my youth spills on dancefloors by Téa Nicolae

*poem published in Kamena Magazine, 2022. written in 2019. from my ‘teenage angst’ collection.

pitch-black clubs,
dazed fridays.
my youth pumps through my veins.

high heels,
shiny fake ids.
my youth grounds me.

grimy dance floors,

my youth bursts inside of me

it glides through me

wildly

as my heart throbs beneath my skin
matching the music’s beat

i please my youth
bending my body obediently
with the deafening bass

midnight
the synth dismantles my mind
and my limbs are not mine anymore
they follow the sound

there is no past
or future
only my body
spinning madly
only the music
twisting in my ears
only my youth
spilling on dance floors
from the crashed bottles of wine at my feet

Yajñasenī by Téa Nicolae

she who was born of fire

she whose beauty enticed even the sun

i garland thee

she whose blood spilled on royal floors of marble

she whose woe scorched the Kurus

i weep with thee

she who was touched yet remained stainless

she whose dishevelled hair holds the griefs of woman

i pray with thee

Draupadī,

she who cried the tears of the women who walked this earth

i am thee.

*poem published in Śabda Magazine, vol. II.

collage i made of pooja sharma as the beloved empress. her performance is etched to my heart!

“defeat me” – poem, prayer for Naraka Caturdaśī

defeat me,
monsoon one.
pierce through the weaponry of the self
until my armour plate breaks in two,
and i crumble at your feet
the way Naraka fell before you and Satyā.

show me mercy,
monsoon one.
before your sudarśana delivers my final blow,
hold me as one’s beloved would.
cradle me
the way you embraced your gopis
when swaying with the woods of Vṛndā.

dance me,
monsoon one,
to your flute’s tune
show me the hills
where the milkmaids bathed your feet with their tears.

let our waltz come to end
when my hand slips from yours…
then claim your victory over me,
Hari.
unchain me from my bonds of delusion
burn the bitterness weighing my heart
so we meld as one.
free me into union with you,
lover of Rādhā,
the way you wedded Naraka’s imprisoned women.

purifier of the fallen,
defeat me
and
allow me
rest
within you.

“defeat me”, poem / prayer for Naraka Caturdaśī… 💛 wishing a blessed Dīpāvali to all! may our ignorance dissolve into the light of consciousness as the asuras were absorbed into the devatās.

credit for the second, beautiful image: Madhav, unsplash.

tiny personal note: this is the first Dīpāvali i am spending in a place of my own, and it has been so precious to decorate my apartment (and even my rabbit’s hutch!) for the festival of lights. 💫 

grateful!

the tapestry behind me: the feet of Hari & Rādhārāṇī, by Harsh Malik. 💛

thirst, bhakti poetry

happy Vijayadaśamī! 💙 from this month’s newsletter of Śabda Institute. honoured that my poem accompanies the announcement of such an exquisite offering 💙 in this highly auspicious time, may our longing fuel our sādhanā, and may our devotion sweeten its unfolding. 💙

Dear One, 

The Śabda Saṅgha is continuing its study of the Bhagavad Gītā with a new theme – that of Bhakti Yoga. In honour of this new cycle of study, we are pleased to share a beautiful poem of longing and devotion by one of Kavithaji’s students, Téa Nicolae.

thirst
infused with devotion
my days unfurl tenderly
chinks fissure the armour plate of the self
and life dances through the cracks
madly enamoured
i long for the Beloved’s caress
my throat, so swollen
my mouth, so parched
my Beloved quenches the thirst:
grace pours down in ripples
i drink hastily

witching hour

*poem published in Coven Poetry, 2021.

at witching hour

she enchants the sky,

binding the stars with her elder wand

when the moon drips on her tongue,

she breathes into her bones

and her spirit spills through her nostrils

she jolts to the sky

where she unfolds;;;

she erupts in rolling thunders,,,

slides constellations through her hair,,,

tangles herself on rays of sun,,,

                        and blossoms into all-encompassing all-pervading awareness

           she surrounds all penetrates all upholds the galaxy eternal she is endless

                        she is ALL THAT IS

                                               …………………………………………………………………..

