I keep some of my favorite memories
            in a little blue bottle
            with a round white label that says
            "Himalayan Cedarwood"
The blue bottle smells just like a north India valley
            in Himachal Pradesh where
we would ride on the roof of the rickety bus
            & breathe deeply in Parvati's valley
where the goddess Parvati daughter of the mountains
            meditated for years
            standing on one foot in a frozen river
            trying to attract Shiva's attention
& finally she made the perfect rice pudding
Shiva approved & they were married
breathing deeply in Parvati's valley
her narrow valley is full of bubbling hot springs
hot steam fills the air
boiling water streams beside every walkway
her steep mountains are peaked with snow
& covered with sturdy stunted cedars & pines
straining to catch the scanty sunlight
plunging into the dark hot pools under the Sikh temple
swimming across the lonely expanse
            of steaming water flowing from the mouths of stone demons
naked limbs of hairy Hindu yogis, shaggy Sikh pilgrims, quiet
            Tibetan refugees,
      & international stoned travelers
      mingle, slowly soak and bathe together silently
under those black healing waters my thoughts ceased
      but as I arose from the abyss
the scent was sublime
thousands of the sweetest pines
      & Alexander the Great era ancient cedars
      fill my surprised nostrils
breathing deeply in Parvati's valley
I still try
      to keep these memories
            in a little blue bottle

fr. Transcendental Tyger                               


Shiv Mirabito is a Tantric Buddhist-Hindi yogi, anthropologist, archivist, artist, photographer, publisher & poet who began writing as a teenager while living at Allen Ginsberg's Cherry Valley poetry commune. He now divides his time between Woodstock, India & Nepal. His imprint, Shivastan Publishing, craftprints chapbooks & broadsides on handmade paper in Kathmandu.