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Plum Blossoms


Plum blossoms taught me 
something wonderful today. 
Wealth is subtraction.

Easter


What seeps through your wound
makes others whole.
Find your scar, that
portal to the chamber of hope,
opened again and again
by April's seasoning fire.


The wound could be your eye
that sees, from its own blackness,
the black center of each creature;
or the birth canal, whose labor is grief,
ellipsis in the scripture of your body.

Let the hollow in you speak,
hear your name in the echo
of all tears ever fallen.

Caesar's nail did not make this,
nor love's thorn in your skull.
A soldier pierced your side
that you might heal him.

The one who reveals this bleeding
does not come down from heaven.
You exude him from the loam
of your body, and from your emptiness
the diamond of fiercest joy.

Now smother the ululation of this storm
in your flesh for three days and nights.
On the third morning, even before
the keening of the raven,
walk among lilies as a woman
who has lost her paramour -

desperate as Mary, careless and bold
as Radha, wild as Ishtar searching
for Tamuz among garlanded tombs.

Find the gardener, do not deny him.
When he opens you like the sun,
be his garden.

(Painting: Rossetti's Mary Magdalene)

Don't Ask


Don't ask the Master for advice.
The best advice is the silence in your chest.

The Guru doesn't tell you what to do,
but simply reveals the stillness,
here, between breaths.

Someone asked, "What's the difference
between a Guru and a flower
or a raindrop?"
Ah, what a beautiful question!

I was not introduced to the majesty of a violet,
the divine authority of dissolving dew,
until Love anointed these eyes
with nectar from my own heart.

Love is formless, but very personal.
Then who gives Love her hands,
or swells the meniscus of Love's mouth
so that it spills with song?

Friend, Love appears in this body
to make surrender complete.
Shakti overflows into our flesh,
a kind of bread, an offering,
a mass that grows weighty in our fingers.

This is the freedom of Love:
from something that bursts deep inside us,
we are inexorably driven
to bow.

(Photo: my lovely friend, Dakota, receiving the darshan
of Anna Shri Karunamayi)