Ma Kali, everything was just You
And though people liked to refer to You
With different names
I learned my method of worship
Just by looking at the way You behave
Cradling the Veena on Your lap
Looking at it with such concentration
Gently bringing out a Universe of music
With just strings, string frets
You hefted a golden vessel
With only the right hand
Poured gold coins to devotees
Along with other blessings
Conducive for a good life on Earth
Your spouse looked on langourously
From His serpentine bed, fondly
You danced with Him
The “chill” to use today’s parlance
Male dancer Nataraja
The oceans, rivers, rains and all other
Water bodies formed from Your sweat
That appealed to me quite a bit
But when you held the killer Thrishul
The lazily turning Sunabha
Concealing its deadly destruction
In gentle whorls of Time
You look down with such love
On Mahisha gazing up at you
Nothing ungiven to You in his eyes
Nothing unclaimed from him by you
Let me too drape myself on Your feet
And do nothing else but stare at You
I seek no salvation, I seek
Only that look on Your face
That love
As you take what is already
Yours, but held in my body
Which is labelled my Life.

—Lakshmi Bayi