Home and Grave


The subtle within us beguiles with its
mystique. It is tranquil lake and tempest. It
is home and grave. The only way to know
the unknown is to accept that it will
immediately change places with the known.
Nirvana like a river is constantly renewed.



Previous: Tao inspirations #14

No door, No womb


To find myself, I have to go back to the
beginning. To the bottom of a spade as
it hits the earth. To the edge of the wind
as it brushes a star. To the void that had
no door, no womb, no face, no name. To
find myself, I have to find that nothing.



Previous: Tao inspirations #13

The one without expectations


Your desire for love defies the fear that
bookends it. Finding and losing both
unfasten stars from the sky. Will you give up
this world for the one without expectations?
What thoughts came to you when you
sat cross-legged under that peepal tree?



Previous: Tao inspirations #12

One earth. One sky.


The dervish whirls. A single ney follows
his breath. One colour. One earth.
One sky. One beloved. One love.
Anything more would be an aberration.
How will you fit the abundance
of your need into one moment?



Padmini: Raja Ravi Varma
Previous: Tao inspirations #11

A tree on a tree


Without a word, how will there be
meaning? We fabricate love from thirty
senses. But love can only water a parched
desert. You cannot plant a tree on a tree.
If your heart is not already broken, what
will Ghalib’s thousand desires heal?


Previous: Tao inspirations #10



Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi
ki har Khwaish pe dum nikle
Bahut nikle mere armaan
magar phir bhi kam nikle
Thousands of desires,
each one worth dying for
so many have come to pass
yet I yearn for even more
– Mirza Ghalib


Mystery of Being


What is proportion if you cannot comprehend
infinity? What is magnificence if you cannot calibrate
inadequacy? The baby Krishna opened his mouth to
show his mother his cosmic form. Can you feel that
mystery of being? And wonder why the ultimate creation
was so deliberately crafted out of fragile ephemera?

Damayanti Vanavas: Raja Ravi Varma
Previous: Tao inspirations #9
This series on Instagram: @tp_poetry

That never stops wanting


How much happiness is enough? How much
love is essential? Does enough run to the edge
of the universe or can a solitary umbrella of stars
make up your night? The moon’s dharma is to
keep going back to the beginning. What will
you do with a love that never stops wanting?



Arjuna and Subhadra: Raja Ravi Varma
Previous: Tao inspirations #8
Follow series on Instagram: @tp_poetry

As a star, As a god


You made up these rules. You set the bar for
longing too high. You wanted to be exalted
as a star, as a god. But I know love refused to
play your game. It fell into your arms and fit
its weight into the yearning in your heart. Didn’t
it teach you to fly with your feet on the ground?



Mohini on a swing: Raja Ravi Varma
Previous: Tao inspirations #7
Follow series on Instagram: @tp_poetry

The Lists


Count all the things that are eternal. Then
count all the things that are not. In which
list did you put the love you feel? The love
you received? In which list did you put
yourself? When creation made its lists,
which one do you think it placed you in?



Dreaming Shankuntala: Raja Ravi Varma
Previous: Tao inspirations #6

Doorway of darkness


From the womb of mystery, everything
was birthed. That energy emboldens
the ocean, that fecundity fans the wind,
that weight holds up the gods. Light burst
from a doorway of darkness. Love emerged
at last from a contraction of blinding pain.



Drawing of a woman with melancholy expression: Raja Ravi Varma
Previous: Tao inspirations #5