why i am sharing this nontraditional spiritual journey

  • to encourage anyone, anywhere, in their exploration of the spiritual path that calls to them even if others don’t understand. you are not alone.
  • to inform other seekers that the regular writing of poetry about the relationship with your Deity of choice can enrich life tremendously. the same is true about painting and drawing images of the Deity of your choice. it can bring the relationship alive & facilitate deeper communion.
  • to demonstrate that sincerity & devotion in this approach to the spiritual is fundamental & more essential than talent or skill in writing or art.
  • to urge especially those who are in the latter years of life to deepen the focus on the nonphysical spiritual realm. poetry & art can help greatly with this.
  • to express & fulfill my dedication & devotion to Shiva, who has shown me all that i have painted & written about. He began with the nonverbal intuitive paintings, continued with the verbal expressive poetry & now moves to the global cyber realm. this is my service to Shiva, the Deity of choice who guides my life. may you be inspired & energized in your own explorations & journey! namaste!

pandemic #1

You have placed me in the fire before --
this is not the first time, Beloved.
Many join me -- we are a bonfire!
we are all so brightly burning now
that the fire can be seen from space.
this is a good time to get lighter,
to be burned clean of impurity,
to discover how shiny we are
beneath the blackening of surface
slowly taking place in our world now.
arrogance is consumed in this blaze
as it rages in global cleansing.
Your fire burns pure, my Beloved --
i give myself to You willingly --
my life has always been Yours to use.
may this burning-ground be a blessing
in the big picture we can't see yet.
Lord Shiva, dance Your tandava now!
dance us into global renewal!

all else falls away

You were the light that cast no shadow
as You approached me from mystery.
You entered me in my reverie,
in my deep dreams & in my visions.
i found messages from You in books
& in the cloud-crowded windswept sky.
You peopled my life with emissaries
& repeatedly gave Your blessings
for my emergence from chrysalis.
i was shifting into something else,
leaving words behind in soft silence,
floating in unknowingness, yielded.

when i was free of all covering,
tender & pale & new in this form,
You approached in compassionate care.
You touched my damp wings & they opened,
& enraptured i glided to You,
freed from the restraints of the old form,
inadequate to receive Your grace.
i was shadow & You are the light,
i am the dream dissolving in You.
You alone are my life & my truth --
all else falls away, unmourned, unmissed.

i know that it is You

a great bird glides across
the zenith of the sky,
dips a wing in salute,
circling over my head.
i know that it is You --
Lord Shiva, it is You!

the cool wind is stroking
my wide-eyed lifted face
& it suddenly shifts,
touches warm & gentle,
lingering on my cheek.
i know that it is You --
Lord Shiva, it is You!

the heart pumps faithfully,
steadily, in my chest,
cycling blood & love
through my yearning body
to bless me with this life.
i know that it is You --
Lord Shiva, it is You!

i know that You are here,
winking at me daily.
we share a private joke.
again You light my smile
for You are here with me.
I know that it is You --
Lord Shiva, it is You!

how to live in this world

the mountain proclaims
how to live in this world:
"be strong, endure, stand tall
& reach to the sun
in adoration."

the tree whispers soft
how to live in this world:
"lift up into the light,
plunge into the earth.
share it all freely.
give yourself endlessly
& generously."

the flower declares
how to live in this world:
"seek the light & drink
from the sweet moist earth.
unfold your splendor
in passionate color
& fragrant essence."

the bird calls to me
how to live in this world:
"sing deeply from the heart
in jubilation.
cast yourself into
the embrace of the wind --
go where it takes you
with calm acceptance."

these noble beings
(my teachers & gurus)
channel my Lord Shiva
in their purity.
thus i honor them.
i bow to them. i bow.

the train

i feel the train coming
before i see it.
thunder underground!
earth trembles below feet.
standing delighted
near the side of the track
i see the train coming.
oh, the light & sound!
the great nearing arrow!
yes! straight to the heart!

as the train rumbles by
in a swift sweeping wind,
the engineer waves.

