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.
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 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 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.
You reached out to me & cut me free
but my back was to the door.
i raged against my imprisonment
& fervently did implore
for meaning, purpose, reality
beyond daily emptiness.
i called You, sought You, begged You to come,
my yearning was bottomless.
You were there yet i was unaware
for my eyes & ears were sealed.
looking back now in my elderhood
i see the pattern revealed.
You did come to me, repeatedly,
You were not ever concealed --
only the heart can perceive the real
& only the heart can feel.
i will not dance the charted steps,
i will not wear the veil.
i turn from phoney flowers,
i only seek the real.
i am not a proper puppet,
the strings are mostly cut.
long ago i shunned the wide way
to try the obscure rut.
i have no regrets or sorrows
or things i wish i'd done.
i rest now in Lord Shiva's arms,
the many returning to One.
You are the distant thunder
in the far hills of my mind.
i see Your face in the clouds
& i leave my tasks behind.
i pray for Your healing rain,
i plead with my voice & eyes.
sprout my seeds that they may grow,
touch me with Your warm sunrise,
enter me with Your pure glow.
i sold my mind for a few kind words
& gave my body away,
yet they could not really get to me
for i hid behind the play.
the passing people, their undreamed dreams,
went by like shadow & dust.
i grimly witnessed the storyline,
i did what i knew i must.
i turned my back on the human world.
i wandered my blinded way
& fell into a vast emptiness,
night after night with no day.
i cried for light & i begged for it
yet turned away my head
from every single kind offering
of sustenance, & i fled.
i could run, i could not hide from it
& i could not veer away.
i faced it all, i embraced the act,
my part within the play.
then i was dismembered with a knife
& speared by a holy word.
i bled my sadness, i bled my fear
& i threw away my sword.
i looked away from the play of dreams
& long sought for something real,
where heart & mind might find their true home,
where then i could laugh & feel.
many years have plodded past since then
& much was explored & seen.
i was not touched. though the lines were there,
still i remained in between.
until You came & that changed it all
for You brought the world alive.
You took my weary old cardboard life,
the play, the dream, final dive --
You turned me around & upside down
& also inside & out.
You revealed the real within the fake
& You took away my doubt.
i sing now the song my heart calls forth
in sweet tones like colors pure.
the real is living within my soul,
the rest I can now endure.
the mirror is covered with dust
& age is devouring the mind.
my heart hungers for Lord Shiva;
He shines like a sunrise to me.
i open in His warm sweet light
like rose petals from the tight bud.
He is first & middle & last,
the only focus that matters
as the body nibbles at time.
leaving the mirror behind me,
i return the dust to the earth
& face into the mystery
as i hear His song calling me.
He comes, He comes, my Lord Shiva!
He is radiant with blessing!
He sings me home, my heart is His.
i cling to Him, my timeless Friend
to whom i am betrothed: my Love!
i looked through the eyes of the damned,
i looked through the eyes of the cursed.
i wallowed in sorrow & smut,
swallowed by dark ruminations
that laid me down flat like roadkill.
yet still Lord Shiva approached me,
He opened His circle to me.
i turned away, my face covered,
& hid in the shadows of shame.
He gave me full rein to destroy
so i tore the script of the world,
shredded the judgements of others,
moved from the careful & cautious,
plunged into the mystery bright.
it burned away the deep darkness.
it left me with nothing to hide.
He came like a storm in springtime.
i lay spread like dry earth below.
He was the downpour that drenched me
& pulled out the sprout from the seed.
He opened His arms, He claimed me,
He held me like music & art.
I am His flute, His brush & paint,
i am His words, His wordlessness.
i now celebrate Lord Shiva,
Who took me in & judged me not
& cared for me when i could not.
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.
i knew i was not lost
though they told me i was.
i knew that i was blessed
though they said i was cursed.
i lived my days with them
courting the mystery
ceaselessly calling me,
utmost magnet of love
i am aware of You --
i feel You in my heart
& in my brain & bones.
You stroke me with soft wind,
You sway in the shadows
& You blaze in the sun.
You call me from hiding
& stand me before You,
naked in my yearning,
stripped of human learning.
i am Yours, returning,
open like a plowed field
ready to receive seed.
I knew I was not lost.
I knew that i was blessed.
I knew that it was You
who comes to me at last.