in leafless December woods
echoes same silence
Grandfather once here knew
in leafless December woods
echoes same silence
Grandfather once here knew
Walked to the edge of the world
staring into the Great Beyond
how have we come to this?
How do the world’s minion many
march in lockstep in goose-step
over the hills and far away
far beyond our hopes and fears
far beyond our imagined utopias
French furniture polish
may very well smell very nice
reassure us with olfactory recollections
of civilized normalcy
from the days when eggs
packed powerful nutritive punch
when pigs squealed as they were slaughtered
somewhere hidden in the village
where crows mutter in their murders
plotting dark deeds in foulsome labyrinths
in ways which ordinary decent folk
for Evil is their middle name
and making us all slaves is their central aim.
Politics are paralysing.
Sickness endemic to such
harsh task masters
governing our every move
such that all are stillness
and with stillness
given that resistance is futile
as Star Trek has so well taught us
though two little humble hobbits
stumbling around in the wild
might beg to differ.
I remember English country gardens
I remember large, dense and crisply juicy potatoes.
I remember Irish bacon and sausages
and Irish butter
and Scottish steel cut oats
fermenting in humble peasant kitchen drawers
slightly sour so ever fresh
good British real ale beer
the stars and stripes
battle-weary, waving in storm-crossed winds
defiant and somehow chipper
though streaked with the blood of
friends and enemies gripped in the same embrace
of glorious struggle.
A far cry from today’s collectively abject surrender.
Where did our people go?
Have we all marched down to oblivion
following the Pied Piper of MegaTech Trillionaires
now hell bent on injecting us all
with their poisons gone viral?
Nostalgia is for those who long for their past to return in glory.
We have forgotten our past and cannot even muster simple nostalgia.
We are the forgotten ones,
the hesitant ones,
the aimless ones,
the heartless ones,
the obedient ones,
the frightened ones,
the reasonable ones,
the subservient ones,
the confident ones,
the well-meaning ones,
the far-flung ones,
the exhausted ones,
the bankrupted ones,
the betrayed ones,
the puzzled ones,
the school-age ones
the retired ones
the gifted ones
the stupid ones
the loyal ones
the disloyal ones
the complacent ones
the compliant ones
the consenting ones
the questioning ones
the questioning ones
the questioning ones.
Where did all our countries go?
Sunday Dec 5 2021
up against a wall
as next way forward
Note: Hexagram #52 is Keeping Still, Inner Mountain, Outer Mountain. Mountain can be a state of stillness but can also present as an obstacle which cannot easily be circumvented or climbed over so often requires a complete re-think.
On arriving at our new property the first time alone after purchase, after parking the car we look up to see on the hillside across from ours in the narrow valley are two lines of congregants all dressed in white and chanting. Apparently this ritual takes place every Sunday. At first we were disappointed; later we accepted there is no geographical place of refuge from humanity’s insatiable need to be always adding layers of complexity, the spinning wheel of samsara.
chanting congregants in white
walking in single file
on ancient hill
who has heard it all before
and remains unmoved.
This photo gives a better view of the hill from our parking area but before they got into two columns, chanting. Later they played music which sounded a little like Sunday school for adults because of so many well-known childrens’ songs in the mix.
A haibun is another Japanese poetic form consisting of an introductory prose piece followed by a complementary haiku-style verse. I learned about it today from https://naturalistweekly.com/2021/12/01/basho-the-narrow-road-and-haibun/, for which thanks.
Article 49 Seed Syllables
Many articles ago, the incredibly ingenious notion of ‘mandala’ was introduced. Here follows a supplemental. The picture above shows a traditional ‘seed syllable’ but don’t let it scare you off: this article goes into a mundane understanding of the notion which not only helps those familiar with esoteric symbols like this but also is quite interesting in contemplating daily life dynamics or as a general insight of use to practicing artists.
