I began connecting with Indic traditions through the practice of yoga in the 1960s. At the time, I was completing my doctorate in History of Religion at Columbia University. As I became a mother in the 1970s, I felt the desire for a maternal alternative to androcentric stories and traditions. This took the form of Devi (Yuganta Press, 1987), an epic poetry cycle drawing on Indian goddess myths and the Yoga philosophy of Nature and Spirit in union. Devi: Mother of My Mind (MapinLit, 2006) adds a more environmentally and ethically concerned sequel to the earlier Devi.
I also wrote Indian historical novels focusing on neglected women’s stories. Memoirs of Ambapali tells the story of a legendary courtesan who lived at the time of Buddha. The Begums: A Moghul Trilogy focuses on the women of the three great Moghul emperors. In The Secret Journey of Issa, Jesus spends his lost years journeying to India and studying with a woman guru in Taxila.
Interweaving family, nature and environmental issues, Buddhist teachings and the Anishinaabe heritage of three of my grandchildren, How Fish Learn: A Book of Days 2010-2015 is a continuing poetic sequence I began the year before I was to turn seventy. The poems reflect an intention to be with a range of critical moments as they emerge. No narrative is imposed or sought out. Over the course of time, like fish surfacing and sinking from view, the various threads appear.
All proceeds from the Issa and Fish books support Midwest Environmental Advocates and International Campaign for Tibet.