Poetry: Neera Kashyap

Neera Kashyap
The heart cave

There is a cave in the heart, 
a cave where we rest.
It is not easy to reach for we don’t search for it.
When storms breach their embankments and 
our walls crash, we search in the chaos of overarching waves.
We may see it in the stormy blur and stop. 
Or are stopped in a sort of sleeping awareness
where for a split second or for endless time 
there are no waves, no walls, no turbulence.
No thoughts.
Just a cave with a point of light.
Just a cave with a point of light.
A pinpoint that grabs our all in this cave of rest.
It disappears…
and we search for it again and again
through prayer, chants, meditation, practices for silence
that render thought irrelevant.
It’s like holding onto a slippery buoy mid-storm. 
There seems no other way.
For the pinpoint of rest will come when it will,
bidden or unbidden.
For its promise is not a mere pinpoint
but an effulgence of light and rest.
---


Why?

Why war?
Why peace?
Perhaps because peace is our real nature.
Perhaps because war is our false ego.
Our sacred texts ascribe all thought to ego.
What if we focus on the thinker, not the thought of war?
Holding to the thinker not the war.
Attending to the thinker not the war.
Who is the thinker anyway?
From where does she rise?
The search is like diving deep to reach a coin on the ocean bed.
Diving, diving till the ocean pulls you in.  
To the Source.
Eternal, unchanging, ever-abiding Source.
Both thinker and the thought dissolve in the ocean.
No thinker, no thought of war.
Simply the joyous peace of our real nature.
---


Letting in the sun

Writes Virginia Woolf: 
‘I thought how unpleasant it is to be locked out; And 
I thought how it is worse, perhaps, to be locked in.’
I may try a key that opens the window and lets in the muck
Just enough muck before I lock the window again 
so the muck can settle and the stream flow clear.
Just enough shut time, just enough muck time
before I open the window again 
to let some sun stream in. 
The sun shines…
sees no difference
between things 
inner and 
outer.
---

Bio: Neera Kashyap has authored a book for young adults, Daring to Dream, (Rupa & Co.) and contributed to prize-winning anthologies for children. As a writer of short fiction, poetry, book reviews and essays, her work has appeared in several international literary journals and poetry anthologies. The international journals for poetry include Verse Virtual, Life & Legends, Failed Haiku and Setu Magazine (USA); RIC Journal (Indo-French); Kitaab (Singapore); the Indian journals include The Punch Magazine, The Bangalore Review, Teesta Review and The Wise Owl journal. The publishers of the anthologies include Indie Blu(e), Transcendent Press, Setu Mag (USA); Clarendon Press (UK) and Hawakal, Write Order, Author's Press, Exceller & Brown Critique (India). She lives in Delhi.


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