May 4, 2012

Poem for Kali: Goddess of Divine Annihilation.

Sometimes I get really angry.

The world is a big and scary place, and on bad days, it seems to me like it’s full of villains, and not a superhero among us.

When I was younger, I wanted to rage against the machine. I wanted to fight for gender equality, I wanted to save the trees, and I wanted to filet my best friend’s boyfriend like the manipulative, cheating carp that he was.

I’m older now, but still, on bad days, I want to smash the face in the mirror for putting up with abuse and manipulation in my past relationships. On bad days, I want to drive by and shoot down the rapists I learned were living in my town, hurting people I knew and cared about for eight years while no one said anything. I still want to atomic bomb the culture of silence and shame that we live in so that we can speak up against injustice and treat each other with the respect every human deserves.

I am a yoga teacher. I don’t advocate this sort of thing. Most of the time I’m trying to remember to breathe.

Photo: Donna L. Faber

But on one of these bad days, lying in bed, feeling utterly powerless, I wondered: what if I was given the chance to destroy everything? What if Kali, the goddess of destruction, could take my hand and annihilate this whole world for the mess of cruelty and politics it sometimes appears to be?

Instead of leading a one-woman grenade riot, I created something. This poem:

I remembered: there’s good in the world. There’s you and me. We can do this, not with atomic bombs, but with poetry, writing, speaking, loving, breathing. We don’t have the luxury of world-destroying and re-creating that Kali does: we are not gods or superheroes, but humans. We just have the one world to work with, and I do believe we are making it better bit by bit.

We can put the weapons down.

Even on bad days.


Editor: Brianna Bemel

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