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turban tan
means
the mark of my identity
has blossomed
on my skin

means
sun-filled days
have seen me
basking

memories
imprinted
on the flesh
of my brow

but for them
it meant

identity exposed
amidst horrified
flight

a death
sentence
written
in melanin
contrast

culpability
for the death
of a lady

vengeance gained
through the
burning
of blood

they couldn’t run
fast enough
hard enough
long enough

no amount
of courage
could change
the course
of those
cold days

brows aside
their sikhi
was bone deep

couldn’t be
removed

neither flame
nor bullet
nor blade
could extinguish
the heartbeat of
Your Name

Let grief stretch you open

Let it burst through doors
to the darkness that’s inside

Let it swallow whole
every tear
every wasted moment

See the light it illuminates
around the bodies
of your loved ones

How stark it makes
every sound
every heavy movement

Let forgiveness seep in slowly
like cracks in a wall
in the floors
up above

When your building comes tumbling down
know that grief can be your architect of
happiness re-born

sohila

i was singing good night, and then you were there. a soul passing through time and space, alighting on words that spilled like waves.

it had never come like this before, this song…such bottomless ferocity. such passionate longing. such grace.

i never knew you in life, but i felt your sweetness in passing.

i wish you good night in the best way i know how. in the best way Guru Sahib has given me to say it. and i wish you the most miraculous dawn.

chosen

i can feel power slowly seeping back through my toes again…so easy to throw ones body to the side, to experience the marginalization of ones soul…these are the steps i take. 1.2.3. feet touching a ground which is equally mine, if its anyone’s…like when the word ‘Khalsa’ fell from my lips in repeated gasps as i gave birth to you…you, my precious little one, pulled me back into myself, just as you were coming out…

and i saw then, just as i see now: that i am Khalsa. no. even more precious. i’ve been made Khalsa. i’ve been seen by the most Blessed Eyes, pulled from the crowd, raised up, despite myself, despite these fears. despite all i’ve ever been, or all i will become. i am Yours. and i will always have the honour of knowing that.

may every being discover the preciousness of their uniqueness. may each being discover You within. may we, each of us, equally discover that way in which we have each been chosen by You.

 

evacuation

attempts to evacuate public spaces of difference does (different forms and severities of) violence to everyone. it is based on the false perception that it isn’t possible to support secular values in society and embody a personal-collective path to God. the so-called ‘charter of values’ is all the more painful coming from a political party that represents a people who have experienced violence and oppression and who have their own aspirations for sovereignty.

and odes to inconsistency: individuals must remove any trace of religiousity, and yet a crucifix can remain in the Quebec legislature?

sovereignty is every person’s birthright. the clothes i wear, the hair i keep, the particular, unique ways i express my connection to Universal Consciousness are not on the table for the state to give or not give to me. it is for me alone to claim.

and just practically speaking – if we want to ensure the perpetuation of us vs them thinking, the best way is to deprive all individuals (but especially majority white peoples) of the opportunity to come in contact with a wide-range of difference in public spaces – we hide away those who are differently-abled, ‘non-white,’ who live on a gender and/or sexuality continuum that exists outside of heterosexual man/woman, those whose spirituality is literally worn on their sleeve, and more.

the most powerful medicine for fear and xenophobia is relationships with others who walk differently then you – how much more difficult that becomes when the appearance of sameness becomes legally mandated.

Kabuki-the-Alchemy

design by: ken tanaka

the kirtan which transports me the most is that for which each word is a cry of desire – words woven into song filled with Her Presence and Absence all at once.

the cry can be either soft or strong, but the ones that touch me most deeply are always marked by a kind of tearing…gentle melodies that flood – in the moment, a temporary tide that drowns out the noise inside…

it was the gentle and precise lasoo that Vaheguru used to draw me in. it is the wave that keeps pulling me back whenever my own spirals of desire spin me out…

kirtan is the temporary tide that drowns out the noise inside – the alchemical gift of attaining pure silence through sound –  the Song of Your Name, Your Name… filling me again, again, again…

to merge

there’s nothing to escape from here
nothing to tie away inside

corners call
but i hold myself in this breeze

my mind keeps swirling
sleepy eyes open slowly

seeking gold in a landscape of grey

if merging is my destiny
what is the use of holding on?

if Guru is this ocean
from what am i seeking escape?

Vaheguru! what kind of dance is this
that tears me up inside?

my mind seeks a reason

someone

somewhere

some act

that explains this void in me

but answers don’t lie
in a space that can never be filled

they only lie
in that moment
when our eyes lock

and i get pulled into your arms
to merge

again, and again

in the shelter of our love