Tuesday, October 6, 2009

if this is god

I wrote this poem a few weeks back when I visited a temple here in Chennai. The young woman standing next to me was the daughter of one of the people who worked there. Tulasi is the herb basil; darshan is a seeing. Please note I use lower case g for god.

if this is god dp289

she said
the young woman standing next to me
do you want to see god?
it seemed like too good an opportunity to miss
god available to see
is this a darshan?
does god see me too?

we walk through the heavy black columns
a forest of elephant legs
pass an old man walking in circles around one column
has god already spoken to him?
told him to do this?
in penance?
or for blessings?

she beckons for me to follow
we enter a small alcove
beaten gold walls
a priest inside
he wafts a flame
puts a garland around
is it god’s shoulders?
places fruit in a shallow bowl
scoops water into the hands of devotees
follows it with a spray of tulasi

we leave and go to another grander alcove
god here is bigger
seems to have company
but again
a flame
a garland of flowers
a gift of water in a shallow hand

I am satisfied
if this is god


  1. Interesting title Ma'am. What is dp289?

  2. It's my code for a series of daily poems I have been writing since Dec last year. Not all are publishable!

  3. Dear Susan,

    Well, this one is very fine indeed. I especially appreciate the question before the first break, and the last two lines. Thank you. Peace and all good,