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

called by many names

the time to look within that the pandemic provides
is a healing & integrative blessing, though strict.
i know enough now not to confuse the wrapping of
the gift with the real gift, which i receive gratefully.

Shiva, i see that the sanatana dharma came
to the west as theosophy & esotericism,
telling the holistic tale that bridges cultures & lifestyles.
we are more alike than different, preferring love
over violence, gentleness over cruelty.

we surge forward as a multitude toward the light.
we stray only to learn the true nature of our need.
we are ignited, blazing like a fire in winter,
as we return to You, who are called by many names.
You bring the sanatana dharma, ageless wisdom,
the effulgence of eternal truth in daily life.

the pandemic is the current opportunity
to go within, emerging into Your dear embrace
as we shed our ragged & broken crusty old skins
for the supple skin of a newborn child in this world
as we return to You, who are called by many names.

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!