Yeah, laa-de-dah

Vanity No. 3 … from JJW’s auto plate archive of when personal expression hits the road.

Vanity, vanity

New Hampshire and neighboring Maine seem especially prone to vanity license plates. Their quirky inventiveness and self-expression make our trips around town and the wider region a lot more interesting. Often, they have us smiling or chuckling.

This example starts a weekly series drawn from JJW’s auto plate archive. Please come by again for the next.


These field notes from religious aspiration and practice spring from a muse of fire. As much as Dr. Bronner’s bottle-label diatribes arose from a splash of water, at least when we read them, usually while showering or bathing.

A brief flash. Something that sparkles or shimmers. A half-seen motion, perhaps recollected later. Illumination. A beacon. A guide. A break in the night. Sometimes, this is something even the blind perceive. A word of truth. Prophecy or healing. A vision of eternal mysteries. A star or hint of coming dawn. And then, as James Nayler instructed: “And as thou followest the light out of the world, thou wilt come to see the seed, which to the world’s wisdom and glory is crucified” (Journal, 349). Everything is transformed and made new. Mind the Light.




Tat Ekam
that one thing

prakriti, pra = before
or kriti, creation
a sutra is only a note / a stitch / a knot

Wading into holy waters

to sink or be overwhelmed
decades later,


returning to art
“keeps my feet on the ground”
carving wood and marble, “It’s so smooth”

these steps leading down to the water
in the sense water
is always below you
unless, that is, you’re in
up to your neck, as it were
some calm other than drowning

“We’re descended from lower-level gods
who mated with apes.”

Now outraged at other deities

next, we’ll encounter human brains
in tigers prowling along the street
all thanks to science.

Mine owners will be confined to the lands they’ve debauched / despoiled.
The Hidden Way –
Sometimes it’s Tao
Sometimes, passion
Sometimes, only a sunset
Or fog lifting

The saved love letters
become curled, black crumbling leaves
falling from the fire.


first, burn all of the out-dated financial records,
then all of the old passionate drivel

that is, to MAKE FEW

as the Hidden Way
Is the route that opened
Through Glint’s own sea of reeds

Parting, at the base of mountains
she’s come through

a prayer of the earth, actually, of Seed
clearing, recentering


painted at the top
of a barn roof

Poem copyright 2017 by Jnana Hodson
For more, click here.



What opens with a dance tune perchance deflects into the reaction to a blow or injury, to a fly fisherman’s reel, the canisters of a movie, or even a soaring eagle. These poems span experiences of touch and coupling, however chaste at times, and of flight and emerging lightness. To be light on one’s feet, then, and light-hearted in the end, if not a little dizzy.



First, the snow a sheet of ice
shiny as cake frosting.

Then the Asian dental hygienist greets me:
“Sorry to make you waiting.”

Maybe it’s all in the skin.
A flourish we extend. A touch or care.

Excellence in a small thing, somewhere,
a note of gratitude or worship

placing everything in the larger context
of conception, especially through its monotonous stretches.

A few hours later, lavender mountains at sunset:
the Monadnocks, viewed from my studio window,

incredibly purple, even more than blue.
That night:

Sing. Dance. Fiddle. Doodle.
And away I go.

Poem copyright 2017 by Jnana Hodson
For more, click here.