Our universe comprises no end of interdependent mutually intertwining mandalas. The house mandala includes the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, living room, basement, attic and garden mandalas – not to mention the various mandalas of past present and future individuals living therein; and the house mandala is within larger containing street, neighbourhood, town, region, nation, continental and planetary mandalas. And so ad infinitum.
But each mandala has something defining about it that distinguishes it from the smaller and larger mandalas with which it is interdependently intertwined.
In esoteric yogic language the essence of this something is called a ‘seed syllable.’ It is said that everything has its own seed syllable. What is that? This is similar to Plato’s Logos which is Idea behind Form. Before a horse can be born into this visible world, the idea of a horse has to be there. In scientific terms we might say that the DNA code must first be figured out before the DNA molecule can be formed.
That is why the Bible starts with ‘in the beginning was the Word.’ Word, idea, speech. Speech is some sort of message coming forth into the world of form from the formless realms, a first utterance, a primordial burp albeit in this case already intelligent and containing within it, as with a seed, all the preconditions needed for a fruitional outcome to unfold.
We can hear speech or read speech but we cannot locate a word in time or space. It just is. This is similar to other intangible but real phenomena like our experiences of love, courage, honour, cowardice, inspiration, patriotism, disgust, greed and so forth. They are real, but you cannot measure them or locate them. However, they too have seed syllables for every such intangible, even if formless, nevertheless has particular qualities.
The kitchen is a place made of physical forms such as floors, ceilings, stoves, sinks, counter tops, shelves, cupboards, utensils and so forth. But the experience of any given kitchen is something existing on the formless speech realm too as each kitchen feels different and therefore has a different unique and particular ‘seed syllable.’
Sometimes they are referred to as ‘spirits’ or ‘gods.’ This is because there is a wakeful, sentient aspect. A kitchen mandala is not a purely objective experience. At the same time, it is not a living person per se either. Rather it is a living something in between, much like any good painting or work of art or special moment in time. And of course because mandala, like a work of art, is something experienced – versus being an objective separate entity out there somewhere – there is always an awareness quotient involving presence or atmosphere.
So the seed syllable is the quintessential character of any given mandala, or presence field. Any time we take in a particular atmosphere involving a person, place, thing or situation we are instantly tuning into the seed syllable principle. And if you can begin to catch them on the spot whilst being aware that you doing so you might find that every mandala is a live tiger filled with vigor, bristling with presence – and a powerfully intimate teacher to boot.
The world is always speaking to us. Do we hear its many voices coming to us through the alphabet of innumerable seed syllables?
As with prior Buddhism 101 Articles, just for contrast let us look at a classical explanation of the term ‘seed syllable:’ (from wikipedia)
“In Vajrayana Buddhism and Hinduism, the term bīja is used for mystical “seed syllables” contained within mantras. These seeds do not have precise meanings, but are thought to carry connections to spiritual principles. The best-known bīja syllable is Om, first found in the Hindu scriptures the Upanishads. Khanna (2003: p. 21) links mantras and yantras to thoughtforms:
“Mantras, the Sanskrit syllables inscribed on yantras, are essentially ‘thought forms’ representing divinities or cosmic powers, which exert their influence by means of sound-vibrations.”
There is nothing wrong with the above explanation except that it is arcane and targeted towards a limited audience of those doing esoteric tantric visualisation practices. As such it fails to really describe how all this relates to ordinary experience. Hopefully, the above article gives you a better idea of the ‘spiritual principles’ to which seed syllables ‘carries connections.’
If you are interested in artistic expressions you might find tuning into seed syllables extremely helpful. Anything you are witnessing, such as even clothes draped over a chair in the bedroom, has its cluster of particularities which together create some sort of something, moment or presence. And that ‘something’ is a mandala whose particular quality or atmosphere is its ‘seed syllable.’ If you try to paint or write about any essential something you will find that tuning into this seed syllable principle helps reveal its core character helping to bring it alive; indeed it may start telling you things you would never think of unless you first opened up to saying hello in the first place.
