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.
Translated by Leonard Nathan and Clinton Seeley.
Boulder, Colo.: Great Eastern, 1982.