Ramprasad Poems to the Mother Goddess

What did I do wrong?

Every day it gets harder.

I sit here blubbering all the time,

Telling myself I’m going to get out

Of this place, I’ve had it with this life.

The Lord of Death, a good servant,

Came in and spun the great wheel

So I say to myself that I’m getting Out of here

To spend what’s left of my life reciting

Your name, but Kali, You’ve got me so hooked

To the things of this world, I can’t cut loose.

Ramprasad cries at Kali’s feet:

O my dark Devi, I move through the shadows

Of Your world in a black mood

Go on—I know You, Mother, I know You

Who ever praises You and makes You hymns

Gets punished twice as hard for his trouble,

Gets roasted with pain and misery.

Nothing comes easy. It takes sweat

To hold back a flood, takes a strong man

To force his freedom out of You,

Takes a finger in Your eye

To get a little justice.

Mother, You gave those feet that Shiva worshipped

To Mahishasura out of terror.

If somebody can tell You off,

If somebody comes armed,

You’ll protect him always.

Ramprasad wants only Your blessing

To be happy. So take every sense

But his voice so he can worship

At the feet of the dark Devi.

Grace and Mercy in Her Wild Hair:
Selected Poems to the Mother Goddess.
Ramprasad Sen.
Translated by Leonard Nathan and Clinton Seeley.
Boulder, Colo.: Great Eastern, 1982.