Leila A. Fortier




Is a body of
Constellations~ Mapped
From clavicle to Cassiopeia, eye
 To Orion, elbow to Andromeda, and Lyra to
Lips~ She is a body of mythology; Bhagavad Gita
 And the Upanishads in Sanskrit~ She is Shakti in the
Form of Gaia~ The fifth chakra; a lotus unfolding in
Egyptian blue~ Her body: poised as hands … still

~ As a mudra ~

~Sun Salutation~


Me what it
Means now~ This
Virtual clasp of your hands~
Palms pointed like a steeple~ Because
I know not how to read you anymore~ Our
Communion of silence was like sun salutation~
A slow-motion swan-dive into forward-fall~ You:
Warm sunflower~ Gentle dawn kissing jasmine
Nights~ We unfurled like embryo in the splay
Of petals reaching~ Drenched in the honey
Of speechlessness~ We were white
Cranes dipping into waters
 Of consciousness~
An ocean

(  single drop )

Perhaps you
Are a fish swimming
Upstream~ Everything is
Slipping like water through
Hands because someone told
You not to be so thirsty~ Like
A stranger you made yourself unrecognizable~ Perhaps
This is reincarnation? So I collect stones of meditation
 And build temples in your wait~ Scatter seeds of 
All my abstractions~ Incomprehensible
Words as offerings~ Abiding
Your awaken

~The Body, an Ashram~


The river Ganges,
Weeping waters of the toxic
 And holy, I turned my body inside-out
Trying to remember how to pray~ Joy arose from
 Repetition~ Tapping the shoulder of a lost art~ We are
A series of postures melting into an arena of absence and
Fractals of light~ Floating upwards toward the room
Without walls~ Observing self without speaking~
The body, an ashram~ A chain of shape-
Shifting chakras: pink fish, purple crane, transparent eagle~ A motif
 Of moving mantras~ Breaching into side-angle~ Dipping into
Half-moon~ Eyes bright as orange blossoms
~The cage of the heart opens~

~Washing the Dishes~


 “Your assignment is to wash the dishes,” said the yogi~ And so I took to task the very thing
I have done for so long every day, only now, with my complete awareness~ No mind
Wandering, no mental lists, no haste or agitation~ The tap was the first to
Require my full attention~ I coax the water to liquid warmth~ Like
My energy: too hot, too cold—but with a little mindfulness,
Just right~ The citrus scent of orange soap: a slick &
 Fragrant line across a lemon sponge~ One side,
Coarse and resistant~ The other, porous
 And absorbing~ Also much like me~
Ahhh! This must be the yin/yang
Of washing dishes~ My hand
Glides over the contours
Of cobalt blue plates
Trace reiki spirals
Towards its own

( heart center )

Of tortoise
Shell silver and green~
The cutting board marked with
 More knives, still bearing fresh wounds
Like the ones that forged them~ I catch the faint
Scent of a forest that still lingers, and realize: this is
Still a tree~ Bubbles ascend like floating marbles: glass
Capsules of air suspending, as if to say: this is what your
Thoughts should do in meditation~ Lids of pots, stained
From steam—from all the velocity it tames & contains
I am that boiling pot of emotion~ I am also the lid~
I muse the promiscuity of silverware: lovers
Of all food~ Lover to all mouths, they
Know no discrimination between
My husband’s steak or my
Salad~ Can I also
 Learn to love
This way?

 ( moment )

The plastic containers seem less
Important; less substantial than the earthiness
Of the wooden cutting board, or the wholesomeness of
Spun clay~ But imagine now, that even this plastic thing
Originated from somewhere in the earth~ Manipulated by
Man’s own genius~ How we are like smaller Gods~ Part
Of one great creation~ The pots offer more resistance
Perhaps they are more like me~ The food does
Not want to move on to its next life~ I offer
My condolences and wonder what
Forms I will meet them in
Again~ The wine
Glasses have
Of the human form~
My hands follows its shapeliness~
Its stem is like a man~ Its body like the
Womb of a woman, also bearing fruit from
Their union~ The dishes have become their
Own orchestra~ Music within the sink like
Chimes in the summer rain~ Outside my
Window I see the ocean~ From where
I stand it looks as if I am washing
Dishes in the sea~ I am floating
Somewhere between here
And there~ My hands
Are now pruned
& I realize

( everything is poetry )



Leila A. Fortier is a poet, artist, and photographer currently residing in Okinawa, Japan. Her sculpted poetry is often accompanied by her own multi-medium forms of art, photography, and spoken performance. With over one hundred publishing credits, her work in all its mediums has been featured in a vast array of publications both in print and online. Her forthcoming second book of poetry, Numinous is scheduled to be published by Saint Julian Press in November of 2014.  A complete listing of her published works can be found at:  www.leilafortier.com