the woods in the deep of the night

the woods at deep twilight smell sweet & moist, immersed in the subtle
allure of the night's hidden magic. the roosting crows in repose
mutter good night to one another in soft clicks & croaks. shadows
settle over the trees, descending from the hands of the sky like
a shawl to wrap the woods in featureless & faceless protection.

sharp details belong to the day, are necessary to see for
the accomplishments & unveilings that take place under the sun.
deeds are done & tasks await: gathering & dispersing happens.
order is valued & scripts are offered for all the roles & their
requirements. survival is the bottom line. i hold myself in
to fit within the narrow slot allotted for those such as me.

but at night, in the mysterious woods, none of that bright world rules.
here in the darkness, the unknown & irrational prevail, & the
shadows may be doorways opening into other realms. You come
to me through those shadows, Shiva, & tell me of wonders beyond.
You touch my heart & unlock it, & i will forever thank You
for this, for coming to me. i will forever thank You, Shiva.

the woods in full nightfall smell sweet & moist, an invitation to
deeper magic. Shiva, soon the moon will rise high & the darkling
playmates emerge from hiding. there's a song in my heart that escapes
through my lips & it stands as a motto for this entire life. "i
mean no harm; i am passing through. i celebrate all existence."

thank You, Shiva, for urging me out to befriend the darkness &
the unfamiliar. You hold me in Your hands & in Your heart
& i hold on to You forever. You take away my concern &
You leave me with Your grace, here in the woods in the deep of the night.

the nectar of Your name

once i was a convenience & a commodity, addressed by the
title of the social role i fulfilled--but no more! that old yoke was
lifted & i walked away, turned my back on it all & moved deeper
into the vast mystery. it had been calling to me for most of
my life & now i am free to go, for i am done with the world's work.

only the limitations of my own abilities restrain me
now. my actions are no longer shaped to please the expectations
& demands of others. they come spontaneously in natural
response to circumstances & i observe without interference,
seeing that events come & go, rise & fall, cycling repeatedly.

You alone remain constant in this lifetime, Shiva. Your name flows smooth
like pure nectar on the tongue & the heart opens the door wide into
borderless love. sweetness arises warm within. this is the medicine
needed now for the healing of this wounded human world, to soothe the
weary people crying out in wordless supplication for Your grace.

the unseen holy power of the mantra can usher in that grace.
Shiva, Your name repeated over time forms a strong protective field
& the nectar of Your name flows like a slow infusion of Your love.
there is no cure for the pain of the world but there is an anodyne:
OM NAMAH SHIVAYA!

one more time

need is honed by the whetted knives of appetite & truly, Shiva,
i hunger for You. gone are home & husband: only You remain to
feel my need & only You, my panacea, can satisfy it.

after the hard fall from grace comes humility. after the blessing
of divine presence comes also humility, for what on earth can
long endure? i am like an autumn butterfly floating in the wind
as if a bright & tattered fallen leaf spiraling in circles not
of my own choosing. i am being carried home, Shiva, on this long
journey of return to You, yet another weary old butterfly
coasting on worn ragged wings & deeply rooted instinct
as the days grow shorter & cooler & the nights fall even colder.

the crisp clear nights are overseen by orion & the pleiades,
who make their promises & work their spell upon my stuttering heart.
i am promised to You, Shiva, carried & cloistered by messengers
who are following Your firm command. my life is not my own. even
my need & appetite do not originate with me but come as
endowments, strange puzzles concealing Your calling card & messages
written in subtle sensory glyphs which You have taught me how to read.
they say, "wear it out, burn it up, let it go & seek Me everywhere
as we play hide & seek in this burning ground of purification
called daily life on planet earth. I will carry you home at the end."

"are we home yet, Shiva?" i ask Him like a child, again & again,
& we giggle & play tag in body after body one more time.

the sky has no pockets

Shiva, You splashed the sky all over me & now birds flock to me
& rainbows romp around the corner, hoping for rain to come soon.
all is included. i lost my edges in the sky's dome. there's no
"i" in the sky, only infinite inclusiveness & the high
advent of miracles & wonders. they float in me like clouds,
sharing their gifts when enticed by human invocations & wants.

i am spread so wide & so thin, Shiva, that the fingers of
the sun slide smooth & warm through me, sounding dulcet musical tones
from my mountain peaks & prayers from my worn plateaux. Shiva, You
splashed the sky all over me & now even the stars take notice,
for i am open to everything made of this heavenly light.
You have made me a portal for the stars to come & go, & now i
am free space, allowing each to shine the radiance of their gifts.

i hold it all lightly, for the sky has no pockets for saving things
& no urge for acquisition. my arms reach around the world &
my hands nudge as the gentle breeze that murmurs "wake up". now that i
am sky-splashed i have no need to hang on to anything because
i stretch from horizon to horizon due to Your playful grace,
Shiva, due to Your grace. You are the sun in the sky of my heart.

the dweller within is ageless

the body is elderly, yet the dweller within is ageless.
activity is limited by a medical condition,
yet the heart-center is online & the inner work continues
with vivid dedication & continuous cultivation.

