to him as the “downtown Swami”
And you wrote about his efforts
On New York’s lower eastside –
“What kindness and humility and intelligence!”

Langston Hughes wrote,
“My soul has grown deep like the rivers.”
Yes,  Mr. Hughes, our souls are deep,
Even deeper and more ancient than the rivers,
Older than the oldest mountains.
Please understand, we are not the body.
Not black or white or red,
Not American, African or Chinese.
But we are each sat-cit-ananda
An eternal, individual soul,
A soul of wisdom and joy.
And you also wrote,
“I live on a park bench,
You, Park Avenue.
Hell of a distance
Between us two.”
Prabhupada tells us
“A world of cheaters and cheated.”
There may be some slight difference
Between a park bench and Park Avenue
But really, not so much at all.
Birth, death, disease and old age.
Will be happy to visit you wherever you live.
And people can be just as happy
Or as miserable and anxious
At either location.

Robert Frost wrote,
“Something there is that doesn’t love a wall”
And yes,  walls are for keeping
something out, or something in.
We are encased by a “wall” – our bodies,
And we are bound tightly – by ahankara
The knot of false ego.
We are thinking that everything we see
Is only to provide us with some pleasure,
To touch, to taste, to hear, see and smell.
It’s certainly a struggle,
An all consuming  task,
To satisfy the senses.
And the competition is outrageous.
And Mr. Frost, I’m sure you understand
Why someone would want to stop
In the snow covered woods
For a momentary reprieve,
A moment of silence and wonder,
From this troubled world.

Emily Dickinson wrote,
“I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you a Nobody too?”
Ms. Dickinson, thank you for asking.
I must say, you are very clever,
And I think the Nobody you speak of
Is only due to your humility.
So there is no need to be afraid,
No need to remain alone in your room.
You and I can both be a somebody.
But remember, we are very small somebodies,
Part and parcel of the Supreme Somebody
Who is residing within our hearts,
As we wander through this lonely world.

Dylan Thomas wrote,
“Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”
But Mr. Thomas, there is no death
For the light of the eternal soul,
And in this world,  the death of the body
Is a common, everyday occurrence.
There is no need to rage against that.
But by all means, rage against
The soul killing, materialistic culture.
Push its ugly face,
With its all devouring mouth,
Far away from you.
And you can do that by chanting
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Arthur Rimbaud wrote,
“We’ll be fine.
A place for mad kissing awaits us here and there.”
But no, you won’t be fine.
You are subject to birth, death, disease and old age.
And your vision of traveling in a “pink carriage”
Is only your sad, little dream.
Jiv Jago – Wake up sleeping soul.
Wake up, Mr. Rimbaud.

Mary Oliver wrote,
That poems “are fires for the cold,
Ropes let down to the lost”
And Ms. Oliver, perhaps they are –
I hope so.
For there are so many souls
Confused and lost
In this world of names,
In this phantasmagoria,
And I hope all my poet friends,
Along with all their readers,
May journey over this ocean
Of  material existence,
And soon find a safe harbor.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti wrote,
“I am waiting for a rebirth of wonder.”
In one poem, Mr. Ferlinghetti,
You repeat the phrase time and again.
And I say, you can finally stop waiting,
For that rebirth of wonder has arrived.
It’s here, in the form of the Holy Names.
Don’t think, as one so-called philosopher told you,
That it’s like chanting “Coke Cola.”
The saints and sages can assure you,
The Holy Names will give you
The peace and freedom you so desire.
Be happy, chant the Holy Names,
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.

Sankirtana Das, a disciple of Swami Prabhupada, is a longtime resident of New Vrindaban Community and an award-winning author and storyteller. His most recent book, Hanuman’s Quest, is acclaimed by scholars and has received a Storytelling World Resource Honors. For more info about his work visit www.Mahabharata-Project.com

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