The Poetic Meander

(Mikhail Vrubel – Flowers Of The World)

Two come about because of One,
but don’t cling to the One either!
So long as the mind does not stir,
the ten thousand things stay blameless;
no blame, no phenomena,
no stirring, no mind.

The viewer disappears along with the scene,
the scene follows the viewer into oblivion,
for scene becomes scene only through the viewer,
viewer becomes viewer because of the scene.
– Seng-ts’an, 600

____________
The Poetic Meander
Ah…

Well here we are. Burning Man is raging once again, kids are having their last summer adventures, the clouds are moving in from the coast and life stumbles fully into Autumn. Mary and I sat outside yesterday evening and it was a bit chilly. Rain this morning…. I think a lot of the weather weirdness this year revolves around the Iceland volcano eruptions. All the classic signs are there: crop failures, weird storms, too cold here, too warm there. Of course we are always in the middle of climate change. When has it not been changing? Nothing is static, it is just picking up a bit of pace as of late…. 80)

The title of “The Poetic Meander” refers to the Zen poems, parables and other bits mixed into this Entry. It also refers to the state that I am in as of late; drifting from one school of poetry to another, reading T.S. Eliot before I sleep at night, Sufi works during the day, Zen and Celtic works in the evening. There is a flow going on, and it moves my attention from here to there and back again. If one really gets down to it, “The Poetic Meander” reflects on the nature of the human labyrinth that we find ourselves in with our daily, and inner lives. It is a journey of discovery that we are about, and each of play our parts as Theseus within the Labyrinth confronting our own personal Minotaur… If we take the analogy further perhaps the soul is a skein of thread gifted to us by our own inner Ariadne to find our way in and out again, back to the spirit from which we originated.

Bright Blessings,
Gwyllm

____________
On The Menu:
Asteroid Discovery From 1980 – 2010
Random Quotes
Robin Guthrie – Imperial
Quartet: Short Tales by Lord Dunsany
A Visitation: Octavio Paz Poems
Robin Guthrie & Harold Budd – She Is My Strength
Artist: Mikhail Vrubel
___________

Thanks to Peter for this!
Asteroid Discovery From 1980 – 2010

___________

Direct your eye right inward, and you’ll find
A thousand regions of your mind
Yet undiscovered. Travel them and be
Expert in home-cosmography.

– Henry David Thoreau
Walden

___________
Random Quotes:

Ralph Waldo Emerson | “Beware when the great God lets loose a thinker on this planet.”

William James | “The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.”

Dorothy Nevill | “The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”

Samuel Johnson | “Read over your compositions, and wherever you meet with a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.”

Adrienne E. Gusoff | “Any woman who thinks the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach is aiming about 10 inches too high.”

John Gaule | “A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that works.”

Granville Hicks | “A censor is a man who knows more than he thinks you ought to.”
___________

Robin Guthrie – Imperial

____________

Quartet: Short Tales by Lord Dunsany

THE GIANT POPPY

I dreamt that I went back to the hills I knew, whence on a clear day you can see the walls of Ilion and the plains of Roncesvalles. There used to be woods along the tops of those hills with clearings in them where the moonlight fell, and there when no one watched the fairies danced.

But there were no woods when I went back, no fairies nor distant glimpse of Ilion or plains of Roncesvalles, only one giant poppy waved in the wind, and as it waved it hummed “Remember not.” And by its oak-like stem a poet sat, dressed like a shepherd and playing an ancient tune softly upon a pipe. I asked him if the fairies had passed that way or anything olden.

He said: “The poppy has grown apace and is killing gods and fairies. Its fumes are suffocating the world, and its roots drain it of its beautiful strength.” And I asked him why he sat on the hills I knew, playing an olden tune.

And he answered: “Because the tune is bad for the poppy, which would otherwise grow more swiftly; and because if the brotherhood of which I am one were to cease to pipe on the hills men would stray over the world and be lost or come to terrible ends. We think we have saved Agamemnon.”

Then he fell to piping again that olden tune, while the wind among the poppy’s sleepy petals murmured “Remember not. Remember not.”
——
THE TOMB OF PAN

“Seeing,” they said, “that old-time Pan is dead, let us now make a tomb for him and a monument, that the dreadful worship of long ago may be remembered and avoided by all.”

So said the people of the enlightened lands. And they built a white and mighty tomb of marble. Slowly it rose under the hands of the builders and longer every evening after sunset it gleamed with rays of the departed sun.

And many mourned for Pan while the builders built; many reviled him. Some called the builders to cease and to weep for Pan and others called them to leave no memorial at all of so infamous a god. But the builders built on steadily.

And one day all was finished, and the tomb stood there like a steep sea-cliff. And Pan was carved thereon with humbled head and the feet of angels pressed upon his neck. And when the tomb was finished the sun had already set, but the afterglow was rosy on the huge bulk of Pan.

And presently all the enlightened people came, and saw the tomb and remembered Pan who was dead, and all deplored him and his wicked age. But a few wept apart because of the death of Pan.

But at evening as he stole out of the forest, and slipped like a shadow softly along the hills, Pan saw the tomb and laughed.
—-
(Mikhail Vrubel – Siren)

THE WORM AND THE ANGEL

As he crawled from the tombs of the fallen a worm met with an angel.

