Maha Kumb Sangam

the battlefield of belonging

We walked
to wash our souls, to shed our sins, to sense our kinship
We came
to where the rivers join
in sangam,
the coming together
of the outer and the inner world
in simple unity
rivers of holy water
rivers of human feet
rivers of eternal souls
10 million of us, maybe more
in simple devotion
the holy dip
Doing samgam, being sangam
the Ganges as a surprisingly cold door
to being at one
a simple sacrament
flesh and water
the crowd feels like one
and then the procession
the black naga tongue of the serpent
freed by the police polo-game
reaching out, at the auspicious moment
shivering cold in naked holiness
The endless row of the high seated
on their iron elephants
carried in a sea of chanting

chaos outside, love touched, order inside
the Lord's immanence
in the coloured crowd
the misty red rising sun
in the eye of the beggar
so simple

It touched  me
like an inescapable truth
just creation manifest
Brahma's acid grace
and Krishna as my simple charioteer
Honda driven

Luc Sala
Allahabad India jan 29, 2001

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