Dedicated to all worshipers of Devi, and any who struggle in this world.
She was there before time itself,
Present when all came from her womb.
For many forget that which she is –
Beginning and end, first and finale –
Creatrix and dissolution of all that keeps,
Keeps us from ever knowing the truth.
Man in time forget Kalaratri,
That who sets all souls free,
From the cycle of suffering.
Yet she has never forgotten man,
Or the women of the oppressed,
Nor the child crying for its Maa.
Like any Mother of her children,
They dance within her thoughts,
And she always by their side.
Just as any mother with her child,
She might not give which is desired,
Yet she always seeks what one needs.
Veiled by ignorance,
Some learn to be terrified,
Of her face filled with rage.
So then a Mother is slandered,
Abused, demonized, and crucified.
Even then, a Mother she remains.
In her best, she is the granter of boons,
Though never of attachments that bind.
At her worse, one’s ego thrashes and clings,
Only for the soul to realize its relief.
Even in her fiercest, she is one who saves –
From demons, or from the self if she may.
Those who know call her the Mother of All,
She neither casts out high born of the cities,
Nor the outcastes on the periphery –
A Mother turns away none seeking grace.
It matters not if one hears her call,
There is only one Mother, in her many names.
In time, within this life or the next,
One will know one of her many faces,
Some know her as Durga, Kali Maa.
She is the power that casts her darkness,
Darkness in night that defies our evils,
So we may see the light in its stars.
And never to be born and die again.
“Darkness That Defies Evil [Tribute to Kali]” in its existing, expressed form, is copyrighted by Arya H. “Mariam,” formerly Arya H. “Kalarathri.” (As of July 13, 2019, I changed my pen name.) All rights reserved. © 2018
*I want to make clear my perspective and inspiration while making this poem. It is an inspiration I had on Hindu goddesses and how they had been misrepresented in the West. A criticism of how media as well as pop-culture and literature, the people involved, had misappropriated her. However, being a U.S. raised Eurasian of Southeast Asian descent, I recognize I am not free from the power imbalances that contribute to these misappropriations. My inspirations and knowledge include my imperfect academic study of South Asian Religion, and years speaking with and reading on American and Indian Hindus who imparted me perspectives I could not consider with my systematically, socially conditioned limitations. I mean it when I say this is dedicated to them, first and foremost.
I added a blurb at the end of this poem because I want to be transparent where I am coming from with it, as well as my limitations so I do not, even inadvertently, misrepresent and partake in the cultural appropriation that I am criticizing in the work.