The Meditation Cave

When I was 17 years old, I had a Big Dream that initiated me into poetry. It left me with questions that have slowly started to find answers over the years. My guide in the dream led me through water to a sacred cave and told me his name and that he was my Muse. He said urgently, No matter where you think you are, this is where you really are. That part I have not questioned; I have worked accordingly. It fits in with a long poetic tradition in my culture, if one now considered unorthodox, that poets are somehow connected with the fairy or faery world, the fey.

[Remind me to get back to the word-lore of ‘fairy’ and ‘fey’ soon–if you don’t know it already, it is fascinating.]

At the same time, the cave setting seemed to reflect the Buddhist tradition of meditating in caves–the dream had other aspects that suggested this. A poet with a Muse sounds quite Western, especially as my work has turned out to be so focused on love–not wide-angle Buddhist compassion, but a trained focus on one numinous individual who raises the poet’s energy to the near spontaneous-combustion threshold. Buddhist poetry is wonderful, but it is Buddhist; the Lovers’ story as it has come to me would be clinging to illusion by such terms. It is a path, but a circuitous one.

So I am a lyric poet who agrees that what I am making is in a way just another dimension or extension of conditioned reality. But if the content of the lyrics eventually points out that no human relationship ultimately lasts, just as no-thing ever does, or does not, ad infinitum–and it turns out in the end that the whole corpus of lyric verse was an elaborate scripture on finding the way that, after all is seen quite through, is revealed as one of the quickest and least laborious–well, our Lovers aren’t on the battlefield learning through much harder lessons. For the rest of those in Samsara, we are easier to live with, even good company sometimes. And there is a resolution to the apparent opposites; we know it, vaguely; we haven’t lived it yet.

That is trying to happen. Buddhist, Pagan, Christian, Mysterious Poet (that being my favorite religious affiliation): No choosing; if I aim for the moral standards each demands and meet most of them, remaining open to their more subtle teachings, I will be all right, and anyone who is ever influenced by these poems will not be led astray.

So it’s all for the highest good, as far as I can see. Hoping for the best eventual outcome still requires a bit of faith, but it’s clearing; I am the one still vague.

‘Apport’ (verb or noun) refers to an object manifested by a spirit medium during a seance. This poem posits that a weightless ‘nothing’ would be easier to bring across than one with physical mass. Or thereabouts; it’s a poem! But all nothing/ness refers to non-duality at the same non-real time.

16 March 2021


The Weightless Air

All the days as long as trickled

rain that slowly slides down glass,

and nothing but a sign that little

nothingness will ever pass–

ending with the same beginning

hovering before her here.

This is where she hangs her sinful

head and begs to disappear–

hearing in return a single

syllable that hums inside

half the heart that beats one wing of

such a pair: Well-known and tried–

left behind but not forgotten–

rediscovered by its own

reluctant maker–never sought for,

waiting where she goes alone

searching out the reason sleepless

longing haunts her heart so hard.

All night how much worry keeps her

vigilant. The way is barred;

an oddly shining object humming

troublesomely bends her track.

She hesitates but slowly coming

closer, fangs and claws attack

behind her–eyes but in this instance

she is not beholding true.

Will it vibrate as she listens,

will they hear each other through–

Only if the go-between and

intermediary air

negotiates an all-unseeing

nothingness two lovers share

will she find her daylight easy,

nights of song nor long nor short,

bliss between two wings hard-beating.

Nothing–this–their souls apport.


About J

formal verse poetry and commentary at
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