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.

i know You

i know You in my tears which flow in happiness
from the balm of Your presence, renewing vision.
this vision is of the heart open in blessing
& these tears are an offering at Your altar.

i know You in the blood pulsing through the body,
thoroughly pervading everywhere within me.
You sing the same salty hymn in my own blood as
You sing in the mother, the ocean unbounded.

i know You in the sweet morning dew fresh upon
the bright flowers nodding gently in the garden.
i have seen You winking at me from the rainbows
flashing in dewdrops in the early rays of sun.

i know You in the soft drip-dropping of the rain
as You nourish mineral, plant & animal,
journeying all the way up from the wide ocean
& down to earth again by devas dressed in clouds.

i know You in the stream rushing down the mountain
to quench the thirst & guide to fruitful level ground.
animals eagerly come to Your banks to drink
& many little lives rejoice in Your blessings.

i know You in the river in the raging storm,
flooding over human structures, washing away
the known & certain, casting it aside like straw,
reshaping the borders of our crushed illusions.

i know You in the ocean, vast, rhythmic, surging
in & out swelling, thundering, owning the earth
from horizon to horizon, mother of life.
i am but a wave in the broad ocean of You.

everywhere that i look i see You, i know You!
i disappear in the glory of You, Shiva!
it seems that i do not exist except as an
observer of You, again & again, of You!

wonder

You took me at the peak of my glad celebration,
negating laws of physics, erasing everything.
You removed the concept "impossible" from my mind,
threw me in a multidimensional miracle
& shocked my mind silent, leaving me in stunned wonder.

that wonder still clothes me like an invisible cloak,
something too amazing to share, yet it changed my life.
speaking of it is like catching fish with hands only,
or caging wind in the hands to bring home for others.

You shine light on my daily rebuilding of structure
through my careful words like bricks in a tall wall, Shiva!
yet i still want to say "look! see! there is such wonder!"
so i string garlands of words that i offer to You
because i overflow with rejoicing that you're here.
i am blazing with Your presence & the light leaks out,
cascading in these limited words i can't curtail.

circling around You

i confess that people in my life
are like shadows cast upon a screen.
though they reach out, they cannot touch me.
their voices blend with the rushing wind,
as real as stars at noon, sun at night.
they come & go, rise & fall & fade.
only You stay steady, Lord Shiva.

You are seated firmly in the heart
& my life is circling around You,
held fast by an unbreakable cord.
Your fragrance tells me that You are near.
we are invisibly blended, wed,
& the party is in full swing now
in my heart's most resonant chamber.

the shadow people, slowly turning,
seem to move in time with Your music
which is leaking out through all my pores,
drenching the surroundings with Your love.
my hand, in Your hand, reaches to them
to whirl us in a vast circle dance.

patterns

You weave Yourself into the pattern
of my life after childhood departs --
my cry for meaning calls You to me.
You show me how to make an altar,
tell me about the world appearing
as pairs of opposite qualities.
You teach me to balance opposites
through You, by taking refuge in You.

i cannot say that You save my life
because first You tear it all apart.
or i tear it apart because i
can't stand the emptiness any more.

You bring me to a mountain to serve
& honor everything as sacred.
You're the thread stitching all together
in a pattern of pure symmetry.
jewels are hidden in the design,
dappled light, trees, foxes, bears & crows,
sunlight glowing through mist & green leaves,
birds carrying messages to gods.

i have loved You in Your many forms.
You are pattern, You are energy.
You are the weaver & the woven,
the rhyme that repeats in my lifesong,
great maker & breaker of patterns.
i am Your expression, Lord Shiva,
i am You singing me into life,
laughing in delight at our playing.

a lump of coal

i was a lump of coal when first we met.
i was thirteen, just reaching to see
beyond the family walls. You were
my friend from another dimension,
my secret companion in wonder.

through these many years You pressed upon me,
impelling me inward & slowly
increasing Your pressure until i
became strong, bright, able to endure.
my darkness slowly changed to clear light.

You then carefully cut & faceted
the diamond You made of the coal
of my heart until, in my elderhood,
i became a rainbow & gave hope
& encouragement to those near me.
You never relented nor gave up
on me, continually shaped me.

now i can sit in darkness & yet shine
with light, for You have filled me with Your
downpouring loving light, Lord Shiva.
You have made me a diamond in
Your hidden treasure box, a fragment
of Your own majesty & glory.

i am a star in Your celestial
constellation; i am a blessing in
Your gift basket for humanity.
thank You, Lord Shiva, for the darkness
that makes the light irresistible.

the train

i feel the train coming
before i see it.
thunder underground!
earth trembles below feet.
standing delighted
near the side of the track
i see the train coming.
oh, the light & sound!
the great nearing arrow!
yes! straight to the heart!

as the train rumbles by
in a swift sweeping wind,
the engineer waves.

You are saying hello.
i know it is You.
who else but Lord Shiva
would target my heart?