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The Teenage Poems.
and what I've learned since
Volume 1

by Madhuri

Some years ago I was poking around in my first book, Impassioned Cows by Moonlight, a collection of poems and short stories from my teens. And I had an idea: Wouldn’t it be fun to write a little commentary after each poem, to explain what I had learned since, about the subject of that poem? What I’d learned about identity crises, and overbearing older boyfriends, and sexual abuse, and the real meaning of self-love; about eating disorders, and emotional overloads, and so many other things. What I’d learned through living, and being with a meditation master – Osho – and therapy, and my own inner explorations and discoveries.

This is the first volume of that expanded book. It begins at age 15 in an alternative school in Riverside, California; proceeds to a summer and fall in Ferndale, northern California, and then back to Riverside and the university there. The 60’s were in full swing, my boyfriend was a musician, and I read my poems in coffeehouses where he played. It was a time both moody and sunny, in the midst of my large family, and with a difficult relationship. I was, much of the time, yearning for freedom… even as I was finding the voice that would bring me through the hard times to come, as I filled notebook after notebook with experiences and verse.

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The Teenage Poems.
and what I've learned since
Volume 2

by Madhuri

In June 1970, the smog in Riverside was so bad it was impossible to see to the end of the block. My younger sister and I had been kicked out of auditing classes at the university when our ages were discovered. We were sleeping on our mother’s living room floor. And so, with our mother’s blessing, we left Riverside hitch-hiking, looking for a better place to be.

In Colorado we climbed Storm King Mountain, and then a ride we got took us to a music festival in the lee of the Rockies. And there our destinies diverged for a time… I was seized joyfully by a charismatic Belgian professor and invited to go with the Medicine Ball Caravan as a dancing extra for a documentary about hippies and psychedelics and musical events. My sister went to the Hog Farm Commune, where our mother collected her and they hitched to New York.

The Caravan went to Europe, and there I stayed two years, travelling, suffering inwardly and outwardly quite a lot, having relationships, and writing. Then I went back to California and persuaded my mother to move to San Francisco. My sister, a feisty little heroine, went on to hitch-hike across Asia to India… where she met the mystic Osho, and summoned my mother and me to come. The book ends with that life-changing flight to Bombay.

As in Volume 1, the story unfolds through the poems and their commentaries; but in Volume 2 we also have a few letters and diary entries. And, as in Volume 1, there are many photos and drawings. There are many intertwining themes: eating disorders, sexual folly and sexual health, what is a woman really; travel and its benefits, writing and what it does for the writer; how Will both benefits a person and can make her crazy; Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and how meditation lifts up daily life and transforms it.

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Reviews

"These gorgeous diaries are chock full of tie-dyed nostalgia, delightful pen and ink drawings, photos that reek of incense, and in-your-face honesty. A pilgrimage that began rough, hitching the uncertain roads of youth, has brought her home to herself... A feast where readers can satisfy their munchies while savouring here-and-now wisdom."

Deva Padma, author of TAO oracle and co author, The Osho Zen Tarot

"This eloquent, elegant, intimate and compassionate book is a must-read, a gift for every teenager and adult to be enriched and transformed by."

Nisarg B Nikiel, Human Design teacher

"I read the first page and fell (no, rose) in love. Wow. Every man with a plan to romance a woman needs this book as a tutorial. It's not preachy, not for the timid, and... a total delight... Also a delight to travel back to 1967, the Summer of Love, and feel the joypain through the words and heart of the womanchild who pours out her whole being, naked and unafraid! I read until I could no longer focus. Love is the word that keeps coming up. Just love. The book is magnificent, intriguing, so wonderful to read the youthful poetry and then have context and commentary. It is a reader’s paradise. The poems are gorgeous and the format… is BRILLIANT!"

David Hill, author, Mastering Madness

 

Who Wrote It

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Madhuri Z. K. Ewing was born in California in 1952. She studied poetry and dance at UC Riverside, then in 1970 left hitchhiking on her travels, was invited into a film as a dancing extra, ending up in Europe for two years, where she wrote, published, and had unwise teenage misadventures. She returned to San Francisco, where she performed poetry and acted in dubious films. Her younger sister had meanwhile made it to India, where she met the mystic Osho, then called Bhagwan. She sent for her sister and mother to share in the revelation.
Madhuri then spent 30 years in Osho's communes, meditating, working, dancing, and eventually teaching psychic opening.
Her first book, Impassioned Cows by Moonlight, was published by Hanging Loose Press, New York, in 1974.
She is the author of seven books, including the memoir Love at Dancing Leaves: a Tantra Memoir, and Mistakes on the Path.
She lives in Hebden Bridge, England.