Mary Oliver’s Shiva

For Joci and Karim, with love…which is the same as healing.


Shiva, pretend you are with me

as the doe in her summer red coat



               through the pines

                          and enters the pasture.


She neither hurries nor hesitates.

She knows exactly how carefully it must be done.


Shiva, I know the odds.


If the fawn is where she left it, the world

   in that moment goes on being created.

And if the fawn has vanished, it is the destroyer’s hour.


Lord of Life and Death,

I just wanted you to stand here for a moment

     not like a god but like a mortal being

to see for yourself how the doe



              into the grass

and when she emerges how the heart leaps joyful

if the world steps out beside her.  That little dancer

   Unknown  still licking milk from its lip.





Mary Oliver, from her book, Blue Horses. Penguin Press, 2014


About the Author:

Shakta is an AMS certified Montessori teacher, and the author of five well-known Yoga books, CDs and DVDs. Her latest book, The Yoga Way to Radiance: How to Follow Your Inner Guidance and Nurture Children to do the Same, is scheduled for release in summer of 2016, (Llewellyn Worldwide)   Visit Shakta's Writing and Poetry Site

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