Recently, have been tuning into the various seed syllables (or essential character if your prefer) of various NFL teams. Some of them are clear, others are muddied. More on that later. Maybe we’ll have a prediction of outcomes based on strength of seed syllable manifestation, i.e. the degree to which the team not only has a clear seed syllable to start with but is also manifesting in line with it, i.e. being true to its essential character. One example to get us going whilst ending this short article:
Buffalo Bills. A seed syllable sketch.
Buffalo is the NY State city with most amount of snow in US. The buffalo is a powerful old breed animal with thick coat keeping it warm in winter. It has legs which are a tad short and stumpy for so powerful a body. They are firerce when cornered and almost unstoppable when charging as a herd.
How the Buffalo Bills team should be when aligned with it’s core character or ‘seed syllable:’ They should have the best Offensive and Defensive lines in the league able to mass together and charge their opponents and trample them down. That should be the core. They should be a running team on offense with powerful backs, some of whom are short. They should not be overly fancy with complicated schemes rather simply running down the other side.
How close do they have it? It seems they are over-emphasizing the passing game because of their dynamic, well-built quarterback Josh Allen. He suits an ideal Buffalo Bills team but is not running one because of the emphasis on the pass. Their defense is ranked #18 out of 32. So they don’t have strong offense and defense lines and thus are not playing true to seed syllable character. They are a very good team but will not go all the way this year until they get that right.
Less posts of late as we fight off a surprisingly nasty cold-like flu (or flu-like cold) whilst also purchasing property and tussling with a recalcitrant officicial in the power company who is refusing to connect us for lack of a document which they are responsible for providing but insist we must procure!
This morning in my inbox comes a poem from illustrious Irish haiku master:
Dehradun Military Academy
(Motto: Valour & Wisdom).
Papaji takes off his British Army uniform –
he is acquiring military skills
in order to turf the British out –
and dons the robes of a Krishna gopi.
He has spent all his salary
on saris and jewellery.
All night long
he dances with Krishna.
Papaji is glowing.
His commanding officer asks:
‘Has that man been drinking?’
Nuair a dhamhsaigh Krishna i mBeairic Bhriotanach
Acadamh Míleata Dehradun
(Manna: Calmacht & Gaois).
Baineann Papaji a éide airm Bhriotanach de –
scileanna míleata á sealbhú aige
d’fhonn na Briotanaigh a chaitheamh amach –
agus cuireann uime róbaí gopi Krishna.
A thuarastal go léir caite aige
ar shárithe is ar sheodra.
É ag damhsa le Krishna
an oíche ar fad.
Luisne ina ghrua.
Arsa an t-oifigeach i gceannas:
‘An ag ól a bhí an fear sin?’
To which I offer this spontaneously composed response:
The British Raj
The Taj Mahal
Who is ruling whom?
I met a Raj
In Himalchal Pradesh
whose blood has ruled unruly elephants
for centuries beyond number
far beyond the imagination
of any Johnny-come-lately European Imperialist lapdog commander.
Women at the village well
dressed as devis
bracelets anklets jingling
like Vajrayogini the primordial red lady
beggars with dusty toes
and impish importunism
dragging distorted bones
and twisted karmic shards
through unending millenia
beseeching all of us
still trapped in time
clinging to illusion’s sticky amber fixations
to spare a care
for fellow time travellers
mired in the suffering
of taking our dreams too seriously
and interfering with others’
spontaneously arising bliss.
Let Kali dance!
Let her stamp out samsara on the down thrust
and let loose the lotuses of unquenchable passion on the up thrust
let her many arms and legs entwine us all in rapture
as the sun screams across the entire sky
days in instants, years in seconds, kalpas in a few moments.
What care we for the British Raj
we who have danced for kalpas in this way?
