Sunday, March 7, 2021

Leo Rising In July - Poem

 This poem was selected for the Rhythm and Verse Literary and Music Salon this year. Poems are selected by the actors and are performed for a selected audience. The event is always enjoyable as it's a chance for poets, artists, musicians and audiences to mix and mingle. This year, in true 2021 fashion, it was a virtual salon. I was honored to have actor Marcia Saunders read the poem aloud, giving it such life and emotion!

Photo by Dominika Roseclay from Pexels

Leo Rising in July

When you walk on the beach at night and see the ocean alive, it is always a sweet jolt.

For some reason, you had believed that as the sun set, the ocean followed it at twilight.

The waters were rolled and hidden away until could be revealed at dawn’s break.


But it’s not.

It’s still there for you,

open under a starry batik sky;


after wave,


against the sand,

soothing and


the stones with a steady pulse.


You love to dig your toes into the wet sand as the white-capped waters greet you,

clapping about your ankles, stinging your calves with salty grains.

The music of the waves, an ancient tempo, hushes and lulls your soul.

Then there is that magical moment of illusion when the waters rush away

and you feel like you are moving, being towed into the water.

But you are just standing still.

Or are you?

You look to the night sky to anchor yourself.


You see the moon in her fullness, dripping white lights into the water.

You wait for the ocean to bring the moonlight to you in serene ripples.

But, to touch the moon, you must step into the water,

choose to become part of the wave,

be the foam soaking in the light and the dark.


For a moment, a fearful thought grips you.

What if…


But, you look to the night sky to anchor yourself.

You shake and shimmy your body,

and pull your toes from the sand with a quick march.

You inhale deeply.


You dive headfirst into the warm blackness of the ocean.




Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Where to Find Other Poems

I'm always submitting poetry to literary magazines and online journals - working with deadlines always makes me finish!

Published May 2020

"Unclaimed and Unnamed" - QUARANZINE: Art in Isolation 
"Middle House with the Red Door" - Silver Birch Press

Published July 2020
"Monsoon Coffee"  and "Sounds of Mumbai Morning" - Word Doodle Lit Mag - 1:1 Summer 2020

Published Dec 2019
"Mermaids Among Us" - MookyChick

Pandemic Diaries - 20/20 Vision

20/20 Vision
This is year of Reveal,  
the earth's energy has shifted. 
As unsettling as the past years were, 
we never believed the rugs upon we confidently lived our lives would be pulled from beneath our feet.
       It was with a fell swoop that our bodies flailed in the air.
       Some of us were able to brace the fall with our hands.
       Others fell hard, thrashing to the ground,
        shattering spines, unable to stand ever again.
While we had lost our balance, the blankets were pulled
off our comfortable warm American beds.
       We were left to shiver,
       exposing the sores on our legs 
       holes in the rotten mattress.
We need to look down and see what lies underneath.
2020 is making us see the truth.

To read more, I have a series of 2020 blog posts on my Laptop Prophet site tagged as Pandemic Diaries. There are poems, rants, reflections all documented during this important period.

The Path

The Path

Sometimes when you have pebbles in your shoes,
you keep walking. It’s alright.
They’re small stones, but they dig deeply into your heels.
One pebble becomes two, and a third slides under your foot.
You make room for it. You accept it.
After a while, the callouses on your sole protect you from the sharp edges.
You become numb and bear the discomfort
as part of your journey.
You’ve become blind to the pebbles and stone.
You've become blind to the big rock in your path.
Do you not see it? How could you not know it was there?
You trip and fall.

However, you rise quickly. Sprightly.
And on your way up from the ground,
you feel the weight in your shoes and
see the blood on your feet.
The jaggedness stones did hurt you.
You release all of these rocks
and forge ahead on a new path,
much more nimble than before. 



Sunday, February 9, 2020

In the Hollow: The Secret of the Trees

As Told By the Wood Elves
The Trees keep secrets. They steal, as well.
It seems unlikely that they could or would.
Oh, do not be misled by their majestic height and verdant crowns.
From their towering posts, they silently secure their desires.

When rainbows glow freshly after a storm,
those ephemeral and elusive prisms,
the trees wring the sky with their boughs
and lap up the Yellows, Blues and Purples,
collected in the basins about their roots. 

We see the roots run deep and long into the soil.
However, they strip colors from flora and rocks alike.
“Lend me just one more,” the trees beseech the soil,
glistening with crystals and minerals.
The trees wraps their roots around the forest’s foliage in a covert embrace to sip the Green from the stems.
The Wood Elves bring their axes to fell the trees.
When the tree breaks, the bootleg of colors,
woven through the rings, is revealed.
Its garish core is exposed, and the lumberjacks rejoice.
The Carver walks to each log from the great trees.
He closes his eyes, and lays his ear next to the timber.
Does it sing? Does it hum? What does it request?
He runs his hand over the log to feel the vibrations.
He nods his head in agreement and carries one piece away.
He splits the log,
shaves the bark,
hacks away the excess,
                listens to the instructions.

The wood is rolled, refined, and defined.
until the jagged edges create a hollow.
He finely chisels a smoothness in it. The tree never knew.
He rubs until a bowl yawns from the block.
He polishes it into a round sleekness.
The Greens and the Reds shine with a hint of the Gold.
The Blacks and Browns evoke the deepness of the earth.
The wooden bowl will not remember its days under the rainbow.
Its duty is to hold, bear the desires of others.
The sawdust is returned to the forest, tossed into the soil,
so another tree may summon these secret colors.

© 2017 Ashini J Desai All Rights Reserved

This poem was selected for the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsman for an ekphrastic poetry exhibit where poets were paired with an artisan's work. I was assigned a handmade wooden bowl, and I was inspired when the artist explained he use Rainbow Poplar wood. I never heard of this wood, so it immediately triggered an image for the poem. 

Then I spent some time watching Youtube videos to understand how they even carve bowls! The artist (Bob Antonishak) was impressed I got into the details, but basically, I had no idea about the process so I needed to watch. It seemed like wooden bowls appeared magically anyway.

*Note: The image above is a rainbow eucalyptus tree, which has more vibrant colors, suitable to accompany this poem.