Skinned Knee & Ode to India. {poems}

Via Michelle Margaret Fajkus
on Sep 24, 2013
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Skinned Knee

Ask and you shall receive
but be careful what you wish for.

I wanted liberation in London
they lost my luggage
I found myself alone
surrounded by Yankees and Brits

I wanted Ananda in Canada
to camp at an ashram
too much chanting
esoteric philosophies
and a mean swami later
I was back home in bed, depressed

I wanted Californian change
found out, yes, there is such a thing
as too much yoga
and there are both zen centers and Christian radicals
in the City by the Bay

I wanted to soak up Mexico
to eat sandia with Frida
came home with a souvenir
en mi corazon
and one in my intestines

i wanted India in my skin
fell to my knees and scraped the left one
the dhamma nazis threw saffron-colored powder on my little wound
it didn’t hurt
but i cried quiet tears that had been waiting years to reach the surface

this moment is perfect
every one is
equanimity tattooed inside my forehead
gratitude for spiders and saffron and dhamma

What will you ask for?
What will you receive?



Ode to India

India, land of contradictions
where the holy and the material
sacred and filthy
worshipped and untouchable
are next door

Absurd traffic
ubiquitous cow dung
black staring eyes
a hundred angry languages
hungry, barefoot children tugging at your sleeve
fast talking shopkeepers

Fast, green rivers
stoic, wise mountains
wide smiles, greetings for all
namaste! jule! tashi delek!

Swamis wrapped in orange
self-proclaimed masters of meditation
The enlightenment is subtle
no great awakening
just small pearls of wisdom

Travel does that to you,
no matter where you go
broadens the mind
narrows the focus
foreign or familiar
happiness is right here.

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Both poems were originally published in The Poetry of Yoga, Volume I, compiled by HawaH

Ed: Sara Crolick


About Michelle Margaret Fajkus

Michelle Margaret is a Gemini yogini, writer, teacher and retreat leader who founded Yoga Freedom in 2002 in Austin, Texas. Her home since 2012 is Lake Atitlán, Guatemala where she lives in a tiny eco cabin with her Colombiano partner and their adorable daughter, dog and two gatos. Michelle has been writing this column for elephant journal since 2010 and has written some inspiring books, with more on the way. She leads yoga and mindfulness retreats and serves as the retreat managers for the stunningly beautiful Villa Sumaya on majestic Lago Atitlan. Her lineage is the very esoteric Yoga Schmoga, which incorporates hatha yoga asana, dharma (Buddhist) teachings, pranayama (breath work), yin yoga, mindfulness practices and meditation. Join Michelle on retreat in Guatemala!


2 Responses to “Skinned Knee & Ode to India. {poems}”

  1. Myriah says:

    I think I've read this 10 times. I recognise that searching struggle and the love of the chaos of India, where I return to as often as possible both in body and in spirit.

  2. yoga freedom says:

    Thank you, Myriah!