Throw Hindus and Muslims into the fire
and dance, siddhas, dance
the true dance of the only true Ganges
as smoke from the funeral pires
blends into dappled overhanging pipal tree leaves
and all our desires lie wasted
as mud in the sacred river
through which contemporary debris
is barely an afterthought.
is this how it goes?
no bang, just whimpering
just another cold or flu?
or apocalyptic angel of death
our lives like autumn leaves
blown away in winter storms
of all ever born
all will ever die
nothing ever happens
far less weight
than ripe orange falling to earth
all is futile
when most of us are gone
who will be left
to read these haiku?
caught from friend or stranger?
is life soon ending?
either way: no matter
lying down quietly
listening to Gregorian monks
Ginger* is happy!
* Ginger is our adopted stray labrador-spaniel-ish ginger-coloured dog
birds chirping raucously
whose song will emerge victorious?
like beads of water from last night’s rain
hanging from outstretched drying rack arms in cold morning shadow
soon we’ll evaporate in late morning sun
Though limiting my reading about world affairs these days, every once in a while I select a few articles and plow in. This morning I read some about vaccine after-effects world wide now there is almost a year’s worth of data. Of course there are many disagreements as with everything these days but the sources I feel more comfortable trusting – mainly epidemiological specialists and clinical doctors – are painting a disturbing picture indicating that the spike proteins generated in the body after receiving the mRNA gene-editing shots (they are not, strictly speaking, ‘vaccines’) are pathogens engendering chronic micro-clotting which ends up causing various forms of thrombosis, most of which over time may shorten the lifespans of those so injected. Given the vested interests clearly blocking widespread dissemination of the results of any such research we will probably never know the full story. What is known in the UK, for example, is that the overall death rate this year is significantly higher than last year and higher than the general trend over many years especially so with young people who are not susceptible to covid but many of whom have now been injected. Needless to say, if this is more or less the case, it’s a world wide catastrophe on a scale few of us have the ability to imagine let alone face collectively.
So in contemplating these articles I gently slipped into a ‘what if the world is ending’ mood and wrote the above series of haikus one after the other in a matter of minutes.
As with nearly everything on this blog they are artistic offerings not prosaic calls to outrage or activism. The pandemic or possible apocalypse – like everything else including our very lives – is both real and fictive, part of a living dream. Things can be felt deeply (or not) but ultimately we are all passing shadows, flowing rivers here today and gone tomorrow. We can mourn our passing whilst also celebrating our brief time alive. This series went through a little progression along those lines though they were written out spontaneously one after another with no particular agenda or goal in mind – just mood-painting perhaps.
Picture a young man in his mid-twenties raised in England now living in America on a work assignment in England spending a month in a red brick facility in County Meath Ireland. It’s 1981. The last night of his all too brief sojourn in Ireland – as it was then called – was truly memorable involving most of the old people in this rural area getting together in the local pub to sing, ostensibly for the benefit of this young foreign visitor. So this is an account of various memories in and around that event.
First, a little background about how Ireland looked through this young man’s eyes. He had been raised in England and had attended posh schools like Harrow – which tormented illustrious luminaries like Lord Byron and Sir Winston Churchill as much as this particular young man. His last year at Harrow whilst studying for an A-level in History, he spent long hours in the largest private library in England poking through lots of extracurricular albeit tangential material, one volume of which he found tucked away somewhere providing statistics about the Irish Potato Famine.*** In this tome he learned that the typical diet for an Irish working class family featured potatoes every day and meat just once a week, usually bacon or chicken, so that when the potato blight struck millions starved (and New England soon gained a population that would provide them with more indentured slaves as well as police officers a few generations later).
The young man felt that learning how the Irish only ate meat once a week was a significant thing to know and he built a whole theory of ‘real history’ around it, a theory which posited that nearly all the official history he had been learning in the Cambridge History of England whose many volumes he had been studying for years was little better than glorified bunkum. All these endless chapters on Kings and Queens and Talleyrand and the Duke of Wellington – like today’s inordinate coverage afforded Presidents, NFL quarterbacks and comic book heroes – kept ignoring how real human beings actually lived in those times, how they saw their own contemporary reality. Ever since this flash of insight in the darkened reading areas of the Vaughan Library in Harrow-on-the-Hill, the young man felt he had great insight into and close affinity with the Irish people so he was most eager to spend a month there to reconnect with these hitherto unmet soul mates.
