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

She dances me to her call | bhakti poem by Téa Nicolae

in the depths of my being, She dances me to her call:

“come to me. I want all of you, my child. no part of you is too dark, too gritty, too cruel for me. I claim all of you.”

Māiyā! your waves carry your call and roll it against my chest. i seek you with my breath, eyes, hands, and knees. my lungs seek you like they seek air.

Ya Devī! soothing her tears,

Kṛṣṇa told Pāñcālī

that just as you, Śrī Gaṅgā, hold and wash all pollutions yet are ever-pristine,

so does the fallen empress remain untainted by her shame.

aches bathed in your luster,

i plead:

take all of me, Devī.

leave nothing of me behind.

establish me in knowing

that despite my wrongs, fears and corruptions, i, too,

your fragment in the microcosm,

remain unmarred.

may the holy flow of your untamed waters

sweeten the harshness i bear towards myself and the world

soften the rigid corners straining my being

loosen the knots hindering you from coursing within me.

Śrī Mātre Namaḥ. 🙏

photos: before & after bathing in the waters of Śrī Gaṅgā in the auspicious Gangotri. Śabda Yātra. 🙏 the blessing of blessings. 💙

for how many lifetimes have you been calling me to You? | bhakti poem

for how many lifetimes
have you been calling me to you, Devī?
for how many lifetimes
have i cowered?

for how many lifetimes
have i been lost, Devī?
for how many lifetimes
have you watched me stumble?

i have been through many wombs
to rest my head at your feet today.

yet here i am,
my Devī.

would it be
greedy of me
to plead with you
one more time?

will you
grace me?
will you
wash away
my good, my ugly?
my irreverences, my pride?
my agonies, my beauty?

will you
cleanse this heart
until i am nothing but flow
rushing forth to meet your shores
like the water running between your locks

🤍 what came to me upon seeing the magnificence of Gaṅgā Devī for the very first time. pictures: Gangotri. Gomukh, Her Source. they fail to encompass Her beauty.

you elude me: bhakti poem by Téa Nicolae

you elude me,

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. 🙏

aegina, greece, 2018.

Warwick Anthology and Re-introduction

#Repost @thewarwickanthology with @make_repost
・・・
Introducing the Team of Warwick Anthology 2022: Florilegium! 🌺

Meet Téa Nicolae! Téa is a marketing co-head and an editor of this year’s anthology. She joined the Warwick Writing Programme to delve deeper into poetry and literary translation.

Téa is a poetess and a scholar-practitioner. She writes devotional (bhakti) poetry and her research interests are Śāktism, Mahābhārata and non-dual philosophy.

Téa holds a BA in Film and Creative Writing and an MA in Philosophy and Religious Studies from Lancaster University. She is studying oral-practice traditions with Dr. Kavitha Chinnaiyan at Śabda Institute and is part of the Operations Team of ŚI. Her studies at Śabda Institute enrich her writings with the insights, delight and fervour unearthed only through practice.

🥰🙏❤️

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!

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 🙏