TALKING TO SHIVABALAYOGI ABOUT THE MOTHER’S SHAKTI

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for Carol and for Stefan Pyne

“…if you feel like a room without a roof…if you feel that happiness is the Truth…”
P Williams

Happiness coming over me!
Silver schools of Gulf trout moving in waves under the skin!
Every mullet in that Gulf has a name.
Both their eyes have names.
The scales that cover their eyes each has a name
written in a kind of fire known only to the Most High.

But you tell me joy is evidence of a wound.
The Mother is always lifting up her children
to wipe the blood from our eyes.
You say we are moving down this road alone, alone
but every body is one candle lit inside another.
We make the necessary efforts to shine and one day we all
catch fire together.

Sitting at my ease now, becoming more and more
like the air around me
I swim into another body made of inhaled breath.
The right hand of the first body is stroking the long white beard of the other.

I can taste my name being called.
Because I am saying this, I know it’s nearly time for me
to die.

But for now I am a rooster strutting on the roof ridge of a white church
my feathers all red and gold!
Elaborate coxcomb thrown back fluttering in a furnace of wind
I go cockadoodledoing while the preacher tries to preach.

Hey you crying on your knees!
Hey you, bent over with your back broken under weight of fear and guilt
come outside and whirl with me!
Everything you believe about yourself is vomit.
Your sermons are mouthfuls of rancid meat!
Why not come out whirling with your arms full of fire?

Take this gallon can of gasoline and pour it over both our heads!
Your fingers are match sticks already struck with fire.

bee in flight on the road to the White Salmon River

bee in flight, taken on the road to the White Salmon River

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