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THE CLEAR LIGHT OF DAY

1990

Poetry by Blake Steele

 

                        Index

 

                        A...

                        A CHILD'S SIMPLE ANSWERS

                        A LETTER WRITTEN UPON WIND

                        ALL WE LACK IS SPIRITUAL IMAGINATION

                        ANOTHER POEM ABOUT INCARNATION

                        A PRAYER TO THE GREAT GOD OF LIFE

                        A PRAYER UPON KNEES

                        A SIMPLE SONG OF AN OPENING HEART

                        AS SANITY RETURNS

 

                        B...

                        BEFORE THEY CALL, I WILL ANSWER...

                        BEYOND EVERY REASON

 

                        C...

                        CREATION'S SIXTH DAY

 

                        D...

                        DAWN RUN

 

                        F...

                        FRANCIS AND BLAKE

                        FROM OUT OF THE SIMPLE, SOFT LIGHT OF BEAUTY

 

                        G...

                        GOD IS KNOWN

                              IN IMAGINATIVE LUMINESENCE

                        H...

                        HALF-LIFE

                        HOLY BREATHING

                        HOLY QUESTIONS

                        HOW BLESSED IS THIS LIGHT

                        HOW CAN I BE WILD AND WISE?

                        HOW SHALL WE LIVE THAT WE MIGHT FEEL

                             THE NAKED, YOUNG WOMAN OF POETRY?

 

                        I...

                        I INVOKE A BLESSED BLESSING

                              UPON THE WHOLE OF ME

                        IN THE DAYS OF GOLDEN WHEAT

                        IN THE WARM POOL OF BEING

                        IT IS NOT I WHO SPEAKS

                        I WILL KNOW YOU WHEN YOU ARRIVE

 

                        M...

                        MAY GOD'S BLESSING STREAM FORTH

 

                        O...

                        ON BLESSED SIMPLICITY

 

                        S...

                        SEED PLANTER

 

                        T...

                        THE LITTLE CHILD SHALL LEAD THEM

                        THE NUTHATCH

                        THE TREE MAY BE OLD, BUT THERE'S

                              BUBBLING WATER IN THE HEARTWOOD

                        THE WIND BLOWS THROUGH IN PRACTICLE DEEDS

 

                        U...

                        UPON THE NEEDS OF THE SOUL

 

                        W...

                        WE MUST SEEK TO MAKE A MUSIC OF PRAYER

                        WOULD THAT GOD WOULD COME DOWN

 

 

                        Last Poem in File: GOD IS KNOWN

                                           IN IMAGINATIVE LUMINESENCE

 

 

 

 

 

                         CREATION'S SIXTH DAY

 

                         When Eve placed her foot

                         upon the wet stones of Eden,

                         Adam's blood jumped.

                         And the light of God

                         moved in the wind of the day...

                         And God looked out upon

                         Eve's tender, high breasts

                         and her long thin limbs

                         and said, "Ah! This is beautiful and good."

                         And God looked upon Adam's thick arms

                         and felt the man's thighs grow hot,

                         and said, "Ah! That is scrumdumpaly good!"

                         So God poured his creative pride

                         over them

                         as waters laughed

                         down into the azure pools

                         in which they played.

                         And God was happy

                         that He had made them.

                         And God's blood jumped!

 

 

 

 

 

                         DAWN RUN

 

                         Restless, I ran

                         in morning dark

                         when the full white moon

                         was shimmering out

                         her completed beauty

                         and longing for the sun.

                         Shyly, she dipped behind

                         low colorless clouds to the west,

                         transfiguring them

                         into luminous cream.

                         A small band of birds broke the hush,

                         eager for that fabulous diamond

                         of the morning star

                         to dim in a slow, gray rush of light.

                         The river drank down

                         her last spilt milk

                         of moon light

                         and was dark silk again.

                         I heard beavers

                         slap their tails mid-river

                         to greet each other

                         with the deep hollow sound

                         of a large stone

                         dropped from a great height.

                         Suddenly inspired, I ran like a sandpiper.

                         Then with monstrous strides

                         I licked up the ground

                         and felt for an instant

                         as if I was running on air.

