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! Lakshmi In Her Silken Veil
MS (8.4.1929 / Marton, Lancashire)

! Lakshmi In Her Silken Veil

Poem By Michael Shepherd

Lakshmi, in her silken veil
of modesty, walks unrecognised,
free as birds are free, around our world…

veiled in stillness; her lovely arms
bestowing, secretly, invisibly
her wealth;

her step so light, her being so, so still…
she passes you every day;
has never forgotten you;

so if you think she has neglected you –
consider, instead, her reasons:
she may be holding back to teach
(do you hear her laugh so lightly?)
pure grace, pure gratitude,
tomorrow, or the next day…
humility, she teaches, is the greatest wealth..

so disguised, she walks so freely through our life:
she loves to walk in markets, and the scents
and colours, tastes, of her wealth;

she loves to walk in fields, in Spring,
her arms as gentle, careful, generous,
as a sower casts the seed;

she walks in hospitals, loving care
distributed without a holding back;

she walks in schools, sits with the pupils,
bathing in the wealth of knowledge
that flows from spring to river to the ocean;
sometimes watches hand in hand
with her sister Saraswati;

she loves princes and their consorts
decked with jewels that all can wonder at;
she does not like dark treasure hoards
or locks, or keys; or those who think
her wealth is somehow, theirs…

and where she walks, a trail of golden dust
dances in the air; if you do not see her,
go to the temple where she loves to rest
among her own; for if you thank her there,
you’ll see her everywhere; say nothing,
smile; share her modesty, her generosity,
that only her own devotees understand:
those who love her wealth, but never for themselves…

this, this, is her beauty.

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