The temple gates are far, I cannot see
the goddess from where I stand, only feel
this slight coolness in the air; verdigris
on an old brass lamp; the usual spiel.
The grass’s gone to seed, different feathery
white or less than white, flowers too unknown
and admit it, what’s the temple really -
an idol raised in mud, slight scratch on stone.
Rivers skirt their banks in one sacred sweep,
skies, oceans swoop and swell in kingfisher blues;
far too many lives sold out far too cheap -
the goddess puts her arms to a modern use.
Dreams still come in conch-white and marigold;but I dream no dreams, the centre does not hold.
It's the start of the festival season back home - happy Mahalaya, Navratri, and/or Durgapuja to you if you are celebrating.