amaryllis (/ˌæməˈrɪlɪs/) – bears the name of the shepherdess in virgil's pastoral eclogues. it stems from the greek ἀμαρύσσω (amarysso), meaning "to sparkle", and it is rooted in "amarella" for the bitterness of the bulb. the common name, "naked lady", comes from the plant's pattern of flowering that blooms when the foliage dies. in the victorian language of flowers, it means "radiant beauty".
your call is the cinder your mouth is the fire burning the tips of my fingers, weaving my thoughts in gold wire.
my tears are the milk, my oblations are the flowers gliding onto the blest thāli, pouring into fire that devours.
your curls are the waves, your teeth are the moons cooling the ārti of my heart , more precious than kingly boons.
my love is the oath, my longing is the path jostling me to you, enough to endure the world’s wrath.
monsoon one, tell me when my yearning reaches the skies are you the sunlight bathing my eyes?
Glossary thāli – metal plate used in rituals of worship, on which offerings of fire and water are laid. ārti – Sanskrit for ‘affliction’ or ‘distress’, as well as an alternative modern spelling for āratī, a ritual in which the light of a burning flame is offered to deities.
.❀。• *₊°。 ❀°。 my creative contribution to the Florilegium Anthology .❀。• *₊°。 ❀°
🖤🥀🌼 FLORILEGIUM 🥀🌼🖤 is an anthology of fiction & non-fiction literature compiled by the 2022 cohort of the Warwick Writing Programme, birthed out of love for writing and out of commitment to expression and self-discovery through the art of writing. Florilegium features 21 emerging writers and it holds short stories, flash fiction & poetry. it was a pure delight to work on this collection with my very talented colleagues and it is a joy to see it out in print! the Florilegium launch was held in february in London 🖤 photos from the launch below!
i had thought that i was just a girl who wanted to plant lemon trees but my hot blood scorched the vine trailing on the windowsill.
Keśava, you are pulling me to you by my teeth and i follow happily.
i followed you into the seven seas and i followed you into the circle of mountains i have been calling you with folded hands and now i will dance to you with my mouth open and with flowers woven into my skin tissue.
monsoon one, did you know that the crevices of my heart can hold you whole? did you know that the fire in my belly can swallow the three worlds?
my Beloved. your nectarous call trickles in my ears and i run to you, maddened.
i run to you, enamoured, clothed by longing and with tears as jewels.
i run to you, bare, silk dress in shreds, ripped slippers.
i’ve been running to you since before i was born. i am tired, Hari. my dignity and pride are long forgotten. my toenails are cracked, the skin peels off my feet. my hair is rumpled, my breasts are bruised; your wayward bride.
whenever i get close to throwing myself at your feet my mind entangles me. my wrongs push against my bones and i fall on my face. my blood smears the ground and i grovel. i cry. i howl.
when your nectarous call trickles in my ears, i jolt forwards. and i run to you, maddened.
~ poem to Madhav, published in Śabda Magazine, volume II. my offering of longing as we approach the auspicious day of Vijayadaśamī! may we be victorious in our quest to merge with the Divine Beloved.
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.
the tapestry behind me: the feet of Hari & Rādhārāṇī, by Harsh Malik.
🦚 “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.