A Truth You May Have Forgotten

There is a moment before the sound the Great Om,
Before Siva turned on one foot
Before Krishna was blue and Tara green,
Before the making of Lucifer, the heavenly war
The gravity of heaven and the drifting fire of hell
Before the holy breath blew into Man
Before Adam’s dream of Eve
Before Cain lost his mind and the daughters of Cain
And the flood, before an angel spoke to Hagar
And Moses saw a home of honey, fire and blood

Before David hurled a stone
Before Isaiah spoke a word
Before Buddha under the Bodhi-tree

The slaughter of the innocent
The cry of the desert in a voice crying in the desert
Before the sorrow of Mary
Before a nail cut the hand of the Anointed
Before the wonder of Magdalene at the tomb
Before tongues of fire
Before the first stone struck Stephen
Before stigmata in Assisi
Before Allah save infant girls
In a message of mercy from Mohammed
Before Gandhi felt the heat of a gun
And the death of Martin gave an undying dream

There is a moment
Without motion
Before the memory of time

Offered like sunlight filtered through trees falls at your feet
It is like sound
Or light surrounding the body
A lilting melody of light
Before evil or good were ideas, that when you hear
Clears the past of pain
Reconciles history to love
And the One you felt did not exist
Is with you saying
“I have always loved you and always will.”
It is the still point at the center,
That moment you truly are, that moment is now

 

Duck

From Rilke’s Book of Hours

You, mountain,
Here since mountains began
slopes where nothing is built
Peaks that no one has named,

Eternal snows littered with stars,
Valleys in flower—

Do I move inside you now?
Am I within the rock
Like a metal that hasn’t been mined?
Your hardness
Encloses me everywhere

Or is it fear I am caught in?
The tightening fear
of swollen cities
in which I suffocate.

–Rainer Maria Rilke

kandinsky-circles

On Mt. Sorak, Korea

I have seen them before like this
with the sky so close
it seems to touch
the glaze of ice and snow,
I have seen them
lifting limbs
as if to take and hold
a star on every branch,
but not in so odd a light:
lulled by wind
into a cold dream of sleep
as though the moon
conspired with the peaks
to shine nowhere else tonight
but here, to show
they are the stars
as they are the earth,
this one place
is all the universe
made brighter by the white birch.

 

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On Mt. Sorak, Korea first printed in “Origins, Arrivals, Departures” 1995

Solitude

What begins from the first day?
The world goes slowly white,
Not black and white: black
Is all colors, but white is empty.
Even the greatest go, they
Cannot change or come back–
In Japan they do not wear black
When someone dies, but white.
The greatest stand alone to sing
The time, a poem, their life, a fact.

 

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Cover Photo images by Rayn Roberts

Any Day Now

Nothing you were to think, feel, know, remains intact
The givens all gone, the body unravels

The soul does not exist: where spirit seemed to breathe
A great hole deepens, a sea of liquid sound spills in
Pure as God’s voice, moonlight-shoals and starry reefs
In vacancies of time too wide to navigate, the soul
A supreme fiction, a lost frame in an old film
Lightens out of being, a dream in pure color, sensation
Glittering the last hour, the lives that lived you
And left you to wonder, completely gone, directions
Collapse in light, light in all from all
Nothing to hold you, what you are dissolves in awe

A dreadful wonder of knowing all and nothing at all
But the jewel in the lotus, this, this moment.

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Ouroboros

What the hell was I thinking
coming here
to a Hell, I keep asking myself 
what on Earth
I’m doing here and come up
with the same
and different answers– Heaven
The Serpent
devours itself and then looks
for more to eat
because it is always expanding
contracting
Thirsty hungry restless alive…

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Rayn Roberts
9/25/17