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SHELTER by Urmila Devi Dasi

Recently I was asked to edit and comment upon the draft of an extensive commentary on Ecclesiastes...

It was written by my godbrother, Jayadvaita Swami.

It was difficult work, but satisfying, and by the end I had found, among other benefits, an unanticipated increase in my sense of worldly detachment. 

In that mood, I wrote this poem:

Art by Alice Juliet Mason

Shelter keeps harm far away.
Shelter is where one finds a way
To safety and a place of trust;
The shelter itself cannot bust
Up into thousands of pieces,
Tearing flesh and leaving creases
In the flowing fabric of life;
Shelter doesn't stab in the back with a knife.
Shelter is sturdy and strong and holds;
Solid, dependable without hidden molds
Which rot from within and destroy the place
Moon Bird by Alice Juliet Mason
Just when one needs relief and grace;
In illusion we seek water in a mirage
Shelter in a teetering old garage
Hope in the shifting words of ordinary folk
Who appear to hold out a solid rope
Of rescue and care and shelter
But who drop it and leave us bitter;
Shelter is full of gratitude and grace
Forgiveness, compassion, and not a trace
Of envy or fear or duplicitous dealings
Heart overflowing with loving feelings
Let me fall in the arms of my waiting Lord
My heart’s ship to His dock be ever moored.
Urmila Devi Dasi (Dr. Edith Best) has been practicing bhakti yoga since 1973 and travels the world teaching the science of the Bhagavad Gita and the practical application of bhakti to life. She has a PhD in education and has three decades of experience teaching primary and secondary students, which include 19 years of experience as a school administrator and leader. She has published Vaikuntha Children, a guidebook for devotional education, The Great Mantra for Mystic Meditation, dozens of articles, and Dr. Best Learn to Read, an 83 book complete literacy program with technology enabling the story books to speak in 25 languages at the touch of a special “pen”. Urmila and her husband, Pratyatosa, have three grown married children and eleven grandchildren. In 1996, Urmila and Pratyatosa entered the renounced order of life, or vanaprastha, in Sanskrit. You may connect with her through her website here, or subscribe to her on Facebook

~If you are interested in seeing your poetry appear in this blog, or submitting a poem by a woman that has inspired you, please click here for submission guidelines. I greatly look forward to hearing from you!~


  1. Thank you for sharing another of your heartfelt, reflective poems with us. "Shelter" painted a clear picture for me of how we delude ourselves by investing our hearts in the flimsy shelters of this world, while The Supreme Divinity, is patiently waiting for us to take full shelter there, in the arms of love. The poem's ending depicted this most beautifully. Thank you again for sharing. You are always welcome!


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