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Oh blue beneath the shining tree.
I find in you a special beauty.
Branches reaching sunward flee
this quiet shade cast off by duty.
Yet here, in August heat, the quail,
not quite equipped for eagle-flight,
can bring her fluttering young to sail
this splendid coolness of blue light.
There are those who tend the flame -
a glow against the winter storm.
You temper summer's blaze with shade,
they keep the snowbound spirit warm.
The tree's exalted by its height.
The storm's respected for its power.
I thank God for gentle light,
that grants us rest, though but an hour.
I find withdrawal creeping into days.
It's harder to pretend each hour.
Gestures, motives, acts, display
a lessening of power.
It isn't sorrow, though it may appear
to be a dull, non-caring chill.
It's more a weariness with 'here' -
scanning of a distant hill.
I care, and yet I cannot seem to 'reach'.
It isn't simple apathy.
It's more a walking-on-the-beach,
a looking out to sea.
Exploring the secret inner rooms,
I find a little Orphaned Fawn,
standing startled, then it moves -
a flash of wonder - gone.
Days are islands in a misty Sea,
one by one I visit.
Each one is a little victory -
or is it ?
He sits as if in meditation,
with all his thought indrawn.
I move a bit. No agitation.
He sits there, motionless and calm.
Those round eyes glitter. I can see them.
Yet - they neither blink nor change.
I watch and wonder what he's seeing,
and if,to him,it's known or strange.
He's grassy-green, long-legged, agile.
When he hops, he almost flies !
Yet - he seems so very fragile,
and I see questions in his eyes.
I watch the shining fishes swim.
Their pool is crystal clear.
Ripples move like fine harpstrings,
stroked by gentle air.
Boundaries of that little sphere
of soft liquidity,
are broad enough for fishes there.
To them it seems quite free.
Sunlight through the branches, sprays
their world with filtered light,
and I suppose they know their way
about it in the night.
A little world pursues its course,
intent upon its schemes.
Do other eyes watch us from worlds
much vaster than we dream ?
It's a little ridiculous, you know !
We are servants to our pride: machines !
The very things concocted to bestow-
more leisure time ! I say - what does it mean ?
Our lives are spent obtaining and maintaining
the little rascals of our own invention !
Tied to the wheel, freeway snarled, complaining,
lost from the promise of our prime intention:
more free time to expand our old horizons !
Whether we're engineer,miner,steno, or clerk,
that ancient glory of the sun-globe rising,
now only tells us we must speed to work !
Then hurry home each evening in a steam,
to watch the 'Evening News' destroy our dream.
Sunlight falling through lattice-work,
draws shadow-patterns on the floor.
Wind that stirs in the flame-vine,
rustles against the door.
Yellow-bells chime in silence,
muffled by velvet petals.
Windchimes float on the patio,
ringing enameled metal.
A whisper of something approaches;
sounds of a far-off drummer,
from out where a cold wind gathers,
announcing an end to summer.
Haven't we grown wiser, and weary, yet,
of infinite, tangled intricacy;
innuendo, nuance, and theory;
the twisted, intellectual net ?
Are we not weary of alternating bubble-bath and doubt,
cluttering vision,insulating skin
never letting essential truth come out;
never letting simple Essence in ?
Can we ever return to seeing ages roll on,
uncontested by chattering theory;
each day athrill, joyously carried along,
riding our space-ship planet expectantly ?
Remember days when morning sang at the window,
borne on a slanted glimmering of sun ?
Remember when we and the morning were as one,
suffused with a buoyancy, rich and mellow ?
Remember watching our phantom breath float on the night ?
How we marveled to see the invisible suddenly there ?
When all the Universe seemed to share delight,
and stars exhaled their light in the frosty air ?
Is this what was meant by those words so simply styled -
yet argued through time by theologians and sages :
"...except you become as a little child..."
plaintive admonishment, whispered through ages ?
A trigger of a tree has fired me here,
amid a field of ancient species-knowing,
to find strange kinship with this blue wind blowing
a whispered message, yet a bit unclear.
There is a tug, a pang that sounds a chord,
Pure instinct, long covered over with thought.
This is cellular recall, genetic wrought,
that sounds in flesh and bone, but has no word.
The tree, all sun-webbed, wind-tossed, green,
bears no resemblance to angelic harp,
and yet, that strumming passage in between
strung branches, resonates within the heart,
and ages twang along the nerves to brain.
All of us know truths we can't explain.
