when You were the sky

when You were the sky, Shiva, & i was a cloud in Your vastness,
You played with me through dancing fingers of wind, shaping me into
magnificent forms far beyond my own insubstantial command.

when You were the sky & i was Your cloud, i was held close in the
purity & power of Your divine reach & thus was in the
fated place to rest upon the wild blessing of Your broad blue chest.
i was at the center of the target, Shiva. Your aim was true.

now the body is human, yet You have come to play anyway:
Your love is spacious, embracing all who sincerely long for You.
just as You opened Yourself in the sky, so it is that now on
earth You appear before me & draw me deep down into Your heart.
You have made me Yours, marked me with Your touch & sign, declared Yourself
in full to me. I say yes again, world without end, & we dance.

what control has a drifting cloud in the windswept heights of the sky?
enfold me in the swift current of Your divine intent, Shiva,
& dance me across the wide sky into the blaze of a new dawn.

lord of trees

fruit hanging on the tree ripens from tart to sweet, ever
maturing & softening, becoming lushly juicy.
fully ripe fruit may fall from the tree, offering itself
to the passing hungry beings, to all who search for food.
this is the dharma of fruit: to nourish all, that the seed
inside may be carried to fertile soil to continue
the ageless cycle of replication & provision.

Shiva, You have given me sweetness, color & fragrance.
i hang here on this branch, ripe & awaiting Your harvest
in the coming time, in the season of ingathering.
whether i grow on the highest branch or on the lowest
is of no concern, for You see my innate potential
transcending the exterior circumstances. You are
the lord of trees, of the green world, Shiva, overseeing
their divine gifts of nurture, shelter, ceaseless protection
& generosity. in the same way, people who give
of themselves without measure abide in Your protection.

i am here on this branch awaiting Your harvest, Shiva,
giving myself to Your service, for this is my dharma.

soft & new as a baby

the emptiness of inner space enfolds in peaceful calm quiet.
it sublimes everything into a warm embrace, a touch that feels
as though the sharp edges that had kept the heart enclosed have now been
softened into passing scenery--going, gone, no longer there.
the past is a blur of green, blue, gold, dissolving into nothing
that can be named, including myself. all the names now fall away.

yet an urge remains, a calling, a gentle magnetic pulling that
has me held fast in its grasp & takes me to the still-point of all
that i have ever yearned for in my deepest most hidden heart shrine.
it's You, Shiva. i am calling You--or is it You who call me?
this emptiness of inner space is really filled by You, Shiva:
Your fragrance of jasmine & datura, Your holy siren song
that triggers all the best in me & affects me like ambrosia.

the body wants the known & familiar in a pleasant pattern
formed to cushion & protect the sociocultural program.
that is not possible for me since i overflow its edges
in the way that irrepressible exuberant life will do.
no boundary can contain or limit me, Shiva, for You have
fashioned me thus: for the liminal places & the far edges
where reality melts into color & tone & songs are born.
stories leak out sentence by sentence & numinous myths dwell there.

cradle me close, Shiva, for i am soft & new as a baby
in the absence of enculturation & social compulsion.
only You are vast enough to hold me now that i have cast off
the lines that bound me to the body & its documented past.
all that remains now is the tender intimate vastness of You.
cradle me close, Shiva, for i am soft & new as a baby.

this knowing that “i am”

Shiva, i am learning to know all substance as Your body &
all beings with varying forms & functions as Your expressions.
the density of matter cloaks complete knowledge of You, although
You truly are the all-pervading essence of that which remains
to awareness after the transitory departs yet again.

this grand drama of life gives birth to the earthly realm, with humans
& many other beings populating it in a dance of
flowing creativity in a subtle evolving pattern.

Shiva, i know that this body, the source of personality,
is shaped by genes, conditioning & impacting outer events.
therefore it is not who i really am, as You often point out.
i learn slowly, glad that You patiently persist in Your teaching
that who i really am is the one constant steady awareness
that remains vivid when all else is gone: this knowing that "i am",
the same indwelling wisdom common to all created beings.

Shiva, You are above, below, surrounding & within: source,
quest & destination. You are the universal medicine.
like a great tide You are upon me, sweeping me up in the flood
of Your expression, calling me to the heart, core & center of
all the various comings & goings of daily human life.
wherever i focus i see You at the living heart of it.

i know how it finally ends. i know that the light of kindness
will once more prevail & that darkness will again lessen & that
this dance will continue as it always does. this endless cosmic
glory is like a flower opening from bud, blooming, wilting,
fading, falling, releasing the seeds of new flowers to repeat
another sacramental cycle of Your rhythmic dance, Shiva.
i am looking within to the heart's chamber where You dwell & i
simply want to be with You in the refuge of Your calm presence.
OM NAMAH SHIVAYA

like blossoms to the sun

the rolling fullness of the rising sun reflects anew
in the rainbow glint of a dewdrop on the tip of a
sharp blade of tender grass innocently offering itself.

the final lilting call of the whippoorwill fades into
the morning songs of the wood thrush & summer tanager;
the sky brightens slowly, becoming a rose-gold temple.

the morning brings divine opportunity to offer
heartfelt gratitude for the simple gift of awareness.

yes Shiva, tempt us with Your divine magnetic beauty
as You shape Yourself into these many earthly delights!
we shall gladly dance with You in the sweet glory of this
timeless transparent increasingly radiant gold light.

the rolling fullness of the rising sun reflects anew
in our swirling turning rhythmic holy dance, dear Shiva
of hidden charms & endless unfolding transformation.
like the whippoorwill, our voices are silent in the soft
downpouring light as our hearts lift like blossoms to the sun.