A formidable endeavor,
To enter the labyrinthine depths
And pass among the shuffling, shuttling
Shoving, scuffling, rushing with the hour
In a gray atmosphere which only merchant greed will adorn,
In a foul, burnt-iron, screeching hell.
Here beneath the surface
So little as a smile can signify the conquest of material nature
But few emerge victorious.
Yet, swaying and jolting in our passage as we span a borough,
Are we not like posies in the wind?
Are we not touched and kissed and tickled
In a passion we ourselves cannot abate?
O, do you hear the whine in the clatter?
Some poor, sun-starved deity is wandering these passages with us,
And he is singing the song of our hearts,
He is the herald of our Spring, the crier of our own true need:
Is Krishna Among You? Is Krishna Among You?
Yes, yes! He is here! But
Everything blurs somehow,
The lights flicker from time to time,
And when they're back the crowds are milling-like shadowy sheep.
There are the boys with their books and bragging
Pretty as their own pretty dreams.
There I see the girls with their giggles and their hairdos and in their
eyes I spy the calm wisdom possessed by veterans of a
thousand mock-tea parties, awaiting their time to come,
not to be seen with basketballs and guns, and not distracted.
The mother's careless hand upon the child's cheek takes my eye
The old man's grumbling, and the embarrassed lady of means
Quite thrill me by their tragic play.
Oh yes, this is a tragic playground.
Fellow passengers, I regard you all fondly,
Wink and smile, don't let me embarrass you……
This is only the prelude to my message.
In a moment I shall rise and go to each and every one,
(Nor will I miss a single car throughout this train)
And in each ear I shall whisper something special that I know, and share it,
for I love you dearly.
I will say:
Don't tell anyone else, but
It's all much sweeter than you feared.
Yes, yes indeed, my dear, my pal,
Just don't believe them no matter what they say.
They have deceived you and told you monstrous lies…
It is not all in the eyes, it is not all in the thighs.
It is all in the heart.
Krishna, Who is all
Is in your heart.
The glory of the Lord shimmers even in this dirt,
This hell is as splendid as the glittering night skies,
And the shadows of the subway do not diminish us,
But have themselves become sublime.
Rayarama Das Brahmacary
Close your eyes to all this
And dance in the white light uncontaminated
By shades of birth and place.
The cymbal sound is clear,
We need no yearning clarion call
Here, breathing the springtime
Winds of His immortal laughter.