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[personal profile] cynchick
An awesomely empowering poem by Sampurna Chattarji:

All the goddesses I am not

Are gathered at my door.

It is an old rejection they come to reverse,

Perverse and unbenign.

I do not let them in.

They are not like me.


Not Kali, the loudest,

Clamoring for attention

The slow dance of skulls around her neck

Bone music to my fears.

She is aggressive, that one,

And rude.

Look at the way she sticks out her tongue

At all who dare to look at her.

A red tongue, thirsty

For another demon to quench.

She drank his blood,

Each self-perpetuating drop,

A furious suckling that saved the world.

Blood mother,

You would have killed us all.

It took a husband to make her stop

(Lord Shiva trembling

Half-trampled beneath her feet),

And bite her tongue in shame.


Not Lakshmi, the meekest,

Sprung fiercely beautiful

Out of a tumultuous ocean of milk,

A lotus at her breast,

She, a lotus at the breast of Vishnu, Lord Protector,

Inseparable bride

Gentle breathing light

Riding her white owl

Into the homes of the propitiary

Casting dark glances and blight on those

Who dare to slight her.

Mother of the world,

A whimsical tyrant,

Feminine and full of wiles.


And not Durga, the fiercest.

A cosmic blaze of energy

In her eyes,

A pinwheel of mace and trident and sword.

Terrifying, but derived.

Free of husband, lord, or lover,

But formed fully of all their powers.

A sum total of gods then,

An essence of,

Shakti, distilled, concentrated,

Burning the throat as it goes down.

Mother to none,

A lion between her thighs.



(and now I sense them listening, hushing,

Pushing flat against the door)


I have taken Kali’s anger and made it mine.

My black moods are hers,

My irreverence.

I whoop, I rant, I rage.

Many hands girdle my waist.


I have swallowed Lakshmi whole.

She runs through me now,

A river of desire.

I drown myself and again,

I rise, dreaming weed,

Clinging to love, unworldly wise.


And Durga?

Durga has given me freedom,

And I have paid for it,


She made a fighter of me.

She taught me when to raise my weapons,


And when to lay my head in my mother’s lap,

A daughter come home again.


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January 2012

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