Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Get lost

Get lost   

Unless you get lost on purpose,
Ryokan by moonlight wrote,

you won’t get this far; rugged
path through a deep forest

among towering mountains,
a steep glen shielded by mist.

But if I plunge into the thick
of my perplexity, eschew my bearings,

redirect my vigilance, trek the path
unconcerned where it leads,

I might just climb in deeply enough  
to come upon an abandoned hut,

a patch of woods where once he hunted
mushrooms; the spring where he drew water;

sit and view the moon left in the window
like a congratulatory note.

O child of God, the world is telling you
to get lost.  When will you oblige?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Here is the crush

Here is the crush  

Here is the crush,
garnered and pressed;  

a hitch in the stream,   
a knot in the grain,   

an opacity in the clear, flat glass.
Purity is imperceptible.

Light must be fractured
(and there is a certain violence to it)

to yield its colors.  Here is the eternal,
indiscernible stillness

cropped, pared, hewn, here and there,
moment to moment, into illusory pieces.

Here is the inaudible essence
below the accompanying wail 

and whine of the spinning orbs.
Here is the spangled sky, the lurch and yaw.

Here is the price God must pay
to perceive Himself.

O child of God, it’s something about
looking through a glass darkly.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The skirt of eternity

The skirt of eternity 

Excited, frightened, returning home
hand-held, stiff-necked by thundering,

luminous fireworks above the city green,
along the trestle, timbers and rails,

rubbed out too soon for me always
from a black, fifties Alabama, dirt town sky,

light years below the pure and familiar,
neglected constellations.

Looking them in the eyes years later,
my children, their gunshot rise,

arc and flare, reflections, sighs, cries,
where it burned me deeper and lasted

longer, barely looking up myself.
Now traipsing out lonely, tree-shaped,

unheralded silent nights only to view
the ordinary and stationary, fated and patient,

faithfully waiting, perfectly-aligned
comets, moon, planets and stars.

O child of God, ignore the passing fancies;
grab onto the skirt of eternity.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Like Chiyono

Like Chiyono            

Marvelous activity – Pang-yun
drawing water, hewing wood,

the moon not getting wet
nor is the water broken, yet

these days I pine and pray,
in spite of the sutras,

for the bamboo strips to give way;
the bottom drop out 

that I might write verse like Chiyono
from the river’s flip side

of the shining moon and water;
celebrate my good fortune

having come home empty-handed;
not a thing to show for my efforts.

O child of God, only God is real, Meher said.
All else is an elaborate, fanciful dream.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The rumor of love

The rumor of love   

Seeker of God, you call yourself
but, in truth, all you’ve ever sought –

(chased your whole life long) – is the faint,
elusive, barely audible rumor of love.

(What a lonely life you’ve led!)
You have loved as much as most,

yet, (even so) it seemed always
more a suggestion, a penciled-in sketch.

What need would you have for God
if a deep, massive, substantive love

came swelling in?  Love enough to drown in;
not just the heart but the soul, too . . . carried away;

drown the universe
farther than the eye can see, 

the mind can imagine,
the heart can hold out for.

It breaks with longing so desperately, your heart
(according to the scriptures) for wholeness lost –

the rejoining of your detached self
to the Source of Truth.   
O seeker!

The rumor you chase starts with the moan
and murmur of your own incontiguous heart.

O child of God, the seeker is the Sought,
Meher says.  God is love.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Nothing doing

Nothing doing    

When the linear becomes circular,
poles kiss, spark and blend;

you lean so heavily to the left it becomes right;
journey eastward, arrive in the west;

the world turns upside down.
Discovering the one bad apple is you

tainting everything you touch,
you begin assiduously to unhand –
nothing doing; at the same time
attempting fraternization

with the perfection that existed
before the original, disconcerting scratch;   

attempt worldly non-participation
while in the thick of it, attending to

the sacred duty of subjugation, abdication
vital to and inclusive of

all the other duties earnestly
entrusted to your care.

O child of God, to serve others might simply be
searching your own pockets for the missing key.