Seven Steps

seven steps
around the sanctified fire,
ghee-seared smoke
veiling my eyes,
my red stained feet
following yours,
over blessed marigold petals
and auspicious turmeric rice,
chants sliding into the warmth
of your fingers over mine,

seven steps,
each a prayer,
a propitiation,
a purpose,
a pledge,
mirroring the universe’s motion,
circumambulating a life source,
atom and earth,
body and soul,

seven steps
to begin a journey,
seven steps
to fulfill seven births,
seven steps
to transcend the seven worlds,
seven steps
to get so far;

just one to turn away.

The Saptapadi, the Seven Steps taken by the bride and groom around the fire, is an important ritual performed during a traditional Hindu wedding.
For the midweek prompt at Poets United: “Commitment”

34 thoughts on “Seven Steps

  1. Lovely. Reminds me of a doco I saw long ago, when elderly Gandhi and his wife described their wedding ritual and briefly re-enacted walking that circle.


  2. “chants sliding into the warmth
    of your fingers over mine”


    Love all that this ceremony means. It seems impossible that only one step could negate all of this beauty and spirit.


  3. Hindu wedding is all about rituals and customs, they teach us the actual essence of a married life…also display the level of commitment that is needed. Beautifully penned….wow!


  4. I love this poem, and the ritual of the Seven Steps. That is the scene in the movie Gandhi that I love the most….so beautiful, that commitment. So compelling your closing line – just one step to turn away. So sad.


  5. Again – the way you have used colour and scent to immerse us in the scene really is intoxicating..and your words runs (a propitiation, a purpose, a pledge) – add to the weight of ceremony and commitment


  6. so beautifully you’ve described the seven step journey of two souls…each step a prayer and promise indeed…love the scenes to remain forever in their heart….


  7. Ai! Great ending! I really liked the seven step mantra in this, the inner rhythm and warmth, but am especially fond of what I might call ethnic touches that really give your poetry character, like the ghee, veil, and red stains. I almost would like not to say it yet again, but I like the sensuality in your writing too, always so well-dosed.
    Basically, for the reasons just said. This was a highly enjoyanle read, and you cannot want more than that as a reader.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Hamish. So glad you picked up on the cultural references. At some point, as one keeps writing, perhaps a unique tone and texture will evolve…am still in the experimentation stage I think !!


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