i have little to show

it's all interior, nothing much that comes to action --
a certain peace, a quiet calm, an acceptance of now.
i have little to show to the world, Shiva, few good deeds
or great service. just a subtle subjective shift, a deep
bond with You, whom i feel abiding now within my heart.

even this becomes dim & murky when the world looms large.
this is a long grim struggle, Shiva, just to hold steady.
i tire. i sag. i observe the fading of memory.
the mind is such a rebel, refusing obedience.
i am bereft, adrift, undone, hard-pressed as a person.
the old costume was cast off long ago. i have none now.

i have only You, Shiva, Your tender inner presence.
all in all, a pretty good trade for who i thought i was.
You guide me from within & weave Your presence through the day.
You are real, constant, unchanging, ever-present, central.
all in all, a pretty good trade for who i thought i was!

stories

after i tell You my stories, Shiva -- the old ones,
the stories told to me, about me -- they fade away.
in their place are the new stories, emerging now that
i am ready to receive my true place in this life.

the new stories are about You, Shiva, how we met
& how You continued coming to me in spite of
my blind ignorance & grievous errors of thought.
it helps me to live in this world, being aware that
You are now, & always have been, central in my life.
without knowing Your name i have known Your warm presence
& ever sought to be near You in my heart & mind.

dear Shiva, i am entirely swept away by You.
You cause my heart to open & You bless me with love.
in this world of maya i have been given a shield
of protection by You & my life is devoted
to You & what You may want of me in this dream realm.
i do my duty to You here until You take me
beyond all the stories, beyond the form, into You.

today

some days i am like a cloud floating in the wide blue sky,
sun streaming into me like fingers of divine blessing,
wind carrying me effortlessly in a smooth swift flow.

other days i slog my way through the thick mud of the day,
struggling to take just one more step forward yet again
in the endless trudging of step after step after step.

some days i lay flat on my back in mud, surrendering
to inertia like an old balloon slowly deflating.

other days i say Your name before i fully awake,
feeling You deep within the hidden chamber of my heart
&, finding You there, lift my hands in glad salutation.

today i see all these changing shapes of the shifting days,
witness the flickering parade of possibilities.
they are so real to the human self pushing through maya!
my heart opens in compassionate wonder & soft love.

i seek refuge in You, Shiva. i am Yours forever.

every fallen flower

how can i resist the call of a fallen flower when
my altar is open & receptive to offering?
the flower did not ask to be an altar offering
yet circumstances now conspire to bring them together.

thus have i come to You, Shiva, myself a fallen bloom
& You, opening to take me in Your companionship.
just so do the pieces of the puzzle find each other,
as a great coming together of need & the response.

no matter. however it happens, we are joined, Shiva.
it is the way of things for me to cleave to You, my love.
every moment of this life points to You. i see that now.
this fallen blossom adorns the altar of Your vastness
as an offering to the deep wholeness underlying
the unending changes of this transient earthly realm.
every fallen flower sets upon a homeward journey.

like the ocean

when i talk to You, Shiva, detachment slowly happens.
no longer can i repeat the tired old stories in my head.
they dissolve & show their essential unreality
as patterns that keep repeating habit-like in the mind.
they are just snapshots of a passing moment, inflated,
grasped, given importance by other's firm opinions.

the mind is choked with all this mental debris, mirroring
the rafts of plastic garbage cluttering our blue oceans
& the poisons leaching from dumps, fouling the groundwater.

i won't go there anymore. i feel the danger. i know.

i turn my back on the chatter of inner dialogue
& face toward You, Shiva, who has shown me this wisdom.
You are the antidote to the poison i have swallowed
& i hold fast to You, placing You foremost in the mind.
purify my thoughts, Shiva, please remind me of You.
i want You to fill the mind with Your clarity & light.
i want to fall into You like a rushing waterfall!
catch me like the ocean that i may dissolve into You!

You want me

i don't know why You want me here.
i don't know if what i do is
what You actually want from me.

i only know that You want me,
for You branded that deep within
my innermost wordless true self.

hence all my actions are given
to You in hope that i offer
that which is needful as You call
on me now to act in the world.

i use what You give. You give it
to be applied on Your behalf.
in the end, at the completion,
i only return what is Yours.

that You want me, this i do know
& nothing else really matters.

talk to me

"talk to me," Shiva says, "nothing is too trifling,
for I am the essence of everything here.
you can talk to me." i hear Him in my heart &
i wonder how He can care about such trivia.

