Lillo Way

Light Fantastic

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
                                                       arriving home


Retinal Enlightenment

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.


Lillo Way

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.

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