I. Prelude: the Search
Your smile is warming and knowing;
It traps me like magnolias writhing
against a garden gate. You lure me,
in your promise of love lingering,
the greatness of love.
For you, the marshland sings with frogs,
Turning a sharp green at the last wane of dusk,
all quietly beckoning the truth of the night;
when death’s boatmen roam and deal in their deathly trades,
beauty is a dark woman’s eyes
against the moon of the waning night.
II. Encomium: May I never stray far from your lotus feet, my Lord!
Dare I share my wrongest deeds with your privy ear, so that love once more beckons near: men fear seed sprouting, shaking itself into blossoming life,
these truths are chastened like my trespassing lips against the chastity of thine.
I loved you like petals struggling to stay open amidst late summer grasses,
if I have seen you in a blade of grass, I have also seen you in a lump of clay, And if I have seen you thus tightly coiled in nature, I have seen myself,
for I am one and the same, when found in the splendor of you.
now the time of letter-writing has passed and we are left with that haunting,
that pausing, heaving, that fever in the matter, that prayerful jaunting,
that chitter chatter and pitter patter,
of the voice that says thou shall not get caught,
the warm embrace of the law that says thou shall not be bought,
By the graves of the lost and in the arms of the longing, I sing this song:
Oh man, you are meant for greater things than war,
And so May I never stray far from thy Lotus Feet, my Lord.
love is like the slow roll of a tabla gliding across a taal; in the monsoon,
it shakes itself free like a wet branch, sagging with the weight of rein,
in the winter it burrows underground,
like a rich vegetable vein;
like flowers resting on a grave,
the pain of losing it escapes me for it lives,
like whispering wind in midnight forest,
when sweet rapture cuts
like violin bow against supine string,
in perfect subjection shall I sing hymns of joy in the city of gods.
Like the seed sprouting in this Bitter Earth is your Love
spring, purple like the cabbage in a secret garden,
ancient and new, it awakens long slumbering souls, shaking them to life with the passion of its bodiless consummation, its timeless consciousness.
Pattachitra art form, artist unknown