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.

a cloud in the moonlight

i am floating in the night sky, a cloud in the moonlight. i have no
fingers for grasping & securing, no feet for running & jumping.
i have no eyes to see appearances, no mouth to speak of myself.

the mind is awed by the cascading torrents of stars & disappears
into silence. it's consumed by stars & silence & the rolling flow
of currents of electromagnetic energy swirling up from
the earth & down from mysteries invisible, unknown & unseen.

the moon's gravitational field gently enfolds me as i float high
in the nighttime sky, a cloud in the soft moonlight; yet i am neither
deaf nor blind, merely immensely detached. perhaps my form may appear
as human at times, but i would rather be a cloud soaring above
earth, looking into the arcane depths of deep space where dark matter,
quasars & galaxies are clumped thickly like glitter on black velvet.

it's peaceful to cease being human for a little while & just to be
a cloud floating in the night sky in the moonlight. it's hard to hurt
a cloud. they do not bleed or complain & they mind their own business.
as cloud or human, i'm an innocent expression of Shiva, who
lives in every atom & holds all form together & sometimes lets
it fall apart. i rest in Shiva & float where He flows, like a leaf
carried by the river or a cloud in the depths of the nighttime sky.
it's good that being in a human body is not a full time job!

the awakening soul

the field with edges crisp & clear by day becomes a blur at night.
i find my way by feel alone & not by focussed searching sight.

edges dim as colors shift into hidden subtle camouflage.
elusive spirits are inspired to dance & play as if on stage.

the dark sky rolls its mysteries out as i stand entranced to see
moving shapes turning to me for my attention in silent plea.

i have no eyes for shifting things, no heart for fading fleeting forms.
i'm here for the love of Lord Shiva who gives to me his welcome.

the field, spread out beneath the stars that swim within the darkling deep,
is now become a welcome mat to cushion Shiva's holy feet.

He rises through the ready earth, descends down from the pregnant sky,
unfolds His presence everywhere: He dwells in my heart, deep inside.

the field is a holy temple now, filled with Shiva's radiance.
i am the awakening soul who's here for Shiva's famous dance.

we steadily repeat this theme of separation & reunion,
as we have done since time's begun as blessing & benediction.


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 intimacy of night

Shiva, You are the purity of light that sweeps across the psyche.
You set forth that which i now need to know for dispelling the shadows
falling over the vision, darkening, distorting & deadening.

You encapsulate me, holding me in the purity of Your light
as if i am an infant clasped in the mother's arms & suckled at
her soft breast. Shiva, Your fragrance is so sweet that i am dissolving
in it, becoming sweetness, emitting light like a beacon for lost
travelers, or like a campfire kept burning through the night to hearten.

Shiva, You are the intimacy of night, smoothing all the wrinkles
  & rough edges that tell of a long arduous journey, soothing the
hungering heart with Your calm touch. the very atoms of You & i
embrace & intermingle in communion that words cannot reveal.

ah, but words can point the way & they can comfort & strengthen also,
until the silence grows so deep that it muffles & floods all else but
the purity of light & the long slow intimacy of the night.

rainbows of the night shadows

i have seen subtle rainbows hidden in the deep shadows of night.
it's as if i am looking into the farthest reaches of space
& see others looking back at me, smiling & waving hello.

they gently assure that sublime shining wonders are on the rise.
they say that the energies within the form have full intention
to bless & nurture regardless of my shy, cautious reception.
they assure me that i am completely love-immersed, even in
harsh circumstances & human neglect & rejection. they say
that to exist is amazing & that love does not need a form
to express: that love is like gravity, like sun, water. it holds
us in close encounter on this planet, preparing us for new
adventures in maya, challenging human selfishness with the
call to group work & global cooperation. the rainbows of
the night shadows are prophets & healers, giving encouragement
in the deepest gloom & despair, emissaries of the soothing
darkness that Shiva settles over one to promote wise insight.

the seed is buried in darkness to grow & send out hands reaching
for the light, drinking sunshine with the whole body & rejoicing
with no consideration for the shadows of the night to come.

Shiva, thank You for the guidance of the inner rainbow, taking
its rise in the cultivated heart. even in the disquiet
of utmost darkness & disintegration, You are my strength.
OM NAMAH SHIVAYA

the birds of the night

internet image
i am a friend to the birds of the night who emerge out of
the liminal spaces where light & dark meet & dance & blend.
we call out our wild joy to the moon & stars who now come forth
from their seclusion to shine soft subtle light into hidden
realms of moving misty forms, shifting through beckoning shades of
visibility. i am called beyond my borders by them,
enticed by these swirling shapes that glide, turn & recede from me
with the flowing meandering moves of those from somewhere else.

Shiva, lord of darkness & light, You are also truly lord
of us liminal people, drawn like moths to Your fiery love.
we sing with the birds of the holy night: the owls, whippoorwills
& chuck-will's-widows. like the drunkards brash midnight serenade,
we are loud & we won't stop our eager full-throated calling,
our powerful celebration of this transitional time.

i am a friend to the birds of the night who emerge out of
the liminal spaces to proclaim our heart's vision to You,
who wear the moon in Your hair & like to hear our songs: Shiva!
the banner of Your love flies for all outsiders such as we.

lullabies

the sounds of a nursing home late at night echo
dull background humming of central climate control
murmur of someone's tv down the long hallway
sharp clatter of an object falling to the floor
a soft low moaning cry in a frail shaking voice
the quick rhythm of a nurse's hurried footsteps
sudden boom of thunder & hard rain drumming down.
the musical tones in my head rising falling
focussed mind repeating my beloved mantra
singing silent sacred lullabies to Shiva
in the warm arms of the transformative darkness
om namah Shivaya on namah Shivaya