time to sing the morning song


I’ve lived too long to view myself in a different light

I love the you of me

still get up for 3 a.m. meditation

splash cold water on my face

Oh Weaver,

you sweeten me like ripe peaches on a hot summer day

my eyes burn, can’t think straight outdoors pickin’ cotton

sun beatin’ down on my back

I am a pond reed through which you play music

to feed my soul

© 2020 Jennifer Brookins

Only yesterday I lived my childhood in the lap of innocence, sitting for hours in my tree house dreaming myself the incarnation of Sheena, Queen of the Jungle. I waited for dusk to watch fireflies light up my southern sky. I can still smell the sweetness of honeysuckle wifting through our bedroom window. On schooldays if there was enough money, my aunt gave us a nickel to buy a slice of watermelon to eat as we walked home from school. Oh so good. After dinner, we polished our shoes for school the next day while scaring ourselves to death listing to “Inner Sanctum” on the radio. Time…a thing of feathers

© 2020 Jennifer Brookins

In the quietness of early day, I discovered a secret gift for collectors of small things. From habit, my better self got up and walked over to the window to observe a family of young morning glories clustered together in prayer; their heads bowed low. I thanked them for their generous heart and spent the rest of the morning lost in wonder.

© 2020 Jennifer Brookins

I pined for raindrops to fall against my cheek; yet nature had not the strength to yield moisture to earth’s bounty, nor water for thorny bush seedlings; my feet scorched to the touch. All the while, I foolishly prayed for night to come quickly, that a gentle breeze would push me over the edge. Oh Weaver, what was the greater gift? Was it the baubles received or the hard lessons learned?

© 2020 Jennifer Brookins


how beautiful earth this night

cornstalks sway in midsummer breeze

rows of tomatoes ripe for harvest

farmers dog barks again and again

waits for his echo to weave in and out

rain clouds spill shadows on wet sheets

I left outdoors on my clothesline

won’t be tomorrow for awhile

come sit with me under the shade tree

her leaves a canopy for old lovers

when summer leans toward spring

put your head in my lap

I’ll rub your back

until you fall asleep

in the hope

you wake up



© 2020 Jennifer Brookins

this morning I found myself braided into your snowy white beard; wonderful to be so inconspicuous. The chill of winter months makes me wonder if spring will ever announce her arrival. Should you confide, “It’s already here,” I’ll whisper in your ear, “Beloved Nomad Ji, you created dawn in your spare time.

© 2020 Jennifer Brookins


When I sowed apple seeds, apples did I reap, thistles planted,
cyclops harvested. I am the unsung architect of my tomorrows, sculpting my destiny moment by moment, planting and harvesting, …planting and harvesting. How fruitless to arm extend into the future.

© 2020 Jennifer Brookins

dear sparrow

each morning I watch you

sitting alone

on a telephone pole

rain or shine

today I purchased

lumber to build 

you the finest birdhouse

with a red front porch

yellow umbrella

can sit under

have afternoon tea

I want to know everything

about you

how flying in the clouds

makes you blasé

about things

you cannot change

why you prefer aloneness

to chit -chat

why you never worry

about tomorrow

or where

your next meal comes from

let us have lunch today

I’ve much to learn

from you

© 2020 Jennifer Brookins

Baba Ji mentioned he would be travelling for five days in Punjabi towns giving satsang, and wants us to come with him. However, the good doctor believes that in order to have positive long term results, these treatments should be consistent. We’re disappointed but we understand.
Happy day. Doug’s daily sessions with Dr. Sharma have provided much relief. It’s wonderful to see him feeling chipper and more like his old self. Once again Baba Ji invites us to travel with him. I pack clothes for five days. We’re good to go when I hear a knock on the door: it’s Jasbir with a message from Baba Ji telling us the trip has been postponed. Okay. I unpack our clothes, but just when I’m ready to work in the brickyard there’s another knock on the door. Jasbir stands in the doorway with a grin on his face and says,
“Well, are you ready?”
I answer,
“Ready for what?”
He replies,
“Baba Ji leaves in ten minutes for his satsang tour. He will pick you up in five. Be ready.”
He walks away then turns back to me, and says,
“Get moving!”
We can’t be late. I hardly have time to pack more than one change of clothes; clueless as to how long we’ll be gone.
Baba Ji and his driver are in the front seat, and us in the back. I honestly think I finished my first book travelling in the back seat of his SUV. Hard to believe we’re travelling with Baba Ji to his many satsang centers. Everywhere we go he is greeted like the great Saint he is. We spend the night in Ludhiana at the home of Tarsem Singh Bhullar who opens his home to Baba Ji whenever he gives satsang. Baba Ji knows I want to buy gifts for our friends in America. He tells his driver to take me to a little shop no bigger than a closet that sells unique handcrafted gloves, caps and Indian shawls I would never find anywhere else. When I return, Doug is outside waiting for me,
“Jen, hurry up, get in the car. They say we’re in for a surprise. We’re going to the main satsang center.”
We go on another speed-o-drive through the streets of Ludhiana. The moment we walk in, a door opens behind the dais where Baba Ji sits, when a swarm of little children rushes through with their hands over their heads holding pencils for him to bless and help them make good grades. There must be at least two hundred who want his special blessing. The closer they get to Baba Ji, the quieter they become. It’s easy to see he loves children and intends to stay until not one is left. What a wonderful experience to watch him laugh with these kids as he blesses their pencils. What a moment. In the morning we come downstairs where prantas, chapattis and chai are being served. To stand back and watch three or four Punjabi women prepare an Indian breakfast for Baba Ji in a small kitchen is something to behold.

An excerpt from India with Backpack and a Prayer