mystical poetry thread

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So is this what you do? Do you follow this advice?


"So is this what you do?  Do you follow

this advice?" -- I'm no sufi, my friend.

What I follow starts in the hollow

of the Mystical Way, and might end

in the whorl of a flower they call Purple Rose

of the North in the Sky -- for its fragrance leads those

who will follow only their nose.  



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In the days that would last forever

The sun turned a blind eye to the world

And in its mother's voice, cried

A star is born

In the night sky of children's laughter

The smoke rose from the chimney ahead

Sandlewood and myrrh and acacia

Firelight flights of fancy free dancing leaves

Yearning to kiss the ground

On the horizon, bleeding into the expanse

Rippling clouds lit by a billion bonfires

Carrying the wings of a raven

Aloft crescendos of the fated winds

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Shadows of branches dance on the sidewalk

They dance like thoughts in my mind

Moved by the same wind

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Meditation on the One


The One resides at the North Pole,
in the midst of the abyss.
In front is the Hall of Light,
behind is the Crimson Palace.
Imposing is the Flowery Canopy,
great is the Golden Pavilion!
On its left is the gang star, on its right the kui,
waves and breakers propagate in the void.
Mysterious excrescences overlay the cliffs,
vermilion herbs enwrap the hills;
on the rocks is white jade,
the Sun and the Moon spread their light.
There you go beyond fire and pass over water,
you cross the Mystery and go past the Yellow.
Walls and gates intersect,
curtains and hangings are adorned with gems;
dragons and tigers are lined up on guard
and divine beings are at their sides.


18 (translation Pregadio)

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If God be an epic film

Church is the village theater

Ushers herding the faithful

Presenting last year's hits

At discounted rates


Picture out of focus

Sound system on the fritz

Seats creaking

Floor sticky sweet

People whispering


and eating

and sweating

and yawning

and stretching

and kissing

and texting


and missing

the flim.

Edited by soaring crane
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I'm sure I've posted this previously, but it's a poem that stays with me, and a thought that stays with me and one I've been thinking again, in this green December ...




A child said, What is the grass? fetching it to me with full hands;
How could I answer the child? . . . I do not know what it is any more than he.

I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful green stuff woven.

Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,
A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropped,
Bearing the owner's name someway in the corners, that we
may see and remark, and say Whose?

Or I guess the grass is itself a child . . . the produced babe of the vegetation.

Or I guess it is a uniform hieroglyphic,
And it means, Sprouting alike in broad zones and narrow zones,
Growing among black folks as among white,
Kanuck, Tuckahoe, Congressman, Cuff, I give them the same, I receive them the same.

And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves.

Tenderly will I use you curling grass,
It may be you transpire from the breasts of young men,
It may be if I had known them I would have loved them;
It may be you are from old people and from women,

and from offspring taken soon out of their mother's laps,
And here you are the mother's laps.

This grass is very dark to be from the white heads of old mothers,
Darker than the colorless beards of old men,
Dark to come from under the faint red roofs of mouths.

O I perceive after all so many uttering tongues!
And I perceive they do not come from the roofs of mouths for nothing.

I wish I could translate the hints about the dead young men and women,
And the hints about old men and mothers,

and the offspring taken soon out of their laps.

What do you think has become of the young and old men?
What do you think has become of the women and children?

They are alive and well somewhere;
The smallest sprouts show there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the end to arrest it,
And ceased the moment life appeared.

All goes onward and outward . . . and nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier. 


-- Walt Whitman

Edited by soaring crane
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A Burnt Ship


Out of a fired ship, which by no way
But drowning could be rescued from the flame,
Some men leap’d forth, and ever as they came
Near the foes’ ships, did by their shot decay;
So all were lost, which in the ship were found,
They in the sea being burnt, they in the burnt ship drowned.


-- John Donne

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I have only written a couple of poems in many, many years. One was for a cat. :-) The other I wrote just before getting the cat (which was itself a sort of metaphysical experience), which was this one.





