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

Things We Cannot Name

For JD

How long it took to know, however hard we wished
There was no return, no starting over for us –

With an ocean between I recall a day in California
The fire of summer inside
Cool blessing of water nearby
Our spirits falling to the clarity of desire and later

Waist-deep in mountain brook I lifted from the current
A king snake without fear:
Nothing could harm me then, doubt had no hold –

How a thing so good twists into something we kill
I cannot say, but if I doubt now
I doubt you like I do God
Who I cannot see, but remember from somewhere.

Perhaps there is no other reason for love
Than images wrecked by time
Memories richer than blood, miraculous ways
That lead to who we are: each of us a wilderness

A wildflower trail, and things without name that linger:
The mysterious scent of the golden violet … California.

 

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Rayn Roberts

Reminiscence

Fishing at the river, some boys jump in
Swim across and back so quickly
It makes my head spin.
Were I as trim and lean as them
I’d join in–
I did when I was that age
Set down my rod
Shed my clothes
Took to any lake or stream
Swam my sweaty body clean
Lay on the bank and dreamed of love—
But I am old now, these days
I need prodding
Just to take a bath!
A boy needs no prod, only doing
Without hesitation or regret
Sagacious are the old men, but wisdom
Does not come
Unless the joys of youth are done
And as the mind goes under, we learn to swim again.

 

Eve

The promise of the Tree pounding in your breast
Tongue of the snake soft upon your cheek,
You reached for unseen death and gave the fruit to man.

So men have said–

In you all women are
Innocent as a girl in awe of the first dawn
Saying its color over roses
Again and again and softly to herself.
From you a strength bolder than Joan whom men damned
But gods praise, wisdom and power of Elizabeth
Who gave no man her crown, purity of Calcutta’s Mother
Too busy with the poor to stop for more than begging–

Jezebel, Salome, Antoinette

They also fell from you, but what deed compares
To this your greatest gift, the feeble and the weak
Asleep in your arms, you, our highest hope and dream
Bearing both of our sorrow and our joy, Mother of Man
There is nothing, no one so vile, contemptible you cannot love–

Ocean ever rising

O woman we rise in you, each of us a wave rising up,
Rolling in, returning to you.

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When One is More than Three

for Fred Longworth

The pure energy of choice, the exercise
Of wisdom and will between the extremes
Of hatred and love, apathy or action, war

Or art, the painful year, a joyful moment,
Only mind dreaming our future into being:
All that is made by man, woman or child

Every toy, house, bridge, bullet or bomb
Was once an idea given birth in the mind.
It may look like we take one step forward

Three back, but a forward step is always
The greater distance in dreamtime, mind is
Forever dreaming forward into the future.

 

images-3Poem first appeared in Of One and Many Words / Poetic Matrix Press