kneeling at the cradle of the skies and the seas,
she prays with her hips
and she asks the Earth for forgiveness.
~ these are my favourite lines from an ending poem belonging to my final year project: a devotional collection about the feminine mystique. while writing it, my greatest influence was Lalleshwari, who also is my favourite poetess. i’ve been fondly thinking of her today as i revisited my poems. from her collection “I, Lalla”:
Wrapped up in Yourself, You hid from me.
All day I looked for You
and when I found You hiding inside me,
I ran wild, playing now me, now You.
As the moonlight faded, I called out to the madwoman,
eased her pain with the love of the One.
‘It’s Lalla, it’s Lalla,’ I cried, waking up the Loved One.
I mixed with Him and drowned in a crystal lake.
I wore myself out, looking for myself.
No one could have worked harder to break the code.
I lost myself in myself and found a wine cellar. Nectar, I tell you.
There were jars and jars, and no one to drink it.
i aimed to emulate her character into the female voice i created: an embodied woman devoted to the supranatural, whose esoteric experiences were deeply personal, imperfect and feminine. Lalla (or Lal Ded) was an enchanting Kashmiri mystic and saint, who created the prominent style of spiritual poetry known as “vakhs”. she wrote heart-wrenching, devotional poetry to Lord Śiva, who she was enamoured with. she wore nothing but the tresses of her long hair and lived the life of an ascetic: she renounced all worldly possessions and would wander, bare, sharing her wisdom and teachings. some lauded and worshipped her, some threw rocks at her, but she paid no mind. she wrote:
They may abuse me or jeer at me,
They may with flowers worship me.
What profits them whatever they do?
I am indifferent to praise and blame.
Can a few ashes a mirror befoul?
^ i wish to tread through life so wildly. excited to share this collection of mine with you in the (far) future, when the time is right.