Sunday, April 28, 2013

Vows (new poem)

Vows (new poem)
by Tim Kavi

some say things
in the heat of passion
or the throes of love
but in the gentle promises
of an everyday love
my vows to you, Goddess
are not broken

I may weep for a night
wail for a season
toss ashes on my head
lie unshaven in sickness
fasting until weak in body
strong in spirit

Yet your voice does not stop
calling me to a deeper place
one that does not judge
or reproach me
except for righteous seeing
and a knowing every thing

some think that only a male (deity)
can see everywhere at once
but there is only a knowing
in your power of self assured
place; the movement of a Goddess
in grace; that some imagine

should not always be
mistaken for the benevolent
mother; but instead are
the callings of one
who seeks to gather in strong
voice; the vows are not weak

so calling, turning
and yearning the shackles enduring
to drop off my hands and feet
turned like phantom keys at once
in the burning
candlelight vows of silence

I read your words
in the light but must wait the
appearing of Furies
to turn the pages in windy visitation
such coolness are your words
modern leaders should take heed

for in the Suvarṇaprabhāsa-sūtra
सुवर्णप्रभासोत्तमसूत्रेन्द्रराज; Sutra of the Golden Light
I need the protection
of Sarasvati, Lakshmi, and Drdha
Earth goddess--please save us from night!
For there is only in the dawning

the candle light
has burned out; but the new day
has come. I speak my vows
with renewed fervor
your voice is still speaking
I must utter this poem

Dear sweet Goddess
lead us home
to your love; and a turning
to each other; be not angry
in my responsbility
my vows must not be broken

to turn to You
with an open heart
to serve others
to help and to heal
to speak a word of kindness
while walking with the Dharma wheel

for I would rather
have a vow of love for my fellow
man and woman
than any vow of disgrace
revenge or hate

for it is the vows
you brought me
when I as a chained one
was never free
but now I walk out of here
at full liberty

and on the distant hill
the lights of home
call me back
to the place I ever will
remain in your love
it is only a graceful meeting

of the vows
of turning to each other
met there
in the words of constant revealing
what is truly between
you and me
in your daily appearing.

Poet's Afterword: Perhaps you are curious about the Golden Light Sutra, a sutra that if read aloud can bring peace in the midst of a violent world, and if believed just a little--could bring great benefit. Here is a link to downloads of the Golden Light Sutra . Also, you can click here to read a article about the benefits of this Mahayana Buddhist text. The sutra, as well as this poem makes reference to several goddesses, notably, Sarasvati (Saraswati) aka Benzaiten. Saraswati, a manifestation of Maa Durga, and re-personified as Benzaiten is an important goddess in both Hinduism and Buddhism. The Asian letters; characters that when written, represent Benzaiten, implies a Goddess that is skillful at discourse (among many other attributes), hence the poem ends with an encounter with the Goddess in "words of constant revealing". The Sutra itself, is highly regarded as an important work in Mahayana Buddhism. ~~TK

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