a lump of coal

i was a lump of coal when first we met.
i was thirteen, just reaching to see
beyond the family walls. You were
my friend from another dimension,
my secret companion in wonder.

through these many years You pressed upon me,
impelling me inward & slowly
increasing Your pressure until i
became strong, bright, able to endure.
my darkness slowly changed to clear light.

You then carefully cut & faceted
the diamond You made of the coal
of my heart until, in my elderhood,
i became a rainbow & gave hope
& encouragement to those near me.
You never relented nor gave up
on me, continually shaped me.

now i can sit in darkness & yet shine
with light, for You have filled me with Your
downpouring loving light, Lord Shiva.
You have made me a diamond in
Your hidden treasure box, a fragment
of Your own majesty & glory.

i am a star in Your celestial
constellation; i am a blessing in
Your gift basket for humanity.
thank You, Lord Shiva, for the darkness
that makes the light irresistible.

Shiva’s gift

a girl who is me at age fourteen
begins to awaken from sleep.
she is taken on a journey --
there is movement toward a being.
there is awareness & consciousness,
there is You, a beacon calling
in timeless, spaceless, placeless flow.
steadily i am pulled toward You.
You are all there is to me now --
You are a magnet, i am iron.
i come to You, ever closer.
this awareness is filling me up!

approaching You, converging now,
we blend into no me & no You,
just endless Being remaining,
& completeness, all-embracing love.
only belonging exists now
& grand radiant goodness & love.
there is no "i" within that realm,
yet i am there forever it seems.
i still remain there, even now,
so deeply am i touched, implanted,
marked by Your love & pure presence.

in my elderhood in this earth realm
i see what a treasure You gave
& celebrate Your light gratefully.
You are the gardener of my soul
& i am blooming for You, Shiva!

i missed our tryst

i missed our tryst this morning.
my mala lays cold, untouched.
the heart stutters in sorrow,
the mind shrinks back in dismay.
i call to You in longing,
confess my unconsciousness.
Shiva! the world dragged me off
to myriad diversions
& i forgot! i forgot
that i am betrothed, in love,
that i am pledged to You now.

i missed our tryst this morning.
i turned my back on our love,
lost in this transient world,
forgetting my vow, unstrung
like a broken old guitar
that yearns for music again.

i missed our tryst this morning
yet now i am here, renewed,
mala held close to my heart,
Your sweet love cleansing my soul,
patiently calling me home.

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.

patchwork pattern

i look upon the patchwork of my life
to find that You are the stitching
that holds the many pieces together.
You have revealed the symmetry
that this woman's life has formed over time.
the random struggles & failings
were sincere efforts at understanding
what i could offer to this world.
the pattern comes clear over all this time.
with distance, the patchwork pattern
resolves into a beautiful design --
it shows Your face, my Lord Shiva,
as You enfold me close, next to Your heart,
& everything makes sense at last!

surrendered

i stand with You as together
we review the years of my life.
You show me the times -- so many! --
that You reached Your hand out to me.
i did not see! i did not know!
i was hypnotized, lost & blind
as i wandered in search of You,
finally feeling abandoned,
concluding that i was alone.

i was not alone. You were there.
i rejoice that i know it now.
You fill up my heart from within --
You are the heat & the movement
of the urgent body & mind.
You embrace me now from within,
fill the space between all the cells.
i am contained & surrounded,
my heart is surrendered to You.
You are by my side constantly,
whispering Your encouragement.

this mirrored labyrinth

this world of change, fast flowing
in constant activity,
swirls me into the current,
spins me around & around.
this realm is not my real home,
not where i want to remain.

i am with You, Lord Shiva,
i am holding on to Your hand
as You walk along with me
through this mirrored labyrinth
of language & sensation.

my feet slip from under me
but i am holding Your hand
& am secure in Your grace.
i will not release my grip
upon You, my Lord Shiva!
You are all that i desire --
You hold me, You hold me close!

pandemic #1

You have placed me in the fire before --
this is not the first time, Beloved.
Many join me -- we are a bonfire!
we are all so brightly burning now
that the fire can be seen from space.
this is a good time to get lighter,
to be burned clean of impurity,
to discover how shiny we are
beneath the blackening of surface
slowly taking place in our world now.
arrogance is consumed in this blaze
as it rages in global cleansing.
Your fire burns pure, my Beloved --
i give myself to You willingly --
my life has always been Yours to use.
may this burning-ground be a blessing
in the big picture we can't see yet.
Lord Shiva, dance Your tandava now!
dance us into global renewal!

all else falls away

You were the light that cast no shadow
as You approached me from mystery.
You entered me in my reverie,
in my deep dreams & in my visions.
i found messages from You in books
& in the cloud-crowded windswept sky.
You peopled my life with emissaries
& repeatedly gave Your blessings
for my emergence from chrysalis.
i was shifting into something else,
leaving words behind in soft silence,
floating in unknowingness, yielded.

when i was free of all covering,
tender & pale & new in this form,
You approached in compassionate care.
You touched my damp wings & they opened,
& enraptured i glided to You,
freed from the restraints of the old form,
inadequate to receive Your grace.
i was shadow & You are the light,
i am the dream dissolving in You.
You alone are my life & my truth --
all else falls away, unmourned, unmissed.

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.

the train

i feel the train coming
before i see it.
thunder underground!
earth trembles below feet.
standing delighted
near the side of the track
i see the train coming.
oh, the light & sound!
the great nearing arrow!
yes! straight to the heart!

as the train rumbles by
in a swift sweeping wind,
the engineer waves.

You are saying hello.
i know it is You.
who else but Lord Shiva
would target my heart?