Norman Cristofoli - March 2015 Poetry Salon

Thoughts at 20,000 Feet

Pythagoras my friend, hear me
Oh, that you would raise your calculations
above the clouds
Look down upon our world
like the Gods of Olympus
casting long shadows
of our ingenuity

A miracle you say
Yes, one that started with your thoughts
and grew upon other thoughts
until we captured the lightning of Zeus
and the chariot of Helios

Pythagoras, my friend
Oh that you could see the multitudes below
the transformation of the earth
into geometric shapes of farm and field
into spider webs of passage
and mountains of habitation

Would you marvel at our accomplishments
Would you look upon us as Gods
Or would you fear us
for we have conquered your Gods.

Karma #23

Brahma is my Sheppard, I shall not want
for lack of want, everything I shall have
for nothing is everything
in the communion of the spirit

Vishnu maketh me lie in pastures green
brothers in arms on blood stained ground
Shadows on the fields of Waterloo
the rolling hills of Gettysburg
and the forests of the Arden

Devi leadeth me to quiet waters
once a flood, now stilled by a covenant
and the promise of a wrathful deity
Vengeance is mine sayeth Lord Shiva

Krishna restoreth my soul
leading me to the path of Brahman
through Heaven’s Gate
into the halls of Valhalla
and the mountains of Nirvana

Yea, though I walk through the shadow of the city
I will fear no evil
for Hanuman is with me
His rod and staff protecteth me
in the darkened alleyways of mankind’s soul
and the corporate slums of his greed

Ganesh prepareth a feast of Last Suppers
a banquet laid before mine enemies
so that they may parish
in the poison of their Jnana

Lakshimi annointeth my head with beauty
My cup runneth over with the mantra of Moksha
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life
and I will dwell within Dharma forever


The pencil hovers
above the blank ivory paper
Deliberate hesitation
knowing that within that moment
I would never be able to capture
that true essence of her beauty

The best I could achieve
would be an image of her exact likeness
. . . and that would be failure

That drawn image
would never illustrate
the thunderclap of lightning
that exploded in me
when I first saw her walk in the door

I could never illustrate
the joy and sorrow
that filled my life
the instant I saw her

The pencil drops from my hand
frozen in the fearful knowledge
of my new found inadequacy

She is beyond my talent
A dream that has ruptured my reality

I have matches in my pocket
one is lit
a flame curls on the drawing paper
I burn with it

Thank you
for showing me the truth
for proving that there must be a God
for nothing is as perfect as your beauty

Thank you
for proving that there is no God
for proving inspiration is really desire
for converting me to Buddhism
for proving quantum probabilities
are unproven certainties