The gentle waves of yesterday,I see upon the shore,
when youthful feet explored the sands,and visions danced before.
Brow was cool.Eyes serene.The heart, poised for its flight.
Love that stretched across the miles,still had a soothing light.
The quest seemed clear. The song seemed sweet. Hope,a shining cloud-
a quiet cloak of shifting shades,neither coarse nor proud.
Now, the feet move wearily. They can no longer run.
Brow is fevered, and the heart mourns love that did not come.
Yet - a quiet courage grows, unseen, unsaid, yet more,
as I recall the gentle waves upon the early shore.
Now,it almost seems I hear come down across the day
the calling voices listened for each step along the way.
The heart, which never seems to know to quit, or how, or when,
quickens and renews its pulse, and stirs to watch again.
Is this the Cycle now returned to where it was before -
or gentle waves of future times, now splashing to the shore ?
Please forgive me, if I seem morose,
I write from a small and narrow quarter,
within a hard husk, uncomfortably close.
There's not much here but trickling water.
I hear only soft, faint, inner travel
of warm, slow pulse within my being.
It itches and urges to unravel
some secret promise, of which it's dreaming.
For now, all seeing is on the eyelid,
projected on an inner brow.
It's a hazy vision of all that I would
like to be, but cannot now.
I'll have a winter of calm to cover
my little world in blanketing snow,
till, safe in stillness, I may discover,
the way past husk, and how to grow.
And - later on, the tender fingers
of warming light from a distant sun,
moisture of Spring rain that lingers,
to soften and crack this shell, till it's gone.
Till my heart, long stifled and strangely numb,
may thaw and reach toward that Vision,
where this small core of counsel becomes
unfolding Life,in a new dimension.
Ice is on the windows. Ice is on the trees.
A cold wind chafes the meadow. A cold wind angers seas.
Fire blooms in the fireplace. Soup steams through the rooms.
We have our own devices to brighten up the gloom.
Clouds are mean and low, dense and dark, and threatening.
Soon will come the snow, lest we be forgetting.
It has a way of silently, with little licks of cold,
recalling our mortality, and the flesh's hold.
Elemental disconcern, has no care at all
that we are feeling spurned, nor that the purest fall.
We mortals have no power to still or speed the storm.
Conditioned by its hour, we work at keeping warm.
With some, it's more a matter of arduous survival.
But Spring conforms to pattern, and turns it to revival.
Ice is on the windows. Ice is on the trees.
Snow is falling splendor. Mind moans memories.
Whittle down the walls. No sudden blast,
has ever achieved a final end to such.
Prejudice gathers strength when caught aghast
at sudden violence, but a subtle touch,
like homespun whittling, whistling in the shade,
goes unnoticed underneath the trees.
So we can chip away as years parade,
reducing the walls, replacing affinities.
Till scale by scale, and block by block, the stone
of bigotry shall slowly be removed,
with no alarm to armored flesh and bone;
unity of humanhood be proved,
and those who believe in it at last will see -
chipping away can bring a victory.
Flying fishes, all these things:
dreams,hopes, carousel rings.
Rainbow colored, ephemeral, bright -
pathos and wonder of arcing flight...
out of water, into air.
Gravity harnessed,returning where
the dream of flight had first begun,
in latent water...
Resigned to swim
until the ancient, heavenward urge
compels to flight, and they emerge -
flying fishes, seeking the sky.
Without wings, they can't soar high.
Watching, one must at least admit,
it's quite a dazzling show !
They (like us) will try again.
Maybe wings will grow.
Some shadows pass,
like vague, dim dreams.
Some shadows hover,
and cloud our view.
Some shadows drift,
like leaves in a stream.
Some shadows fall,
like dismal dew.
these we can observe,
with some degree
of calm separation -
but oh - those shadows
that ride the nerves,
and bristle our neck-hairs
with dark expectation !
How good it would be to calm this 'little self' !
This cold and dull reactionary armor,
that plots my bondage in unconscious stealth,
and sows deep troubles,like a thistle-farmer.
Skulking about the hallways of old hope,
tainting each promise with its dismal airs.
Each day it blindly struggles up the slope.
Each night I hear it clanking on the stairs.
Yet - we are wed by some forgotten rite,
amd bound together thus (or so I'm told),
until this hollow core gives birth to light,
and has a form of pure transmuted gold.
For now, the best of us is yet unborn,
and bitter conflict pricks us with its thorn.
A curious color, as if undersea,
pervades the season.
