1. The Body


I have seen
the wax cheek,
the void eye,
the unbendable back;
I have seen them, 
on the pyre.


The lens, the retina,
the screen in the brain;
they don't experience seeing 
any more than lachrymal glands 

The cerebrum, the cerebellum
and the medulla oblongata
don't confer, ponder or philosophize
any more than the liver,
the pancreas and the intestines
sit down to enjoy a good meal.


I am not
collarbones or shoulder blades 
or vertebrae or ribs.

And that meaningless skeletal grin
which will be mine 
won't be me.

2. The World


Last night, in a garden. I saw
two skeletons
lying on top of the grass,
dressed in flesh,
trying to embrace.

In a city I saw
a million skeletons-in-skin
scurrying over streets
paved with gravestones—
they were grasping at objects,
and things were falling from their hands.


I saw a soul
stumbling through centuries
of identities;
behind it
a trail of skeletons—
some with fins. some with wings,
some with two legs, some with four.

3. The Lord

The reductionist's cosmos 
of random chemical bonding, 
of chaos and coincidence, 
is so gross and heavy-handed.

before the breath-taking, unearthly complexity,
before the staggering, supernatural co-ordination
before the dizzying, ineffable beauty—
how can a scientist
not fall down, dumb-struck, awe-struck,
speechless, unable to pray?


O my Lord,
every point in space
emits the soothing aroma
of Your immanence—
the light, the leaves,
my very looking, my thoughts themselves-
is billowing forth
a divine, intoxicating ether,
a sweet storm of proofs-beyond-logic
of Your genius beyond comprehension,
of Your artistry beyond imagination,
of Your presence beyond dull senses,
and of Your brilliant existence
beyond any shadow of a doubt.


Thank You, my Lord,
for piling up coincidences
to improbability,
and then to impossibility—
for showing me
so many miracles of intervention.

I am stunned realizing
Your proximity,
Your factuality,
and the inconceivability
of Your personal concern.

4. Bhakti


Spirit is solid,
but matter is insubstantial—
for us
this is unreality.

Our backs to God, 
we pursue the intangible 
through death after death—
ever empty-handed.


Although bound to this dimension
by our thick-skulled determination
to dominate,
if we try to break
with this self-aggrandizement
and turn,
fully embarrassed.
towards the grandeur of God—
by His grace
we can escape.


This is the work of the human form—
to re-make the mind—
to cut it off from matter
and fix it on God.

This is bhakti-yoga—
every act, every word, every thought
for God—
it's hard,
ifs a process,
it takes time.


The beginning is to contemplate
how one has lusted
for so long
over nothing;
how one was countless arrogant fools;
how one's list of lives 
is a list of insults . . . 
humility is a tangible prayer.