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.

refuge

i'm sharing blessings through poetry, art, stories.
i'm giving all that to You, Shiva, who owns my heart.
You transform the dense substance into the subtle
through our dance together in this rich realm of form.
i am shy to tell You of my love, though You are
the center of my life & my heart melts in You.
You have blessed me far beyond my imagining.
i am Your devotee, Shiva, i am Yours now.
i live my life for You, i give my life to You.
i take refuge in You: hold me deep, deep within!

need

i need to live with You day & night, my Shiva.
i need to wake up & feel You here next to me.
i need to say Your name before anything else.
i need to walk with You down the long wide hallway
& talk with You about things important to me,
like kindness, courage, endurance, respect & love.
i need to tell You what i learn from the Gita
& which part touches me the deepest & the least.
i need to show You my favorite old graveyard
& how peaceful & beautiful the silence is.
i need to walk with You outside in darkest night
& contemplate the stars & sing to them with You.
I need You to be so profoundly within me
that i cannot find who i used to be before
You revealed Your identity, my childhood friend.
i need You like air, water, sun, food & body.
i need to be Your partner, child, servant, vessel.
i need to feel You living deep down within me
as You look upon the world through my open eyes.
i need You like the body needs a beating heart,
so come, Shiva, come to me & be the rhythm
that sends the life pumping through this ready body,
wear me like a second skin, fill me with Your fire!

Shiva

i was wearing my long flannel nightgown,
almost awake in the early morning.
it was the winter of my fourteenth year
in the cold desolation of my wild soul.

You came to me. You came to be the hinge
on the opening door of my young heart.
You folded Yourself around me gently
& drew me close to You, until my breath
was Your breath & the emptiness was gone.
it was filled with Your fragrance & Your taste.
You wrapped Yourself around me, You cherished
me & Your heat melted me, melted me.

Your heat melted me, purified my heart.
You filled me up & burned the past away.
You marked me with Your transcendental love.

hidden in the heart

an ethereal thread holds all things together.
i see it with my twilight eye, the moon-born sight
of poets observing the lacy connections
that can't be seen in the dominion of bright light.
here in the misty dimness, neither light nor dark,
colors fade to grey, stitched together with silver.
nothing is clearly defined, shifting shapes again
repeating primal patterns traced in solar dust.

we are on the threshold where light & dark can dance.
come to me now, Lord Shiva, & dance me within
this density of substance & form in motion.
take my hand, take my heart, dance me in words & art,
tell me who You really are, tell me who i am,
as we touch the subtle thread joining all the parts,
tracing out blessings that are hidden in the heart.
 

training wheels

the mind yet has its training wheels to help it remain steady.
truthfully, i often find myself laying flat on the ground
wondering how i came to fall so low, how i can arise.
yet i do arise, time after time, & i do push forward.
it has been given to me to repeat this forward motion.

i wanted to opt out, let it all go without my input,
but You have shaped it otherwise for me, my dear Lord Shiva.
thus it is that i give myself to You in service & love.
i am a cell in Your body, You are my reality.
i see this while i yet must play the part You have given me.
i do this in gratitude, for the well-being of all life
is woven in to every inch of each measurable thing,
thus i delight in playing out the role You have given me.

You come to me in love & i greet You in gratitude here
where love & gratitude shine like suns in the sky of the mind.
this is the role that completes all roles, final absolution.
this is the end of roles, concepts, divisions, all mentation.
this is the point of the needle of now, the collapse of words.

yet the body throbs to sun, sky, earth, water & to rhythm,
to music's rhythm that leads us home, removes separation.
music is the dream's exit door, opening into Shiva
who is the dweller in my heart & the maker of music.
music is my training wheels, helping me dissolve boundaries
into primal sound & thus to merge into You, Lord Shiva.
beat Your damaru drum like my very own fast-beating heart!
keep the rhythm strong. i follow it back to my origin.
even training wheels will fall away in the fullness of time.

please forgive me

if i say that the sky is "my sky,"
i mean my experience of sky.
if i say that the sun is "my sun,"
i mean my experience of sun.
truly, sky & sun belong to all,
neither are they here for any one.
all exists in the purity of
its own essential bright beingness.

therefore, please forgive me when i call
You "my Shiva" in my devotion
to You, seated firmly in my heart.
experience of You in my life
truly is given for a blessing
& to nurture the shy tender heart
in which You dwell, freely spilling out
Your love into arteries & veins
so that You may shine Your light through me.
what am i but Your experience
of this embodied realm known through me?
such varieties of me & mine!
they fly through the clarity of sky
like leaves in turbulent autumn wind!
ah my Shiva! words fail yet again!

pandemic II

here i am, Shiva!
covered with tissue
wrapped in thick cotton
tied up with strong twine
placed in a small box
hidden on a shelf
in a secured room
in a sealed safe house
on a quiet street
in the far outskirts
of a small city
known to very few.

this nursing home life!
protected & guarded
like national treasure
which cannot be touched!
touch me now, Shiva!
You have compassion
for the outcast ones
who live in shadow
yet rejoice in light.
here i am, Shiva!

blessing

because the body is now old
i reside in a nursing home.
i look back over my lifetime,
piecing its events together
from a wide-angled perspective.
i don't look at other's judgements
but at the many blessings that
You have given to me, Shiva.

now i have sufficient distance
from all the stories & events
to see that they all point to You.
no others have seen this for me
or could see it from the outside.
neither did i see it until
old age slowed me down & illness
forced me to change my point of view.

with Shiva enthroned in my heart,
pulling the veils away slowly,
i see disaster transform to
positive redirection, grace.
i observe shame disappearing
in the light of understanding.

i see You in all that happens
through revelation & insight.
i see Your graciousness to me
even during my ignorance.

my life is now service & gift
when i look through the clear lens
that reveals the arcane patterns
of blessings concealed from the world
& the slicing gaze of skeptics.
behind the apparent events
i see Your divine hand at work,
hidden from the sight of others,
signaling to me of Your love.

i am grateful, my Lord Shiva!
i am grateful You came to me,
that You taught me & guided me
throughout this long life that others
could neither comprehend nor bless.
You are all that i desire &
all that i seek or attend to.
You have chosen me as Your own
& i rest in Your protection.
You are the heart of this life
& all that i need & want.