Chopping Winter Wood

Last night

Brought a frost,

A coating of crystalline white

Drying the air, stiffening every leaf,

Crisping every damp thing,

Stilling all life

But for the sparrows.

Into this

Plooms my breath,

Brought momentarily

From the invisible;

I feel wonder at the breadth

And reach

Of the ether if my being.

I select a log,

Choosing one with flawless grain,

Straight lines, unknotted,

Placing it upright.

I lift the axe, aim

Half heft and half let it fall.

If it is true

My kindling spilts with a snap

Akin to the most beautiful synchronicity,

The grain parting

As if only a thought’s worth

Cleaved it separate

And clean.

I cut more,

And while I swing my axe

And watch my basket fill

With rough cut pieces,

I listen to the sparrows

And the stillness,

Enjoying my breath

Realising wintery all about me.

It Need Only Be you

No matter how the world evolves,

Whether true to life

Or spiralling in madness,

The life principle

Remains pure and untouched.

Invest your life

In its sweetness

And disregard the rest,

However seductive and convincing,

For only in love

Is sweetness manifest.

And if the world descends

Wholly into madness,

Still, life’s truth

Holds fast.

And if all obey the call to anger,

But your mind left last

And abiding in love,

It will not matter

And will surely be enough.

The Moment Is Fresh

The moment is fresh

As dew-lubricated leaves

New from the womb of the world.

Oh, this sweet, empty moment,

Virgin as the first born thing,

How can I describe your unresistance

With but the clumsy word?

For you are nothing:

An endless, friendly nothing

Holding me in your arms,

Tender as the loving heart

Welcoming all that is.

You, who is no you,

You, who is everything

Seen and unseen,

Everything unformed or dwelling unchanging

In that which is not yet made.

The moment is fresh

And alive with infinite spirit,

And while the dogged mists and moods

Of false thoughts,

So seemingly bonded and glued,

Drift upon me from time to time,

Obscuring your brilliance,

They too, are born in you,

They too, arise in the light

Of awareness’s presence,

Taking their life

From the very light that you are.

Who Is The Leaf?

Leaves drawn of their vigour

Yellow in the chill light

And flutter down

With each stroke of the breeze.

Dying is a beautiful thing

When life’s sap is safe,

Eternal

In the trunk and the root,

Withdrawn from the world

Like an in-breath

Or tide, or season’s

Planetary oscillation.

Who grieves the leaf

Its turning or its loosening

On the branch,

Or its earthward mulch

Settling into new form?

No one grieves,

For the life in the leaf

Is not gone

But hides behind bark,

Gathers against the darkness

Of the shrinking wintery days,

And awaits the pull of the sun

And the soil’s warming

And the osmotic urge

To express itself again,

And again, and yet again.

Two Men Of The World

One man

Is an individual,

He walks in the world

As a separate entity – of course,

Carrying his loneliness

Like an ever heavy weight.

There are things in the world,

Things that might draw

Attention from that dark void

In which he must not look.

And so he desires those things

For the momentary peace

He receives in their procurement.

Another man

Is joined to the world,

All the things he sees

Arrive to him

And in him,

Endlessly passing

And dying away:

Yet he alone

Never dies away,

For his watching

Is container for the world

And all within.

And if there is loneliness

It is brief as the seasons,

And if there is a void

He does not fear it,

Accepting all within the bounds of himself.

When The Noise Stops

When the noise stops,

When the machine of thinking thoughts

Slows to a lull

Or is brought silent

In a moment of

Concentration.

When the worker sets down his tools,

Rests a while,

Leaves his ideas alone,

Then,

In this pause,

This relaxation,

The love that was always there

Is seemingly exposed,

And Life,

Beautiful and whole

Is known in fullness.

All Things Dissolve

In love

All things dissolve,

Coming to rest

In the primary nature

Of being.

All that is apparent:

The forms in the world

Are melted

In love’s crucible,

Love’s home-bound heart.

There is nothing insoluble,

No behaviour

Or state of mind

That can stand

The yolk of the sun.

Love is indomitable

Yet gentle as warmth

Passed from father to son.

It encompasses all,

Leaves nothing

But tenderness, acceptance

And a wealth of connectedness.

It is the foundation we share,

All of us equally beneficent

And wholly unified.

Where Sanctuary?

Where sanctuary?

In thought’s fickle materialisation?

In the world of passing things,

Ever dematerialising,

Always dying and slinking away?

In emotion’s slavery

To the fickle thought?

Where else is there?

Where else

But the nothing,

The dimensionless no-thing,

The substance-less non-realm

Of the self.

Where else but the self’s

Void-less void,

Thing-less thing,

The self’s changeless being,

Un-conceived

And un-manifest.

Where sanctuary?

Only in nothing:

Foundation found

Only in the

Self’s foundationlessness.