Flowers for worship

Flowers are not art but science of beauty
Where they sit softly on a walled picture.

Here they are not taken apart but add up
To a canvas of beauty in all its fragrance

And camphor flame is raising its dancing
Hands on the glass covering gods frames.

And taken apart they are flung at pictures.
Their beauty adds up to the wall’s picture.

The gods stand in peace, in bow and arrow
Their necks heavy with old painted flowers

That will never wilt nor smell less in beauty.
Flung flowers will make up our mountains

Rising in glass casket, like far off snow hill
Where a three-eyed Shiva softly meditates.



The temple is beauty cast in flowers and dust
A concentrated thought by a chisel in a spike

And a still beauty being explored by creatures
Existing for their death’s immortality benefits

Where they lie in niches they project horror,
Darkness of soul in bodies thought and lost.

A man- lion -God lies concentrated in stone
A horror of stomach pierced by denied God

In stone pillar of chi|d’s love remonstrating
A father’s egotistical demon ripe for a death

A picture of God’s anger, a child’s God love
A stony concentration, exquisite stone child.

A music of times is concentrated in temple
As ether of a sky lost to a myth and history,

The wind still blows in music of transience.
Death is not here nor there but in doorway.

(a visit to the Ahobilam temple of Lord Narasimha, the man-lion God who slew Hiranyakasipu the demon who refused to accept Vishnu as God)

The tortoise and the sun

As the sun climbed the temple banyan
The tortoise carried the world on back

As in apocalypse times, a flood coming
And a kind earth quaking with disaster.

We offer our eyes closed and in prayer
Our palms joined in a tortoise gesture.

We then go forward to the sun in silver.
We offer prayers to the sun in whiskers

Lighting our eyes with camphor flames.
Our silver eyes are for his safe keeping.

( Visit to the temples of the tortoise God (Kurmavatara) in Srikurmam and the sun god at Arasavilli)


On your brow his stylus inscribes fate.
But a three-headed bearded God can

Rarely come back with after thoughts.
An educated wife keeps him occupied

Supposing she would prevail on him
To change the writing on your plate

Give him a blue pencil and editorial
Freedom,to change his own writing,

Can he make you unborn by a pencil
A blue pencil making you unhappen?

Festival season

There is the broken moon on the housetop there
Cold and soggy, snuggling to the breezy coconut.

The elephant god is not looking for it for laughter
After a heavy meal of sweets in his child-stomach.

Our dear elephant-god lies in now broken himself
At the bottom of the lake, snuggling to the algae.

Time for a many-armed mother, who shall bestow
Our victory for this season, wealth for our devout.

The mother maternal, eyes wet with love for sons
And terror in tongue, trounces demons under foot.

After the victory she too will go down to the lake
To a drum beating of music and camphor flames.

Our gods are like us, of soft clay and kitsch colors.
They disappear from life after the season is over.


It is a sound that comes through child
A child of the earth and a climbed wall,

A tree with leaves plucked into pockets
For worship of a stone god in vermilion

And yellow softness of beginning god,
A god nestled in a heap of yellow rice.

It is the women in rustling silks of air,
A fragrance of leaf, flowers and flame.

It is a flame that dies in floral fragrance
But re-lives to verify a continued living.


Wear your robes into the big hills
To a precipice, to discuss beyond

The vedas, read all about a flesh
Bones are heir to, as loosely laid

As words failing toward meaning
When they sprout as new leaves

To a bodhi tree, under an ochre,
Like setting sun behind the hills
Its shadows lasting all morning.