Manikarnika Ghat

4 Nov


The steps to heaven glisten

On midnight’s shimmering waters

Reflecting the beckoning void

That strides between the cosmos and

The weary souls of earth that parade

Through narrow street processions

A chain of chants sustains a reservoir of tears

The solemn sadness serenely spreads

The soaked spices and holy oils

On a weighed, wrapped in white, washed

Fired, fragrance, blazed-to-ash Soul

That dances with incense intertwined

As Kali joins in a sensuous trance

And swings the trapeze Soul up high

It flies and crashes upon its circus life

A cosmic asteroid turned a blossomed lotus

With kaleidoscopic karmic petals that fall

Some sink others drift in Shiva’s river-tangled hair

Of water dreadlocks that embrace the earth

To be reborn at dawn or another time

To join once again the cosmic dust dance

Between sun, breath, mud, moon, and ash

The flame that burns and drowns

Immersed, gone, and born again

In the forever flowering cosmic Ganga.

This is Varanasi.





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