Your cleansing rain

Shiva, Your cool rain is a sweet benediction,
healing & soothing the raw edges of the heart.
comfort me with rainbows, lift me upon Your clouds.
i would float upon Your love, myself a blessing.
the world is my field of dharmic group service now,
yet You are my center & i hold fast to You.
although i bend beneath the hard weight of this life,
i do not fall nor do i neglect my duties.
not by any virtue of mine, but through You alone
is the work done, & the fruits of work go where You
determine in Your mysterious, profound way.
all is done by You, beyond human mind & heart.

it is done by You & i am Your agent here
on this blue planet which, itself, struggles toward
a greater life in this primal cosmic cycle,
time after time, aeon upon aeon, onward.
we humans are Your transforming agents, Shiva,
created, formed & born for Your service & grace.

looking through the cosmic lens, i can see how we
are the outreach of a vast emanating source.
thus do i celebrate this opportunity
to praise You, yearning to return to Your wholeness,
resting in the cool downpour of Your cleansing rain.

this dream of maya

this dream so grips us that we do not see
we are insubstantial wisps of smoke & bone,
blurred reflections in a dusty mirror.
ah, the beauty of the shifting colors,
the subtle hint of light & shadow glimpsed
beyond the swift moving montage of form!
this dream of maya invokes the senses
with the bright promise of fulfilled desire.
here, rainbows are mystic stringed instruments
in the hands of the heavenly devas.
ah! the beauty of the shifting colors,
swirling in that sweet varied melody!
the dream glows before us enticingly,
enchanting in this lengthy human sleep.

yet i do awaken from the dream's spell
resuming my firm stance, cleaving to You
in sincere sadhana & devotion
far beyond the dream's enticing allure,
to blend my heart & mind with You, Shiva.
again i persevere in Your service
as i have vowed, & so i do remain.
i will stand steadfast with You, dear Shiva,
upon the skyclad heights of Mount Kailash.

no matter what the outcome

You cannot enter me in Your full potency
for blood & bone are too dense to hold the fullness
& intensity of Your vast power & light.
yet i do sincerely invite You nonetheless.
whether i live or am altogether destroyed
is an empty thought from an old collective dream.
i awaken now. i hear Your resounding call
& seek with all my heart to follow it to You.
no matter what the outcome may be, i am Yours.

humanity is the planet’s sadhana

we are born of the earth & quickened by sun.
humanity is the planet's sadhana,
embodying its divine evolution.
we blunder our way toward kindness & light
as the systemic cycles of growth circle
& turn through vast cosmic dance steps, moving &
spinning out inexplicably strange blessings.

humanity is the planet's sadhana.
we blunder our way toward kindness & light,
irresistibly on the upward spiral.

a rough piece of rock

You blast through my protective wall of words & strip me clean
of concepts, removing me from my comfort zone, Shiva!
You are revealed to me now, human attachments laid bare,
withering in the pure fire of Your seal upon my heart.

every happening in this life is a teaching from You.
this jiva, a rough piece of rock, is polished to become
a shining jewel in the fullness of time & process.
love without attachment or expectation is Your gift
& i learn, i learn from pain & from delight, i do learn.

You blast through my protective wall of words & strip me clean
of concepts & guide me toward my holy home, Shiva,
where no "i" or "You" remain, only the dancing wholeness.

i answered yes

hightop mountain, fletcher NC
i was called by a mountain & i answered yes,
enjoying seventeen sacred years of service
at her living leafy green feet. i answered yes.
she showed me hidden wonders, held me close,
nursed me with her secret sweet flowing cool waters.

the mountain invited her scattered family
to hear the songs i sincerely sang as i walked
her shadowed paths among the tall trees & boulders.
raccoons & bears & bobcats & foxes lived there.
possums & crows & owls, hawks & squirrels--they came
& all listened to me as i sang hymns of praise
to all the gods & holy beings living there.
i answered yes to each & every one, blessed
by nature & higher realms i could not conceive.
i was called by the Divine & i answered yes.

thus we meet again, Shiva, further down the path.
the daughter of the mountain now comes to You.

when i see the sky

i am grateful for the sky, that vast holy blue temple,
the moving clouds shaping Your messages of encouragement.
i am grateful for the storms rolling through to clean the air,
refreshing dry earth with a million rainy kisses.
i am happy to see birds tracing patterns high above.
i am grateful for that peaceful open arc that lifts me
from the weight of personality, opening me to You.

i am blessed to feel the sun, radiant giver of life,
touching me with warm golden fingers eight light minutes long.
the cool glow of the moon unveils luminous soft movement
as the stars share distant mysteries partially revealed.
the heart soars in gratitude for the lilting spaciousness
which brings sweet release from structure, necessity & form,
which points to the realm of purity, freedom from concern.
i feel i am coming home, Shiva, when i see the sky.

only the mind

even though i seem to be identified with the functioning of the mind,
even though i fall short in many ways & at times grope blindly in darkness,
even though i frequently sink into a bleak forgetting & yearn for help,
You do not abandon me & You stand ever-present in the heart's viewpoint.

