Monday, January 18, 2010





The limits of seeing

are the limits of every human being

a godseye shy of the truth

of the way things are and will be

like the light of a star

revealing the way we were

long before we could see.









for Alysia


Give up at the beginning.

Scan the vanity that stands before things

as if it’s mastered them

for parasites and viruses

and wash yourself clean of yourself in the light

like an expanding universe

that saw a pond before it and jumped in.

Splash. The worlds begin.

Ripples of Basho and Rumi.

Listen. Tears. As if the night were crying.

Forget all about who you are and want to be

in the Great Barrier Reef of Literature

that rips through the hull out of the moon

as it passes over

a scion of the sea

like one of the original themes of life.

Take your bodymind off like shoes caked with starmud

at the doors of the abyss of your original homelessness

as if they were just so many hovels and Taj Mahals

you crawled into along the way like a snail.

Here you cannot succeed. You cannot fail.

Space and everything in it

is not the spirit’s lost and found.

Even before you build the boat

you’ve run aground.

The trivial is not trivial

nor the profound profound.

Where does the knot go

when you pull on your shoelaces?

Where does your fist go when you open your hand?

Where do you go when you understand?

Don’t stare blankly at the eyeless page

like the bottom of an empty cup

waiting for tea-leaves to appear

as if you were waiting for fate to make the first move

or you couldn’t see.

Don’t sit there like the table of contents

for the whole universe

as if you were playing Russian roulette

with blanks in the starting gun of the Big Bang.

Sooner or later something’s bound to go off

but insight isn’t the same as fireworks

as you pass like a bullet through your own brain

thinking it’s the bullet that hurts.

There’s a dark abundance to an empty mind.

There’s a bright vacancy to one that’s full.

Be dark on both sides of yourself like the new moon

and the wholeness you feel

will not be the wholeness of a retracted self

but the unimaginable generosity of the real

as it frees you inescapably

to be the valley that listens to the mountain

that hasn’t spoken in years.

Put your finger to your lips like a full eclipse

and without praying with Isaac

or braying with Esau

let your voice be the composure

of the negative space in the smile of the Mona Lisa.

You can labour for mastery for years

apprenticed to your sweat and tears, 

but perfection happens effortlessly

like the moon through the window

when no one’s home to say

I see it through my eyes

I hear it with my ears.

Inside the fire

there’s no witness

burning at the stake of what appears.

The beauty of your original clarity

doesn’t surround itself with mirrors.

That star is always an open gate ahead of its own divining

like the darkness in the eyes of the jewels of life

that look so deeply and intensely into the night

that darkness falls upon darkness

and light upon light

to illuminate the myriad secrets of their shining

like a child amazed

by all the constellations it can make

from the radiant genius of a single insight.

When God whispers into her own ear

like a hidden secret that longs to be known

it’s always you that you hear

saying the world to yourself

in a language all your own.

Let there be light.

Let there be night.

Star. Tree. Firefly. Stone.