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Steeping: Spring Tea Recipe

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I am very much into spring. So much so that when I encountered Edna St. Vincent's "Spring" for the fist time, I felt silly and naive. Here are the lines:

To what purpose, April, do you return again?
Beauty is not enough.
You can no longer quiet me with the redness
Of little leaves opening stickily.
I know what I know.
The sun is hot on my neck as I observe
The spikes of crocus.
The smell of the earth is good.
It is apparent that there is no death.
But what does that signify?
Not only under ground are the brains of men
Eaten by maggots.
Life in itself
Is nothing,
An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.
It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,
April
Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.

Still I cannot help it but love idiotic April. And it is indeed quite lovely that from rotting brains (under or above grounds) flowers bloom. Also, to say "life is nothing" sounds like throwing a tantrum. Life is possibility, opportunity, caterpillars tran…

Poetry: An Apology by Umashankar Joshi

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An Apology º
by Umashankar Joshi

Excuse me, love, if I did not
          Speak endearing words;
Today I am lost
          In writing a story: How We Met.

Forgive me, love, if I failed
          To send you a note;
Today I am engrossed
          In composing Songs of Love.

Suffer me, love, if in life
          You knew thirst.
I, a poet, ploughed the heart
          To leave grapes––my words––behind.


º Translated from Gujarati by the author

New Poem, "Drop Above," in North Dakota Quarterly Vol. 85

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Oi You!

I hope you share my excitement for spring and are moving about in a joyous celebration.
In regards to freshness, you might find some inspiration in the new North Dakota Quarterly Vol. 85. A beautiful anthology of several refreshing literary works and essays including a poem of mine, "Drop Above." The entire volume is also available to download for free or purchase at NDQ.
Please do give it a browse.

Cheers,
JAO

Photography: Come Calm Clam

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come  calm clam  --- JAO

Opinion: Some Merits of Being Disliked

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Several insightful things have been said on the benefits of being liked, yet not so much on the merits of being disliked. Seneca who offered some very profound thoughts on friendship also said “what difference does it make, after all, what your position in life is if you dislike it yourself?” (Letters from a Stoic. Trans. Robin Campbell. London: Penguin, 2004, (Letter IX) p. 53). And in my view, this ought to be the standard for all relationships. For the sentiment that is most worrisome doesn’t come to us from external sources, but from within. It can be put simply as: do you like yourself? To answer affirmatively is wonderful but it also takes courage to answer in the negative. Knowing the answer to this question helps us understand how we relate to others and helps us judge the weight of their feelings for us. For instance, if you don’t like yourself you may establish a habit of befriending others through whom you can punish yourself.  Or if you like yourself, you might have the h…