invisible ashes

what wind unsettles the roots of my hair now?
what fire flickers in this enveloping night?
i cry to the origin of wind & fire:
Lift me higher, wind, so that i can see more.
give more light, i beg fire, that i may see truth.

the wind wraps me in its fist & flings me far,
shreds my deep certainties & my doubts to dust.
the fire burns the dust to ashes, grey & thick.
i am clothed in ashes, covered head to foot,
though this is not visible to most people.

the world does not know that the fire yet flickers,
hidden hot in the recesses of the heart.
i feed it with the focussed attention of
the pure rapt child who has just discovered a
butterfly rising from dark concealment up
into sunshine, wings glowing bright as embers.

what wind unsettles the roots of my hair now?
it is You, Shiva, You as wind, as fire, as
a suddenly revealed direct perception.
You are the light & darkness, fully filling
my awareness until You are so vast that
You seem like a field of endless galaxies.

were i not clothed in invisible ashes,
no one could see me through the resplendent light
of Your presence holding my atoms in place:
Shiva, lord of my heart & essence of all.