AND I LOVE IT OUT HERE
And I love it out here this far into my solitude
where the stars are as high and holy and out of reach
as they always were
and everything that is finished irrelevant or gone to waste
discovers a secret peace in its exile and desolation
that doesn’t distinguish one light in the night from another
and there isn’t a road you can take that was meant for someone else.
Even when the wind blows the leaves around
like things I should have said to myself years ago
like things I should have known
that don’t come with a Buddha or a book
heavy with bells and the blissful fruit of wiser autumns
everything takes its place
in the spaciousness of an infinite center
the dislocated cannot exit
and even those who have found themselves
to be nothing real
It’s as if all things were wounded so deeply and expansively
by the wary act of their existence
the dagger of circumstance and chance
can’t find a place to strike
and so there’s nothing to heal
nothing to fear
nothing to watch out for
that could hurt you any worse
than everything already is.
The wind on the water that trembles like skin
and the scales and feathers of the tangerine moonrise
shedding its wings on the serpentine mindstream
that flows off into the distance like a dragon
someone forgot to believe in
because they thought they grew up.
And time doesn’t ask itself what night it is
or the fish the depth of the water
and the flightplan of the hunting hawk
if it has one
is merely what catches its eye.
Parsifal the mottled fool
leaves home with the grail in his saddlebag
and it makes no difference to the kingdom
whether he finds it or not.
The first shall be last and the last shall be first
and then the grass eats the grazer who ate the grass.
There’s nothing to change
that hasn’t already been brought to pass
by the leftover leaves in the birch trees
that abandon their bones like old shamans
down by the banks of the river in spring
for the fish and the birds to pick clean.
The silence is moss on the skull of a rock
sprouting elegant chandeliers of columbine
that hang their heads like streetlights
over a long road with no one in sight.
So what could it possibly mean to be a stranger
among your own feelings and thoughts
when there are no gates you can stand outside of
and the enlightened beginning of the waterlily
as five petals open
and one flower blooms advaitistically
is rooted like a deep insight into a mirror that rots?
Is the coming any less endless than the going?
Or an ignorant life any less life than knowing
you can’t know what you’re seeking
until it finds you like someone it overlooked?
The empty herons’ nests high
in the dead trees of the swamp
are full of moonlight
and everywhere I walk
frogs punctuate the sloppy grammar of the water
that unspools like one long periodic sentence that’s never complete
as if the world hasn’t finished saying me yet
like something it means.
My delusions rise like waterbirds from a moonlit lake
to go witching for water among the stars
and I let them knowing they’re
the indirections by which we find directions out.
First you go down a lot of rivers
and then you take the road.
There’s a scaffolding of dark matter
we wore on the outside like an exoskeleton
and dark energies
that exhausted themselves like slaves
so we could walk erect in our watchtowers of flesh
like the ego of a candle with a spine for a wick.
Black bones buried somewhere
that once were us.
Churches that wandered off the beaten path like gravestones.
Dark sanctities of a dead lawgiver
that entrusted the truth to a liar
as if the night had a sense of humour.
And everything is as it is without discrimination
in the eyes of the light that falls upon us
as if we didn’t exist
though as far back as I can remember
my spirit has always cast its shadow upon the earth
like Venus on a moonless night
and my body laboured
like a prophet with a whale in his belly
to spread the word.
And subtlety of subtleties
wonder of wonders
my mind got a good look at what it isn’t
and spontaneously learned
to be playfully creative
with the absurdity of being here
whispering into my own ear
like a wind that talks to flowers
descended from the stars
about how far we all are from home.