And together they looked upon the kings and kingdoms, and youths and maidens and the cities of men. They saw the old men heavy in their chairs and heard the children singing in the fields. They saw far wars and warriors and walled towns, wisdom and wickedness, and the pomp of kings, and the people of all the lands that the sunlight knew.

And the worm spake to the angel saying: “Behold my food.”

“Be dakeon para Thina poluphloisboio Thalassaes,” murmured the angel, for they walked by the sea, “and can you destroy that too?”

And the worm paled in his anger to a greyness ill to behold, for for three thousand years he had tried to destroy that line and still its melody was ringing in his head.
—-
THE PRAYER OF THE FLOWERS

It was the voice of the flowers on the West wind, the lovable, the old, the lazy West wind, blowing ceaselessly, blowing sleepily, going Greecewards.

“The woods have gone away, they have fallen and left us; men love us no longer, we are lonely by moonlight. Great engines rush over the beautiful fields, their ways lie hard and terrible up and down the land.

“The cancrous cities spread over the grass, they clatter in their lairs continually, they glitter about us blemishing the night.

“The woods are gone, O Pan, the woods, the woods. And thou art far, O Pan, and far away.”

I was standing by night between two railway embankments on the edge of a Midland city. On one of them I saw the trains go by, once in every two minutes, and on the other, the trains went by twice in every five.

Quite close were the glaring factories, and the sky above them wore the fearful look that it wears in dreams of fever.

The flowers were right in the stride of that advancing city, and thence I heard them sending up their cry. And then I heard, beating musically up wind, the voice of Pan reproving them from Arcady—

“Be patient a little, these things are not for long.”
____________

(Mikhail Vrubel – Demon)

Gone, and a million things leave no trace
Loosed, and it flows through the galaxies
A fountain of light, into the very mind–
Not a thing, and yet it appears before me:
Now I know the pearl of the Buddha-nature
Know its use: a boundless perfect sphere.

– Han-Shan, circa 630
____________

A Visitation: Octavio Paz Poems

Touch

My hands
Open the curtains of your being
Clothe you in a further nudity
Uncover the bodies of your body
My hands
Invent another body for your body


As One Listens To The Rain

Listen to me as one listens to the rain,
not attentive, not distracted,
light footsteps, thin drizzle,
water that is air, air that is time,
the day is still leaving,
the night has yet to arrive,
figurations of mist
at the turn of the corner,
figurations of time
at the bend in this pause,
listen to me as one listens to the rain,
without listening, hear what I say
with eyes open inward, asleep
with all five senses awake,
it’s raining, light footsteps, a murmur of syllables,
air and water, words with no weight:
what we are and are,
the days and years, this moment,
weightless time and heavy sorrow,
listen to me as one listens to the rain,
wet asphalt is shining,
steam rises and walks away,
night unfolds and looks at me,
you are you and your body of steam,
you and your face of night,
you and your hair, unhurried lightning,
you cross the street and enter my forehead,
footsteps of water across my eyes,
listen to me as one listens to the rain,
the asphalt’s shining, you cross the street,
it is the mist, wandering in the night,
it is the night, asleep in your bed,
it is the surge of waves in your breath,
your fingers of water dampen my forehead,
your fingers of flame burn my eyes,
your fingers of air open eyelids of time,
a spring of visions and resurrections,
listen to me as one listens to the rain,
the years go by, the moments return,
do you hear the footsteps in the next room?
not here, not there: you hear them
in another time that is now,
listen to the footsteps of time,
inventor of places with no weight, nowhere,
listen to the rain running over the terrace,
the night is now more night in the grove,
lightning has nestled among the leaves,
a restless garden adrift-go in,
your shadow covers this page.

Counterparts

In my body you search the mountain
for the sun buried in its forest.
In your body I search for the boat
adrift in the middle of the night.

Summit And Gravity

There’s a motionless tree
And another one coming forward
A river of trees
Hits my chest
The green surge
Is good fortune
You are dressed in red
You are
The seal of the scorched year
The carnal firebrand
The star fruit
In you like sun
The hour rests
Above an abyss of clarities
The height is clouded by birds
Their beaks construct the night
Their wings carry the day
Planted in the crest of light
Between firmness and vertigo
You are
Transparent balance

Last Dawn

Your hair is lost in the forest,
your feet touching mine.
Asleep you are bigger than the night,
but your dream fits within this room.
How much we are who are so little!
Outside a taxi passes
with its load of ghosts.
The river that runs by
is always
running back.
Will tomorrow be another day?
____________

Robin Guthrie & Harold Budd – She Is My Strength

____________
Manjusri, a bodhisattva should regard all living beings as a wise man
Regards the reflection of the moon in water,
As magicians regard men created by magic.
As being like a face in a mirror,
like the water of a mirage;
like the sound of an echo;
like a mass of clouds in the sky;
like the appearance and disappearance of a bubble of water;
like the core of a plantain tree;
like a flash of lightning;
like the appearance of matter in an immaterial realm;
like a sprout from a rotten seed;
like tortoise-hair coat;
like the fun of games for one who wishes to die…

– Vimalakirti Nirdesa Sutra

(Mikhail Vrubel – Oyster)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *