a shell breaking open
a shell breaking open
a shell breaking open.
In the past,
You’ve been rough as hell about it,
You Affectionate Scoundrel, you!
You played two games back then–
gleefully chasing to help me get life moving
and heartfully holding to help me settle into peace.
I felt like I was burning down back then,
and You stood there beside me with a kind, knowing look on your face,
cheering with such relentless fervor,
“Go, go, go, burn up and bust it down!”
You played in the Dark and the Light,
in the world of dreams and mind.
Now, what is all this?
you’re caressing my white shell so softly
You’re leaving piles of beautiful flowers around me.
You’re singing to my heart with flutes and life and
pulling me into the world, right here, right now, into my body.
You’re starting to pour dazzling affection for what is into me,
and now my mind lays down peace
and worries sparkle away into the past.
This time, I don’t even feel the shell breaking.
Throw some more flowers at me,
you affectionate Scoundrel, you!
Play these songs that reach my heart
and seem to meld with my breath!
Yes! You Colorful Lover,
let’s do more of this!
Keep breaking open this shell
piles of flowers and
soft kisses and
that tugs at my heartstrings!
Aye, Keshava, aye!
I could stare at that face for eons
I could fall into it
and my heart beats
like the deep, silent boom of the universe
One look at your face,
and I feel time unmoving.
I see the black of space and galaxies
And dark pink flowers unfurling.
In your concern,
I see how black yin meets gold yang.
In your delight, I see
the formless embracing form, letting go,
embracing form, letting go,
When you smile and play,
I know why you make matter,
And I know why you made the universe so big.
I’ve heard of some who think they need to search for you
In the fumes of mind alone.
But they haven’t seen
how the formless yearns for form,
How you’re always everywhere, flinging yourself
with sweet, thirsty yearning
into the joyful play of the physical world.
Wah, Narayan, wah!
Ai, Ai, Keshava!
Where are you dancing?
Why do I feel like I’ve never danced?
Why do I want this one thing,
But do something else?
I got lost in my mind.
I buried myself in books.
My mind exploded, but
The seed of my heart didn’t grow.
Don’t be coy, Keshava.
Don’t smile and hide for my benefit.
My Soul grows so weary of my young ego.
So don’t torture me with your hide-and-seek game anymore.
Ai, Ai, Keshava!
I’m burning up with need.
I’ve had enough of chasing you,
And getting easily distracted.
Now is the time for my devotion.
To find you in the World,
I open up myself.
I don’t have long—
Only one lifetime.
So Dear One, please,
Help me make it good!
*Keshava is a name for Krishna, a god of the heart and embodied, loving, passionate life.
I have a theory
That god is in food
And he was enjoying Himself
When he reached for those butter pots.
My mom used to tell me
Not to spill,
But there’s something sensual
About spilling, isn’t there?
“Hey God! Why weren’t you born to bad parents like the rest of us?”
All these boys born to help the world.
Krishna, Jesus, Buddha.
But they were all born to
Mild, idyllic, good parents.
The greatest pain comes from things
that happened when we were young,
and our clinging to those memories.
So God, if you really had guts,
You would have been born into a terrible family.
You could have given the world
A story of how to live well,
In true strength, compassion, and equanimity.
So what gives?
Krishna smiles his coy, bright-eyed smile at me,
“I was a mama’s boy.”
On a purple stormy night
He rides in his caravan.
He loves the robbers
He likes to play this game.
Stealing gems from God!
Nothing is stolen,
Nothing is taken from him.
He loves their gutsyness
He loves their rascal grins.
As they retreat,
White teeth shine through
On a dark blue face
Under a midnight sky
Full of diamonds.
He smiles a rascal grin.