You are saying hello.
i know it is You.
who else but Lord Shiva
would target my heart?

a realm of endless mirrors

i dwell in a realm
of endless mirrors,
i myself a dream,
writing a poem
about a woman
who sees that the world
is a dream & she
now writes a poem
about this event.

and next, Lord Shiva
wakes me up with a
bang & a shake &
a warm hearty laugh.
He takes hold of me
& opens my eyes --
& i am at home,
at home, at home now
in Lord Shiva's arms.

we are the people

we are the people
of flesh & smoke,
children of the dream,
shaping our hands
into alphabets
for those who cannot hear.

we cannot hear!

we are the people
of blood & bone,
gathering our food,
protecting it
with swords, hands & words,
urged on by our desire.

we are hungry!

we are the people
of mist & fog
who rise & dissolve--
as the sun drinks up
the water of our lives.

we are fleeting!

we are the people
who rise & fall,
a luminous rain
to soak the soil
with blood & blessing,
turning & returning.

we rise & fall!

we are smoke & mist,
drifting in dream
in this reverie,
lovely maya,
sweetly inviting,
shadows urged to action.

we are so dazed!

our hands form the shape
of the word "love".
our hearts demand this.
love gives itself,
offers a place to stand
even in this dream.
although our blossoms fade,

we are fragrant!

in the grip of Your love

i did not choose this path.
it has chosen me.
i pushed at the edges --
yes, repeatedly,
yet ever a great Hand
set me once again
upon this narrow way.
others' opinions
have no hold on me now,
for a greater One
already has shaped me
to be uncommon.
no matter. You are here,
my dear Companion
on this trip, Lord Shiva.
You have seized me firm
in the grip of Your love,
held me to this path.
i care not for the demands 
from the other paths.
You, Shiva, are with me.
You do not release
Your hand from holding mine.
all else falls away
as does the ripe melon
from the grasping vine.
i remain with You.

spilling out in these words

i live in a small room
where my walls call Your name.
Your footprints cross my floor,
hidden from others' eyes.
Your imprint on my bed
& likewise on my chair,
only my eyes can see.
i paint & draw Your face
& write poems to You.
i call Your holy name
& sing Your sacred songs.
I look within, deep down,
& all i see is You.
You are in my darkness
& You are in the light.
You are breathing through me,
You are beating my heart.
Your presence is coursing 
through my veins as i write,
spilling out in these words
through the pen on paper.
Lord Shiva, i am Yours,
marked by You before birth,
living for You on earth.

i share their celebration

the mountains in morning sun
abide, massive, enduring,
earth bowing in deep pranam,
praying to the golden light
in silent rapt communion.

trees lift their limbs in worship,
mudras of unceasing adoration
to radiant giver sun.
leaves murmur poems of praise,
roots cling in deep earth embrace.

the sky extends into space
ever open to the sun --
its urgent throbbing presence,
its intelligent glory.
the sky is the lens of love.

things speak continually
of this globe of primal fire
gliding through clear lambent air.
i share their celebration
in words like flowers blooming
in a high mountain meadow,
each petal a namaste
to the living light of love.

You held me

You seemed to me like royalty,
i hunkered in the dirt.
You told me of Your love for me,
i was lost in my hurt.
i hid my face, You drew me close,
You held me to Your heart.
Your glory seemed too much for me,
i kept myself apart.

You came to me repeatedly,
my heart was tightly furled.
i turned my back & gathered up
the treasures of this world.
then came the day i lost it all
but You still yet remained.
You cut the chains that bound my heart,
You healed me of my pain.
You made a doorway in my wall,
a temple in my heart.
i yield myself to You humbly,
i am Your work of art.

like a tortoise

like a tortoise in my carapace,
weary & wary of all,
i lumber along my careful way,
protecting my wound & scars.
i stay to the corners & edges,
i keep my back to the wall.

You roll me over with no warning,
Your power descends on me.
Like the ill, i look through leaden eyes,
like the dead, i don't resist.
You strike me once & You strike me twice,
You urge me now to come forth.
You release me from my old burden,
You illuminate my night.
You strip the bandage away from me
& make my wound a doorway
opening into my guarded heart
where You radiate Your light.
You gather me up into Your arms,
Your heat is melting my heart.
You nourish me & illumine me,
You bathe me in Your esteem.
You are my home, i am not alone,
You are my true destiny.