How to Deal with Adam Lanza Within Our Hearts


Buddha in Sri Lanka to give hope for the mental and spiritual relief for December 2004 Tsunami victims

Buddha to give hope for the mental and spiritual relief to the December 2004 Sri Lanka Tsunami victims.


Judas the disciple of Christ,

Judas the betrayer of Christ,

Judas who repented for his sin,

Judas who paid for his sin

With his own life.

Can we ever understand or know

The violence and passion of this man –

The violence of his intention

And the passion of his love?

Perhaps more than any other

He recognized Jesus as Messiah;

If he did, how could he believe

The Messiah could die?

Can we ever understand or know

Why Judas was Judas?

And how to deal with him within our hearts?

Nalini Jayasuriya, Sri Lanka


Let the Rumi Begin

This class takes place in beautiful Santa Barbara, California.  Sorry Bahrain.


Tonight – Colours of Light Poetry Festival


7:30 tonight the Poetry Festival takes place at the Bahrain Fort Museum.

Many of the poets who contributed to My Beautiful Bahrain and others who did not will be presenting their original poetry in both English and Arabic.

Directed by David Hollywood this promises to be in interesting evening.

Admission is Free.

The Colours of Life – Poetry Festival

When we say, “Let’s hear from you,” she advances to us

chanting fluently, her glance languid, in effortless song.”

– final verse from “The Ode of Tarafah” by Tarah ibn al-Abd

Bahrain’s earliest recorded poet was Tarafah ibn al ‘Abd born in 549AD.  But to simply call him a Bahraini poet belies his importance.  He was one of the seven Mu‘allaqāt, or the Hanging Ones, poets whose words were so highly prized they were written in gold onto Coptic linen and suspended over the Ka’ba in Mecca.

Bahrain’s sweet and salty sea, fishing dhows, pirates and pearls did not provide enough inspiration for Tarafah.  He left the island to roam the desert and write.    Although he did not travel as extensively as Ibn Battuta, he managed to journey through the Arabian Peninsula to Hira, in modern-day Iraq.    His poetic abilities preceded him but his uncourtly manners and satirical verses about King Amr ultimately led to his chosen execution – being filled with wine then bled to death.

Fifteen hundred years later, modern Bahraini poetry is attributed to Shaikh Ebrahim bin Mohammed Al Khalifa (1850-1933) for whom the Center for Culture and Research is named after.  An advocate for formal education including for women, Shaikh Mohammed bin Isa Al Khalifa (1876-1964) known as Al Waeli’s poetry had the greatest influence on the progressive movement.  Contemporary poetry grew with the founding of the Bahrain Writers Association in 1969 and with the “70s” and “90s”, poets who emerged in the 1970s and the 1990s.

It is quite an honor for the Second Circle, a poetry group guided by David Hollywood, to be invited by the Ministry of Culture to perform their poetry at Qal’at al-Bahrain (the Bahrain Fort) on the shore of the Arabian Gulf

The Colour of Light Festival will take place this summer solstice, Thursday, June 21st at 7:30pm.  The event is free and open to the public.

Part of the 2012 Manama Arab Capital of Culture events, this poetry festival will feature the poets reading their original works in both Arabic and English.  It is not quite the equivalent of a Hanging One, but being invited to perform at a UNESCO World Heritage site is not such a bad stage to star on.

It was from this spot, the capital of ancient Delmun, the Sumerian verses for Enki the Water God said,

“Let the city of Delmun become the port

For the whole world.”

The Most Beautiful Moon on the Walls

An Evening of Poetry, Music, and Singing:

The Most Beautiful Moon on the Walls with

Nasir Shamma, oud player

Rami Alyousif,poet

Dalal Abu Amna, Palestinian singer

Monday, 30 April at 8pm.  Sheikh Ebrahim Center in Muharraq Bahrain.

Post mortem.  I hope someone remembered to go see this.


The Snow Goose

Snow Goose in Iowa

Calm, indifferent

as if nothing’s transpired –

the goose, the willows

Haiku by Kobayashi Issa, 1762-1826, Japanese Poet

One Breath Long – the Haiku

Thirteen Roosters by Ito Jaskuchu at the National Gallery of Art

A map of chicken land

noisy with red capitals,

black lakes, white highways

– by Emily from New York

While ruminating on the poet Mahmoud Darwish, the National Gallery of Art sent me an invitation to write a Japanese-inspired haiku.  As my artist-sister and her Japanese family were visiting us the timing was serendipitous.

Haikus are expressions of moments in time.  Through simple language, they invite the reader to experience nature as the writer attempts to capture it.

One breath long, haikus traditionally are three lines of 5, 7 and 5 syllable words.  In English this translates into 10 – 14 syllables or 6 – 10 words.

Near Lake Okoboji, Iowa

Old pond –

Frog jumps in

Sound of the water

–          Matsuo Basho, 1644-1694, Japanese poet

April is poetry month at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC.

On exhibit is the work of the Japanese treasure Ito Jakuchu (1760-1800).  This is the first time his Colorful Realm of Living Beings has been displayed outside of Japan.  The 30-piece bird and flower painting collection is normally kept at the Shukokuji monastery in Kyoto.  Displayed in one room, the paintings signify all living beings gathered around Buddha.

An American national treasure, the National Gallery of Art is free and open to anyone visiting Washington DC.

In fact, the haiku invitation is for everyone.  It’s an opportunity to sit outside and experience a tree, spring flower or bird.  Breathe.  Then try to take that moment and express it in words.

You can read more about the exhibit, the 1,000 year-old art of haiku writing and submitting your haiku at

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