Poetry Yoga

Your flesh is the open gate.
Let all your pain be offered
in the fire of Yoga,
burnt away in the dance of Presence,
released in the fragrance of Wonder.
Take sensations in your body
more seriously, friend.
They contain the stars.

Now abandon every routine.
There is no sequence of postures.
Valiantly stand, like a mossy wizened
Winter oak, yet softly wind-swayed.
What you long for is the sparkling
void of this breath, this breeze,
where it comes to rest like
a feather on your breastbone.
You are dancing with the Beloved,
even though you are alone.
Let her be your inhalation,
Kali’s wand your backbone,
your pelvis her boat of night
ferrying the moon on rising falling
tides of secret sweetness.
Quietly spiral the stars
on their black axis of surrender
in the hollow between your nipples,
the silence of awakened space in
the ligaments between each bone,
your muscles bathed in waters of
pure attention, moving from their
ocean wheels, each cell in your body
a galaxy of suns, threaded soft
as cotton, spun
from Wordless uncreated Light…
inventing themselves
out of your molten stillness.
Now the dance is yours.
There are no instructions.
Go nowhere, whirl more slowly
through this golden food of emptiness,
all pain and sweetness
mingled in a single sensation,
the motionless explosion
of the rose in your chest…

From the baby’s soft spot
in your crown
to the sap-dripping sacrum
runs a nerve down whose hollow core
the liquid lightning hums.
Follow that thunderbolt
all the way Om to your toes.
The soles of your feet root down
in dark sod, where you pour out
the wine of breathing, a libation.
The world is a mirage
shimmering through your pure
blue sky.
Other-ness must be inside you!
Let it all be inside you now:
the song of the wood thrush,
forest mushrooms under a tangle
of devil's claw, sunbeams frozen
at this end into mountain tops,
vagabond comets, crazy angels
gazing over the rim of entropy
toward a distant horizon
of derelict light
curved into a dewdrop
on a blade of alfalfa…

Keep swaying in this breeze,
the perfume of the Goddess,
a scent called, “Annihilation.”
Adore the Lord of Bewilderment.
Shivo’ham, Shivo’ham…
All that remains is a swirl of cinders,
earths that were, and are to come.
Grasping the enormity of the disaster,
we know that we cannot control
the laughter that creates the world.

NOTE: This piece is actually used as a prompt for standing movement and meditation in the Poetryoga Playshop that give in faith communities. I have also given this playshop at East West Bookstore in Seattle, and the New Renaissance Bookshop in Portland.