Tampa poet Yuki Jackson opens her heart and grounds herself on 'Himalayan Pink Salt'

Poet's Notebook

click to enlarge Tampa poet Yuki Jackson opens her heart and grounds herself on 'Himalayan Pink Salt'
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Himalayan Pink Salt

my server says
he knows he needs salt
but he doesn't trust it 

I say back:
well, we're made up of it, right? 

he rings me up
and tells me
he has a rock
of pink Himalayan salt
in his car 

also a fair ride,
a series of cars
holding two at a time
spinning together
in a circle 

a scenic view
painted at the top
in high-class
graffiti style 

this abode of the snow
in Sanskrit
where the language
of my faith begins 

there is all the chanting
I’ve been doing
for his happiness and victory

I think of him
when asked,
if you could connect someone
to a power source
who would it be

the Power issue ended
with “Song--with Instruments”  

this is how energy works,
arriving at enlightenment
through connection

thanks to a cord
and a lightbulb

the space
that birthed the Buddha
has become a lamp 

known as goal-oriented 

only a G.O.A.T.
would climb a mountain
just to get a lick 

I recently watched a video of mountain goats risking their lives to lick some salt. One hell of a climb, requiring them to be completely sideways. This makes sense in a backwards-ass world that considers them the devil's animal. I thought it was ironic that in this video, the goats were climbing up a dam. Apparently, you have to give a damn in order to climb one, defying gravity, the force designed to pull you down. 

What allows them to do what seems impossible: their feet and their will. Coincidentally, I’m walking through Ybor as I write to explain my “Himalayan Pink Salt” poem and a young man “randomly” walks towards me wearing a shirt and pair of shorts that both just say "GOAT" in bold letters. Surprised and not surprised, I stand on the street corner, documenting this moment. I turn around to see which direction he may have gone and my heart jumps because he’s standing behind me, with his back turned, facing a wall. I walk away, occasionally glancing behind. He continues facing the other direction. After I reach my destination several minutes later, I order what I came for. And as I do, the young man wearing GOAT enters. He looks surprised and not surprised. 

What are the odds? I have, at this point of my life, experienced this kind of connectedness many times. As a poet and writer, it's convenient. But at times I’ve cursed this same sense, thinking it's what prevents me from living a “normal” life. So I’ve been directing my intentions during my daily chanting to more “normal” matters, in order to ground myself. What would a normal person want? Then today, for the first time in a while, I chanted about what was in my heart. By doing so, I re-opened the lines of poetic connection I’ve been avoiding. And rightfully so. I’ve been hurt. Which makes sense, considering my goals are high, like a G.O.A.T. 

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Yuki Jackson

Yuki Jackson is an African-American and Japanese poet and educator based in Tampa Bay, Florida.Her work has appeared in Cosmonauts Avenue, Foundry, Entropy and other publications. She is also the founder of The Battleground, a youth program in the Sulphur Springs...
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