The Deja Vu of Home
I am a child of chaos.
The tangled fractals clang
in my cells
and look for resolution.
My body breathes
the serenity
of identity
and soothes the inside-out
with its ignorant bliss.
I am colored outside the lines.
The casually messy beliefs chatter
in my psyche
and refuse to march in time.
My mind, it dreams
of consequence
and evidence
and structures life from the outside-in
with its prejudiced loves.
I am the One.
The soul’s intent and body in tension
so something will get done.
My destiny allows
the precision
of decision
and waits patiently for orders
which all of me agrees on.
I am the mother of my cosmos.
The stars blaze within me when
it is darkest
inside my big idea incarnate.
My creation allows
day or night
wrong or right
with classrooms of explanation
around every inner corner.
I am octaves of invisible color.
The glowing lines of spirit pulse
in my reality
and redeem messy chaos with light.
My soul longs for the
complete I AM
of the hologram
and impels me forward on shadowed paths
with the deja vu of home.
(, August 22, 2002)
Edited by redcairo
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Mother's taste

Covered whole world

I took a piece of paper

Looked at it carefully

Through my empty eyes

Of no distinction

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The Compassionate Fool


by Norman Cameron



My enemy had bidden me as guest.
His table all set out with wine and cake,
His ordered chairs, he to beguile me dressed
So neatly, moved my pity for his sake.


I knew it was an ambush, but could not
Leave him to eat his cake up by himself
And put his unused glasses on the shelf.
I made pretence of falling in his plot,


And trembled when in his anxiety
He bared it too absurdly to my view.
And even as he stabbed me through and through
I pitied him for his small strategy.

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"I dont know what I'm doing but I'm finding out everyday." ws merwin

Edited by zerostao
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no reservations for alienations


they tilt the axis and the allies roll with it
you can hear the snake-eyes smash 
into black on black stacked chips 
and red shoes dropping from the sky 
like fallen angels rushing into the upside-down
inside-out types of shadow worlds
trailing all possible futures into each moment
tracked back to the source for posterity
a billion blazing suns poking white-hot pin-holes
backwards, forwards, and shifting in-between
images burned into planets made of diamond
and expanding forces of gravity until ignition
radioactive hot-rods jacked up to the core
on the way to the superluminal highway
with federal mandates for unlimited speeds
in the dying light of unimaginable violence
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I won’t fall behind you. I’m the guard.
You—the prisoner. Our fate is the same.
And here in the same open emptiness
they command us the same—Go away.
So—I lean against nothing.
I see it.
Let me go, my prisoner,
to walk over towards that pine tree.


 Marina Tsvetaeva, 1916

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Enjoying Existence
 Water dragons and snakes haunt marshes
while wallabies graze sparse grasslands.
 Possums sleep content in tree hollows
 while platypus delight in river waterholes –
And I’m just like them, in love with my
rustic cabin, my simple ways pure delight.
Applebox trees out front, lofty Tallowwoods in back,
I could idle away old age here with ease.
Everything stays close to what keeps it
content, no idea what others may crave.
 I treasure what front eaves face
 and all that north windows frame.
Eucalypt winds lavish out windows,
colours exquisite, earth and sky.
I gather it all into isolate mystery,
thoughts fading into their source.
 Others may feel nothing in all this
 but it’s perfectly open to me now:
Such kindred natures need share
neither root nor form nor gesture.
(After an early 9th century poem by Po Chü-i, adapted for my environment.)



Edited by Yueya
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My look is as clear as a sunflower.

I usually wander the roads

Looking to the right and to the left,

And once in a while looking back…

And what I see at each moment

Is what I’ve never seen before,

And I know it very well…

I know how to have the initial awe

Which a child would have if, being born,

Would notice truly it was born…

I feel born at every moment

To the eternal novelty of the world…

I believe in the world as I do in a sunflower,

Because I see it.

