Fire , Sweetness , Heaven


I have lived in wild houses
In forests
Smitten with open fires outdoors
Wood burning fireplaces
And hearths indoors
The stored warmth of the Sun
reaching out from the logs to embrace me
Warm my body my limbs my face
Make winter a celebration
I have roasted my food in those embers
Wiped off the ashes , pealed and eaten
Tubers and pods for breakfast
After cooking in pots on the tall flames
At night my dinner
Food fire warmth comfort
Why do I live in a city now
Now that I am old
And cold concrete walls chill me to the bone
And food cooked on a gas stove is so impersonal ?
When shall I smell the warm sweet fragrance
Of cane juice simmering to liquid goal
On squeezed sugarcane stalks
burning in the furnace below
And drink it like a bumblebee drowned in nectar
Till I think sweet draughts of warmth
Warm draughts of sweetness shall never end
And slip quietly into heaven while flames embrace
My earthly remains ?
O heavenly dreams of golden candied jaggery
Still warm from the simmering pot and the wood fire , soft on my tongue and melting in my mouth
Dissolving into my very being
Transforming me to sweetness
Soul – Pure Soul –
Luminous embracing Heaven
My Pyre is my Lyre !
Gur is my Guru
God is a winter wood fire

( Amita Sarjit Ahluwalia)

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