Needless to say, such deluded notions soon faded once he actually arrived but the sense of affinity remained throughout his time there and indeed to this day though probably this has less to do with any spark of insight triggered by the Potato Famine statistics and more to do with a spontaneous love for this very old and refreshingly mischievous though historically battered people whose IQ’s consistently score above nearly all other ethnic groups world wide.
The title of this piece is ‘A Night to Remember.’ Truth be told, not much of that night is remembered, though a description soon follows. But there are other scattered memories of this brief time in Ireland which form the experiential backdrop of how significant this night felt at the time, memories and impressions which shall now be shared in no particular order.
The food: the cuisine was nothing to write home about but the ingredients were extraordinary. Despite having lived years each in upper class London, at a chateau in France in the Loir et Cher and in Florence never had he tasted such nourishing-feeling sausages, butter, cream, eggs, bacon, bread, potatoes and vegetables. It was like everything was twice as dense as anything else he had ever tasted. And this was still back in the days when produce in rural France, for example, where he spent two years in the early 1970’s, was a cut above most produce in upscale West End London which itself was above most of the rest of the country. But the produce in Ireland was like nothing he had ever tasted before and made a deep impression. In this regard, breakfasts were the main meal of the day. (This internet photograph does not do the subject matter justice!)
The countryside: it is said that Ireland is the ‘seventh step to heaven.’ Perhaps this is because especially when cloudy overhead it seems like you can almost reach up and touch them, the sky feels so close. Indeed, it feels like you are living up high with the gods even though most of the country is barely above sea level and pretty much everywhere you go on this ancient island there is a salt tang in the air. This sense of being up high with the gods somehow complements the exceptional variety and vividness of green prevalent throughout the country. This sojourn took place in already cold December but everywhere he went he was met with almost psychedelic intensities of no end of different shades and textures of exceptionally vivid green; to exaggerate only a little, it was a little like living inside a van Gogh study of a cow pasture.
The people: the people he met on trains and in shops were crude, often unfriendly and charmingly obnoxious. The women were Catholic and reserved with a single foreign man – unusually so compared with other young women of their age in nearby European countries – whilst the men were brash, daring, provocative, amusing with nearly everything coming out of their mouths some combination of irreverent, insulting and witty – the cruder variety boasting about lewd conquests with young ladies and begging him to tell similarly lewd stories in return. He can still remember looking into their wild Irish bright blue eyes and being laughed at merrily, being challenged to see life as a dream and not be so bloody uptight about everything. It was both discomfiting and refreshing at the same time.
His most intimate encounter with an actual Irish person was with Dixie, the caretaker of the Netterville Institute owned by an American millionaire couple – whose guest this young man was. Netterville is a slightly ugly Victorian-era red brick construction next to a far older stone church in ruins, purposed as a Home for Battered Women. The next door neighbours, a family whose last name was, most inappropriately, Pigeon, were extremely hostile since they were about to seize the property which hadn’t been used for eighteen years when the millionaires purchased it – another two years and it would have been theirs by law. So they were always pacing around in the fields nearby glaring at the occupants with an evil eye. Our young man became proficient at seating himself in the main downstairs rooms in places where their glares could not penetrate!
Dixie had a slight limp and seemed the sort of man who had been an officer’s wartime batman, comfortable with service without being either obsequious or arrogant. He instantly cottoned on to what little Harrow remained in the young man and played a servant-like part and they got on very well. Dixie would occasionally come in after he had finished his superlative breakfasts and do the dishes for example, and also took care that a housekeeper came in to clean the floors once in a while. They didn’t talk much though he was delighted to provide little pointers of things to see in the area; but the young man was there on a working holiday finishing up a personal project which required quiet time alone so that’s mainly what he did. The twenty bedroom institutional building was large and cold with only a few rooms being in use for the single guest and generally uncomfortable so after a couple of weeks he found himself driving an hour or so to Dublin to quaff a few pints and take in the city buzz.