You do not abandon me because You are the very source of who i am.
only the mind cares about abandonment & measuring up to ideals.
only the mind compares & judges, approves & condemns & sets stern values.
only the mind can turn away from You, lost in the transient storms of thought,
yet You are always available to the call of the sincere open heart.

You are available, Shiva, always standing nearby, ever supporting.
i know this as i become aware of the entrapment of the agile mind
& therefore i persevere in remaining steady, grateful for Your presence.

this small passing mote of human dust gives thanks to You, the divine source of dust
& bright stars & swirling galaxies, coming to me in a way i can grasp.
i salute You, Shiva, & rejoice in Your pure light & Your deep mystery.

the heart will hold fast

today is a time of courage when i resolutely determine
to remain alert, not to get lost in memory & mind chatter.
over & over i return to my mantra, the lifeline which You
have given me, to which i cling in the intense storms of circumstance.

i dwell in a nursing home, an imperiled place in a pandemic,
yet nonetheless You remain close when i can see beyond the surface
to the divine timing that cares less for the unit than for the whole.
remaining in an old worn body is not important. You alone
are truly essential & i shall not lose my way back home to You!

birth, death, body, spirit: the dance patterns of cosmic complexity,
& i can no longer freestyle full out but seek now to rest in You.
You are the center of the turning wheel & i will not lose focus
upon You. although passing events may obscure, the heart will hold fast.

the heart will hold fast when hands no longer find a solid place to grip.
thus today is a time of courage when i devote myself to You.
i am here for You. i do not fear the homeward journey of return
for this script has long been written as the time to merge myself in You.
the sun only sets for the earthbound & i am a child of the stars.

Your sacred warmth

i know You not by form but by Your tender presence felt within my heart.
i know You by the glow of warmth at my core, by the buoyancy within
my whole being, magnetized by & moving to You irresistibly.
i melt inside when i recall our meeting, the pure blending of essence.
i melt inside when i hear Your name, Shiva, & i overflow in these words
on paper celebrating You in all the ways & times of our union.

i am weaving threads of communion with You in this sincere poetry.
i realize repeatedly that You are central to this life, Shiva,
far more important than the cyclic comings & goings, the ups & downs,
the loves who come & the loves who go. You alone are my steady constant,
my anchor, the bond that thrills me to my existential reality.

i know You not by form but by Your tender presence felt within my heart.
my entire being is an open doorway for You to fully enter,
dissolving altogether that which appears as name & form, time & place.
beloved Shiva (i dare to speak as if i am holy Parvati),
hold me in Your sacred warmth as the gravid world travails in birthing pain.

comedy act

You taught me earlier to be serious, focussed, deeply thinking.
then, at that time, it served me well. now You teach me quirky playfulness,
which has great value in this nursing home where laughter is less common.
i am Your student of silliness, practicing my funny faces
in the mirror & with the friend You bless me with on the internet.

toilet paper -- thin, crisp & flimsy -- provides a lesson in humor,
fluttering into angular shapes at the touch of a reaching hand.
it perversely creases & crimps & pleats & twists, corkscrewing
into weirdly angular lengths, dancing gently in the drafty room.
You show me that the elemental entities of the air frolic
in the folds of the tissue, delighting in its insubstantiality.
i can almost hear them now, laughing like rowdy children running wild
without any supervision inside the playground of the bathroom.

You teach me that i do not need to take life so seriously.
the crisp & kinky toilet paper was once an irritation &
now i smile at the antics of those frisky little beings playing.
i delight in their comedy act & they like my silly faces.

a fledgling from the nest

ah Shiva! You often urge me to greater skill & patience,
to develop abilities & to ask more of myself.
You push me from my resting place like a fledgling from the nest
& i feel like i am falling, yet i find that i can fly.
Shiva! You will not take no for an answer though i try.
You will not let me quit nor run away. there is no retreat.

i cry, i sigh, i hide my face, i crawl beneath my blanket,
yet nonetheless i must emerge when the new day calls me forth
& i must push consciously against the current obstacle.
You give me this task to do & though i sag beneath the weight,
i will continue on for You have chosen me to do this
& thus i will though it is hard, for i know i grow from it.

ah Shiva! You often urge me to greater skill & patience.
i know that blessing emerges from this because it comes from You,
who help me spread wide my ragged wings to lift into the sky.