I can't explain the wash of shimmering aquamarine,
nor give a reason.
An atmosphere from some forgotten world ?
Pehaps one never known ?
I cannot say.
It seems as if another sky has blown,
from interdimensional eons,
into this day.
Surely we should easily float,
above the ground !
Flow at will whither we are inclined.
With only longing for boat,
we feel free, but are anchored in our time.
A curious color annoints the commonest things.
A light so tender. A light that sings.
I try to remember.
In the evenings again, I will rest as the innocent do,
on the dusky porch steps, looking off with eyes of peace.
The pulse of my heart shall be as the slow, strong river.
Children shall look upward with eyes of trust.
Speaking in tones appropriate as the sea-breeze,
I shall bring calm.
All about us shall swell bright breakers of love.
In the evenings again, I shall turn in calm reflection,
scanning the streets, the fields, the tender light
of tall street lamps, and see down the roads of evening,
beyond the hills and cities,
clouds like halls of Promise.
I shall sing sweetly of color and clouds,
songbirds in trees, rain that is benediction.
I shall sing hymns to a wiser procession of seasons,
and hold in my heart the pearl of the age's pain.
In due season, we shall again rejoice -
to celebrate the Life of everyday.
There's a little desert island we call'empty'.
We sit in lonely silence on the sand,
looking out across an endless Sea,
with only shells and sea-foam in our hand.
Sea-foam quickly vanishes to air.
Shells grow dry and brittle in awhile.
They lose their sparkle, like our eyes hung there,
above the little twisted rag of smile.
This all changes, when the sea-wind rises,
little wavelets splash against our feet.
Soon we see a ship on the horizon -
a ship of promise - that we run to meet.
In tangles of Night, we roam,
a subterrean world.
Wander, searching for our Home;
from rock to river hurled.
Now uncertain of the way
out of a vague, uncharted maze.
We fence with phantoms. Shadows play
ephemeral dramas in the haze.
Here and there, a shining fragment,
suggests we may find gold.
Jewels flash, made of a substance
hands can never hold.
Groping through the shade and shining,
a hidden inner light reveals,
in earnest digging and refining,
glory that the dark conceals.
What of the fire that burns away the dross ?
Are we to call it evil ? Though the ore,
no doubt does not consider it to bless,
when all is done, it leaves but gold, no scar.
No stigmata of the past ordeal.
Weight forgotten, and the flow
of a free,remaining purity,will heal.
Life calls us.We forget more than we know.
The refiner's work, is a strange work that destroys,
even while it redeems the rough and cold.
Who clings fondly to the past ? The joys
are radiantly showing in the bit of gold.
Then- whether to medallion, coin, or ring,
it glistens free. No memory of pain.
We said 'goodbye' -
yet - it wasn't a parting at all.
We knew it, even then.
I cannot watch a gold leaf fall,
or hear the whisper of wind,
or witness the nightly sky,
but what I am washed with the magnitude -
the scope of your vision of Life.
To those of kindred thought, the dense and crude,
are never a barrier. Nor can Time intrude.
They ever merge on the frontiers of the heart.
And there is no 'apart'.
When the trumpet is sounded, and angels hasten
to gather the tares, and harvest the wheat,
I hope they'll forgive, and perhaps not chasten,
for this heavy weight, and these dragging feet.
When the Shepherd comes, to call the sleeping,
those covered with sorrow among His herds,
I pray He will see this a 'Vigil' I'm keeping,
and forgive if He finds me buried in words.
I see those pillars. There are two.
There are no curtains, just a shadowed arch.
I can't go back. Must go through.
The path to those chambers seems so dark.
Just on the threshold - open beyond.
Columns enscribed by those from before.
I cannot turn back. I must go on.
My lamp is dim. I'm at the door.
Caught by the inner eye,
against the green,
beside a pool,
quivering and keen,
poised and cool.
Jewel in the forest shade,
with glowing eyes.
Radiance formed. Divinely made,
for glory, and for Paradise.
No fabled fantasy,
ephemeral as wind.
More Truth than dream !
A gleaming glyph of vibrancy,
in the silent stream.
The Winter Rose,
is quintessential worth.
It's fragrance blows,
across the fields of Earth.
It is a Rose,
with petals of spun gold.
It's beauty glows,
though never fully told.
Delicate and fine,
like a fragrant flame,
it blossoms throughout time.
Beauty beyond a name.
Shining in the Soul,
scenting our repose,
it blooms as Ages roll -
the Winter Rose.
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