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Poems from Rosana Schutte’s Zoomuse poetry reading – 14 August 2020

Rosana Schutte, 40 years in Subud, is a performing artist, mythologist, and owner of Mythic Eye. Her work in the world is wrapped around story, using words and symbols to extrude personal and universal archetypal clarity. Poems are her way to work through the transitions in life and often reflect dark and light within. Rosana, born in Lusaka, Zambia, lived in Tanzania, Afghanistan, Indonesia, and Jordan. She is a voracious learner and loves the inclusive, civil, passionate conversation.

Rosana read her poetry on Zoomuse, August 12th. The reading took place in three parts of three poems each, plus a final poem.

You can enjoy her reading here and find her poems below. Thank you to Rosana, for making them available for all of us!

Part One – Introspection

Three poems – Obligation, Monster Walking, If I Should Disappear


Our obligation, 

the only one, 

from a first squalling breath

(and it gives far more than what it takes)

is to become, 

further, to be .

Tear a whole in the universe, and brand the sky,

full-throated, free,

unencumbered of weight of other’s estimations.

And because of that duty 

to our soul, our god, our collective awareness,

a way is found to endure 

fire, torrent, shaitan, whirlwind

the shuddering within,

the crack, the splinter, the fragmentation 

and, finally, 

demolish that which keeps us amorphous and indistinct

to sail on the waves of craving 

or die in the plummet.

Rosana Schutte

Excerpted from ‘What It Takes’


Monster Walking

(a nod to Mary Shelley)

I am a blasted tree.

A monster rising through scientist’s fumbling mind.

Arms loosing their lithe, white beauty, 

with no uttering at all, none at all,

legs becoming muscled stumps

stamping out no discernable beat,

all under command of a brain that cannot

recall the fall of a shawl, a pas de deux, 

or Chimney Sweep’s rooftop balancing.

That cavernous cranial housing electrical synapses

has no relationship with barren heart in chest.

This body, twice awakened, once to unnatural life,

stumbles forward at all angles,

a funeral jazz band jangling with no soul to celebrate.

Yet glorying in little things – 

amazed by a rabbit,

the industry of ants,

a fire yearned for from a frosted window.

I am a blasted tree.

The artistry of demented ingenuity,

a legacy surreptitiously assembled without legitimate heirs.

O look at me,

with no fruit to bear,

no flower to blossom.

I am no axis mundi to any sort of source,

no connecting point,

or bridge,

or gentle spirit,

no hope at bottom of this box.

Not even knowing to despair,

I stand here and declare, 

as bold as a Queen,

I am a blasted tree.

Rosana Schutte

November 1, 2011 2:24am (revised 10:01am)

If I Should Disappear

If I should disappear, 

not by my hand,

though there is that, 

but just at a moment, 

here, then not – 

If I should no longer exist,

I suppose it would confuse 

and maybe there would be missing

at least until disruption of life

interrupts the question

and age loses memory.

I feel it, I can tell you,

in the pinch in my head,

or the strange wave of matter in my skull,

a momentary lapse in “me”.

I suspect my non-existence

wouldn’t cause so much as a blip, really.

Certainly not a filmic spectacle 

of ringing bells and acquisition of angelic wings.

Maybe one or two would inquire

“wasn’t there someone I would call 

at this time

or for that reason?”

but then a shrug and fingers would access

a new number and another voice.

I suppose if you read this 

a protest may arise

but stop a minute,

because what I am saying is

I don’t really mean anything 

in the larger scale.

My path, even in its most compassionate state

is just another thread in the fabric –

albeit a wild, vibrant, possibly rough, definitely ragged thread –

but, honestly, not much different than all the others.

And be attentive of a denial in the face of this declaration.

It is probably more indicative 

of how you feel about you 

rather than a what you cherish of me.

We are fond, I most of all perhaps,

of asserting that what we feel and think and do

has a purpose.

And, truth is, it is imaginable

that intent and content

may lend to context.


right now

at this instant,

I am willing to accept

that I don’t really matter.

That in a blink,

a snuffed-out light,

released into whatever

mystery may or may not exist,

evaporates the “I” and the “me” from “we”.

The world would continue,

eventually forget,

which makes me love all the more

my insignificant life,

my magnificent people,

and my trifling dabble at embodiment.

Rosana Schutte

February 1, 2015 (2:13am)

Part Two – Relationship

Three poems – Deep Old Soul, Love Letters, War & Peace

Deep Old Soul

For Istiharoh

The deep, old soul wrapped in woman and light

hummmms a stray tune,

splashes a chassé,

rummaging after her day.

Scuttling through seaweed in the white sea

dripping her life into foaming waters

riding tide to wide world of whales

until rags she wears float empty at the shore,

abandoned as she dissolves,

dreams and memories of her flavoured by salt,

into briney coves, dashed on stones

which tumble to little round souvenirs

pocketed by touristy beach wanderers

while bulk of her being,

no longer withered and wrinkled,

but plumped and gathered in deep

follows moon-sparkled path to horizon.

There to meet the dawn, cradle in rising sun,

coo to apex of the sky,

idly catch edge of a cloud and swing lightly around.