in another realm i dwell as timeless receptive consciousness.
the many realms interpenetrate & i am in them all in
various conditions. the bodies change, yet i continue the
journey of increasing awareness & consequent devotion.

when words are available i rejoice, Shiva, i rejoice that
i am able to see a more expansive vision through Your grace.
the constraints of the physical realm dissolve in other domains.

the body is elderly, yet the dweller within is ageless,
returning repeatedly to the wholeness of heart-consciousness.
i am aware of You, yet there is no separation present.
we are blended consciousness, distinct yet simultaneously
combined as well. love is the substratum of our union, Shiva.

who i really am does not need a physical body to be.
i am forever You at heart, eternally Your expression,
dedicated to You as only ones deepest Self can be. here
now is the pure land in mellow shining glory, the beating of
the divine heart of the world sounding OM, sounding OM, sounding hOMe!

the body comes & goes, comes & goes, & You go on forever,
Shiva of numberless names, including the name i once thought was mine.

the mines of maya

we are at work in the mines of maya, clearing & refining,
opening space for light to shine. we need that light in this mine.

that which is dark & jagged, we polish, smooth & purify.
we ourselves are being refined in this manner by the gods
who, in their turn, are also being refined & clarified
for the refulgence of light, the renewal we want to feel.

oh how we fly when we can & how we crawl when we must!
the dense events of life can weigh us down with added gravity
& subsequent immobility. we are at work in the
mines of maya, cleaning, digging out the darkness to find the
subtle veins of light concealed in all things, yet accessible.
light is hidden everywhere, Shiva, for You gave us this gift:
the light that calls us home, the yearning in our hearts for Your grace.

what we may become

esotericists say that the earth itself is deep in a
spiritual initiation by its solar teacher, the sun,
who holds the earth clasped close in an optimal loving orbit
with all the other attending planetary acolytes.

the guru sun with encircling solar system devotees
holds darshan in its ashram of time, space & locality.
humanity is the precipitator, actualizing
the initiation, triggering systemic refinement.

this is akin to the caterpillar's quantum leap into
butterfly, a winged being capable of rising to
new dimensions previously unattainable, unknown.

Shiva, You are in attendance at this holistic process
as the ultimate progenitor & initiator,
pervading everything within the quantum flux of matter.
as the sun You hold the earth in Your strong arms of gravity
& nurture its essence & ability to change & grow.

i circle around You too, Shiva, held by Your gravity.
this transformation is inevitable, vital & good
& You hold me in Your loving arms just as You hold the earth
in Your gravitational field while it experiences
its transformative travail. Shiva, please comfort & console
as we deliquesce in change, not knowing what we may become,
yet open to Your grace & grateful for Your holy presence.

rising up & raining down

i see the plump dark springtime clouds rolling over the near horizon,
rushing on their fingers of rain. this is You, frolicking in the sky,
Shiva! You weave Yourself through my hair in Your guise as the gusting wind.
ravens soar in circles above, rejoicing in Your divine presence.

i also soar in my own way, through intuition & heart & eyes,
delighting in the moist richness of wind & rain & Shiva my love,
in these exciting springtime energies rising up & raining down.
tender roots descend into primal wild earth, drinking hidden nurture,
abiding dusky deep & sweet within, urging tree & grain to green.

Shiva, You enter me as well, intimate as rain upon the earth,
softening the hard & brittle, increasing the receptive & moist.
You coax the yearning sprout from the seed, leaving all the tough husks behind
as testament to limitations transformed through Your grace, & released.

through mature vision

i know now that You never did turn away from me
but gave the opportunity to heal deep-seated
karmic tendencies that needed focus over time.
for that i wandered through the lonely hinterland of
suffering & refinement of receptivity.

though always the memory of Your presence & grace
would warm me like the sweet gentle sunshine of springtime,
like a soft generous rain soaking into the earth,
like the sun patiently pulling the life from the seed
into the down-pouring soft radiant grace of You.

Shiva, we are fused in purpose & intent to bless.
gone are the days of raw youthful naive ignorance.
now i see compassionately through mature vision
how You persistently, continually touched me,
shaped me, held me, healed me & how, in the final view,
You auspiciously emerged from Your hidden home deep
within my heart's most intimate & sacred chamber.

You wear me today like a consecrated garment
as i am borne by You through this long incarnation
which i celebrate like a glad global holiday.
i am soaked through & through with Your divine love & grace
& i cannot stop these words that pour forth rejoicing,
rejoicing like a tree in the warm springtime sunshine!

this burning moment

as i write these words to You on paper, Shiva, i am
inviting You to be near me, to touch me with Your grace,
with Your compassionate way of revealing ageless truths
as if they had grown & blossomed deep within heart & mind
& only now could reveal their shining fragrant presence.

as i write these words to You on paper, Shiva, i find
myself feeling as if i sit by a wood-burning stove
enjoying the heat as wood is sacrificed to the fire.
we all burn with this indescribable divine flame.
it consumes our errors, making ashes of our mistakes.

as i write these words to You on paper, Shiva, i am
asking You to come so close that i lose myself in You,
so close that the meaning of the words "You" & "i" dissolves.
there is no more writing, no more words, no "i" & no "You"--
only now exists, only life, just this burning moment.

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.