THE FEBRUARY SHORE
Let this stillness settle on
the surface of your mind--
The figured sand, its fossil prints
and hieroglyphs held fast in memory of ice…
The surf-flung pools framed here and there
as mirrors to behold the shining day…
The ice-glazed rocks that lose their weight
while floating in mirage of glancing sun…
Upon that sea of cold foreboding blue
a second sea of sequined, dancing fire…
Over all, the silken air,
the seamless and forgiving sky…
Now let this ocean breathe for you,
beat your heart and pump your briny blood,
heave your sighs and weep your sea-salt tears
that flow beyond the rim of earth
farther than your anxious eye can see--
while under all, incessant surf
insists on letting go and letting be.
A GREAT NEED
Of a great need
We are all holding hands
Not loving is a letting go.
The terrain around here
~Hafiz translated by Ladinsky
WE WANT TO KNOW
All we wanted to know but were afraid to ask.
All we really needed to learn we learned in kindergarten… or college… or life.
We want to know who loves us.
We want to know who “likes” us on social media.
We want to know God.
We want to know the habits of highly successful people.
We want to know how to get people to fall in love with us.
Is there room in our seeking for not-knowing? Is there space in our quest for un-knowing? Unlearning? For dropping how we have come to cram a magnificent, wondrous world of seen and unseen realities into boxes of small, frail, and fragile understanding?
Are our hearts big enough to hold a mystery? Can we love a secret, untold and unspecified? Can we sit with an open secret, so vast, so beautiful, so subtle that there is no knowing it? No containing it? No mastering it? Only accepting it?
What if we knew something wonderful was going to happen, but not when?
What if you knew that you would be blessed, but not through whom? Or how?
What if a heart would be opened for you, but you knew not whom?
Can we stand at the edge of an ocean without a shore?
YOUR SIMPLE WISH
So that one day you realized,
that what you wanted
had actually already happened,
and long ago, and in the dwelling place
in which you lived before you began,
and that every step along the way,
you had carried
the heart and the mind and the promise,
that first set you off and then drew you on,
you were more marvelous
in your simple wish to find a way
than the gilded roofs of any destination you could reach...
THE INNERNESS OF ALL THINGS
You create yourself in ever-changing shapes
that rise from the stuff of our days-
unsung, unmourned, undescribed,
like a forest we never knew.
You are the deep innerness of all things,
the last word that can never be spoken.
To each of us you reveal yourself differently:
to the ship as a coastline, to the shore as a ship.
~Rainer Maria Rilke translated by Macy and Barrows
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.
KEEPING THINGS WHOLE
In a field
I am the absence
always the case.
Wherever I am
I am what is missing.
When I walk
I part the air
the air moves in
to fill the spaces
where my body’s been.
We all have reasons
to keep things whole.
There is a moment before a shape
hardens, a color sets.
Before the fixative or heat of kiln.
The letter might still be taken
from the mailbox.
The hand held back by the elbow,
the word kept between the larynx pulse
and the amplifying drum-skin of the room's air.
The thorax of an ant is not as narrow.
The green coat on old copper weighs more.
Yet something slips through it-
sets out in the new direction, for other lands.
Not into exile, not into hope. Simply changed.
As a sandy track-rut changes when called a Silk Road:
it cannot be after turned back from.
©2018 Mountain Yoga
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All rights reserved