gratitude & humility

i lay sick & powerless in a bleakly raw subjective realm.
Shiva, i sought You but there was no ability to connect.
i had little capacity to focus. neither mind nor heart
was able to hold steady nor could the body find restfulness.

i saw the inescapable fact of transience & that the
body, from birth to death, is at the mercy of the fickle world.
i saw the fixed agenda of the sociocultural rule
& the curtailing framework of dogma, belief & submission.

the shiny domain of civilization seemed rather uncivil
as the coronavirus occupied my senses & raged its
own battle against the entrenched forces held deep down within
body & mind, digging up the time-worn bones of old suffering.

i felt dispirited, Shiva, & vulnerable to culling
for the offense of inconvenient & unwelcome viewpoints.
i lay there unable to register Your presence & feeling
like a pariah outcast refugee from another planet.

this is where i see in my own life that the eternal goodness,
who is given myriads of names, has repeatedly blessed me
with supportive visions & insights. Shiva, You are the true source
of my sustenance & guidance, providing strength & endurance.

what need has the body for power when all power comes from You?
what is the need for seeking acceptance from other people
when You visit & love me within my heart's innermost chamber?
who in all this manifested place could possibly equal You?

You are the fire, Shiva, & i am a spark of You, flying
from Your fire into the frying pan of this hungry jagat earth
into this body, then forgetting. like the coronavirus,
this place greatly dulls intuitive spiritual awareness.

Shiva, thank You for providing me the experience of the
coronavirus blocking me from You & bringing its parade
of old energies to me. i endured it & outlasted it
& i bow before You now in gratitude & humility.
OM NAMAH SHIVAYA!

Your holy presence

i see evidence of You here in my life.
just as i see the small unfurling green leaves
& know that springtime is surely very near,
so do i register Your holy presence.
there are no proper words, yet there is blessing,
there is the unfolding of a precious truth
nourishing the heart within the outer heart.

when i say Your name, You approach me closely.
i don't see You, yet i declare Your presence.
i don't hear You, yet we talk every day.
i would give up the world before i would lose You.
without Your presence, the world is like cardboard.
Shiva! You are the life within the body;
You are why there is a body here at all!
thus do i register Your holy presence.

You have no form

to me You have no form, though i love the forms ascribed to You.
You are essence, presence, numinous energy signature.
You are within me as i move in the vast ocean of You.
You signal to me through clouds & i reply in semaphore.

my whole life is a semaphore, an action-adventure play
designed to get Your attention, to call You to see my need.
i tire of action & searching & i turn within to rest.

so it is that in the calm of this silence, You come to me. You come.
You come like the breeze, like dew at dawn, like the stars emerging
out of nothingness into somethingness, calling out my name.
You wrap around me as if skin, & i breathe You like the air
until i grow bright as the crescent moon shining in Your hair,
placed in the darkness of Your hair, no longer able to speak,
silently rejoicing in You who are hidden in all forms.

You are essence & presence, evoking deep recognition.
You call Your own & i respond, fighting through forgetfulness.
i continually move forward, slowly & steadily.
Your energy is my primal imprint, marking me for You.
i am Your agent of transformation coming home to You.

like a second skin

for long years i have followed You from the burning ground, Shiva.
now You come to me in the turmoil of my kurukshetra.
i know this much: no matter what the surroundings & events,
i love You. i dwell upon You. i call You. i cling to You.
i wrap Your holy presence around me like a second skin
& this empowers me through the necessary severings:
the old falling away, the new pushing through the yielding dark
into the light, opening the shy heart, freeing the bound mind
from the burden of impeding ruminations & insults.

now You have come to me in my most private kurukshetra,
for i followed You from the heat & smoke of the burning ground.
Your presence strengthens me in this destined battle which i face.
Shiva, You are my shield & protection. You are my refuge.

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!

Shiva, i am here

Shiva, i am here to talk to You & to stay focussed on Your wavelength
rather than to drift within the drama which i see dancing around me.
i see the cracking everywhere, the evidence of a dying age.
even beyond the human ferment i register the shifting aeons,
the mysterious powers that ebb & flow in the wild daily display.

Shiva, i am here to talk to You & to stay focussed on Your wavelength,
to look for Your hidden loving touch of presence, expressing tenderly,
rather than to fashion socially accepted scripts, repeating daily.
i come, appearing as this body-personality, offering it all.
i come to You raw, unfinished & coming apart, yet yearning for You.
This is the record of my sadhana, which gifts You with my total sum.

Your sacred warmth

i know You not by form but by Your tender presence felt within my heart.
i know You by the glow of warmth at my core, by the buoyancy within
my whole being, magnetized by & moving to You irresistibly.
i melt inside when i recall our meeting, the pure blending of essence.
i melt inside when i hear Your name, Shiva, & i overflow in these words
on paper celebrating You in all the ways & times of our union.

i am weaving threads of communion with You in this sincere poetry.
i realize repeatedly that You are central to this life, Shiva,
far more important than the cyclic comings & goings, the ups & downs,
the loves who come & the loves who go. You alone are my steady constant,
my anchor, the bond that thrills me to my existential reality.

i know You not by form but by Your tender presence felt within my heart.
my entire being is an open doorway for You to fully enter,
dissolving altogether that which appears as name & form, time & place.
beloved Shiva (i dare to speak as if i am holy Parvati),
hold me in Your sacred warmth as the gravid world travails in birthing pain.

i have little to show

it's all interior, nothing much that comes to action --
a certain peace, a quiet calm, an acceptance of now.
i have little to show to the world, Shiva, few good deeds
or great service. just a subtle subjective shift, a deep
bond with You, whom i feel abiding now within my heart.

even this becomes dim & murky when the world looms large.
this is a long grim struggle, Shiva, just to hold steady.
i tire. i sag. i observe the fading of memory.
the mind is such a rebel, refusing obedience.
i am bereft, adrift, undone, hard-pressed as a person.
the old costume was cast off long ago. i have none now.

i have only You, Shiva, Your tender inner presence.
all in all, a pretty good trade for who i thought i was.
You guide me from within & weave Your presence through the day.
You are real, constant, unchanging, ever-present, central.
all in all, a pretty good trade for who i thought i was!

stories

after i tell You my stories, Shiva -- the old ones,
the stories told to me, about me -- they fade away.
in their place are the new stories, emerging now that
i am ready to receive my true place in this life.

the new stories are about You, Shiva, how we met
& how You continued coming to me in spite of
my blind ignorance & grievous errors of thought.
it helps me to live in this world, being aware that
You are now, & always have been, central in my life.
without knowing Your name i have known Your warm presence
& ever sought to be near You in my heart & mind.

dear Shiva, i am entirely swept away by You.
You cause my heart to open & You bless me with love.
in this world of maya i have been given a shield
of protection by You & my life is devoted
to You & what You may want of me in this dream realm.
i do my duty to You here until You take me
beyond all the stories, beyond the form, into You.

messages of love

in the hot desert aridity,
in the whipping cold wind of the plains,
in the darkness & in the sunlight,
You are present, Shiva, You are here.
i sometimes forget, oh, i forget!
You do not forget me, not ever!

i reach back in my mind through the years
to the young girl who sought her true self.
i call out encouragement to her.
i tell her that the story ends well,
that it is good to be curious,
to question, to search & inquire,
that she really is completely loved.

You, Lord Shiva, do the same for me.
You keep sending messages of love.
my scrapbooks are filled with evidence
of Your presence, power and grace.
soon i will put down my storybook
& look You in the face & thank You.

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!