Song of Shakti

by Shweta Narayan

I am the cricket song cradling moonlight,
I am a sparrow who pecks at your crumbs
I am a monkey, I mimic and chitter
and I am the elephants wild
I am Sheshnagini, sleek in the sunshine
and I am your tiger wife striping the shade;
My milk the monsoon that will feed you and drown you
My blood is the river in spate
I am a temple bell pealing your gods to you.
I am the incense, the beat of the drums
I am the shaman and I am the woman 
and I am the elephant's child

Shweta Narayan was smelted in India's summer, quenched in the monsoon, wound up on words in Malaysia, and pointed westwards. She surfaced in Saudi Arabia, The Netherlands, and Scotland before settling in California, where she lives on language, veggie tacos, and the internet. Shweta took classes in classical Indian music on the way; her late uncle lovingly referred to these as "the bellyache."

Asked to declare a winner in a poetry cage-match between Sappho and William Shakespeare, she replied as follows: "Sappho, because Shakespeare would respect her Aeolic Greek, but she'd think his English was mere babbling."

Her poetry has recently appeared or is forthcoming in places (other than Goblin Fruit!) like Mythic Delirium, Jabberwocky, and Not One of Us, and her fiction in Realms of Fantasy and the anthologies Clockwork Phoenix 3 and The Beastly Bride. She was the Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship recipient at the 2007 Clarion workshop. Shweta can be found online at

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