"try Me," He says, "the open heart knows no trivia."
feeling shy, i tell Him what i am doing now,
how words reveal themselves for poems, like flowers
unfurling petals to the nurture of sunlight,
singing in the language of fragrant bright color,
a hymn of gratitude, chorus after chorus.

"see what I mean?" Shiva says. "nothing is too small
to hold the whole of creation at its center.
talk to me," He says, "for this too is sadhana."

this is why my lips move silently within crowds
& why my voice is heard in soft conversation
when people are gone, for Shiva is here with me,
teaching the art of divine inebriation
without concern for the opinions of others.

He is right, for all my talking to Him keeps the
door of my heart open wide & He enters &
we talk together about pebbles & planets.
when i can talk no more, He holds me in His heart.

dust & rubble

He comes with clear fierce intent, so
goodbye to the queen of overthinking,
her crown knocked off by that rascal Shiva,
shattered by one swift thrust of His trishul.

His tender service pierces her mind-made shield
with the focussed force of His compassion
as she plunges into the dust & rubble
of passionate assumptions & demands.

goodbye to the queen of overthinking,
hail to Shiva from His vowed devotee
who bows in silent stillness gratefully.

i bow to You

i have been running after knowledge
all of my long inquisitive life.
how like You, Shiva, to come to me
through my heart in the unknowingness
& chaos of shattered strategies!
well played, Beloved, i bow to You!

now that You have plowed my ready field,
plant Your seeds of mantric blessing deep,
to grow in darkness & reach for light
with Your tender care along the way.

all my actions now refer to You.
You demonstrate that heart does rule head
& i bow to You in gratitude.
Well played, Beloved, i bow to You!

fateful journey

image: Dr. Masaru Emoto
i'm a snowflake in the dense blizzard of humanity
& You are the wind seizing me in Your inclusive grip,
taking me on a fateful journey, caught up in swift flight
through this wild swirling storm of winter, gathering in strength.
i have no destination, no volition, just yearning
to be aware of You & to observe You in events.
i'm among an immense congerie of diverse beings,
going where You, Shiva, take this one small snowflake of me,
a brief moment in a story of divine magnitude,
a bit player in a cosmic drama yet to conclude.
melt me with Your heat, Lord Shiva, just as You always do!

in this world

on all sides we are urged to action in this world,
to produce & share & organize & maintain,
to think & discriminate & improve ourselves.
great divine beings are also doing their work,
all the suns in the galaxies lighting the way,
& there is no end to the busyness of action.

dear Shiva, i want only to do that which You
have set before me, step by step, for You alone.
You are actor & the action & the acted-upon
& i do nothing but appear here in this world.
You reveal to me that which is now needful &
it takes on a life of its own, like a story
in a vast unfolding divine presentation.

dear Shiva, i know You want me to be here
but i don't know why, nor am i concerned with it.
this is Your world, Shiva, & i am here for You.
my own existence is truly action for You.
You are my service, my life & my final stop
as mind becomes weary of its survival games.
You urge me to be aware only of You now
& that is my most vital action in this world:
to rest in Your refuge as wave rests in ocean.

a place to stand steadfast

You have given me a place to stand steadfast,
an identity beyond the human-born,
a way to face into life with dignity.
You opened Your heart to me & i entered,
steeped in ignorance & blind arrogant youth.

long have i kept Your memory deep within,
but like a ruby wrapped in ragged burlap
or precious art forgotten in an attic.

no longer, Lord Shiva, no, never again
will i dare turn away from Your instruction,
for age has given me the wisdom & love
to venerate only the dearest blessings
& You are the one who includes all of them!

You are that which remains when the transient
is no longer the focus of attention.
oh my Lord Shiva, how brightly You do shine
at the midheaven of mature awareness!
i now can place myself in this time-bound realm
only in relation to You, Lord Shiva,
who have given me a place to stand steadfast,
an identity beyond the human-born.

pandemic lll

this is a global culling event,
a time of physical alertness,
a time of challenge to compassion.
this is a time when the greater good
for the greatest number is questioned
& ignored by many who value
personal will above group service.

do You call me to You now, Shiva?
am i one of the expendable ones
in this intense global culling time?
i am old, an economic drain,
if the material world counts most.
my offered gifts are not tangible,
nor do they serve current social needs.
Shiva, i am glad You came to me
& i will freely return to You
whenever You call me to come back.

what a drama of the human heart
are these times of global suffering!
it is no doubt a good time to die,
thus i stand with You, at peace myself.
the body is all Yours anyway,
always has been & always will be.
i am content & ready to leave,
to return to You who are my source.
let be what is needful, use me well!
gratitude to You is what remains
& in this world, that is sufficient.