Here's what we'd say in English: The light
in Provence is so...sort of…light.
La lumiere est legere. Light and also light-
weight. Just entering into the morning light
and inhaling the sweet air is a light-
ning confirmation of the spirit. The light
divine made flesh, made arbor, made light-
blue sky, made fleur, made herb, soleil-light.
In these fields farmers travail until twilight,
their old eyes wink, flicking star lights
while my dark American heart light-
ens, trips a beat and meets the fantastic light.
It Goes Quiet
cold city air carried in the wool of my coat
I close the door
on car tires crushing raindrops
and holler hello
the crackle of log submitting to flame
the crinkle of your dress when you sit
the smell of your no-more-tears shampoo
you hand me your new favorite book
I read to you
your small weight
heavy with its milk memory
rests on my ribs
end of the story
you cry and I cry
we know loss we two
but no longer speak of it
just one sound now
water flowing away from us
the undertone of no one else
Between 7 and 8 if my eyeball were a clock,
a white crescent of vibrating radiance.
Such a sweet and so illuminating a fanfare,
this reveille surely has appeared
to trumpet (ever so wah-wah muted)
my having attained enlightenment.
I whacked my foolish head
into a low-flying ceiling beam
and lo! achieved samadhi
as I fell backwards onto the mattress
conveniently located below. I,
who miss my formal meditation
more often than I make it; I,
who am wracked with anxious dreams
more nights than not; I,
who am back to consuming
the flesh and the grape; I,
who have wracked up lifetimes of bad karma
through my stupendous feats of ass-holiness; I
have just achieved enlightenment.
For surely this delicate neon twinkle
could not possibly be here to bear tidings
of a rend in the retina of my right eye,
no, it could not.
My contemplative practice is the result of lifelong studies in the yogic meditation tradition, mindfulness-based meditation, as well as several Qigong meditative practices. At this time, the three practices are flowing together into one, for which I am deeply grateful. I bow to all my teachers, including Swami Ramananda and Swami Divyandanda of the Integral Yoga Institute, Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn and his staff at UMass Medical Center, and Dr. Guan-Cheng Sun of IQ&IM.
Lillo Way's chapbook, Dubious Moon, is the winner of the Hudson Valley Writers Center’s Slapering Hol Chapbook Contest 2017, published in March 2018. Her poem, “Offering,” is the winner of the 2018 E.E. Cummings Award. Her poems have appeared in Poet Lore, New Orleans Review, Tampa Review, Louisville Review, Madison Review, Florida Review, Poetry East, among others. Way has received grants from the NEA, NY State Council on the Arts, and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation for her choreographic work involving poetry.
More on Lillo Way's work can be found on our Links page.