this very moment

this very moment the hatchling finally cracks the egg-shell open,
tumbling forth, naked, wobbly & damp, heartbeat sounding, breath whispering
in, out, pulling "now" in, pushing out all that came before, repeating.

this very moment the shy nestling gawks over the rim of the nest,
body throbbing with her hunger, innocent eyes & mouth open wide.

this very moment the brave fledgling dares to test her new wings in flight
& plunges falling into the wind, which holds & lifts her high & free.

I am Your fledgling, Shiva, urged from within to stretch my wings & fly,
soaring with You beside me, ascending this very moment, right now!

rising up & raining down

i see the plump dark springtime clouds rolling over the near horizon,
rushing on their fingers of rain. this is You, frolicking in the sky,
Shiva! You weave Yourself through my hair in Your guise as the gusting wind.
ravens soar in circles above, rejoicing in Your divine presence.

i also soar in my own way, through intuition & heart & eyes,
delighting in the moist richness of wind & rain & Shiva my love,
in these exciting springtime energies rising up & raining down.
tender roots descend into primal wild earth, drinking hidden nurture,
abiding dusky deep & sweet within, urging tree & grain to green.

Shiva, You enter me as well, intimate as rain upon the earth,
softening the hard & brittle, increasing the receptive & moist.
You coax the yearning sprout from the seed, leaving all the tough husks behind
as testament to limitations transformed through Your grace, & released.

interlude

the world encompasses us like a glove, holding us in place,
making sure we know the moves & all the proper things to say.
Shiva says this is the embrace of a protective cocoon
designed to split open when we expand to fill it too tight.
it is meant as an interlude in a long cosmic journey,
& these words are but the quick flickers of one with wings in flight.

coniunctio

i see them draw together,
i observe them pull apart:
the sun & moon in a space
embrace, joining holy hearts.

flaming embers fall to earth,
descend from the cloudless sky,
hinting at the mystery
that the soul will not deny.

Shiva's dance goes on & on
as galactic seasons change.
His music calls. i respond
as i always do, again.

i see us draw together,
i observe us pull apart
in this sacred dance of life
wherein i give You my heart.

this life makes sense

following Your guidance, Shiva, i continue to review
my life story & the blinders placed there by memory &
society, finally revealed & stripped of their power.
You have ripped the bandage from the wound & healed it with Your touch.

You healed it with Your touch, strongly resembling a surgical
procedure, as the whole is freed from the iron grip of the
presumptuous part. i need a new perspective now. it's time.

the upheaval of the quaking earth i long considered firm
beneath my feet has flung me out of my resting place & tossed
me in the air. & that is how i learned to fly & look from
there on high to see the patterns playing out in a vast expanse.
i see the story scrolling by, the hidden now revealed--&
this life makes sense, i can see it now. this life makes sense at last!

this life makes sense at last as the hidden stands revealed,
shaped by Your holy hands to prepare me for the part i play.
all i've learned in the past must now be dropped, must be left behind,
just like the empty chrysalis when the butterfly takes flight
& forgets all that had come before as if it were a dream.

wife welcoming husband home

You are woven through my life,
patterned in my skin & bones.
You have carried me through loss
& danced with me in danger.

my eyes have been uncovered:
now i know You for my guide,
see Your touch upon my fate.
Your hand is raised in guidance,
Your gaze enlightens my path.

i am empty without You.
the fragrance of Your presence
invites me to cling to You,
wife welcoming husband home.

Shiva

You come in the form of an owl, swift-swooping close by my face
to assure full wakefulness, calling out to me in kinship.
You come in the form of a large majestic bobcat crossing
the path i follow, pausing a few meters away to stare
deeply into my eyes, entwined with me in wordless wonder.

You come in the form of a raccoon, earnestly enraptured
by the devotional chant i sing. You stand at my feet &
place Your hands on my knees, peering up at me curiously.

You come in the form of a fox, pulling me outside at night
with the gripping power of Your commanding bark that beckons.
You dance on the snow in the moonlight out in the fallow field
& the heart responds to You as if You are my beloved.

You come in the form of a mother bear bringing her three cubs
for a family picnic at our generous bird feeders.
You come in the form of a hawk soaring up over my head,
grasping a snake in its talons, snagging my rapt attention.

