Iron Gates

Image and poem by Oleg Yuzelpolsky

Life is a Woman.

I have wondered for months
since i’d heard of Her.
Strolling through cities,
i noticed that clouds
in the winter sky
were stirring something inside
and tears cleaned my vision.
Invited by intimate caress of
heavenly bodies,
i started falling into heart’s
moaning as if all i’ve ever
dreamt about was Her.

Upon my arrival she unlocked
the gates of Her garden and
quietly disappeared
behind translucent screens.

I helplessly searched through
rooms of this exquisite Home,
but couldn’t get even a
glimpse of Her.
Some mornings i heard
the windows being softly opened,
and ran out of my bed to see Her,
but all i found was a breakfast
served to me as if She fed a beloved.
At night i found her silk shawl
laying over my blanket.

In daytime i followed her
singing and laughter through
forests and mountains.
It felt as if she was
just behind trees,
but all there was, was
a scent of pine wood
and refreshing wind.

Sun burning my shoulders,
i reached cold mountain river.
With my immediate desire
to jump to it,
i saw a sight which
will forever stay with me:
Submerged in water,
enjoying river’s current,
was a Tigress.
To my shock, She – my love,
was standing in the river too!
Lion’s skin covering her bronze body,
Eagle claws amulet around neck,
She gave a bath to Tigress,
rubbing creatures’ back and
splashing water in its face.

i stood unnoticed, breathless,
awe-struck, speechless.

When the bath was over, She
sat upon the Tigress’ back,
who turned the head in
my direction and roared
so intensely
that rock above me shook
and fell to hit my head.
The last thing i remembered
before darkness overtook me
was a royal growling Tigress
walking out of the river
into Canyon,
and laughter of my Love,
who, suddenly, stuck her
tongue out and
raised three fingers
in the air.

Awaking with three claw-marks
‘cross my chest,
i saw that mountains all around
were breathing,
and grass in front of me
was dancing.
In other words,
for once and ever, I knew
that there is Life
in every little Nature thing.

In state that’s nothing short
of sheer bliss,
my bare feet guided me back Home,
as if they walked this path
before and after and forever.

Although the iron gates
are locked,
i notice that i’ve always had
the key, right in the middle of
my chest.

To my surprise,
She is enthroned, and
subtle Music permeates the
Hall of Hope.

She rises delicately
from the majestic seat,
and walks toward the
Terrace of Visions,
followed by two cobras
at each side.

There, She bows down and
prostrates Herself in prayer
not in front of anyone or
but below everything and

There She stays . . . as
Sun revolves around Earth,
as juice is born inside the
as last breath leaves the
mouth of a dying,
and appears at the lips
of newborn.

There i stay too.

She wraps the passing years
into Her kimono,
and unfolds a single
second into long-lasting
taste and harmony of sounds.

I stay to see Her actions
unpredictable and mesmerizing,
i stay to hear Her silence
louder than any human word.

Inside Her eyes all rivers
of the tribal bloods merge
with dakini’s grace.

and so i stay for eons.

cherry blooms,
wind blows,
i love.

Support Our Dharma Work