Poetry from Laughing Lotus’ Sheri Celentano! (The Shape of a Woman and Lost Visitation Rites)

Via Rachel Steele
on Jan 27, 2011
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Sheri Celentano, of New York’s Laughing Lotus, is one of the most inspiring, uplifting yoga teachers/goddesses that I’ve been blessed with taking classes from (nay, retreating even).  Not surprisingly, she also writes inspiring, uplifting poetry, infused with the same gratitude, wit, and love she brings to her teaching and life.  If you’re not in New York, relish her wisdom through her poetry.  I present, just in time for the Valentine’s Day rush, two very different poems about love.

The Shape of a Woman

As I stood there at your parting service… gazing upon faces who have seen me through this entire life time, I realized The Shape of Who I am passed through many hands.

The Shape of a Woman (well this Woman) resides in  those who have already set the path and not only the Amelia, Oprah, Toni, Maya, Martha, Isadoras and known greats but the ones whose direct contact gave me the full understanding to accept and rejoice in the beauty of who I am.  The Sandy, Lois, Winnie, Maddie, Cookie, Faith, Esther, Ellen, Rene’s. The ones who showed me the strength/fierceness and courage of a woman can also include femininity and grace.  The ones who showed me the shade of lipstick that best matches my tone and showered me with compliments from age two, the ones who showed me beauty and confidence in all body types.  Also laid clear the path of loyalty and protectiveness to and of your clan, your people who showed me that playing victim or throwing pity parties ain’t gonna be part of my world. But holding someones hand through suffering and meeting all problems with compassion and heart… O and Heart…And heart and heart and heart and Heart and heartandheart and Heart and more heart.

So now I bow down to all of my teachers who have encouraged in me the passion to pass on all that helps this feminine divine rise up in all of us. I bow down and honor the spirit of all women who have suffered and fought and continue to fight injustice and disease… I bow down and then rise up as I have been taught to continue the fight for all beings everywhere to be happy and free!!!!

Lost Visitation Rites!

Dearest Shiva,

Please note: You have lost any and all visitation rights to this Shakti Town.

You were nothing but a Shiva impersonator with a decent line, good backbends and an impressive travel record. Takes more than that to settle here. Not that you wanted anything more but a blow through anyway.

But just in case, fake shiva, let’s be quite clear.  Ain’t none of that welcome round these parts anymore. In fact you’ve pissed off more than just MY Shakti Ma self… There be some POWERFUL women up in this city that don’t take kindly to the mistreatment of their own.  Not a threat, just an energy awareness.

In fact for the most part we are wishing you light and love…. But I would not really try to cross the path of the LION GODDESSES Sri Durga Ma on her blazing tiger…. Stomping and kicking your ass way back to wherever it needs to be… To learn some respect for women. For the people whose emotions you play with.  And just maybe For you to allow yourself to feel and deal instead of hightailing it out of town at any sign of conflict or depth.

Jai Jai Durga Ma!!! And Jai to the Sat Shiva that resides within us all!!

In light and love and most definitely a drop kick,
Sheri C.


About Rachel Steele

Rachel Steele originally hails from Charleston, SC, but schlepped all the way to Boulder to play in the mountains and study at the University of Colorado. She graduated with a degree in in Political Geography in 2008 and then briefly traveled in India and was certified as a yoga teacher in 2009 at Holy Cow Yoga Studio. She has since returned to her mother's ancestral home of Brooklyn, NY and is proud to call the Williamsburg area home. Despite what her mother recently said, she doesn't think she's become a hipster. She does wears many hats, including a fedora with a pin of Lindsey Lohan on it, but the one that is most important to her is that of a feminist filmmaker. She also loves live music, enjoys cooking, and is happiest when rabble rousing. She does miss Colorado, but feels very connected to her college home when writing for elephant. Her personal blog can be found at womanofsteele.tumblr.com and on imdb.


2 Responses to “Poetry from Laughing Lotus’ Sheri Celentano! (The Shape of a Woman and Lost Visitation Rites)”

  1. Hilary Lindsay says:

    Great writing. And would hate to be the guest teacher that last one was written for. Ouch but awesome.

  2. Hawah says:

    hey now! send a few poems in through The Poetry of Yoga website… http://www.ThePoetryOfYoga.com … we've still got a few spaces left for the Vol. 2 anthology:)—–