IN MEMORIAM: Janine Pommy Vega (1942-2010)

The Drum Circle for Janine Pommy Vega

Beat the drums slowly, like a wave of pebbles
For the Bearsville medicine woman of Willow
Beat the drums quietly, for the beat poetess of Woodstock
Beat the drums, till the snakes gather round the fire
The witches’ brew fills the air with vapors of lizards
As the guitars play for the freedom of memory
In a trance, shaking shakers, improvising, reading
From Europe to Naropa, from Colorado to El Dorado
The woman-warrior of the Beats, from Napoli to Tripoli
Radical, instinctual, climbing the highest mountains
A Wind has blown out her candles
Disappearing deep in the dark forest
The blossoms remain floating in your garden,
Down the steep slopes into your creek
Sleep Janine, with all the birds exulting at your window
They cannot wake you up anymore, only your memory
Beat the drums till we are out of breath
Janine walks freely through the Eternal city

– Valery Oisteanu

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Valery Oisteanu reading “The Drum Circle for Janine Pomy Vega” at the St. Marks Poetry Project’s 37th Annual Reading Marathon on January 1, 2011 is posted here.

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