a bird is free to live according to its own winged nature, for all
animals are free in that way, including humans. the land animals
& sea & sky creatures are all free to live out their innate qualities
in innocent fulfillment of their own true essence, & so are humans.
we have our own unfolding destiny, an arc of training to complete.
we humans are the ladle that stirs the steaming pot of soup simmering
on the cooking fire. the Hand that holds the ladle is a Vaster Hand
than ours, preparing sacred sustenance for numinous devic beings.
as the mere ladle, we don't know the recipe or the recipients.
in fact, we believe that all this is our own triumph & accomplishment,
a conclusion that the other earthly animals are innocent of.
they rest in their own radiant pristine natures, while we humans sweat &
struggle, leaving a trail of wasteland behind us, calling it progress or
collateral damage, as we fondle & guard our medals & money.
ah, the resounding echo of the laughter of the Gods surely thunders
yet in our dreamtime! we loudly praise freedom as we stand weighed down by our
chains, for we are blind to our own bondage, & we proudly call ourselves free!
a bird is free. a fish is free. a deer, a cat, a butterfly: they are
all free within the purity of their hallowed wholeness, impeccable,
while we strategize & plan & lay claim to our own desires with gusto.
& the Holy Hand holds the ladle that stirs the pot & we look neither
upwards nor inwards, believing that we are the makers & doers. the
enjoyers of the feast smile at our ignorance as we laud our freedom.
ah Shiva! You are quite the tease, a Holy Joker & Awakener!
You prepare humanity for a grand destiny that we can't yet grasp,
so You teach us to endure & reflect upon the meaning of our lives.
thus we are here for the long journey, trekking through arcane cosmic cycles
on our way back home to You, Shiva, reaching out to touch Your Holy Hand.
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
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.