                         The amazement broke through again!

                         I was like Abner running for his life;

                         I ran like Asahel who overtook him.

                         The sudden smell of grass

                         spun my soul into ancient worlds.

                         So I sat upon a stone,

                         worshiping God by the river,

                         and felt an essence of young blue

                         soak through the sky.

                                    *

                         Dawn came!

                         It began as a little yellow-haired girl,

                         yawning.

                         Then, suddenly, countless golden gazelles

                         scattered everywhere

                         before the bright lion of the sun!

                         To the west, white clouds put coral bands

                         upon their billowing hats.

 

 

 

 

                         IT IS NOT I WHO SPEAKS

 

                         At my best,

                         it is not I who speaks

                         but the breath

                         of the laughing wisdom

                         of God.

                         The laughing wisdom speaks.

                         Long after I am gone,

                         the laughing wisdom speaks.

 

 

 

 

 

                         WOULD THAT GOD WOULD COME DOWN

                         (Isaiah 64:1-3)

 

                         The breath of God is subtle,

                         sublime, breathless.

                         Would to God

                         that He would come down

                         like a blast:

                         rattle the blinds like bones;

                         explode windows wide open;

                         slap and slam doors off their hinges;

                         blow open the cupboards;

                         roar and rage around rooms;

                         rustle the sheets,

                         fling them off of beds,

                         suck them outdoors,

                         sail them far into the sky.

 

 

 

                   

 

                              SEED PLANTER

 

                              One must plant seeds

                              patiently, ever so slowly,

                              with the consistency of sunlight,

                              or the tides of the sea.

                              A seed planted is a thing

                              of unestimatable value.

                              It may grow, or may not.

                              This is in the hands of God.

                              But to plant it is the thing:

                              To long for more life!

                              One never knows,

                              what a poem may do

                              in the heart of a child,

                              or a man or woman

                              who suddenly finds

                              in the spirit of words

                              the awakening of their deep heart.

                              An awakening

                              can be a startling thing,

                              like hail stones

                              on a picnic-sweet summer day,

                              or it can be a mere nudge that grows,

                              like silent, silver trickles

                              amongst stones

                              swell into rivers

                              which make ground shake

                              with spilling laughter.

                              Every soul has its own time,

                              and place and way,

                              in the sensitive hands of God.

                              Some souls seek no seed at all

                              other than the seed of silence.

                              Others pour wordless spirit out

                              upon white altars.

                              For some, the sight of a tree

                              or a beautiful woman is enough.

                              But words can also help...

 

 

 

 

 

               BEFORE THEY CALL, I WILL ANSWER...

 

               In the days before Adam and Eve

               ate of the tree of knowing good and evil,

               they ate freely of the tree of being

               and explored in innocence and wonder all things.

               God never cried out,

               "O man, where art thou?"

               for they never drew back from His presence of majesty,

               or from the delicate feminine Shekinah

               which sweetened the wind.

               They looked upon their naked bodies

               in the same way as they discovered the flowers.

               They touched each other in the same way

               as they ran their fingers over river stones

               or the soft mouths of flowers.

               And God said, "It is exceedingly good!"

               They lived in awe, and so kept true faith,

               a God-huge awe which opened their eyes to seeing,

               their ears to hearing, the miracles

               which welled forth uniquely,

               (as life welled forth with green freshness

               around them, and in them,

               like water in bubbling streams rushes around the bodies

               and runs through the gills  of lively fish).

               Sadly, we are now wise in both good and evil

               and so terribly familiar

               with that which we shall never understand.

               The splendor is right before us,

               and within us the wonders unfold

               as constant as sunlight!

               Yet, "Having eyes, we see not, having ears, we hear not!"

               Thinking we are wise--though dull of heart--

               we miss, the moment and miracle of life!

               Therefore, it is we who are absent, though God is present!

               And his question ever flows out to us

               in the stillness we rarely attain,

               "Adam, Adam, where art thou?"

         

 

      

     

                         FROM OUT OF THE SIMPLE, SOFT LIGHT OF BEAUTY

 

                         From out of the simple, soft light

                         of beauty

                         shines forms.

