Shiva Bhairava

Shiva Bhairava

Sandalwood statue,
you’ve fed yourself to River
Karnali; currents
gnawed everything you are not.
You have fed yourself to time.

You emerge gnarled as
roots, swarming from earth like eels
from tenebrous pools.
Tendrils form your entangled
mane. A crown wreathes your faces.

You exile demons,
collapse time, hasten success,
& palaver with
crimson tongues of dogs. Your three
eyes guide wayfarers in search

of miracles. They
liquefy into evening’s
shadowy ocean:
indigo waves. Your pregnant
eyelids consume each witness.


Image Courtesy: “Shiva Bhairava ellora” by WL – originally posted to Flickr as R0019140. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons –