Ellen Sinderman

2010 © Ellen Sinderman



With apologies to Confucious

19 plums on a tree
Were given to me.

I know love
There are seven left.

I am young and strong
now there are 3 — eager, violet, nearly ripe
discomfited by the morning sun
Lovelier than the Mediterranean's blue hue
Shiny, like glass.

I eat one plum
At long last.
The taste sweet, then sour
Fruit as metaphor.

Now will You come to me?

A man and a woman —
Even that love doesn't last.
2 left, one rotting fast.

A new dress and perfect yellow shoes,
lustful men
excite like a small town fire
which I (correctly) toss on the muck-heap, Baba!

1 left now
its mauve beauty nearly gone.


The way is bright, yet seems dim.

I am wise and know
the world is an absolute abattoir.
Therefore, this morning I begin within
sweeping my heart clean.



Lyric: The words of a song

I sing in the morning, in my car, on the porch
to no one in particular
Hoping someone will hear and be pleased.

The dvd summons and I happily fall into a tune
a balm and free.

I could sing a thousand years Baba
your southern songbird
happy in your palm
a palm of blackest green, shadows and mystery.

I could sing for lifetimes Baba!
A torch singer or bored housewife to her radio
Each life sung, not endured.

You are singing too — plaintively, patiently in our hearts
sometimes when we are quite still we hear the melody,
the first soul music,
your funny Valentine to the universe.




I am a student of tranquility.
As I wake a distant flute plays somewhere
I walk from room to room searching, pregnant with Hope
divine bliss infinitesimal

McCartneyís shadow is four storeys high.
The music an aural vise, joy disguised
A bit of painful pleasure,
And nostalgia frenzy
I drink a surfeit of whiskies, sour

but all I really want
is His real embrace

An April morning
honeysuckle breeze
a dust mite of spiritual ecstasy
the echo of a whisper

Beauty past perfect:
rose petals on the ground —
serendipity pink here, crimson snow there
confetti thrown by sprite or newly departed
happy to be free

Jasmine, peach, mango candles
warm bath, my silken rainy day coat
pink carnations expire, giving their last molecule of scent.
This is His furtive kiss in the dark,
the seventh shadow of pristine

This is all Babaís maya prasad
mere drops upon a parched tongue
benediction or curse?

Life is lovely
but I am Tantalus
hungry to be free




Life was:
A candle barely lit
Weak wick

George Cukor Technicolor turned
Ingmar Bergman tale shot in black and white.

No comfort anywhere, no respite (save in pharmaceuticals and wine)

Recession loosed the dog people, mean and selfish to begin with.

No mercy despite the Dalai Lamaís smile — soft benediction —
on bibliophiles in store aisles

Their hearts will sleep til
The kali yuga spring
When Meherís smile will burn
This fog of ignorance.

2001: I was a bird half dead upon the road
in dying light resembling the Path
Periodically pecked at by larger birds
The soft underbelly of heart, and the deepest part,
Torn asunder

Still I am useful
Winter scene: dark-eyed junko, blue too,
Eating scarlet nibs, perched on rose
A rose I planted five Junes ago




The embarrassment of it all
The dreadful outpourings
The cruelty of life, of
A life without conclusion
It would be tolerable but
For the sheer length of it

We can no longer ignore it;
The looming inanity, the too palpable
Happily, I am in love with sleep
And too much is pleasant and voluptuous

I regret it bitterly,
The final indisputability of facts
Like the gray pedestrian
Needlessly invading
The loverís privacy of thickets

I seem not to feel
I care not who sees
I only know
The happy confusion of dreams




February 1953: astral plane
Why fall to sea
When I can step onto Eldorado Mountain?

Later, at six a dreaded confession
To a priest magnificent in his mitre

1983: I love Baba, and the miracles begin:
the charged rooms, third eye vibrating
to his love
the green, then greenest
palm at the end of the Mind.

1991: oneness of divine love:
redhaired mother, redhaired child
milky-blue skins blending, disappearing into One.

No mind I donít mind

& I will spend the rest of my life

trying to shed this snake coat of illusion

The Kaliyuga staggers here, there
with stillborn maya child
Om namah shivaaya.

I found peace on a bluff overlooking the Atlantic
Here an eternal breeze blows
And only from Babaís house
Can you see the Ocean.




As a girl you were Lynn and Dale,
Blondes of minimal pulchritude, but swollen hearts

You were my first love, awkward and pimply, perfect kisses

Later you were David: brown eyes, hair, study;
loud noisome intellect

hollow touch

On clear spring mornings I've searched for you in the faces of strangers
and loved those I cannot love

You are a surprise
Like the crushed hyacinthe that bleeds blue in your hand

I thought you were the quiet room and carefully sliced peach after the
9-5 madness

Trapped in an Atlanta apartment
One October I woke up and suddenly you were there

Now I know you are the thought, the thinker
the seeker, that which is eternally sought
Hyakutake, and he who found it

Sun on water, a sea of pale calyx sea marsh

You are the sweet song water sings, and the autumn field
Mute and knowing

You are the tree clothed only in snow
worlds unknown, the good and the bad

You have laid countless gifts at my door
rang the bell
and vanished before I could thank you.




I am too raw
A skinned fish thrown back
in waters which are too dark, too cold

I love people, I hate people
and their switchblade sensibilities.
This dogged me for years
like the black/green lake corpse
that must inexorably rise
during full moons

Perhaps itís an excuse
to hide within
(Do I dare think it is pain of separation (divine)?)

I entered Godís guesthouse at 2
& luxuriated in silence til 4
still so long
it seemed a blasphemy to speak.

Baba then whispered
"Come out and lake meditate"
Sun and Long Lake embraced
Lulling waves glittered.

Ducks swam & dived
Unbothered by the rotting carcass of mind.




I feel so†very full
Like a low lying moon I can almost touch
if only I can get on my roof
before morning.

I love with every breath.
I am as God has made me.
I don't need to be forgiven.

Like a broken water main
flooding city streets
overwhelming everything lying about:
Leaf, shoe, hapless passerby, uttered sigh.
sad urban debris.
I intimidate also.

To the little atmas
who grip their hearts like pocketbooks
in a Times Square crowd:

"Because I am swollen love & desire
Jungian animus,
I need two men, easy
don't you?
(One for the week, one Saturday night.
Sunday rest. Monday, redbull, repeat.)"



(a stop sign has 8 sides)

To love one soul is like adding its life to your own;
your life is, as it were, multiplied and you virtually live in two centres.
— Meher Baba

I am in love.
It is that simple
And profound

Amazing and yet commonplace to hear others tell it

But suddenly hummingbirds come to the feeder he bought
Slowly at first, then boldly
Like our romance.

Now the breeze is lusher
The tea Greyer
The room emptier — when heís not there

Didn't think it possible to fall this late in life:
I had started skating determined figure eights,
first†in my happily freezing heart, like a closing door.
Then†on virtual lakes,
in the middle of nowhere. Or everywhere.

As He foretold: I am with him when he checks his mail
Fries an egg
Brushes crumbs from the table
When his eyes close to the wide, starry sky
To the resident cat and occasional red fox,
And sleep envelops his manly form.

I am sharing the last of my youth with him
And he, me.
Oh Baba,†stop time†just a†bit. Just for us. Just once.

Someday we will close our eyes together
And our love echo one last time in this world.


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