                         They are the loves of God:

                         white birds gyring,

                         a cow, a cherry tree,

                         a weathered old man

                         tending his olive grove,

                         a young woman with a basket

                         in her arms...

                         We were made

                         to be cherished within

                         the light of God's loves.

                         The light is always shining!

                                   *

                         A cow smiles in its mind.

                         Birds sail rapturously

                         through the subtle colors

                         of the sky.

                         The cherry tree swells its buds

                         out of hard, tight knots

                         into soft coral pinks:

                         silky lips which open to drink light.

                         The man's eyes twinkle

                         with the robust humor of God.

                         The young woman, being of God's Shekinah,

                         is herself the rosiest bud softly unfolding,

                         and the warm, fragrant milk of cows,

                         and whispery white wing feathers...

                         and the sensual young heart

                         of the old weathered man.

 

 

 

                         THE WIND BLOWS THROUGH IN PRACTICAL DEEDS

 

                         We shall never be whole in a self enclosed way!

                         We are not a globe, but a circle

                         silent and open in its center.

                         The wind must blow through!

                         We are always dependent

                         on the wind.

 

 

 

                         HOW BLESSED IS THIS LIGHT

 

                         How blessed are these rays of light

                         that have traveled 93 million miles

                         to reflect off my watch

                         and illuminate a small crucifix

                         upon the wall.

                         How blessed is this light within my eyes.

 

 

                                

 

                  IN THE DAYS OF GOLDEN WHEAT

 

                  In the days of golden wheat

                  when our grief is making us mad,

                  and must hide no more in shadows

                  of passing things--even great things

                  such as the wings of birds

                  which carry oranges and apricots

                  from the seller to the buyer,

                  or, the flair of a horse's nostrils

                  when wind and sunlight slips over its skin,

                  or the thigh of a woman revealed in a skirt’s slit--

                  we must turn in loneliness to ponder

                  the barrenness of human hearts:

                  eyes like pools of darkness in shadowed caves,

                  bodies like empty cisterns, with the thinnest skin

                  of clay covering slime and stones.

                  For when the wheat arises

                  like honey drawn up from the comb,

                  some drop of light drips down

                  through a fissure in the roof of the skull

                  onto the dark of the soul

                  and we yearn (like bucks for hot does),

                  after common human pleasures,

                  those fabulous things once found in small,

                  valley villages:

                  the smell of men like leather and brine,

                  the smell of woman like oily sheep's wool,

                  --milk and lavender--

                  the sound of children like light on silver waters,

                  all this music like magical love, like vines

                  subtly interweaving in starlight;

                  like moles pushing through the thighs of darkness

                  looking for moist worms.

                  It is then we might hear whispers of the One behind us,

                  that silent watcher of the skies

                  whose eyes see everything,

                  the beginning and the ending of time's matters

                  and people's souls:

                  He who sees emerald rainbows spinning in forests,

                  and ships of clouds spiraling over seas;

                  She who speaks silver fish into the air

                  and quivering ouzels into the bottoms of brooks

                  --the dark languid one

                  who sings in silence and holds the sky.

                  And then the voice of waterfalls,

                  and rolling mists,

                  and thunderous movements of light in space

                  may unfold their speech, and ask us,

                  "Where have you been for so long?" and...

                  "Why do you persist in asking all the wrong questions?"

                 

 

 

 

 

 

                         A SIMPLE SONG OF AN OPENING HEART

 

                         The Almighty Child

                         of omnipotent innocence

                         calls His children

                         to freedom.

                         As we, by simple poverty

                         are made clear,

                         wonder opens:

                         eyes see, ears hear.

                         Listen. Listen!

                         it is the subtle voice of love:

                         God's silent, drunk bird,

                         His white dove, cooing sweetly.

                         The sky is full of God!

                         packed with angelic wings...

                         An opening heart 

                         sings.

                    

 

 

 

 

 

                    ALL WE LACK IS SPIRITUAL IMAGINATION

                    (If the heart is clean and free, all else will follow)

 

                    Blue pours down

                    from a God huge sky.

                    It is clean,

                    a holy bath of blue.

                    My spirit drinks it in.