After several weeks of these many and varied impressions it was Dixie who came up with the idea of throwing a farewell party for this foreign visitor who basically knew no-one nearby. One day he mentioned in passing that the old folks in the area used to get together every Saturday night to sing traditional songs in English and Gaelic but since the advent of the television a decade or so earlier – they being about thirty years behind the times – the young people were no longer getting together in the local taverns like they used to and so the tradition was dying out and the songs were not being passed on.
“When’s the next time you’ll be getting together for one?”
“Well, Dixie said, we could put on one for you if you like. It’d be a good excuse for us to do it. Would you like that before you leave?”
“I surely would, but I’m behind on my project and have to finish up by Saturday evening before I leave and can’t do it before then.”
“Saturday evening it is then; you can meet us down there at the pub at seven o’clock.”
Unfortunately it took until eleven o’clock to be done at which point the young man drove down to the pub expecting them all to be in full throat already and nine sheets to the wind and no harm done, he could just blend right in hopefully. But no: they had been waiting, some patiently but others with mounting ire. Dixie made a polite, deferential speech about this visitor to the Netterville Institute – which no doubt further irritated those already so stoked – but those formalities dispensed with cheerful smiles broke out all around and they all got down to business: singing and drinking. Our young hero was served a Guinness which in Ireland is a truly superb beverage many grades better in quality than what is found in other countries for reasons they have never been able to determine but which of course is because only in Eire do the gods and spirits of that island permeate every ingredient and process that go into its making and consumption. Then, laying an elbow on the polished bar pretending to be an important, mature person worthy of their attention (which he was most certainly not on either count!), in his recently purchased Harris tweed bright green jacket with professorial looking elbow patches, he turned towards the forty or fifty souls eagerly facing him. And instantly realized that something special was about to go down.
A truly ancient old man slowly stepped forward in front of the naturally formed semicircle and in both English and Gaelic introduced the name and history of the song he was about to perform. He started in a subdued fashion with an old man’s feeble, wavering voice as if singing from far away and long ago but as he sang his spirit strengthened and then the entire assembly joined in, first softly and then with increasing volume. By the end of that song there was nary a dry eye to be seen for all were moistened with Irish tears of joy and sadness perfectly blended. Then many different songs ensued: ballads, bawdy, martial, ancient, modern, comic, deeply touching and so forth.
The young man found himself deeply moved, not only that they had waited for him before beginning what later transpired to be a clearly magical night for all but also because he was being given a deeply intimate and ‘real’ transmission into a world that used to be vivid and vibrant for all there assembled but was now sadly fading into the past making the whole experience poignantly bitter sweet. Although the songs were mainly in English with only a few in Gaelic, altogether it was like witnessing the passing of a sense of shared culture and community with those assembled knowing their time was now ending, their culture now fading, that their children and grandchildren would not share such things together as they had done. So along with lamenting such passing they were also celebrating that they could still come together and share what was still bright, luminous, precious and heart-warming for them in the present.
You could hear a pin drop, as is said, when that elder first stepped forth. The Irish have one of the keenest ingrained sense of drama and story in the world so everyone there had waited for this moment which would not have been the same had not the pretext for the gathering – hailing and farewelling a young foreigner staying at the Big House – been honored in some sort of formal way.
Although it was indeed ‘A Night to Remember’ and although he will never forget how deeply touched he was to be present at such a gathering with such depth and beauty of direct human to human transmission, the young man honestly cannot remember a single detail of what transpired that night after old man started the singing. Everything went straight to heaven, as it were, and cannot be recalled on this plane today. Truly, Eire is the seventh step to Heaven!
He can recall, however, that it was not until dawn was breaking that he returned to the Netterville Institute and it was a hard trip to Dublin later that day to catch the flight to London where even Chelsea looked wan and drab in comparison to the luminous heartfelt brilliance of the faces turned towards him in song at that local tavern in County Meath.