You come in the form of a shy flying squirrel at twilight,
gliding smoothly, dipping down to hear as i sing sacred chants.
You come in the form of a wild turkey seeking refuge while
recovering from an injury, glad for the provided food.

You come in the form of a gallant male grouse who soon becomes
the wild turkey's companion as we all meditate beneath
the sheltering branches of a sky-blessed hallowed hemlock tree.

You come as the sun & moon, as all the earthly delights &
heavenly realms that entice & enfold us in sweet wonder.

Shiva, You are all that's left when I release everything,
when there is not a "me" to perform any action at all,
for action appears to take place in a spontaneous flow.
in this manner, through me, You create these poems for sharing.
thus, glad expression is given to the Source of existence.

in the divine realm, these words are lotus blossoms & roses
placed at Your holy altar, Shiva. here on earth they flow through
the pen from the heart to You. i am Your wandering child coming
home again, the wave ever returning to the ocean.
OM NAMAH SHIVAYA

gratitude & humility

i lay sick & powerless in a bleakly raw subjective realm.
Shiva, i sought You but there was no ability to connect.
i had little capacity to focus. neither mind nor heart
was able to hold steady nor could the body find restfulness.

i saw the inescapable fact of transience & that the
body, from birth to death, is at the mercy of the fickle world.
i saw the fixed agenda of the sociocultural rule
& the curtailing framework of dogma, belief & submission.

the shiny domain of civilization seemed rather uncivil
as the coronavirus occupied my senses & raged its
own battle against the entrenched forces held deep down within
body & mind, digging up the time-worn bones of old suffering.

i felt dispirited, Shiva, & vulnerable to culling
for the offense of inconvenient & unwelcome viewpoints.
i lay there unable to register Your presence & feeling
like a pariah outcast refugee from another planet.

this is where i see in my own life that the eternal goodness,
who is given myriads of names, has repeatedly blessed me
with supportive visions & insights. Shiva, You are the true source
of my sustenance & guidance, providing strength & endurance.

what need has the body for power when all power comes from You?
what is the need for seeking acceptance from other people
when You visit & love me within my heart's innermost chamber?
who in all this manifested place could possibly equal You?

You are the fire, Shiva, & i am a spark of You, flying
from Your fire into the frying pan of this hungry jagat earth
into this body, then forgetting. like the coronavirus,
this place greatly dulls intuitive spiritual awareness.

Shiva, thank You for providing me the experience of the
coronavirus blocking me from You & bringing its parade
of old energies to me. i endured it & outlasted it
& i bow before You now in gratitude & humility.
OM NAMAH SHIVAYA!

the tinsel gifts of crows

i reach out to contact You, Shiva, but i cannot
dent the dense interior coronavirus haze.
i cannot reach You, so i drop into a deep daze.
i sink. i float. i snag upon thorny vasanas,
empty & drained of energy, joy & liveliness.

the body resembles a zombie refugee, slow,
heavy as gravity, composed of mud, meat & bone,
now absolved by unthinking, unfeeling raw dark sleep.
void of intent & organization, there is rest,
a descent & upsurge, a cleansing, a long release.

Shiva, reduced in vitality by a virus,
i look for You behind the moving shadow surface
anyway, for only You give the depth that i seek,
the height that i aim for & the strength to continue.
i am Your own primal kin returning now to You.

i bring poems, offered like the tinsel gifts of crows,
sincerely grateful that You are here to receive them,
these small shiny bright innocent tributes i give now.
OM NAMAH SHIVAYA

sudden patches of wild violets

Shiva, i have been following Your instructions
to review my life from the mature perspective
that sees a long lifetime of patterns & events.
i am to release the stories from all who have
offered their opinions of me throughout this life.
i am to let go of my conclusions based on
hearsay & social pressure to follow a script.

i am to welcome those events that light up with
meaning & life & a quickened spring in my step.
i am to honor my dreamtime intuition
& to notice hints & clues left in my night dreams.
i am to respect all that warms & lights me up,
all the playful creativity expressing
like sudden patches of wild violets tempting
from the beaten path of well-trod obedience.