                    This sky is full of red rain drops

                    blown into an airy mist

                    by a wild wind from the north.

                    It is the mist of Christ's blood.

                    I am drenched in blue

                    and in the swirling mist of blood.

                    The blue wind blows up and down

                    the open chambers of my heart,

                    rattling the closed doors,

                    forcing them open.

                    Shadows spring out

                    and are dissolved in blue and blood.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                    A CHILD'S SIMPLE ANSWERS

 

                    The answer is in a spiritual communion

                    which cleanses and transforms the heart.

                    This comes through words which open

                    the imaginative eyes of the heart,

                    words which are alive and working

                    through the commitment of faith

                    and childlike love.

                    The God-huge world

                    is a world of pure love

                    working through a free imagination.

                    A free imagination is one illuminated by

                    the pure love of God to see

                    a God-huge world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                         ON BLESSED SIMPLICITY

                         (The Holy Spirit)

                         

                         Welcome into my soul

                         blessed simplicity,

                         my bride, my holy lover.

                         You are my guide

                         into all the flavors of life;

                         you the lover of every soul,

                         every living creature,

                         every inanimate thing;

                         you the seamstress who weaves

                         all elements of life

                         into one luminous fabric,

                         one pulsating tapestry.

                         Little Sister simplicity,

                         I cherish you, for you are

                         the essence of that grace

                         which flows into my deep heart

                         and inflames it with the love of God.

 

                        

                                                 

 

                         THE LITTLE CHILD SHALL LEAD THEM

 

                         The little child shall lead them

                         when words of truth

                         come out of the inner chambers of the heart,

                         the deeper heart

                         opened by simplicity's white hands.

                         There are wise children:

                         a little golden haired child,

                         a black faced child with shining eyes,

                         an almond eyed child,

                         a ruddy skinned child,

                         who are behind us,

                         locked in a fortress prison,

                         yet who are before us

                         with Christ in fields of lambs and lions,

                         beckoning us on

                         into our final freedom.

                         These children alone

                         know the way through

                         the tremulous storms

                         of thick darkness;

                         these children alone

                         may walk between two dragons

                         into earth's final

                         paradise of peace.

                         When will we learn to listen to the ones

                         who shall take off all mortal gowns

                         in death's slow disintegration,

                         to step naked

                         out through pure nothingness

                         into heaven's bright fields?

 

                         

                        

                        

                                                                       

 

 

                    ANOTHER POEM ABOUT INCARNATION

 

                    A young rose

                    hangs in blue air.

                    Its roots drink pure rain water

                    from a clear glass.

                    It is tenderly taken

                    by imagined hands

                    and planted in a hole

                    painstakingly dug in thick clay.

                    As the rose takes root

                    the ground grows luminous.

                    Slowly, the rose loses its luster.

                    It soon looks like just a common rose.

                    Only birds with sensitive feet can feel

                    the light in the ground around it.

                    Only an occasional child glimpses

                    something other than the rose.

 

                                            

 

 

 

                         HOW SHALL WE LIVE THAT WE MIGHT FEEL

                         THE NAKED, YOUNG WOMAN OF POETRY?

 

 

                         How shall we live

                         that we might feel

                         the naked, young woman

                         of poetry?

                         Like a girl with half-soft,

                         undeveloped breasts,

                         she comes.

                         Her breasts are high

                         with drops of moisture

                         which delicately drip.

                         She comes

                         and wraps her supple arms

                         around the poet's neck,

                         whispering her simple words

                         of guileless love

                         into his ears.

                         If the poet listens

                         he will never grow old in common ways

                         (sap-wood dry and branches stiff),

                         but he shall maintain

                         the litheness of young trees

                         whose lime-green twigs

                         burst out from the free movement

                         of water through tender heartwood.

                         For she is the Shekinah-life

                         that is ever young,

                         laughing through aging eyes

                         and drooping cheeks,

                         waiting for the body to drop off

                         that all her sprightly beauty

                         might become.

                         And though the poet becomes encumbered

                         with countless clothes,

                         she remains naked

                         that she might live on the wind with ease

                         and slip down through crevasses

                         in stones

                         to ride dark, underground rivers

                         and feel the moist earth moving

                         through her outspread limbs.