when the charm fades, her skin tingles

as she is drawn back into her flesh

in which she crashes with beautiful violence

her essence melds into her figure, sliding through blood vessels

her spirit curls between her fingers

her soul swells inside her mouth

and from ALL THAT IS

she becomes

A MICROCOSM

A FRAGMENT OF THE WHOLE

image credit: Tithi Luadthong, shutterstock.

luster

a poem for Kṛṣṇa Janmāṣṭamī…  💙

luster

burnt with longing,

i am a river scorched

by the summer sun

shimmering haze of light,

my swithered heart

i find you in the pause

i have not seen heaven

but i have seen moon’s luster

dripping onto your hips

he who dwells in my heart

is the white lord of pandharpur,

the one who plays

monsoon one,

your waist is my altar

there is no need

for pearls

when you are there

wishing beautiful celebrations to everyone! Jai Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the enchanter of the heart! 💙

Mahārājñī

She who shines like golden dew
She who is robed in silks of ruby
and adorned with gems of splendour
She who abides in the oblatory fire
and wears rising suns as earrings
She whose tender face is of flowers
and whose eyes are the triad of time,
i take refuge at her feet.

aureate enchantress of desire,
melt the greed nestled in the pools of my heart
make it so i do not again defile the fruit of your womb that is existence itself
and bless me to tread gently in this life
to walk in harmony with your children,
enamoured with the highest truth that is You. ✨

♥️ from an in-the-works poem of mine entitled “Mahārājñī”, written on the last day of retreat with my beloved saṅgha & teacher, which culminated with an all-day intensive open to the public consisting of the exquisite Siri Jyoti Pūjā, designed by our Kavithaji’s paramā-guru – Śrī Amritananda Natha Saraswati of Devipuram. the pūjā has been the most beauty my eyes have ever beheld at once.

📸: my first time wearing a saree with the occasion of the pūjā, which i believe to be the most beautiful garment ever created. ♥️ /  adulating the Śrī-cakra, photo credit – @sabda_institute.

deeply touched, in awe & grateful. śrī mātre namah 🙏 

loss slithered inside me

like a snake,

slicing my bones

and scratching my veins

with its scales.

my loss

burnt my fingertips

and dug a hole

in the centre of my chest.

i tried to feed the hole

kindness, drugs, and love

but my loss swallowed it all

and hungrily pushed against my ribs.

when i’m quiet

i can hear the hole

swelling under my heart,

greedily.

*poem featured in Wretched City. from my poetry collection “my loss is my root”, written in 2019.

picture credit: unsplash.

molten gold by Téa Nicolae

the whisper of your name, Beloved,

coats my heart in molten gold

and enfolds my core in aureate luster.

in the whisper of your name, Beloved,

my eyes shine like rhinestones

and my teeth gleam like pearls.

i adorn myself with your name, Beloved.

i wear you, the most precious gem,

as empresses wear their lavish jewels.

what is the need for riches,

when Keśava rests on my tongue?

🦚 “molten gold”, poem inspired by a delicious full moon meditation on Hanumān Jayanti at @sabda_institute & originally shared in our Śabda Sangha. below, the beautiful painting: “Madhava” by Dhrti Das & Ramdas Abhiram Das. 

spring song

🌺 recording a poem for Śabda Institute about growing up, shyly & clumsily, & about learning to hold my inner child with sweetness – while being held myself within our luminous saṅgha 🌺

ending verses:

🌺 i caress the shame the little girl felt

let it blossom in the palms of my hands

pour loving awareness into the wounds stored within my body

until my heart releases and pulses

with pride in the light of sovereignty

and my little girl is lovingly held by my woman. 🌺

and, she is – and she will always be ❤️

the poem’s called “spring song” 🌺

*current situation: basking in the afterglow of our Sphota retreat. softened heart & never-ending gratitude – to the unfolding of life, to the grace of the guru, to the support of the saṅgha, to the wonders of the path ❤️