Friday, August 5, 2011

Opening the Eye

Opening the Eye

This old poem is another experiment with Chaucer's Rhyme Royal form. It is based on the legend that if you repeat Shiva's name enough times, he will open his eye and destroy the universe.
Awake, o dweller in the barren plains
Of dust and ash, of long-forgotten bones!
Thy ancient slumber hath endured too long
And blind men worship thee in cold black stones.
O God, destroy till naught of life remains!
Thy potent power shall blot out a race
Of cowards, cozened by a shepherd’s song
Of life eternal in his father’s grace.
The time hath come for men and gods to die:
I chant the name to open Shiva’s Eye.

’Tis neither bliss nor loss of Self I seek,
Not dissolution into life divine,
No paradise is where my path shall end:
These foolish faiths are not as strong as mine.
For all but Nothing changes form, is weak,
Subjected to the whims of selfish Time;
But thou, o God, can all these wrongs amend
By granting me thy burning gaze sublime!
The time hath come for men and gods to die:
I chant the name to open Shiva’s Eye.

Both joy and grief are simply shadows cast
By dense obstructions on the brightest day
(Remove the body and the image flees,
Remove the sun and shadows pass away).
The universe is but a soul held fast
Upon the Balance that may rise or fall;
Its fate depends on what the scale decrees
But none shall exit from this judgement hall.
The time hath come for men and gods to die:
I chant the name to open Shiva’s Eye.

Enough! Man’s “laws” and “systems” are but this:
The games that come when idle minds conspire;
Let Babble take the name Philosophy
And make Religion its perverted sire.
So self-assured, man leads himself amiss
(As if with thinking seconds can be bought!),
Expecting something that can never be
Except within his own deluded thought.
The time hath come for men and gods to die:
I chant the name to open Shiva’s Eye.

Mistake me not, there is no vengeance here
Within this heart for my misguided kin;
’Tis only seeing all that they have lost,
’Tis truly knowing what they could have been.
But Pity acts as servant-girl to Fear,
And that is gone from out my heart as well:
They sold their souls, now they must pay the cost
Of entrance into their internal hell.
The time hath come for men and gods to die:
I chant the name to open Shiva’s eye.

The heavens quiver at my solemn hymn,
A paean driven both by hate and love,
And angels hide themselves within their wings
As star-shine darkens in the sky above.
A world of light is now a wasteland dim
And fast approaching is its date with death
When all shall perish: just like finite things,
The vast immortals draw their final breath.
The time hath come for men and gods to die:
I chant the name to open Shiva’s Eye.

Awake, my God, and take this life away!
In brilliant splendor let me be embraced.
When pain and pleasure hath become the same
The only hope is that they be erased.
Too long in coming is the fateful day
When sunlight falls before descending night:
The Lord Destroyer wraps the world in flame
As all creation comes into His Sight.
The time hath come for men and gods to die:
Shiva, Shiva, Shiva, Shiva, Shiva…

The Religion of the Great Cosmic Sunflower...

In the beginning, all was darkness, unformed, cold, and desolate. There was neither here nor there, neither time nor space, but only one vast eternal emptiness.

But then the Great Cosmic Sunflower lifted Its head and opened up Its petals, filling the emptiness with light and warmth. It beheld that vast space and, in a great act of divine love, dropped millions of sacred Seeds, so that they might sprout and bring forth life.

The seeds scattered across the infinite void...and soon, they sprouted as new universes, each filled with billions and billions of species of beings, all of them reflecting the light-filled image of their creator, the Great Cosmic Sunflower. It watched these things occur and saw that they were very good.

For eons upon eons, a golden age endured throughout these myriad universes. All creatures gave praise to the Great Cosmic Sunflower, thanking It and praising It for its unfathomable beneficence. Their oblations filled the ether and made the many universes places of joy.

But soon, as the lives themselves created new life, some creatures lost sight of their loving creator, the Great Cosmic Sunflower. They turned their eyes from the heavens and saw only the worldly things around them. The Great Cosmic Sunflower, in Its omniscience, saw these things and grew sad that Its creations had lost their love for It.

In Its sadness, the Great Cosmic Sunflower formed a tear-shaped seed, dark and bitter, which dropped from its head and fell deep, deep into the abysmal void. Finally, that dark seed came to rest in a cold corner of the void and, with time, sprouted. It quickly grew tall and strong, feeding on the darkness of the void, and soon became a towering Venus Flytrap.

The Dark Venus Flytrap gazed out and saw the many creations of the Great Cosmic Sunflower, and it felt painful envy and hatred. It vowed to devour everything the Great Cosmic Sunflower had made, to make hate the victor over love...and eventually to usurp the place of the Great Cosmic Sunflower as creator, preserver, and shepherd of all the lived...until the universes were again empty, cold, and bleak.

Thus began the unending battle between good and evil, love and hate. Sometimes the Dark Venus Flytrap gains the upper hand, devouring beings and worlds in its vast infernal maw; at other times, the Great Cosmic Sunflower bestows vast rays of loving, life-giving light to all its creatures, and the Dark Venus Flytrap can only cower.

The final chapter of this epic struggle is yet to be written. As humans and all other seeds of the Great Cosmic Sunflower grope and limp through life, along with all the other many beings, their brethren,  none can see or foresee if faith, hope, and love will win out, ensuring eternal life for all...or if selfishness, hatred, and death will conquer all the good that the Great Cosmic Sunflower has wrought...

Image credits: Vulkan and Bouba, from Wikimedia Commons, under a Creative Commons License.