IF YOU COULD SEE
If you could see into the nature of a single thought,
what it really is, though you think you know already,
if you could for one moment as old as the world
stop casting all these handshadows on the moon
as if they were the birds and bedrock of your intelligence,
as if the waves hauled the sea around in chains,
as if the leaves were a language without roots,
you would stop reading yourself like a prophecy in your own bones,
and be brought to your knees like a bull
penetrated by the seven swords of insight
and realize the unwitnessed clarity of the emptiness
that suggested you to you out of its dark abundance
is also the bright vacancy of this world that keeps you company.
All these intimate secrets of yourself
you keep posting to the sky like stars
or the single shoes and milkcartons of the missing
when you go looking for yourself like knowledge
in the eyeless spirit’s lost and found;
why don’t you, just for once and ever,
treat yourself to a season of your own, and shed them;
open your fist like a tree and let them go into the big O of omega,
hold yourself up like a candle to a black hole
and see what’s deep inside
when the world’s turned inside out
like a gallery at night without pictures?
If you listen, if you learn to listen deeply
with your eyes and your blood
with the intensity and focus of a hunting cat,
you can hear the crazy keys to freedom
jingling everywhere like flowers jailed by the rain
or the sun held for ransom in the siloes of the brain
the moon ploughs
and thought seeds with its shining.
Once you stop looking for continuity in the emptiness
you’ll come to realize that emptiness
is the fountain-mouth of its own theme
and it’s the dream not the dreamer that’s in play
when a fish suddenly jumps like a thought
and there are ripples on the moon.
Who comes like an explorer without a flag
before an undiscovered sea of light
and stands before it like a spoon?
Raise the well of your darkest night up to your lips
and drink it drier than the eyes
of the lover who gave up crying over you
once she opened up like the mouth of a river
and entrusted herself like an aimless thought to the sea.
Hold yourself up like the Hubble
to the vastness of the darkness and the shining
to the largesse of the night in its open-handed radiance,
to the imageless wisdom of the mother you don’t know
who abides in your seeing like a compassionate shadow
and the intangible mystery of the mother of forms that you do,
and drink yourself down to the last star
to ever lay eyes upon you.