Hymn to Kali

Mother, if our Soul is Timeless, and its glimmering knowledge of Your eternal existence is Time, then You are keeper of both Time and Timelessness, pirouetting along the outer rim of the great bowl of your starred universe—causeless yet causing and primal yet final. The eternal vibration of your dancing feet pattering reach this little world and beats against my eardrums, as a drummer’s fingers strike a mrindagam, yet it is beyond sound as it is beyond thought, even as the pulsating luminescence of your ever-presence and the long night of your ever-absence is beyond sight.

Ever-seeking our weary soul, you are, ever-knowing its decisions and indecisions, ever-moving through its lifetimes, ever-witnessing our suffering, in your carefully-wrought labyrinth of desire, though it is your compassion that bids us to suffer, to break through the shackles of our bondage.

Atomic Mother, uniting all forms animate and inanimate, your universal light probes all that is near and far, How easily I forget that you are the invisible force running through all, the evidence of things unseen. You are the morning mist rising above a lonely lake in the hills , yet you are also the womb of earth holding lakewater itself, and so too you are the tiny waves created by the skip and shimmy of fish and fowl whose little hearts you now palpitate, now silence; in a flash of your mighty sword you taketh what you maketh.

How like a poem struggling to break free of the chains of mind you are, Mother, a prayer formed against trembling lips in the hour of death and trial, a thought on the precipice of perdition before pen meets paper, a villager’s waving lantern across a wooded path on a winter’s eve, a laughing maid’s lotus footfalls disappearing into the night, a solitary whistle echoing through a forsaken canyon, a madman’s silent elegy to the straitjacket of sanity, a teacher’s infinite mercy on his prodigal student, salvation eddying against sin in a whirlpool of samsara.

inscrutable you are, Mother, hidden in the very beads of time, in the sheath of each atom you hold in place, in-dwelling as the soul of all souls, sometimes breaking forth as a smile on the face of a passer-by, other times climbing out of the pages of a book with your thousand faces and arms, still yet, coloring the tint of a memory pressing against the brain, here, a friend who surrenders to me his last morsel amidst a famine, and there, guiding the kindness of my dearest enemy, and in the long meanwhile of it all, pulsing as the very blood coursing through these veins, simmering as the air in my lungs.

When I gaze into a mirror, you appear through it, impressively strange and yet beloved, as though your countenance were plunging out of its pool of light and meeting mine own, before melting back into the speechless effulgence whence you came, leaving me, leaving me in my own darkness, where your indelible impression nevertheless remains, like lingering birdsong in my child’s mind.

Cosmos in Turiya