Wednesday, November 5, 2008



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.