i am

i am a stone at the bottom of the cascading stream,
smoothed by its invisible elemental cool fingers.

i am the sky in the water, the water in the sky,
the many in the one & the one within the many.

i am the music of the water splashing & tumbling
over the shoulders of the bowing hills, & rejoicing.

i am speech & the subtle space between the streaming words.
i am the silence & the fragrance of the peaceful heart.

i am an expression of You, Shiva, discovering
again my personal absence in Your holy presence.

lord of trees

fruit hanging on the tree ripens from tart to sweet, ever
maturing & softening, becoming lushly juicy.
fully ripe fruit may fall from the tree, offering itself
to the passing hungry beings, to all who search for food.
this is the dharma of fruit: to nourish all, that the seed
inside may be carried to fertile soil to continue
the ageless cycle of replication & provision.

Shiva, You have given me sweetness, color & fragrance.
i hang here on this branch, ripe & awaiting Your harvest
in the coming time, in the season of ingathering.
whether i grow on the highest branch or on the lowest
is of no concern, for You see my innate potential
transcending the exterior circumstances. You are
the lord of trees, of the green world, Shiva, overseeing
their divine gifts of nurture, shelter, ceaseless protection
& generosity. in the same way, people who give
of themselves without measure abide in Your protection.

i am here on this branch awaiting Your harvest, Shiva,
giving myself to Your service, for this is my dharma.

intrinsic wholeness

the fallow field is demonstrating rest to replenish reserves,
giving rise to the serendipitous wild growth that heals the earth.

the erupting volcano is demonstrating the power of
hidden forces far beyond human control or understanding.

the earth shaking, shifting beneath our feet, is demonstrating that
even the seemingly hard & firm is only temporary.

the vast fierce winds of a formidable storm are demonstrating
the untamable invisible force of that which we call air.

the flooding rivers & oceans are demonstrating the power
of permeability, perseverance & nonresistance.

the awe felt when viewing a rainbow or stars on a moonless
night is demonstrating the power of numinous mystery.

the blossoming flower garden is demonstrating the sublime
beauty of cooperative beings sharing innermost gifts.

the caring human being is demonstrating that goodness springs
up naturally to nourish & bless all planetary life.

thus in this manner, Shiva, all existence is demonstrating
intrinsic wholeness composed of many interrelating parts.

as the sun is to the circling earth; as the earth is to all its
living beings, so are You essential to me, without a doubt.

i embrace You, Shiva, in all this rampant variety &
unsettling change, for You alone are my heart's true compass & guide.

i am grateful to be aware of You dwelling deep in my heart
where Your light can leak out in thought & word & deed to bless & heal.
 

Shiva

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

my refuge & my beloved!

Shiva, my refuge & my beloved! i am for You & You alone!
You have shown me that every well-intentioned, upbeat & constructive thought
& feeling is nourishment for the divine forces of light, for angels
& devas & gods, for the well-being of countless blessed beings & worlds.
You have shown me how they flourish & deepen in goodness & in service.
You have also revealed to me that every negative & hate-filled thought
is food & fuel for the forces of darkness, for demons & devils
& the sly covert undermining of innocent, good & pure beings.

therefore i no longer indulge in angry, bitter, resentful feelings
nor linger in dim dull grey gloom or wearisome comparative thinking,
for i myself may then become an infectious contagion to others.
thus it is, Shiva, that i will focus on You & the many blessings
which continually urge me toward my greatest unfolding goodness.

i seek to prepare a banquet of joy for angels & devas & gods
that the beauty of kindness & the gentle caring heart may be present.
i rejoice in the generous abundance of nature, the sky, the sun,
oceans, rivers, mountains, valleys & their varied populations.
may heartfelt gratitude & sincere appreciation pour forth freely,
like honey from the honeycomb & cool refreshing rain from the heavens!
Shiva, my refuge & my beloved! i am for You & You alone!
we nourish the manvantara by pouring out our love relentlessly.

love’s nature

i am foolish to speak of You for what can words say of You?
i long to commune soul to soul as we did when You first came
to me years ago. You ignited the flame of love, made it burn.
it has been a beacon throughout the storms & clashes of life.
You marked me for Yourself & i also have vowed my service
from a deep well of recognition & heartfelt commitment.
without You, i am a shadow falling flat upon dark earth.
with You, i am sky, galaxies, dimensions beyond telling.
i am foolish to speak of You, yet i do this very thing!
it is love's nature to be the profoundest of contagions!

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!

wild gift

a spider spoke into my ear
as i ambled under her home
in a tree at springtime twilight.
it was a small squeaky warble
with a soprano chittering.
i felt her message in my mind:
"wake up!" she exclaimed, "wake up now!"

i stopped, startled, for i had not
heard a spider speak before &
thus, came to a complete awareness.
earth had opened her heart to me
& i bowed in awed gratitude
before this wild gift that collapsed
my abstraction like a pin prick.
my heart expanded as i soared
into the wholeness of wonder
which is life, when we awaken.

You sent me that spider, my love,
another of Your reminders.
that tiny modulated tone
alerted me to awareness
of the unseen world i wander
as i return to You, Shiva.

i know that it is You

a great bird glides across
the zenith of the sky,
dips a wing in salute,
circling over my head.
i know that it is You --
Lord Shiva, it is You!

the cool wind is stroking
my wide-eyed lifted face
& it suddenly shifts,
touches warm & gentle,
lingering on my cheek.
i know that it is You --
Lord Shiva, it is You!

the heart pumps faithfully,
steadily, in my chest,
cycling blood & love
through my yearning body
to bless me with this life.
i know that it is You --
Lord Shiva, it is You!

i know that You are here,
winking at me daily.
we share a private joke.
again You light my smile
for You are here with me.
I know that it is You --
Lord Shiva, it is You!

how to live in this world

the mountain proclaims
how to live in this world:
"be strong, endure, stand tall
& reach to the sun
in adoration."

the tree whispers soft
how to live in this world:
"lift up into the light,
plunge into the earth.
share it all freely.
give yourself endlessly
& generously."

the flower declares
how to live in this world:
"seek the light & drink
from the sweet moist earth.
unfold your splendor
in passionate color
& fragrant essence."

the bird calls to me
how to live in this world:
"sing deeply from the heart
in jubilation.
cast yourself into
the embrace of the wind --
go where it takes you
with calm acceptance."

these noble beings
(my teachers & gurus)
channel my Lord Shiva
in their purity.
thus i honor them.
i bow to them. i bow.

i share their celebration

the mountains in morning sun
abide, massive, enduring,
earth bowing in deep pranam,
praying to the golden light
in silent rapt communion.

trees lift their limbs in worship,
mudras of unceasing adoration
to radiant giver sun.
leaves murmur poems of praise,
roots cling in deep earth embrace.

the sky extends into space
ever open to the sun --
its urgent throbbing presence,
its intelligent glory.
the sky is the lens of love.

things speak continually
of this globe of primal fire
gliding through clear lambent air.
i share their celebration
in words like flowers blooming
in a high mountain meadow,
each petal a namaste
to the living light of love.