Postscript: Here follow a few photographs from Google Maps of two special places near Netterville Institute, one about a hundred yards from the main house and the other, called New Grange, about five hundred yards away and clearly visible from many of the rooms in the Institute. Both of these national landmarks have been greatly improved since that time when they were both little more than unmarked mounds.
Perhaps more could have been woven into this article about their presence in the area, but if so it would mainly have been to point out that perhaps the vividness of the green, the vibrant density and flavour of the local foods, the strong heavenly presence in the skies and the pagan human realm mischief in so many locals’ eyes and speech are all reflections of the still present spirits of those long-forgotten ancestors even though no obvious signs and feelings remain as ghosts or demons or whatever.
we hear you speaking
in forgotten tongues carried by
long silent winds
*** Gabriel Rosenstock sent this link to a book writing the revisionist history of the Famine which was actually a forced genocide perpetrated by British Army in situ: https://www.amazon.com/Ireland-1845-1850-Perfect-Holocaust-Perfect/dp/0989610616
“This book, alone, provides the covered-up facts of 1845-1850 Ireland. There was no famine in the ordinary sense of that word. It was genocide perpetrated by more than half of Britain’s army (67 regiments of its 130 regiments total). They removed, at gunpoint, Ireland’s abundant meats, livestock, and food crops to the ports for export; thus starving the people. The book’s colored map shows the locations of lengthy deployments of each of the sixty-seven regiments while they removed livestock, meats, flour, oatmeal, and other food crops to the ports for export. The same map names the locations of some 180 of the resultant mass graves. The Perfect Holocaust is an achievement of the first magnitude and would be obligatory reading in a free Ireland – Tomás Mac Síomóin, Ph.D.”
A parting gift. Thankfully, they are still singing in Eire – at least in Derry!
a feathery whistle
a ripe orange thumps down
magpies keep screeching
all life long
for life to begin
amber winged glory
monarch in kingdom of colour
picture perfect sunny day
doesn’t fool me at all:
ripe oranges sway in moonlit silence
all in black and white….
barely quivering leaves
Reading the latest post from Naturalist Weekly whom I follow at https://naturalistweekly.com/2021/11/14/poems-about-the-moon/ I thought I’d take a crack at rhyming verse. Every few lines I had to stop and search around and/or maybe rearrange things but about half came out nicely spontaneous-style.
Am never sure what to make of traditional poetry being much more a fan of spontaneous free verse and especially haiku which is a form directly derived from blending meditation with everyday perception during the long period of widespread Buddhist influence in all the major Asian nations which lasted, more or less, until the decline of the Chinese Empire in the mid 1700’s. They have had several 250 year recessions in their history and are clearly on the rise again, but whether or not Buddhist meditation will enjoy a renaissance in that cultural diaspora remains to be seen. The political classes in China especially are extremely leery of anything religious-leaning because organized religion could morph into organized political resistance to their regimes so they tend to suppress any such movements. Understandable, reasonable but also cowardly and thus wrong. Be all that as it may, the haiku style and its antecedents and derivatives tend to be less sugary and flowery. That said, much of earlier English verse – like Donne, Shakespeare or Milton for example – was far from any such.
In any case, here’s my amateur attempt at rhyming verse which tries to give a flavor, a taste, an incense whiff of Moon. Needless to say, although naturalist blog has some famous exemplars of Moon Poetry, I like mine better!
Lonely silver wanderer
Looking down from high above
Your gaze is filled with sadness
You caress strokes liquid love
The ocean seas obey you
The pull of your command
In dead of night they heed you
A power none can withstand
Microbial seas within us
Are no less bound, enthralled
Our births, deaths and emotions
All creatures great and small
And up in heaven above us
Far beyond our ken
The man in the moon is gazing
Into times beyond a when
And yet each hour you shape shift
Moving from full to none
Your beauty ever changing
Whilst silent spells are spun
We long to dream there with you
High above the clouds and skies
And every night we do so
Every time we close our eyes
For deep within is mystery
From your heavens far above
Your silver streams flow gleaming
Through dark caverns filled with love.