Light-filled festival in dakini dreams

November 16, 2015

If you do not occasionally have poetry in your life, you might want to ask yourself if you are really living.

Maybe I am being a bit absolute.

Read the following book review, with poetry excerpts, and let me know:

Gulf Islands Driftwood

December 14, 2005

Light-filled festival in dakini dreams

by Tanya Lester

dakini dreams by Nadine Shelly, Salt Spring Island: (m)Other Tongue Press, 2005, 20 pp., $20 paper

Poet Nadine Shelly defines “dakini” as being, in part, “a Sanskrit word meaning sky dancer, space-goer, or celestial woman; she is a dynamic and complex symbol expressing enlightened awareness.”

In her dakini dreams chapbook, Shelly’s poems can be described as enlightened:

…going in, filling her

body with light,

the wet sounds of birds

lifting and gathering(pause)

exhalation: her mind

moves into silence, still


The light of meditation shines through in these poems. In Solstice, Shelly writes:

swimming naked

through the still sun-


evening lake, alone…

In Green Man:

He appears without warning

While I sunbathe in the


Brings me black tulips and

red worms.

wriggling in a jar, scratches

my bare back with his soft


In Umbilicus (for Kephra):

… your mouth on my


urgent, blind, rooting

(like a wild baby boar


truffles in the forest, snort-


gently with pleasure).

Eyes too blue, blinking

in the hard, dry light.

Even in Final Regrets for Brian, 1941-1992, when Shelly expresses what she would have liked to include in her father’s coffin, there is light in the end:

…I want to hide a forty of

expensive Scotch.

under the quilted satin of

the coffin’s mattress

place a rock in his hand,

a piece

of the land he hated to


set a soft wool cap on his

bald head

to shield it from the flames

I try to console myself

with the fact

that my father would have

hated to waste

a good bottle of Scotch,

and besides, can

he liked to travel light.

Yes, these poems are filled with light. For anyone who likes words, images and the natural world on Salt Spring and elsewhere, this chapbook is a festival.

— END–

Tanya Lester is a tea leaf reader and tarot reader who couples these with psychic channeling and intuitive counseling; a reiki master, an art model and a housesitter. Her website is at    Also, find out more about her at Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google.

Other posts on Tanya’s blog can be found at or

Tanya’s books are Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader (can be purchased from the author or at, Dreams and Tricksters, Friends I Never Knew, and Women Rights/Writes. All these books can be found in library systems and the last three also at the Legislative Library of Manitoba.
























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