 

                                               

 

 

                              HOLY BREATHING

 

                              There is a Love

                              that inspires me

                              to love the Love

                              that loves the Love in me

                              that inspires me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

                              THE TREE MAY BE OLD

                              BUT WATER BUBBLES IN THE HEARTWOOD

 

                              When matted roots untwine

                              blood and sky flood the body.

                              A golden, "Yes!"

                              drifts through the center

                              into a young, open space.

                              There is no age there…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                              MAY GOD'S BLESSING STREAM FORTH

 

                              May God bless the sun in my eyes;

                              May God bless the moon in my mind;

                              May God bless the singing birds I feel;

                              May God bless the running waters I hear;

                              May God bless His fire; pure and clear;

                              May God bless the wind in my emotions;

                              May God bless every child

                              And the good folk who tend them;

                              May God bless stones and grasses;

                              May God bless the soulful trees--

                              May God bless me

                              Who He has charged to love all these.

 

 

 

 

                             

                              WE MUST SEEK TO MAKE A MUSIC OF PRAYER

                               

                              We must seek to make a music of prayer:

                              akin to the wondrous rumblings of rivers

                              and the rattling of gray stones in the wind.

                              Close akin to the ceaseless murmuring

                              of the sea;

                              the play of the breeze in a tree.

                              Why not pray like a simple flame

                              upon the candle's end?

                              Why not pray like a lullaby

                              which love croons through a mother's lips?

                              Why not pray like a silent tree

                              which draws water up through its core 

                              and spews it out as juice 

                              into the naked air?

                              We must seek to make a musical prayer

                              for the great God

                              who has given the stars

                              their light-humming songs

                              and the stones and river-runnings, songs,

                              and the birds, songs

                              (as every child knows).

                              The God who makes all thing grow

                              musical and mystical

                              in His harmonious spirit--

                              one would think He'd

                              love to hear it! this praise

                              through us.

                              And I am of a grave certainness

                              that it is musical prayer

                              that is best carried with swiftness

                              by the singing angels

                              into Heaven.

 

 

 

 

                              HOLY QUESTIONS

 

                              Where is the place

                              on God's green earth

                              where the land

                              and the people

                              and their poetry

                              are all together

                              twined into a unity?

                              Where are a people

                              who are singing their prayers

                              to the God

                              of fish, and claw, and padded paw,

                              scale, fur, skin and wing?

                              Where is the God

                              of sun and moon,

                              of root and fruit,

                              of virtue and blessing?

                              There were such a people once,

                              who knew the Holy;

                              who lived in the presence...

                              but their manner of life has died,

                              and with it--

                              sonorous and sacred rhythms.

                              We have killed them

                              for our comfort and convenience.

                              And so half our heart has died...

                              Where is the place

                              on God's green earth

                              where the land

                              and the people

                              and their poetry

                              are all twined together

                              into a unity?

                              Where are the people

                              who are singing their prayers?...

 

 

 

 

                              A PRAYER TO THE GREAT GOD OF LIFE

 

                              Great God of life,

                              High Maker of mankind

                              and all creatures

                              which teem upon

                              this blue-green wondrous earth,

                              may we, with all our heart,

                              return to you

                              something of the boundless love

                              you pour out to us

                              at every instant,

                              in countless ways.

                              And may we say "Yes!"

                              to your Will

                              with all the gathered powers of our will,

                              as we learn to think kind thoughts

                              with minds made clear

                              by wisdom

                              and thus only invent and wield

                              toys and tools

                              which express glimpses

                              of your great beauty

                              and the purposes of your love.

 

 

 

 

                              I INVOKE A BLESSED BLESSING

                              UPON THE WHOLE OF ME

 

                              Bless my body Lord,

                              Maker of my miraculous body;

                              Bless my mind Lord,

                              Fashioner of the miracle of it;

                              Bless my heart Lord,

                              And the deep things hidden in it;

                              Bless my will Lord,

                              And the work that I may choose,

                              (May it be for your glory).

                              Bless my chattel,

                              All the goods I have gathered;

                              Bless my loved ones

                              And all of their offspring.