But I don’t think about it

Because thinking is not understanding…

The World was not made for us to think about it

(Thinking is being eye sick)

But for us to look at him and agree…

I don’t have a philosophy: I have senses…

If I speak about Nature it’s not because I know what it is,

But because I love it, and I love it because of this,

Because the one who loves never knows what he loves

Neither does he know why he loves, or what loving is…

Loving is the eternal innocence,

And the only innocence is not thinking…


Alberto Caeiro in  "The Keeper of Sheep" (1914)

Edited by oak
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I wanted to share a poem I wrote this morning to express my recent experiences with the practice of Zapchen.




you know how the air is after you`ve been driving for hours on a highway bordered by pines


and you finally reach your turnoff, a gravel road that twists up up up


and civilization yawns so far below...until it looks like a shoebox without shoes that someone (maybe you) labeled "the way things are"


and your car bumps over rocks and ruts, zigzaging toward the mist shrouded peak


if the tires slipped you`d die but instead you reach a slight clearing where the road deadends and the trailhead begins


or at least that`s what the guidebook says only now you realize that you don`t really know and it wouldn`t make a difference anyways


because you are here.

Edited by liminal_luke
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On this wayward path,

traveling light and spontaneous,

I encounter others

who radiate from within.


They are near and yet so far,

shining like stars and constellations,

burning alive with the energy generated

from inward gravity and tensions of passion.


Maybe I, too, am like a star,

which flickers on their horizons.

Between vast spaces of darkness,

in the clear sky of endless night.

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The Lighthouse in the Void-

Waves crashing: the breath of Eternity.

Ghost ships sail across the horizon

as stars reflect on their transience.


She awaits at the pier.

Alone, she is one with all.

Her eyes shine with welcoming.

Her warm voice is like returning to campfire,

after wandering lost and aimless

in the skeletal woods of midnight.

Edited by futuredaze
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Rumi - Quietness


Inside this new love, die.

Your way begins on the other side.

Become the sky.

Take an axe to the prison wall.


Walk out like someone suddenly born into color.

Do it now.

You're covered with thick cloud.

Slide out the side.  Die,

and be quiet.  Quietness is the surest sign

that you've died.

Your old life was a frantic running

from silence.


The speechless full moon

comes out now.

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Old Bones


Out there walking round, looking out for food,
a rootstock, a birdcall, a seed that you can crack
plucking, digging, snaring, snagging,
        barely getting by, 

no food out there on dusty slopes of scree—
carry some—look for some,
go for a hungry dream.
Deer bone, Dall sheep,
        bones hunger home. 

Out there somewhere
a shrine for the old ones,
the dust of the old bones,
        old songs and tales. 

What we ate—who ate what—
        how we all prevailed.


--Gary Snyder

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CONDEMN'D to Hope's delusive mine,
As on we toil from day to day,
By sudden blasts or slow decline
Our social comforts drop away.

Well tried through many a varying year,
See Levet to the grave descend,
Officious, innocent, sincere,
Of every friendless name the friend.

Yet still he fills affection's eye,
Obscurely wise and coarsely kind;
Nor, letter'd Arrogance, deny
Thy praise to merit unrefined.

When fainting nature called for aid,
And hovering death prepared the blow,
His vigorous remedy display'd
The power of art without the show.

In misery's darkest cavern known,
His useful care was ever nigh,
Where hopeless anguish pour'd his groan,
And lonely want retired to die.

No summons mock'd by chill delay,
No petty gain disdain'd by pride;
The modest wants of every day
The toil of every day supplied.

His virtues walked their narrow round,
Nor made a pause, nor left a void;
And sure the eternal Master found
The single talent well employ'd.

The busy day, the peaceful night,
Unfelt, uncounted, glided by;
His frame was firm—his powers were bright,
Though now his eightieth year was nigh.

Then with no fiery throbbing pain,
No cold gradations of decay,
Death broke at once the vital chain,
And freed his soul the nearest way.



Samuel Johnson (1709-84)

Edited by Bodhicitta
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Psalm 131


A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem. A psalm of David.


LORD, my heart is not proud;

my eyes are not haughty.

I don’t concern myself with matters too great

or too awesome for me to grasp.


Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself,

like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk.

Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me.


O Israel, put your hope in the LORD

now and always.

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