My child-God


In the dark I think of ways
Lateral and skywards
Then and now I think him
A tiny paper scrap
Holds all the secrets.
On its glossy obverse
There is a mystic mantra.
Behind it, he smiles
At first unfelt, unseen
Bejeweled child-feet
Touch the orange sky
Saffron pigtailed bearers
Swing his palanquin-cradle
Beauty waves surge
Amid perfumed sticks
Yellowed holy rice
Sweet banana slices
Fragrant camphor flames.
Metallic discs meet
Fingers dance on drums
To feverish headshakes
Hair tousled, foreheads moist
The blue-sky child sleeps
Behind closed eyelids.

(at the ISKCON temple in Bangalore )

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