Featured

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!

need

i need to live with You day & night, my Shiva.
i need to wake up & feel You here next to me.
i need to say Your name before anything else.
i need to walk with You down the long wide hallway
& talk with You about things important to me,
like kindness, courage, endurance, respect & love.
i need to tell You what i learn from the Gita
& which part touches me the deepest & the least.
i need to show You my favorite old graveyard
& how peaceful & beautiful the silence is.
i need to walk with You outside in darkest night
& contemplate the stars & sing to them with You.
I need You to be so profoundly within me
that i cannot find who i used to be before
You revealed Your identity, my childhood friend.
i need You like air, water, sun, food & body.
i need to be Your partner, child, servant, vessel.
i need to feel You living deep down within me
as You look upon the world through my open eyes.
i need You like the body needs a beating heart,
so come, Shiva, come to me & be the rhythm
that sends the life pumping through this ready body,
wear me like a second skin, fill me with Your fire!

Shiva

i was wearing my long flannel nightgown,
almost awake in the early morning.
it was the winter of my fourteenth year
in the cold desolation of my wild soul.

You came to me. You came to be the hinge
on the opening door of my young heart.
You folded Yourself around me gently
& drew me close to You, until my breath
was Your breath & the emptiness was gone.
it was filled with Your fragrance & Your taste.
You wrapped Yourself around me, You cherished
me & Your heat melted me, melted me.

Your heat melted me, purified my heart.
You filled me up & burned the past away.
You marked me with Your transcendental love.

hidden in the heart

an ethereal thread holds all things together.
i see it with my twilight eye, the moon-born sight
of poets observing the lacy connections
that can't be seen in the dominion of bright light.
here in the misty dimness, neither light nor dark,
colors fade to grey, stitched together with silver.
nothing is clearly defined, shifting shapes again
repeating primal patterns traced in solar dust.

we are on the threshold where light & dark can dance.
come to me now, Lord Shiva, & dance me within
this density of substance & form in motion.
take my hand, take my heart, dance me in words & art,
tell me who You really are, tell me who i am,
as we touch the subtle thread joining all the parts,
tracing out blessings that are hidden in the heart.
 

training wheels

the mind yet has its training wheels to help it remain steady.
truthfully, i often find myself laying flat on the ground
wondering how i came to fall so low, how i can arise.
yet i do arise, time after time, & i do push forward.
it has been given to me to repeat this forward motion.

i wanted to opt out, let it all go without my input,
but You have shaped it otherwise for me, my dear Lord Shiva.
thus it is that i give myself to You in service & love.
i am a cell in Your body, You are my reality.
i see this while i yet must play the part You have given me.
i do this in gratitude, for the well-being of all life
is woven in to every inch of each measurable thing,
thus i delight in playing out the role You have given me.

You come to me in love & i greet You in gratitude here
where love & gratitude shine like suns in the sky of the mind.
this is the role that completes all roles, final absolution.
this is the end of roles, concepts, divisions, all mentation.
this is the point of the needle of now, the collapse of words.

yet the body throbs to sun, sky, earth, water & to rhythm,
to music's rhythm that leads us home, removes separation.
music is the dream's exit door, opening into Shiva
who is the dweller in my heart & the maker of music.
music is my training wheels, helping me dissolve boundaries
into primal sound & thus to merge into You, Lord Shiva.
beat Your damaru drum like my very own fast-beating heart!
keep the rhythm strong. i follow it back to my origin.
even training wheels will fall away in the fullness of time.

please forgive me

if i say that the sky is "my sky,"
i mean my experience of sky.
if i say that the sun is "my sun,"
i mean my experience of sun.
truly, sky & sun belong to all,
neither are they here for any one.
all exists in the purity of
its own essential bright beingness.

therefore, please forgive me when i call
You "my Shiva" in my devotion
to You, seated firmly in my heart.
experience of You in my life
truly is given for a blessing
& to nurture the shy tender heart
in which You dwell, freely spilling out
Your love into arteries & veins
so that You may shine Your light through me.
what am i but Your experience
of this embodied realm known through me?
such varieties of me & mine!
they fly through the clarity of sky
like leaves in turbulent autumn wind!
ah my Shiva! words fail yet again!

pandemic II

here i am, Shiva!
covered with tissue
wrapped in thick cotton
tied up with strong twine
placed in a small box
hidden on a shelf
in a secured room
in a sealed safe house
on a quiet street
in the far outskirts
of a small city
known to very few.

this nursing home life!
protected & guarded
like national treasure
which cannot be touched!
touch me now, Shiva!
You have compassion
for the outcast ones
who live in shadow
yet rejoice in light.
here i am, Shiva!

blessing

because the body is now old
i reside in a nursing home.
i look back over my lifetime,
piecing its events together
from a wide-angled perspective.
i don't look at other's judgements
but at the many blessings that
You have given to me, Shiva.

now i have sufficient distance
from all the stories & events
to see that they all point to You.
no others have seen this for me
or could see it from the outside.
neither did i see it until
old age slowed me down & illness
forced me to change my point of view.

with Shiva enthroned in my heart,
pulling the veils away slowly,
i see disaster transform to
positive redirection, grace.
i observe shame disappearing
in the light of understanding.

