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