Poetry Tuesday: A Long Time Back

Anonymous from India over 1300 years ago.

A long time back
when we were first in love
our bodies were always as one
later you became
my dearest
and I became your dearest
and now beloved lord
you are my husband
I am your wife
our hearts must be
as hard as the middle of thunder
now what have I to live for



Poetry Tuesday: My Husband, Before Leaving

Sanskrit, about 1500 years ago.

My husband
before leaving on a journey
is still in the house speaking
to the gods and already
separation is climbing like
bad monkeys to the window.


Poetry Tuesday: Great It May Be

By Ceraman Kottampalattut, somewhere within 1800 and 2000 years ago, in either India or Sri Lanka (best I can come up with).

Great it may be,
yet my grief has limits,
for it is not strong enough to kill me.
On the weed-strewn salt earth of the burning ground,
on a pile of logs set aflame
she lies,
her bed blazing fire.
My woman is dead, she belongs to the other world,
yet I am still alive.
This life is strange.


Poetry Tuesday: All I Was Doing Was Breathing

Mirabai, 16th century India

Something has reached out and taken in the beams of my eyes.
There is a longing, it is for his body, for every hair of that dark body.
All I was doing was being, and the Dancing Energy came by my house.
His face looks curiously like the moon, I saw it from the side, smiling.
My family says, “Don’t ever see him again!” And implies things in a low voice.
But my eyes have their own life; they laugh at rules, and know whose they are.
I believe I can bear on my shoulders whatever you want to say of me.
Mira says: Without the energy that lifts mountains, how am I to live?


Poetry Tuesday: The Soul

Lal Ded, a Kashmiri poet from the 14th century

The soul, like the moon,
is new, and always new again.

And I have seen the ocean
continuously creating.

Since I scoured my mind
and my body, I too, Lalla,
am new, each moment new.

My teacher told me one thing,
Live in the soul.

When that was so,
I began to go naked,
and dance.


A Vein of Sapphires

I do like ancient Indian poetry, huh? This is by Mahadeviyakka (1130-1180)

A vein of sapphires
hides in the earth
a sweetness in fruit.

And in plain-looking rock
lies a golden ore
and in seeds
the treasure of oil.

Like these,
the Infinite
rests concealed in the heart.

No one can see the ways
of our jasmine-white lord.