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Nov 29
Arts and Poetry
Poetry Space

photo by Jeff Fink

photo by Jeff Fink

Welcome to the first installment of Poetry Space on the Shambhala Times!
by Jeff Fink, Column Host

When we went to the sangha in early October with a request for original work from members, we had no idea what might arise. In point of fact, in the first couple of weeks we received submissions from more than a dozen poets from, quite literally, around the world.

In beginning Poetry Space, we envisioned a conversation. To that end, we’ve opened a thread on the Shambhala Network with the hope that this thread might expand upon the admittedly static nature of printed poetry (even electronically printed poetry…) Please comment, add your own poems, engage (with kindness of course!) Click here to visit the group on the Shambhala Network.

Now to the work. Our editors have chosen three poems from two different poets for this first installment (yes, we have real live editors — see the closing note on process below). We’re immensely grateful for all who shared their work with us. Please consider submitting if you haven’t, and if you have, thanks, and feel free to submit again.

      photo by Jeff Fink

      photo by Jeff Fink

      Companion to the Moon

      Three gas lamps
      the cottage at
      Lake Menominee

      Twin lights droop
      from the rafters
      a pear shaped third
      on the kitchen table

      Lighting the gasoliers
      is a delicate matter
      suspending the
      silken mantels
      priming the rotund tank

      But, aglow
      their aura
      shines through the window
      companion to the moon

      The burning gas hiss
      accompanies nightfall
      the rafters
      deep shadows, and
      beneath cedar boughs

      lamplight warms
      the night lake

      ~ Joan MacIntosh
      St John’s, Newfoundland Canada

Screen shot 2013-11-13 at 1.32.41 PM


      In my dream
      a ginger cat
      with diminutive
      half-moon wings
      soared through
      the window of a low sedan
      whiskered face
      high in the air

      I called
      to passers-by, but
      no one heard me

      My cries chased the
      winged cat
      down the boulevard
      where it vanished
      after the gleaming
      dolphins, moons and stars

      ~ Joan MacIntosh
      St John’s, Newfoundland Canada

Note on process
We are receiving new submissions continually, and we collect these until we have a sufficient number to review for possible publication. While it’s still early days, it feels like we will be publishing new work quarterly, although if we do receive a large number of submissions, we may choose to publish more frequently.

We have a panel of three editors who review all submissions; the submissions are stripped of all identifiers when they’re sent to the editors. To that end, please submit your poems left margin justified in a simple black font so it’s easier to collect them for review.

Please submit no more than three (3) poems in the body of an email to [email protected]. We will remove the poet’s name from the submission before it goes to our editors for a blind review, and will make every effort to let you know whether your poem(s) have been selected for publication within three or four weeks. All rights revert to the author 30 days after publication.

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3 responses to “ Poetry Space ”
  1. Dear Jeff, I very much appreciate the initiative. The first selection is inspiring. Thanks to the poets, who share their work in space – it is well received in Groningen, The Netherlands.

  2. Hey gang- if you want to post a poem, please use the Poetry Space group on the Shambhala Network. The comments here might best be used to react/reflect on the published poems.



  3. Dawa Chöga
    Nov 29, 2013


    I may kiss a thought’s cheek but if I caress
    Her breast or cup her mound in my palm,

    If I kiss her tongue, press pelvis-to-pelvis,
    If I roll her nipple just so, next thing I am

    Falling into bed with this thought I just met;
    Whereas if I kiss a thought’s cheek simply

    Then a thought doesn’t escalate into feelings
    Or cascade into actions or accumulate karma.

    Dawa Chöga
    Pembroke Shore, NS

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