a tanka

a thank you for you — and your light

Image by Christoph Schütz from Pixabay

Thank you, dear readers
Heaven’s manna, being heard
You are Grace and Feast —
dark Before now crystal caves
echoing flames of Afters

©Jenine Bsharah Baines 2021

I’ve been intrigued by the idea of a crystal cave ever since I read Mary Stewart’s The Crystal Cave when I was 14 years old. Fabulous take on the Arthurian tradition, with Merlin living in…yes, a cave lined with crystals!

Synchronicity alert — I’m also listening to a presentation on the “Cave of the Heart” by Father Michael Fish. His site is called Hermit Fish because Michael is a bona fide hermit…and where…


Take a walk with me…

Photo by walking partner for life, Gary

“In the end, we’re all just walking each other home.” Ram Dass

The above quote says it all for me. I could so easily make it my entire bio…Except I suspect Quy Ma expects a bit more out of me than this. (Insert smile emoji.)


making peace with auto-spell hell

Photo by Bruno Thethe on Unsplash

Wise souls assure me — it’s all energy, and I like this
It feels Real, this Thirst quenching
Niagara of powers tinged sage,
negative ions of epiphanies leaping
from river dance-floors of mosaic questions
that once upon a tale grounded me
with two left feet

How else to explain
how
I will post your words on my frig
the hell
became
I will pose your woods on my frog

It’s all energy, I the absolute queen of energetic texts
proclaim — my phone now a most favored manic court jester,
our chemistry immediate

Anna, my majesty’s soul, courts mysteries
Auto-spell, murderously…


a marriage proposal to a sculpture

Image by 139904 from Pixabay

As Rodin said, What makes my Thinker think is that he thinks not only with his brain, with his knitted brow, his distended nostrils and compressed lips, but with every muscle of his arms, back and legs, with his clenched fists and gripping toes.” Norton Simon Museum website

Let’s go one better than a Vulcan mind-meld, though Spock was certainly a thinker, and I share his pointy ears. From grass, gravel pathways, faith in the magic of yearning yielding neither to science nor black hole,
let’s sculpt a transporter

and beam ourselves into one another’s world.

I’ll go first. I…


Paper Poetry Daou ضوء Series

Daou being Arabic for light & illumination

Reluctant Art by the Poet

“Wine is sunlight, held together by water.” Galileo

O, for a real Elixir of Love –
not Dulcamara’s bottle of cheap red wine
nor even Daou’s finest

but a blend of helium and hydrogen
tasting of transcendence,
truth effervescent with All
entwining the beams of my arbor of ضوء
with double-flowered oxygen molecules –

breathlessly abundant clusters of trust orbed,
fermenters of miracles,
the ascendant kind of abandonment,
a bacchanalia minus so much as a droplet
of mean bumpkin-esque brutality
shadowed with a taste of its own pain

May my sole lust be
a compulsion for Divinity,
for compassion,
for intoxication erupting
from vats…


three haikus, one tanka, & a line wilding

wild sacred dance

photo by poet

Wild souls of the Sun
Forests beam in the garden
Pure gift. Distilled joy

Wild but tamed by Time
Locked gaze on the Sun’s clock face
Dancing to Wind’s tune

Their wild soul in me
I take sacred vows to dance
Nun and bride of Light

Wild contagiousness
imbues sun art on a wall
I straighten its frame
It balks, gavotting again
Life’s hymn, hum, heartbeat, breath, smile

where least expected

©Jenine Bsharah Baines 2021

There’s an impish angel in my house, or a ghost, although I suspect angel. …


A Lai Poem

When change makes you sweat

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

Permanence sweats too –
planks until, like you,
it drops
Time’s arms stressed to go,
muscles bulked for New.
Past stops,
breaks for awe of view –
clouds absorbed in blue,
Light’s copse.

©Jenine Bsharah Baines 2021

Thank you to two Medium writers whose works inspired this poem, Thomas Plummer and Bridget Webber.

Thank you also to the team at Literary Impulse — Nachi Keta, Somsubhra Banerjee, Priyanka Srivastava, and Elisabeth Khan — for challenging my poetic muscles with a new form, the lai.

The lai is a nine-line poem or stanza that uses an “a” and “b” rhyme following…


A dizain

Playing with a new poetic archetype

Photo by poet

Of course, I chose this as an archetype.
Or did the archetype instead choose me?
Prose not producing fruit, the time was ripe
to accede to Polyhymnia’s plea –
take a tentative crack at poetry.
O, such surprise! I was smitten at once,
though my raw, first works seemed penned by a dunce.
Meter and Metaphor are my best friends.
Rhyme — an acquaintance, a trickster, a bunce.
With these archetypes my spirit ascends.

©Jenine Bsharah Baines 2021

The Muse and I have learned a new word. According to Susannah MacKinnie’s great pal, Merriam-Webster, a bunce is:

Definition of bunce
slang…


a thank you poem

when hope is no friendly ghost

Image by Willfried Wende from Pixabay

The gladiolus is full of heroism. The name comes from the Latin word ‘gladius’, which means sword and symbolizes strength, victory and pride.

To Gina

Sometimes we cling to hope
even when it’s midnight, moonless,

there’s no one around
except a ghost whose fangs devour our eyes’ ability
to open

a spectral Hannibal Lector of lies
running our blindly-trusting heart
through the Cuisinart

a bogeyman we’ve Frankenstein-ed
all by ourselves
because we fear Loss, loneliness,
the unmasked conjoined phantoms in the mirror
called Change and Vulnerability
far more
than any Truth that goes bump in the night

day after day…

jenine bsharah baines

O, to be indomitable, joyous, a seeker of epiphanies, an acolyte of Beauty, a worshipper of wisdom, a beam in the Light! jeninebaines@gmail.com

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