ॐ पूर्णमदः पूर्णमिदं पूर्णात्पुर्णमुदच्यते
पूर्णश्य पूर्णमादाय पूर्णमेवावशिष्यते ॥
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥
That is Whole. This is whole. Whole begets Whole.
Take Whole from Whole, indeed Whole remains.*
~ Yajur Veda
I so fear the sky that will fall into a stupor of dream
as it happened the night I found land disappear –
just like that, a gaping hole caved under the feet.
What held me in place, why did I not fall into crater?
The way I stay firm the jasmine bush holds ground,
ivory flowers in amber light, hollow of dark throat
divested of stamen as if in curse. At the periphery
of vision two neon butterflies orbit each other from
beginning of time like moon and earth shadowing/
mirroring. Are they tiring, will Brahma close eyes
for a day: end of a kalpa? Lake in earth’s core fills
like saucer of milk when moon eclipses. Life ends/
commences. Wholeness comes from it self – half it, empty
it – Wholeness remains it self regardless of moon and earth.
Purnam – Wholeness
Kalpa – a day in the life time of Brahma, which is 4.32 billion human years
* The sloka from Yajur Veda is the quintessence of Advaita philosophy.
There was a time we shared our world with animals
swam with horses in the seas, manes covering
our bodies when we pulled along the marina for coitus
muscles tensed, eyes sky blue the colour of our seeds.
I birthed the universe: body the dawn, eyes the sun,
mouth the fire I stoke in my kitchen, spit of grease
thick on foil – offerings made to the gods. They licked
their lips satiated. I am death, hence two faced life.
Half a seed stirring with desire, fathered the other half –
Prajapati, the God, man as in male, my mirror, lover
coiled around me. I shuddered. There was no speech. No
words. Those were times a question became an answer.
Who? Prajapati did not know, so asked. That is him. Who.
She inhales the colors of deep river
sees limbs and tissues in the narrow opening
flow through the tube of catheter
draining into earth, staining and like osmosis
absorbing rich minerals.
The fault line shifts opening a new vent,
and a well left to dry. Wraith of life
hovers, the ladder loses one rung after another.
The aromatic roots in a tangle,
tug deep through breasts to ochre
space between ribs. Is earth same as
soil? Time differentiates one from
other. Drum beats as sand decants
into crevices between molars to hairy
growths drawn tensile down jaw line
where Y of vocal cords silence at throat.
Light moves with night breeze
teasing here gone there,
to the moth gently opening skirt
of aching desire bursting
with moistness of mist.
The colour of night is intense
blue of compressed air
between wings, unfurling
like rainbow on icicles searing
a map of his taste on my skin.
The fabric is twisted with dyes
dawn from silver threads of saliva
spun when night is moonless.
Tongue of shame pushes the cloth up
to reveal the dark scar of lust.
It is difficult to hold my gaze
through the green of your shirt
when time is quartered from shade card,
and moving air from wings of moth
determines hardness of your want.
At the end of grassland
pandanus streaked the skin
artwork of beaded blood.
In bowel of prickly fruit
honeyed light filtered
warm glow under the feet.
Jewelled like venom
blue bled on branches
pinpricks to pick the way.
Nerves uncoiled scat
fumigated the brain
of vaporous fears.
Green changed to something else
amber perhaps like the fruit
of the tree on stilts.
dusty mauve when they disgorged
oxygen from lungs.
Heart thumped as toad
breathed wart life on stone
soft with moss.
shells of gourds split
grinning their seeds to the sky.
The point when smoke from woodstove
folded the mist of the day
was the time milkman tied the cow
to the lamp post.
Udder heavy with milk the mother lowed
to the calf stuffed with hay
and propped against the fence. The child tugged,
areola a dark smudge of sores.
I picked my clothes, laced the blouse
tenderly over my breast,
looked out to see the cow bite into the calf,
chew wisps of hay
and my child in bed asleep, mouth curdled with
threads of milk.