Shree Ma

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written 8/24/08

This morning, a fog has pressed down, almost
To the treetops, erasing the great bulk of the mountains
And the oppressions of distance, and enabling
The imagination to push skyward into a salient
Of being hitherto made incorporeal by the too
Rigorous commands of the physical senses.
This strange amalgamation of vaporous,
Almost watery fire, is probed by a separate
Sense, the internal tides and combustions
Which manufacture dreams. Now we can see
The many faces of entities, standing placidly,
Or wildly dancing, all moving about these celestial
Hinterlands, and entirely sustained in their
Quixotic powers by families of worshipers on earth,
Who fashion simulacra of them, then lavish
The effigies with devotion. So potent,
And so inward have some of these devotees
Become, that miracles — that is to say,
The incorporeal causations of love —
Sometimes erupt. This one, with pupilless eyes,
Seeing women, at the grey horizons, dance
In silken finery. This one, with twisted legs,
Exquisitely dancing. The usual beggars drowned
In torrents of money. And in the midst of these
Enormous gyrations, as if composed of that same
Watery fire, we find a small, frail woman,
Her weak eyes closed, her yellow cane, set aside,
Her mind turned inward — a collection of sinewy sticks
In a saffron sari, upholding the heavens themselves
With her fierce song.

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