                              Bless all the gifts you have given,

                              Precious and innumerable.

                              Amen.

 

 

 

                              A PRAYER UPON KNEES

 

                              I am putting myself upon my knees

                              in the light of the God

                              who created me,

                              from my Mother's womb

                              from my Father's loins,

                              in water and blood,

                              through hidden wonders,

                              in miraculous outpourings,

                              in countless gatherings,

                              through tearing and mending...

                              and in the presence of the High King

                              who has poured out his life

                              to soften my calloused heart

                              through water and blood,

                              in hidden wonders,

                              by miraculous outpourings,

                              in countless gatherings,

                              through tearing and mending,

                              in losses and gains...

                              and by the breath of the Holy breathing

                              who has washed and birthed me

                              through wind and fire,

                              in hidden wonders,

                              through miraculous outpourings,

                              in countless gatherings,

                              through tearing and mending,

                              in losses and gains,

                              in teachings and scoldings,

                              and comforts innumerable.

                              I am upon my knees

                              to thank the High Three

                              in the presence of angels,

                              and the pilgrims of glories.

                              And so I speak my quiet words

                              (or shout them if I choose)

                              into the listening ears

                              and loving heart.

                              And so am I blessed once,

                              and twice, and a third time

                              again.

 

                              Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

                              UPON THE NEEDS OF THE SOUL

 

                              The soul needs

                              the gentle words and deeds

                              of a loving community.

                              The soul needs rituals of blessings

                              upon every moment and passage

                              of its journey.

                              The soul needs to be known.

                              The soul needs to love the other.

                              The soul needs to be touched

                              through its body.

                              The soul needs to be wrapped

                              in the Love of all loves.

                              The soul needs to glimpse the face

                              of the God of Life

                              shining through all creatures.

                              The soul needs to see a bit of glory

                              radiant in all creation.

                              The soul needs to sing praises.

                              The soul needs a blessed birthing

                              and a peaceful dying.

                              The soul needs to be celebrated

                              as the beloved one

                              of God's cherishing.

                              

 

 

 

 

 

                    A LETTER WRITTEN UPON WIND

 

                    I have paid a great price for you

                    my unknown love.

                    A bitter road of loving and losing.

                    Love's fire has twice been enkindled 

                    in the dry burlwood of my soul.

                    Twice the flames flared up

                    and raged to burn the forest down.

                    And so I sat waiting upon smoking stones

                    by a cinder blackened road

                    until you should come

                    with meadow grasses pouring out

                    under your feet,

                    with wild flowers marching behind you.

                    See! Innumerable poppies, like trumpet notes,

                    are splashing upon the hills;

                    the black earth smells green.

                    Who has pointed out the way to you?

                    What tree spoke to you my name?

                    What rock, what cloud showed you where I waited?

                    Or was it the sweet influences of my guardian

                    who bore to you these words

                    I have written with a quill of straw

                    upon the wind?

 

 

 

 

 

                    I WILL KNOW YOU WHEN YOU ARRIVE

 

                    Will you understand the strange life

                    of the writer of wind words

                    a dreamer of water and stones?

                    Will the silver ecstasy

                    lying lightly in your eyes

                    recognize the young wind in me? 

                    I will know you when you arrive

                    by the light of lemons in your hair

                    the black figs in the heart of your eyes.

                    And when the sun pours upon me

                    its tiny flood of fire through your smile

                    I will know you have always known

                    and forgiven me.

                   

 

 

 

 

                         IN THE WARM POOL OF BEING

 

                         In the warm pool of being

                         --every opened person is--

                         the currents of God

                         glide freely:

                         the fish of holy thoughts

                         wriggle, twirl and dance.

                         The pool circles slowly,

                         like ancient tidal waters

                         spangled by the moon.

                         The sunlight of God

                         sparkles upon the surface

                         and sends thin shafts of light

                         down into the vortex at the depths.

                         There, another Sun is shining up

                         from the bottomless waters

                         at the base of the heart.

 

 

                         IN THE WARM POOL OF BEING

 

                         In the warm pool of being

                         --every opened person is--

                         the currents of God

                         glide freely.