Her laughter tickling rain to fall


and rose,

and lavender,

saffron, saffire,

burnt sienna,

jade, and violet,

and amber

Crashing on cliffs, melting into spray,

to land softly in sandy shallows

and glitter like so many pearly pools

waiting for agéd ankles to cool their heels

and let go expectations,




while searching seaweed for lost pleasures.

Rosana Schutte

November 30, 2011 (8:23am)

Rosana Schutte

September 24, 2011


War & Peace

The Brotherhood of men

smokes in a dark alley,

contemplates the Peaceniks 

next door.

Not that they don’t appreciate their efforts, but … no war?

Not an iota? Not a jot?

What would that do to the unemployment numbers?

And how else can the point be put across

to those who refuse to do it right?

Clearly, they have to be made to listen – 

and hadn’t history proved that

a sword or a bayonet or a bullet was effective?

Meanwhile, the non-violent activists

on the inside of the wall

were sure those guys out there

weren’t 10 feet from the building

because their fetid miasma penetrates

cross-legged breathes in (cough, choke, gasp) and out,

but, Determined Doves that they are, 

send out bless-vibes and compassion-thoughts – 

and hadn’t history proved that in the end


The alley cats’ rat-a-tat laughter, 

and slightly too loud conspiratorial murmurs

punctures passive inner space

where, just recently, ideas of reaching out are born.

Imagine: a hammer-hand gloved in soft-toned platitudes

clonk the heads of those lurking in dusky plumes.

Now, there is an opening salvo for sure …

Rosana Schutte

December 23, 2011

Revised January 1, 2012

Revised August 6, 2020

Part Three – Transition

Three poems – Leave Taking, This Death, Requiem

Leave Taking

On high wire between heartbeats,

You are leaving, I stay here

Please stop breathing,

yet every breath is dear.

Compassion whispers “go” 

yet cherished belly still rising,

ever slower and slow.

see saw margery daw.

I sing for you, I bring to you, 

“Home is in the heart.”

Now, after the crisis, so many doubts,

recriminations, “more time,” cries out,

in tenuous bog between

afraid to sleep but far too deprived

Where are you, little love?

Gone so quickl.,

Yet, I would not die, just to be with you.

Don’t even believe that is possible.

All is separation.

The space you occupied is still there

waiting vainly for all the familiar fare.

It never comes. 

I will not hear you slurp water,

or the rhythmic tail, 

thump, thump, thump

 in exuberant dreams.

You are gone, utterly.

I miss your sweet body

and soft way in the world

But, fly across fields with yellow flowers

Your soulfulness makes me,

in best moments, honeyed and subtle.

I would not have you stuck here.

I would have you always with me.

see saw margery daw

All the rest of my days 

questions that burn are made

more exquisite and biting

yet less savage.

Goodnight, sweet boy,

Good morning and goodnight

until, I too, take leave.

I know not at all whether we will

be together again, 

but hope we will.

An even more profound oneness

than found in breath.

It is not promised

there is no covenant

so, this here and now,

this gentle, dulcet, taste

on spirit, is all that is real.

Good morning, goodnight

see saw margery daw

Rosana Schutte

May 18, 2020 (11:01am)

Revised August 6, 2020

This Death

This death, of all, 

has, not shaken,

nothing so genteel as that,

but shattered belief.

Who cares my heart?

What does mind actually know?

No one.


Not a single thing 

because it is a toy drum of child’s emotion

punctuating, injuring, obfuscating Truth into a sieve

whose droplets rain down in thunderstorms

rattle, manipulate , into unsubstantive realities 

which wash down sewers with the rest of 

life’s spit and dribble to vastness

where krill are sacrifice to Whales. 

What real wisdom does that hold?

What veracity does it know?

There is something deeper than

these cursory wading pools

which find fragments of shells

and sedimented silt of past.

But this death coming, as it does,

in twilight edge,

invokes a quaking ground,

a tsunami wall drowns 

confidence, surety, faith.

There is no God here.

There is nothing.

Here is nothing.

And I quail in the belly of that whale.

Sloshing about like some mouthwash

in the throat of creation.

And dropped, 

instantly awake, 

in cold, bottomless brine;

paddling for an unseen shore.

What watches me? Who hears my panic?

Well, no God, no Angel, see?

So, what about me?

Swallowing salt, and foam, and seaweed.

Naked of hope, bereft of theory

with water where land should be.

There is something deeper than prayer. 

More sonorous than dreams.

Where chatter gives way to hidden language

silent, submerged, infinitely sourced.

This death, this ending,

mocks every urgent plea,

or hymn sung, or increment gained,

or pursuit, or clarity.

All is blind now.

Everything deaf. 

And if I reach for a meaning,

it is backward, in motion and context.

I find that the whole occupation these days

is bound up in leaping fissures,

skirting eruptions,

Crawl, scrabble, sweat, 

Breathless, wild-eyed, gasp.

Spin inside, tremble outside.

Without warning, at edge of a hurricane,

whirl in debris and dust

helplessly flail,