i am to recompose my current life story
now that i see the patterns of the old version.
all those characters are dead or far away now
& i am free of the weight of the burden they 
unknowingly placed upon my shoulders & mind.

there are none to convince, none to resist either.
only i know my story, as You also do
because You are teaching me how to see it now
& know it as my genuine experience
through the healing power of poetry & prose.
I have been following Your instructions, Shiva,
mellowing into age & gaining depth & peace.

touching my life again

a quick storm blows in, rolling & flashing through the huddled mountains in the springtime afternoon,
churning & darkening the sky slowly to slate. i stand outside watching an orb move
through the fallow field, appearing as bright as a firefly at first, yet nearing & becoming
obviously much larger & more amazing, weaving from side to side in serpentine fashion:
a ball of fire the size of a human heart meanders up the ragged field, gliding freely
like a sentient being exploring a new place, lingering, then speeding on, alive! You!

it is You, Shiva, touching my life again, sending wonders to me like tender love letters!
You hover two meters up in the air now, the mountain before you watching through many eyes.
All existence seems to take a breath, full & still, waiting for a message, a resolution.

You, a magical intelligence from an unknown realm, are spearing me with astonishment
as You turn & glide back & forth down the field the way You came, curving smoothly through the charged air.
bright & buoyant, radiating Your presence, You pause for a timeless moment, a quiet instant.
i am caught up in the pure wonder of Your livingness as You are poised in the lucent air.

suddenly, as if a decision is made, You swiftly cut through the air, move away from me,
& plunge into the woods on the far side, returning into the mystery, departing here.
i am hanging off the cliff of my amazement, feeling something hard crack open deep inside,
feeling the pulsing powerful wholeness of You pulling me from my makeshift shelter of words
& plans & desires & lists & laundry & cooking & that necessary car maintenance.
oh Shiva! You know how to split & splinter my careful house of scheduled events into scrap!

a few days later i follow Your path through the trees: i know that You are not done with me yet.
a recently fallen old tree lays in a clearing by the creek, offers a log to sit on.
i meditate there for hours by the water, downloading the message that You have left for me,
feeling the key of it fit into the keyhole of the lock i didn't know was on my heart,
sensing You seat Yourself there centrally. You have come to remind me that I am vowed to You
& all else is my field of service & cannot replace You as primary & focal.

without You my life is scattered dust & ashes, grey & choking, smothering fragile new growth.
with You all takes on a magical aura of wordless communication, hyperreal.
Shiva, You are my primal addiction & without You i quietly suffer & sicken.
You are the essence of life & the body & personality serve You honorably.
You are the indwelling life that gives form its allure. i seek You & release focus on form.
Thank You for the gift of knowing Your name & the ability to recognize Your presence!

Your holy presence

i see evidence of You here in my life.
just as i see the small unfurling green leaves
& know that springtime is surely very near,
so do i register Your holy presence.
there are no proper words, yet there is blessing,
there is the unfolding of a precious truth
nourishing the heart within the outer heart.

when i say Your name, You approach me closely.
i don't see You, yet i declare Your presence.
i don't hear You, yet we talk every day.
i would give up the world before i would lose You.
without Your presence, the world is like cardboard.
Shiva! You are the life within the body;
You are why there is a body here at all!
thus do i register Your holy presence.

You have no form

to me You have no form, though i love the forms ascribed to You.
You are essence, presence, numinous energy signature.
You are within me as i move in the vast ocean of You.
You signal to me through clouds & i reply in semaphore.

my whole life is a semaphore, an action-adventure play
designed to get Your attention, to call You to see my need.
i tire of action & searching & i turn within to rest.

so it is that in the calm of this silence, You come to me. You come.
You come like the breeze, like dew at dawn, like the stars emerging
out of nothingness into somethingness, calling out my name.
You wrap around me as if skin, & i breathe You like the air
until i grow bright as the crescent moon shining in Your hair,
placed in the darkness of Your hair, no longer able to speak,
silently rejoicing in You who are hidden in all forms.

You are essence & presence, evoking deep recognition.
You call Your own & i respond, fighting through forgetfulness.
i continually move forward, slowly & steadily.
Your energy is my primal imprint, marking me for You.
i am Your agent of transformation coming home to You.