i see You in all that happens
through revelation & insight.
i see Your graciousness to me
even during my ignorance.

my life is now service & gift
when i look through the clear lens
that reveals the arcane patterns
of blessings concealed from the world
& the slicing gaze of skeptics.
behind the apparent events
i see Your divine hand at work,
hidden from the sight of others,
signaling to me of Your love.

i am grateful, my Lord Shiva!
i am grateful You came to me,
that You taught me & guided me
throughout this long life that others
could neither comprehend nor bless.
You are all that i desire &
all that i seek or attend to.
You have chosen me as Your own
& i rest in Your protection.
You are the heart of this life
& all that i need & want.

i am Yours alone

i’m not obedient to society.
i am restless & questioning, persistent
in pushing against the edges & borders.
i don’t identify with culture or race
or nation or gender or wealth or title.
the body appears human. the indweller
is vaster, more inclusive than named alone.

ah, Shiva! the mind can see & say a lot,
yet it all so swiftly changes & flows on.
only You can remain constant in this realm.
only You are truly present within me
when the whole construct crashes down to the ground.

the transformative cycle begins anew
in this realm of infinite variety
where i cleave to You as the only constant.
You are my magnetic north, my sun & moon.
i take up this changing role for You alone,
as Your expression of transformation. thus,
i’m not obedient to society.
i am Yours alone, Shiva, embodied here
in this shining mystery as Your blessing.

lullabies

the sounds of a nursing home late at night echo
dull background humming of central climate control
murmur of someone's tv down the long hallway
sharp clatter of an object falling to the floor
a soft low moaning cry in a frail shaking voice
the quick rhythm of a nurse's hurried footsteps
sudden boom of thunder & hard rain drumming down.
the musical tones in my head rising falling
focussed mind repeating my beloved mantra
singing silent sacred lullabies to Shiva
in the warm arms of the transformative darkness
om namah Shivaya on namah Shivaya

i know You

i know You in my tears which flow in happiness
from the balm of Your presence, renewing vision.
this vision is of the heart open in blessing
& these tears are an offering at Your altar.

i know You in the blood pulsing through the body,
thoroughly pervading everywhere within me.
You sing the same salty hymn in my own blood as
You sing in the mother, the ocean unbounded.

i know You in the sweet morning dew fresh upon
the bright flowers nodding gently in the garden.
i have seen You winking at me from the rainbows
flashing in dewdrops in the early rays of sun.

i know You in the soft drip-dropping of the rain
as You nourish mineral, plant & animal,
journeying all the way up from the wide ocean
& down to earth again by devas dressed in clouds.

i know You in the stream rushing down the mountain
to quench the thirst & guide to fruitful level ground.
animals eagerly come to Your banks to drink
& many little lives rejoice in Your blessings.

i know You in the river in the raging storm,
flooding over human structures, washing away
the known & certain, casting it aside like straw,
reshaping the borders of our crushed illusions.

i know You in the ocean, vast, rhythmic, surging
in & out swelling, thundering, owning the earth
from horizon to horizon, mother of life.
i am but a wave in the broad ocean of You.

everywhere that i look i see You, i know You!
i disappear in the glory of You, Shiva!
it seems that i do not exist except as an
observer of You, again & again, of You!

wild compassion

what could i possibly write about, think about or do
that is not in reality done by You, Lord Shiva?
there is nothing else but You, my Lord. all my words are but
clouds in the vast sky of You, drifting in the wind of You.

out of the light in the eyes of strangers, You can emerge
like swift invisible fireworks that light up my shy heart,
linking me with You in powerful silent explosion.
how can i forget You who dazzle with Your effulgence?

the plot of this human story, like walls, encloses me.
enforcers on the rooftops of my mind shoot down upon
freedom fighters determinedly smuggling contraband thoughts,
yet i press forward with them anyway, dodging sniper fire.

a fierce joke is this maya, long skirts hiding combat boots!
i am laughing & crying, as i also stand apart,
while gazing upon this lovely mesmerizing drama,
wild compassion overflowing the floodgates of my heart.

there is nothing else but You, Shiva. all my words are but
clouds in the vast sky of You, drifting in the wind of You.

these words

i wrap you in these words
when the cold wind bites through your mask
when the rags you wear fall apart
when your dark secrets are exposed
i wrap you in these words
om namah shivaya

i rub these words into your skin
like rose-scented lotus oil
like a warm healing unguent
like a gentle angel's touch
i rub these words into your skin
om namah shivaya

i feed these words to you
in the emptiness of hunger
in the solitude of your night
in the depths of your abstraction
i feed these words to you
om namah shivaya

i shine these words into you
like sunlight into your shadows
like moonlight upon your ocean
like the warmth that pulls sprout from seed
i shine these words into you
om namah shivaya

i plant these words in your soul
into the nameless they go plunging
into the subtle shifting yearning
into the moist readiness of now
i plant these words in your soul
om namah shivaya

a higher pitch

You have tuned me to a higher pitch.
i feel You singing throughout my cells,
vibrating in the space between thoughts.
Your resonant patterns catch me up
& carry me beyond word & form.
i dissolve back into You once more,
crescendo fading into silence,
recommencing in higher octave --
subliming into pure vibration.
You have tuned me to a higher pitch.