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.
when i threw myself headlong & heartshort into the rowdy suffering of the world,
You gave that to me, You allowed me the vividly intense experience i sought.
thank You, Shiva. i learned to endure & to value the kindnesses that kindled my heart.
when i wrapped myself deeply in my personal sorrows, You gave that to me as well.
Your permissions were generous. my greed was strong & omnivorous & relentless.
thank You, Shiva, for allowing me the deepening darkness that urged me to seek the light.
when i called out to You in love & longing, You came to me & held me to Your heart.
You remained with me as i meandered the obscure paths & the hard brightly paved ways.
You turned my life around when You transported me in my car to a different road
than the one i had set out upon. You wonder-bombed me, awed me silent, stunned & still.
You got my attention, enraptured me, woke me up & laid a new path before me.
on this new path we walk together & You teach me, remind me of what i forgot.
You comfort me in the midst of discomfort. You instruct me as guide & companion.
Shiva, for the time of intimacy to come i had to be stripped of my armor,
my shiny conclusions & competence, & brought to the knees of my humility.
it is here that i surrender my love to You & open to Your love beyond words.
so it is that You place me here in Your service within the crucible of Your love.
thank You, Shiva. without You all is hollow, yet dense enough to leave bruises behind.
with You Life is rich & promising like an april sunrise on a sentinel hill
in the pure realm of the devoted heart. i am Yours, Shiva. You are Lord of my heart.
i was called by a mountain & i answered yes,
enjoying seventeen sacred years of service
at her living leafy green feet. i answered yes.
she showed me hidden wonders, held me close,
nursed me with her secret sweet flowing cool waters.
the mountain invited her scattered family
to hear the songs i sincerely sang as i walked
her shadowed paths among the tall trees & boulders.
raccoons & bears & bobcats & foxes lived there.
possums & crows & owls, hawks & squirrels--they came
& all listened to me as i sang hymns of praise
to all the gods & holy beings living there.
i answered yes to each & every one, blessed
by nature & higher realms i could not conceive.
i was called by the Divine & i answered yes.
thus we meet again, Shiva, further down the path.
the daughter of the mountain now comes to You.
i don't know why You want me here.
i don't know if what i do is
what You actually want from me.
i only know that You want me,
for You branded that deep within
my innermost wordless true self.
hence all my actions are given
to You in hope that i offer
that which is needful as You call
on me now to act in the world.
i use what You give. You give it
to be applied on Your behalf.
in the end, at the completion,
i only return what is Yours.
that You want me, this i do know
& nothing else really matters.
You keep on limiting my experiences with people
& calling me back to You for yet deeper sadhana.
i think that i was not embodied for this human world
but rather to serve as an expression of Your outreach.
could it truly be that this inner life is my service?
that i am to cleave to You alone & simply to love?
that my presence here on this earth is to bless everything
without attachment to striving & doing & having?
am i enough for You, Shiva, just as i am, like this?
i bow to You in gratitude for all You have given.
You are my source & my refuge, dear divine companion,
& enough has been shared in all these clumsy words:
now, Shiva, my heart will speak to You in simple silence.
You have set me apart
from the start of this life.
the pattern continues:
my yearning for union,
seeking to cleave to one
other person & place.
this ever eludes me.
what choice have i but to
turn to You, true constant
in the kaleidoscope
of this impermanence?
You sent me on this quest,
You accompany me.
i cling to You, Shiva.
You don't turn me away --
how could the heart turn from
its very own beating?
we are the people
of flesh & smoke,
children of the dream,
shaping our hands
for those who cannot hear.
we cannot hear!
we are the people
of blood & bone,
gathering our food,
with swords, hands & words,
urged on by our desire.
we are hungry!
we are the people
of mist & fog
who rise & dissolve--
as the sun drinks up
the water of our lives.
we are fleeting!
we are the people
who rise & fall,
a luminous rain
to soak the soil
with blood & blessing,
turning & returning.
we rise & fall!
we are smoke & mist,
drifting in dream
in this reverie,
shadows urged to action.
we are so dazed!
our hands form the shape
of the word "love".
our hearts demand this.
love gives itself,
offers a place to stand
even in this dream.
although our blossoms fade,
we are fragrant!