Poetry at Sangam



DORIS by Joshua Gray

I’ve spent a fair amount of wasteful time
In a state of feeling entitled. Now, though, not
So much. A bit of ignorance then, in line
With many feelings of childhood neglect. I fought

Against them, to no avail. In time I bought
Into the victim role and let it rule
My actions. The distractions! Of which there were a lot.
I shoplifted once with entitlement. A fool,

I was. It’s not so easy to see the cruel
Personas within ourselves. The effort it takes
Is worth it, though. I know there is the pool
Of tricks to tap into. My yoga makes

Me see the stuff I’ve been too blind to see.
The yoga practice has been so great for me.


I’ve always loved grammar and words alike,
And once I even entered a spelling bee.
I was confident when I stepped up to the mic;
My confidence has seldom waned in the sea

Of language. With both my writing ability
And Rick’s, a brand new magazine was born,
About TV, in 1973.
We learned a lot but earned not a kernel of corn.

My skills found its home in education, torn
Between practice and policy. Who’s to know what might
Be so if the right of my brain had sworn
To match or surpass the left’s creative might!

My writing skills have brought me much success –
Who knows! My career might otherwise be a mess!


I played the pianoforte when I was a child.
I was quite good; my mother, sure of fame,
arranged a number of recitals. Solos piled
Up, and twice I backed my brother, who shame-

Lessly ruled the trumpet. Back up reduced the pain
Of performing. I quit piano but never stopped
Singing. I liked supporting some other game.
So I joined a singing trio. We practiced and popped

Into the college scene. Adapt and adopt
Was our motto. We sang together for quite some time,
Until we graduated. The day we walked
We sang one final tune on love and crime.

The unsung heroes make the proud ones glow;
Supporting roles can take the Broadway show.

(Excerpted from the book-length poem Principles of Belonging.)