Friday, February 10, 2006

Stanzas of Praise

I dreamed I sought my Beloved all through one sleepless night.
I thought I saw Him dancing amid fire and thorn.
The dark earth showed me the traces of His feet,
At the reflecting pool, only the moon looked over my shoulder.
The roses on the fence whispered of His passing:
"He was here. No, here. You just missed Him."

All night the garden murmured with His presence.
Hither and thither I pursued the rustling of His robe.
At dawn, alone and weary, I closed my eyes to rest,
At once He was there.

Breath comes sweet from an unencumbered heart.
Now: breathe out.


Now: breathe in.
Air like cold water, sweeter than wine.
Now, when you speak
your words shine like diamonds.
Now, when you move
you shake the earth.

The soul craves Truth. No fleshly thirst compares.
Dying of thirst upon a riverbank,
at last I knelt, and bent my head and drank.
Sweeter than water, dearer by far than air!
Give praise, o thirsting heart, give thanks.

You live in a glass house. By all means throw stones.
Break it down from the inside--
any hatching chick does as much.
There's no room for wings inside that shell.

Now you'll get wet from the rain,
burned by the sun,
frozen in winter. That's life.
Life under glass is not worth living.

Break the bell-jar; who knows what's inside?
It takes fire to hatch a phoenix egg
or open a jack-pine cone and scatter the seeds.
Fire, death, destruction
bring forth life.

Outside the illusion of Time
the unborn and the dead are one.
Not begun,
the same as done.

Nothing's lost, nothing is forgotten.
Unsprouted seeds and ancient fallen trees,
the long-gone dead, the children unbegotten.
Water from broken cups flows to the sea.

Once I was a ripple on the water
then I was the surface between water and air
then the emptiness of the air
just a curved shape, empty on both sides.

Once the sky filled with blue-white light
we flew or fell, floated, drifted
into a still, timeless, endless moment.

Once we forgot ourselves like unwanted luggage.
Once and again, we remember who we are.

You remind me... of something I've forgotten.
Something, maybe, that we used to do
or once believed was true...
and now just out of reach, forgotten.
Some song, some story... some old passion
since out of fashion?
What is it? What have I forgotten?
Remind me, love. Remind me what I knew.

We are lovers in the land of illusion.
Come, let us two meet, touch, and part
Among the hanging veils of which these walls are made.
Come, let us speak on matters of the heart.
Separate, we're joined by space.
We are both mask and masquer, at this masquerade
There's but one Face.

Trees spread shade
by the bittersalt well
who kneels, bends, drinks
finds it sweet.

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