IF IT’S A TRUE RELIGION, IT HASN’T GOT A HISTORY
If it’s a true religion, it hasn’t got a history, it’s wholly
of the moment. No time for a teacher.
No martyrs, saints, apostates or heretics.
No Summa Theologica trying to proof-read the spirit.
Like a star, it’s always ahead of the light
it lavished on yesterday. It advances into the dark
like the root of a flower without nightvision.
The moment you say anything about it
you’ve flawed its silence with a lie. Like
the light of the star in its eye on a long road
after midnight, you can’t fly toward it,
you can’t run away. Whatever it shines upon
is true north, and the wind is its only direction of prayer.
Make a shrine of it, and it’s empty. Deny it
and it returns your voice like a bird in a valley
to a bough that lets you overhear yourself.
The world is construed from the absence of a self
like a mirage on the moon that doesn’t affect the tides.
If you want to paint the worlds the way the mind does
lay your brush aside, and watch what unfolds.
Show me a leaf that isn’t a masterstroke of your seeing.
Show me a starmap that isn’t a mindscape of your being.
Show me a book that isn’t trying to decipher the silence
as if you were written in code to disguise
the enigma of your unlocatable presence everywhere
without a sign of yourself that depends upon your magic markers.
The moment you say it is, this is it, and mistake it
for the foundation stone of a nacreous paradigm
for the new moon beading rosaries of black pearls
like the bright beginnings of a born again eclipse
you’re anointing quicksand with a desert of holy oil
and all the pyramids you took to heart, start to thaw
like the eternal recurrence of an hourglass that lost track
of history when it abandoned its perspective
for a telescope among the stars, no three alarm fires
to rush off to like a volunteer waterclock in scuba gear.
If you want to grasp becoming stop trying
to take a hold of it like like a hydra-headed snake
shapeshifting in the noose of a solitary question.
Stand away, let it go, let it flow like the wavelength
of a black river through the undergrowth of your sacred woods.
And don’t throw koans at it in the last moments
as it disappears, if you meditate in a glass zendo.
Every accusation is a confession and the karma’s
meted out in full immediately as your feathers
revert to scales, and opposites are conjoined
like dragons in cosmic eggs with wings
on both sides of their extremes such that
as it is above so it is below, a matter of starmud.
The earth in harmony with the light that shines upon it.
And you who are lost upon the nightseas of your own awareness,
whatever terrors of the deep sleep under your lifeboats
dreaming of bobbing their way to rescue
like prophetic skulls washed up on an insular beach
like green Japanese fishing floats picked like early grapes
from the vines of the nets your dolphins are tangled in,
what is there to fear from your own weather
that isn’t a reflection of the kind of love life
you’re deriving from an affair with oceanic notions
of keeping aviaries of kingfishers to quell the commotion
of the storms that pass through your life roiling
your thought waves with turbulent reflections
on the surface of your awareness rooted in the music
where fumaroles toot on the bottom of the sea
like the stops of a flute playing the dangerous lyrics of life
in different keys, making them up on the fly?
In an interpendent universe whatever your eye falls upon,
stars above, dragons below, versatile enough to reverse
the telescopic spin of your perspective of what’s high
and what’s low, anything you see is the mother of the matrix
even when you turn the light on yourself to discover
there’s no one there, just this creative absence, this
dark abundance that’s goddess enough to fill her bright vacancy
with worlds within worlds that unveil her immediate intimacy
as if she were telling the truth to herself like a secret that didn’t exist.