Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The author of chaos

The author of chaos     

At the center of attention, I’m the author of chaos.
Things ever-shifting outside myself and within –

rise and fall, come and go; strong winds blowing;
east and west never to meet; time marching on. 

But when I make it to the periphery,
a hush falls over existence; a timelessness

comes to the ever-changing scene.
Things settle into a pristine order; 

beauty rises on the wind; subtleties
become obvious and celebrated.

Moving from the center to the periphery
the center disappears – God has my back.

I’m no longer surrounded;
the past forever behind me,

returned to that sustaining,
mighty arena of the Unborn.

If I lose my grip on the periphery I am told,
I’ll go hurtling off into Oneness.

O child of God, the great illusion, Meher said,
is that you have ever been separate from the One.

(photo by brenkee @ pixabay)

Saturday, March 26, 2016

On shoe shining

On shoe shining        

Following the path of Love,   
every moment is devoted to God

while moving through the world,
in everything you do.  Shining shoes? 

Shine them – God in your heart and thoughts,
taking the extra care and attention demanded,

perhaps, murmuring under your breath
with each buff, your intimate name for Him.

The Zen method while shining shoes
is to concentrate on shoe shining –

as a way to honor the given task,
the extra care and attention required

in surrendering wholeheartedly
to the holy moment – its great mystery – 

ceaselessly arising and intertwining
where the form and formless, the One

and the many, the eternal and fleeting,
where God and humanity, meet and touch.

O child of God, the Masters’ every sundry methods
are designed to remove your pernicious ignorance.

(photo by NadineDoerle - pixabay)

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

A dutiful man

A dutiful man       

A friend of mine – a terrible fate –
he’s an important person. 

He can’t get free; a terrible weight;
bound too tightly to become a child.

Such a dutiful man, his whole
adult world would have to be upended,

friends betrayed; admirers turned aside.
Who could swim against such a tide?

No one would allow it.  Better to be
a nobody – then you have a chance

to slip out when the world isn’t looking,
through that loose board in the fence;

by that patch of elderberries, wade the narrow stream;
cross the open meadow and into the woods.

But my friend – he’s so tightly bound,
he parades around, wearing his chains like jewelry;

his bindings like vestments. Making his stand;
fighting the good fight.  He’ll make a dignified,

stately corpse one day; be much-mourned,
highly-lauded at his well-attended funeral.

O child of God, work to get yourself free
for the sake of yourself and your goodhearted friend.

(photo by k_r_craft - pixabay)

Monday, March 21, 2016

Hitch a ride

Hitch a ride      

Viewing the moon’s rise and flight
cater-corner across the backyard,

rearranging the shadows and reflections
as it goes. Only so many more left to catch

this time around, like a giant pearl
rising from the green wood.

Take me with you, I want to shout.
If I could hitch a ride, sit atop its soft light

making its rounds, illuminating, befriending,
without preference or intention;

always up there to fade into, to lift up
with one strong arm and plant me on its back

so we might leisurely patrol together
the heavens with a quiet non-attachment

toward the busy, frightful workings
of this illusory, binding world below.  

O child of God, ride the moon that never rises,
never sets, neither waxes nor wanes.

(photo by Petra Fischer - pixabay)

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A peacock feather

A peacock feather      

At mosques in India they brushed me down
with a peacock feather before I entered

on bare feet, an invitation to leave
my dust behind, clean of accumulated sanskaras.

To enter the shrine of the holy moment,
my sandals must also be left at the door,

my dust-laden small self brushed clean
lest the false narrative, the illusory context

with which I consistently, erroneously frame
the holy moment, track the immaculate floor,

leave the clumsy evidence of my intrusion –
dust and shadow upon the bright mirror,

a metaphor and more, outside that portal
leading to the infinitely structured,

wind-partitioned, stone floor, starry ceiling
shrine of the holy eternal moment.

O child of God, quietly now connections are made;
facts gathered over a lifetime falling neatly into place.

(photo by gloria_kasket @ pixabay)

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The small self passing

The small self passing    

There’s a narrow walking down
through thick woods road to a river

and whatever is met on that road,
that walking down, is left forever behind.

At the river the road keeps going, 
always new and even after arriving

it is only illusion, so the sutras
and discourses explain, illusion

that makes us believe in the small self passing
that owns the body that walks the road,

only the provisional construct
and thoroughgoing habit gathered

over lifetimes from various fragments,
sustained by ignorance and fear

and the divine plan and o, my fellow pilgrims!
what a relief it would be, would it not?

a joyous, destined liberation to walk that road
all the way down to the never-returning river

where everything met is passed through
and left forever neatly, cleanly behind.

O child of God, remove thyself,
said Hafiz, for thou art the veil.

(photo by AElliot - pixabay)

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Salt grain

Salt grain                                                                   
Today the ocean is rough; yesterday it was serene.
I no longer hope it to be one way or the other.

My shouting above its roar, flailing about in the surf,
my quiet prayers ashore, leave no lasting impression.

There is a way of sorts – a footpath through the dunes
that widens upon a rock-solid perch with a panoramic view

where I might sit dispassionately; partake of the salt air,
the siren music, become drenched in its erratic spray –

at a distance - breathing room -
until that distance dissolves

in the salt grain of an ocean drop
joining without boundaries or objections

its mighty eternal, infinite
storm and calm, ebb and flow.

O child of God, the Ocean calls you. 
Work to get more than your feet wet.

(photo by robiweber - pixabay)

The formless pitch

The formless pitch 

When the stars go out, at last,      
God will fold up the tent,

His performance over for a while.
We can all have a good rest.

The catch is that each star
must burn itself out deliberately,

voluntarily, against all good judgment,
accepting its inherent emptiness

rather than the roaring flame
of its separate existence.

It will happen – in a timely fashion.
It is foretold; as one by one the innumerable,

temporal stars give way to the original face of God
made visible again in the formless pitch.

O child of God, you speak of stars while failing
to grasp the immediate at your fingertips.

(original photo by Petra Fischer - pixabay)