Kali

I wrote this poem after my first heartbreak. It tore me apart like a fire in a forest. It took away all the life that I had built, the whole story of me. Heartbreak broke me open. It allowed me to open deeper into the emptiness that is Love. Below is a description of where the title is derived from, an essential piece of understanding and really feeling the intensity of the poem.

I have titled the poem, “Kali” because in the Hindu tradition Kali represents destruction. She is an essential part of creation, and a manifestation of god. Kali is a symbol of the woman (goddess) who destroyed my world. An essential part of Love is destruction. In creation as well as in destruction God is present. A Christian example is found in the story of Noah, where God destroys to create better. In a poem by Rumi he says, “Imagine what beautiful flowers God creates with manure.” This poem is about flowers blossoming through heartache.

In the story of Kali she is married to Shiva (the god of creation).  One day Kali decides to begin destroying the world, and she goes mad with destruction and begins to destroy the world. Her lover, Shiva sees this and afraid quickly runs and lays his body in front of Kali’s destructive footsteps. Mad with destruction Kali only realizes that Shiva is present as her foot lands on his face. Embarrassed she sticks her tongue out.

Enjoy the poem. Below is an audio reading as well as the lyrics to the poem.

Kali

Can I call you kali

you’ve defiled me

stomped on me

a god who killed me

destroyed this world I created

carrying the heads of your victims

you left me

living

dead

left with anguish

reborn to truth

to something new

only death can dig so deep

Can I call you kali

because now i want to love more deeply

more truthfully

even the fire in the forest has a purpose

god uses everything

the manure that some people call shit

for me is fuel

I’m a third world child whose learned the hard way: “Love is not for cowards”

the words of Gandhi ring true

when you understand that divinity must be destroyed

for truth to rein

and your ideas of holiness have holes in them

that’s the emptiness kali left me with

I want to cry again

I’m oedipul because I want that nothingness

that my mother housed me in

I’m freudian because every woman

I love

reminds me of my mother.

Women,

you inspire me, humiliate me,

I bow to the goddess kali

My desire for love

has been lit

brighter than before

but now I’ve entered brahmin.

god has many faces

and at times I see it in my own face

Can I call you Kali

because even god needs to be humiliated

and taught that I signed up for this life

and you are mine, but never mine

I love you and I’m not afraid

you are who you are meant to be

I’ve spilt ashes near your alter

those are pieces of my former self

the one who thought he suffered

love, can never walk out the door

These days are getting shorter and the nights are getting colder

love

is somehow numbing

my mind doesn’t seem to work so I hide under my dreams

and find you there

for some reason love is not so gentle

all my ideas of myself and holiness

won’t you live in your presence

I have to be someone I’ve never been before

who is it that loves you

I can let you go because kali with her tar skin and scarred face

from my dream only loves me

and I’m not who I think I am

in the tarot the fool is the one who walks off a cliff

foolish because his site is heaven-ward

and yet lucky because he has seen truth

did you know Jesus was a fool

I’m not grounded

especially when my being becomes ethereal

it’s unreal, death

has given me a clean a slate

I can let you go

and yet you won’t leave

who are we

that we’ve finally met.

Can I call you Kali

because that is what you are to me

a goddess who murdered her lover

shiva

and you gave him something more real than holy

Can this be understood

these words uttered from a lover who has been destroyed

has a picture of a woman’s face on his alter

a single mother trying hard to make it work

who can trust my words if my object of love is a human

fallible and full of foibles

and yet somehow perfect.

I’m not afraid to let you go

I’m not afraid of sex

this body is truly genderless

you could be a man for all i care

and I would still love you the same

I’m not speaking of two bodies

2008 equals ten

a new beginning

believe

I’m not the same

the interpretation of my past has changed

the story has changed

an orphan is only an archetype if you believe it

and I don’t give a fuck what jung said

you can’t fit me into a box

life, a nymph from monet’s painting

a layered reflection on a pond

and you will never grasp the artist’s perspective

because life slips through our hands

slips through the nostrils

and life breathes itself

the rest is just details

agreements we’ve imposed on

what is

love is so surreal that a fidelity to it

will take away your humanness

and make you see everyone as equal

tonight my dad is no longer perfect

not my hero

but still an icon from my childish heart

because good parents

from this child’s perspective

become transformed in sunshine

I let the sunshine

open up the curtains at night

and fall in love with my nakedness

who is this boy who wants to be an adult

and calls it hard to grow up

there’s too much psychology to being an adult

I’m not concerned with better toys

I’ve fallen for with words

but nothing remains here tonight

and from emptiness

poets are born.

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6 thoughts on “Kali

  1. i like the audio reading of this poem. it brings more emotion and a bit of unsettling has occurred within me. though, i might disagree with some of your ruminations and ideas of religion and about Jesus, i find the merit of your poem being written strongly and ardently in the tradition of great romantic poets. the luminous veins of your artistry is evident and cannot be denied. the force, the beat, the tempo of this poem is excellent.

  2. I simply loved every word of this poem and the audio presentation added more magic to it. I hope, if it’s okay with you, I could quote your poem in one of my posts since I just went through a heartbreak recently. I guess most of us are in the same boat and that gives me hope that I’m not alone. Thank you for the lovely read!

    • Yes, we are all in the same boat, we’re all One. We’re all an expression of the one, role-playing as separate things but truthfully there cannot be separation. Consider your life and how it came to be and consider how it took everyone and many others before you to make you happen. As I see it, whatever we are is the same, nothing and no one is separate. Oddly enough language speaks of an ‘i’ which in one way is very real, but in some way is also simply a transient experience of the One.

      Heartbreaks are hard. They also have a sweetness to them, to be able of loved says a lot about a person. Also, I believe that heartbreak can be a window into waking up into our true nature–that which is unlimited, beautiful, full of love, and free.

      You may quote this poem, use as you like, as a poet once said, “poetry does not belong to those who write it, it belongs to those who need it.” Everything here is as much yours as it is mine.

  3. wow….what a great touch with the audio…. who would have thought such a pretty sounding word as kali could mean destruction…althouh heartbreaks are a part of life…they are the worst…at least in that moment…..thank you for sharing this…
    Hope

  4. Loved the poem and this comment:

    Heartbreaks are hard. They also have a sweetness to them, to be able of loved says a lot about a person. Also, I believe that heartbreak can be a window into waking up into our true nature–that which is unlimited, beautiful, full of love, and free.

    I’m trying to open that window…

    • That window is interesting, it is the window that somehow has been somehow recognized–yet has always been present. It is what sees everything. I remember an elder woman at the age of 85 years once saying, “you know my body is different but inside I still feel like a little girl.” There seems to be something that witnesses life and it itself feel infinite–despite the body or the appearance of time.

      The desire to have it is a sure sign you have experienced it–or rather that you recognize it, have seen, and now don’t want anything else but that space which is unlimited, beautiful, unkown, and loving. This will bring an end to an idea of an individual who suffers.

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