Monday, March 30, 2009

The Cloud Messenger

Unwell all day in body and mind,
licking my wounds by looking for rhymes.
The rain came down at quarter to four.

I did not realize until quite late that night,
the drumbeat of rain was really a code:
Devi had sent a messenger cloud.
Decrypted, her voice came through, clear and bold,
and this is what her letter told:

O Manjari! You're at least 12 by now.
You're old enough to know better.

It is strange you have to be told
that you and the sakhis, not I, hold
the lila in the palms of your hands.
Don't you know your role?

You're not there just to sweep the kunja,
or stop Krishna from coming in when Lalita scolds.
You're not there just to wait for nectar to fall.
Don't you know what seva and dasi mean?
Who's the servant and who's the Queen?

O Dasi!
Krishna was speaking to you that night
when he told Arjuna he had to fight!
You too have a field of work, so do;
Work your field of duty, kuru.

Do you think it was easy for Arjuna to fight?
But he was a warrior and that was his right;
while Radha's just a kula bala,
a woman with a thousand badha,
a family that holds her bound in knots,
they hold her tight behind four walls;
Jatila and Kutila and the family cows
keep her out of Krishna's sight.

Whatever the pravasa, far or near, long or short,
whatever the maan, with a cause or not,
It's up to you to find a way.
The Jugal milan is your task;
I don't know why you had to ask!

Find a way, it's up to you--
Hide Krishna in a box!
Get in the door, pick the locks!
Dress him up as a goddess or a girl,
Have him make a garden of pearls.
Be a duti, do your duty, find a way!
You're not the audience, you're in the play!

The doors to Vraja are open wide
and if you die trying, at least,
at least you can say you tried.

The fun is all in getting it done.
I, Yogamaya, am your servant, the Lila is yours;
Radha and Krishna meet at your command.
Find them in the woods where they hanker afar;
Take them by the hand and do abhisar.
I promise you'll see the Nitya Vihara.

You were probably surprised to hear from me.
My message is this: You are free! You are free!

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