Treasure Island

Mirabai

(1498 - 1546 / Kudki / India)

A Cowherding girl


The plums tasted
sweet to the unlettered desert-tribe girl-
but what manners! To chew into each! She was ungainly,
low-caste, ill mannered and dirty,
but the god took the
fruit she'd been sucking.
Why? She'd knew how to love.
She might not distinquish
splendor from filth
but she'd tasted the nectar of passion.
Might not know any Veda,
but a chariot swept her away-
now she frolics in heaven, esctatically bound
to her god.
The Lord of Fallen Fools, says Mira,
will save anyone
who can practice rapture like that-
I myself in a previous birth
was a cowherding girl
at Gokul.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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