                         The sunlight of God

                         sparkles upon the surface

                         and sends thin shafts of light

                         down into the vortex at the depths.

                         There, another Sun is shining up

                         from the bottomless waters

                         at the base of the heart.

 

 

 

 

                         HALF-LIFE

 

                         When the outerworld

                         flows into the innerworld

                         its images, sights and smells,

                         all luscious miracles

                         and gifts of being

                         in graces,

                         and the inner world

                         flows back out,

                         crossing currents

                         of consciousness

                         with pure creative stuff:

                         dancing imaginings,

                         essences beyond images

                         through images,

                         feelings, longings

                         understandings,

                         --and all the city of God!--

                         it is the land

                         of two mingling currents

                         that is the expanding soul!

                         If all was inner,

                         or all was outer...

                         where would be all this

                         intoxicating significance?

 

 

 

                         AS SANITY RETURNS

 

                         A common man or woman

                         opened to divinity

                         shall be more interesting

                         than all the comic book heroes

                         which rock'em and sock'em

                         through vastly impossible

                         sensational sensory adventures.

                         A common man

                         hearing the wind blow,

                         or seeing a sparrow

                         twirl through a bush,

                         and actually hearing, and in reality seeing

                         until his heart is expansive and tremulous

                         is too great a miracle

                         to describe in words!

                         Being too sublime for words or images,

                         such a subject shall stimulate a new wave

                         of artistic outpouring

                         forever.

                                   *

                         When a soul is understimulated

                         and Love-hungry,

                         the doors of wonder open.

                        

 

 

                        

 

 

                         BEYOND EVERY REASON

 

                         From the outside

                         many gods are observed.

                         Religious souls generate

                         them from their energies

                         of devotion.

                         But from the inside

                         the spirits are discerned:

                         gardens are cultivated;

                         temples built in the midst of gardens.

                         The walls of the temple fall down;

                         the garden walls crumble;

                         countless stars fall from the sky;

                         the earth disappears

                         and appears again.

                         A face appears over the horizon.

                         Light blinds the brain!

                         The holy one speaks...

                         from the inside.

                        

 

 

 

                         FRANCIS AND BLAKE

                         

                         It is not Francis's Brother Ass

                         that is the problem

                         but the worm

                         in Wm. Blake's rose.

                        

 

 

 

 

 

                         THE NUTHATCH

 

                         The little brown nuthatch

                         (nifty, warm little ball of fuzz and feathers),

                         bops and dips, skips and drops

                         through the skeleton branches

                         of the lilac bush.

                         High mountains to the west

                         are shrouded with black mist.

                         A wind howls like a knife of ice.

                         It carves holes in the nuthatch.

                         It bends the little bird's wings

                         and snaps off its feathers!

                         The bird suddenly sings as if it has no care

                         as the wind catches it and its song

                         and violently carries it

                         beyond the eastern deserts,

                         beyond the high mountains of the east.

                         As quickly as it came, the wind dies.

                         All is still.

                         Once again I hear the nuthatch singing.

                         Its voice is ringing

                         in expanding circles of silence.

 

 

                         in expanding, silent, circles

                         of air.

 

                        

                        

                        

                        

 

 

 

 

                         HOW CAN I BE WILD AND WISE?

 

                         How can I be wild and wise?

                         Love the essences

                         and never grasp them.

                         The holy floods through.

                         Love the holy.

                         It lights up the clay.

                         Love the miraculous clay.

                         One is the flowing holy;

                         one is the holy clay.

                         Isn't it the soul

                         that exists between?

                         Honor the soul!

                         Differentiate:

                         Ineffable rose water

                         in a glass;

                         glass sinking in a sea

                         of rose water.

 

 

 

 

 

                              GOD IS KNOWN

                              IN IMAGINATIVE LUMINESCENCE

 

                              As white light

                              pouring into pale blue,

                              (like common sun

                              in the morning sky),

                              so the light of God

                              streams into human light.

                              No one can feel

                              light mingling with light

                              unless they are completely empty

                              and utterly pure.

                              Because we are not,

                              we must apprehend this

                              by imaginative faith.

                              And mysteriously, it is so.

 

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