Verse Clipped by Tiger’s Maw

Beauty even of a ravaged world
made all the more cruel
by suppression
of the One Needful Thing
is heartrending
for its shades and values

Watching the Sun rise
over Thames, Nile,
Ganges, Amazon,
Mississippi —
you catch glimpses
through the mist and storm
of mountains upon the air

And you wonder
Which peak is Meru?
Upon which do Sambhu
and Parvati sport
among the goblins?
In what foothills
do the Witch Queen
and windy Devil dance?

Exulting in Moonlight
or suffering by day
I feel each
as a lick by the tongue
of the Mother’s faithful tiger
Roughing away the scurf
of all actions, all patterns,
the sources of all pain
And here is immortality

Puja of the Form of the Self

I am of the form
of Om Namah Shivaya!
My straight spine the haft
string and faultless
My head the spear
and the crescent Moon
Three tines, piercing Heaven,
the Lord’s divine Trident.
My legs the tri-leafed base
of perfect support.
Omkara surrounds,
vault of the night sky,
stang of the Trishul upholding.

I am of the form
of Om Namah Shivaya!
Dragon Seat and semen
the food and water offered
to the stillness of the Lord.
Heart the lamp and blood the fuel
the Lord’s Light cast back,
offering Him to Himself.
Prana itself the incense,
the only perfume fit for the Beloved,
lit at the Heart’s own flame.
My brain itself Ambrosia, Soma,
bloom-nectar arousing His smile.

I am of the form
of Om Namah Shivaya!
My soul clings to Her hem,
Shakti’s feet my refuge
Father and Mother embrace
The child held safe and vibrant
Watching as radiant cascades
of Maya and Lila gambol and dance
Flowers waving in the soft breeze
of Mother’s tinkling laughter
Her bloody tongue lolling
as Mother and Father enjoy
the child’s innocent garden play.
 

The Gods Are A Hammer

What good is it for me
to tell you of Shiva or Krishna,
Durga or Jesus or Thoth?
If their Names are not sledgehammers upon you.

Let the Names knock you about,
bruise your flesh and make bone ash
of your mind. Only then
can the pictures and words
fall off, fortresses pierced.

And the Pulse which birthed Them
Dancing and still.
Our sign of office:
Movement and rest.

Laboratories In Dust

The secret alchemy is without transformation. We search through laboratories and books and incense for the spell or machine that can at last give us peace. The potion or pill that will make us happy. The martyr or ruler who will make us free.

Alchemy adds nothing. It takes nothing away. When once we step into the forest and sink in to the dappled loam, let ourselves be covered in the breathing ferns and the hidden fire be exactly as it’s always been—then, without having done a thing we will have accomplished what there is to accomplish.

Take to the forests and graveyards, therefore, wherever you are. If there is in you any love or desire, let the soil and ash have you while you live.

Disloyal Mind

Sometimes
my mind is disloyal
to Guru and guide
—never to my God,
with whom I am
on friendly terms
since years back,
first on terms of
Hi how are you
and now on terms of
When will you be home for dinner
—because the moment
you put a human face on it
it’s all
Hey that guy’s teaching something else
Something comfortable and easy
But my teacher gave me something
and said
Dig into this,
Mess with it,
Make it work
and part of me is offended
by the Hey this ain’t
warm and cozy and fun
This shit is work
But my friend God
comes in late for dinner again
and says past a mouthful of fruit
He’s right, you know,
Just doing what I told him
And now you’ve got to
Do what he says
So I sigh
Because God gives pretty good advice.

Pittsburgh

Is it not a great comfort
to know that your city
is populated by so many ghouls?
A ghost walks down my street
each and every night, about 2 o’clock,
alone, slowly, with unknown purpose.
What if the goblins? Those spirits,
hideous of countenance, alive
or dead no-one can say —
skitter about the rooftops
and peer into apartment windows.
By three strips of holy ash,
they all recognize their own.
With so many terrors about,
how could I not feel safe?