Grace

To discover myself
I trusted Grace.

Grace
knew what to do –

I didn’t have one blessed clue
until Her arrow pierced me through, and
then a river poured forth, a gracious kindness
water offers to the dust, nourishing all thirsty forms,
the fruit of nature’s gracious impersonal felicity, timed
before time to arrive and just as soon evaporate in the mirror
of my own appearing, again and again, discovering myself in
birth and death, forgetting myself in that parade of appearances,
ephemeral forms of myself streaming, borne along on a river of grace,
leading me at last to you, you to me, fluidity, I needed that, to discover
you, to see you, to touch you, to die in you and then again be born in you,
the one who was never other than myself, discovering me, reflecting love
back to itself as the seamless revelation of all that’s true, of two-not-two,
and ever shall remain by grace the laughing eyes in the dearest face,
the flood at the heart you stir in me, the rapture of communion,
lovingly cradling us to the grave and beyond, not here
or there or anywhere else that could ever amount
to anything other than the feeling of Grace
expanded to infinity.

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How We Are

Here is how we are:

Spooned together, we lay
blended, suspended, floating
horizontal in an infinite room filled
with luminous signs of our own design.

Vast spaciousness, no boundary –
we drift slowly out from the density
of our two bodies and into our etheric third,
the one living us now as how we are, the one
without center or circumference, the one before
even or odd, before all the words we use for God.

Now we are ready, because
ready now is how we are, tuned
together, sifted into this blend without
end, when  the wind chime softly  chimes,
yet so suddenly that everything we are, were,
or will be falls perfectly into itself, fitted precisely
into place in space, as if nothing ever really fell.

Sleepily, we catch rumors of that falling.

Our invisible body moves, liquefies,
utterly bereft of any two-ness now,
loving itself increasingly sweetly,
each sigh in our room a mantra
for souls that pause to breathe
it all in — yes, all of it.

We make the sign of how we are,
the sign of love that can’t be known,
for this is how we are, just as we have
always been, and what may have seemed
some space in time that dreamed itself
between us, some illusory distance
of which now there is no trace,
beyond all that –

here we are, as we are,
face to face.

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Have a Heart, Part 2

Sunset on the Mountain, and then a wild wind’s chilly sutra, chanted in the dusky crack between two realms, invokes another night’s emergence.

Stony crags tower and glisten in the icy moonlight flooding the slopes, while this hapless heart hangs, impaled, upon their granite spears, surrendered to the evening.

Who can answer for this pulsing wound that beats within our chest? Whatever we call “our life” – here it is, in so many words, what words can never say.

Have a heart!

The musings of abstruse dharma, philosophy’s elegant pantomime, provided no lasting peace. It only held a distant mirror to my inarticulate ruin.

The wise ones learned to throw off the chains of wanting, of needing, of demanding to know. How often their kind advice has since fallen on deaf ears!

That sense of separate self, a poignant fearfulness, will only seek the safety place, wrapped tight in its own wry confirmation, warmed by the imaginative tinder that mind burns for itself to ward off its own looming extinction.

When you opened the door before dawn and found me, head slightly tilted into the night, eyes climbing up into the breaking dawn of your solar smile, I was wearing a mask from the underworld, a mask you had not touched but only dreamed of, and so I slipped into that dream to find you, to hold you and touch your wound, which we have always shared.

What did we know then, or even now? We were given these wan transparent masks to wear over the ruined beauty of our fragile innocence, a gift from blind elders for the ghost banquet of our reunion at the heart.

When you invited me across your threshold, I sensed in my blood that everything I knew was going to die, but I had no mask for my death — it demands a kind of nakedness that my artifice cannot disguise.

You lifted my face to yours and my mask fell off, and no, it really doesn’t matter — it just fell off. Death is a simplicity, with no reference but itself.

You looked down and you saw yourself, your own love, come back from the dream worlds of echoing wounds to touch you, to come to rest in you and make love to itself without prior images, without the futile and pleasureless masks of memory.

This is how your own mask began to crumble — imperceptibly as dawn, and we could not hear it then, the peacock song was too strong, we were consumed in that eloquent melody, and because it is kind and very patient, something nameless smiled and began to fill our infinite room with the intoxicating fragrance of immaculate white light, such that even our secret masks became translucent, so suddenly they could no longer blind us to this holy wound’s sheer radiance.

Neither pain, nor fear, nor the inevitable revelation of our impermanence — love’s mysterious grand charade — could ever mask the unbearable beauty alive as this wound at the heart.

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Some Glad God

I rise to mate my voice with yours, darling poet of my heart, but in the gentle devastation of your presence, all my simple songs melt into silence and I stand here mute, lilting softly off balance against the background of a perfect balance reflected in the brilliance of your solar smile.

The listening born within this silence, the intimacy of the sky with the horizon, the way some meandering streams just end in the middle of nowhere in particular, exhaling an invisible secret that every light-eyed creature bathes in – all of this is evidence to anyone who may imagine some distance from their Source that there has never been a trace of separation.

You are closer to me than I am to myself. Each delicious poem-sound we make is carried on the breath of some glad god nobody has yet found a way to worship. Such living poetry is our prayer of gratitude and praise for the appearance of each other in the midst of this utter astonishment.

We float, a feather on that breath, blown far beyond any mythic archetypes
of grace-granting divinity by the loving grace of a divinity for which none can account, any more than for this touch we blissfully share.

There are magnificent shining beings who let their love flow through the universe with no limit or recoil, no fear or demand. Their true sanctuary is none other than our own abode, as we come to rest within the warm and spacious sufficiency of our radiant Heart.

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The Portal

Within the echoing call of the peacock
there’s a portal between this world
and whatever follows after.

We slipped through that shimmering door
to fly through the sky of paramatman light,
a luminosity so boundless we were flooded
by the all-encompassing shine of it.

Your own light is that kind of lyrical medicine,
generously trickled into a dead man’s mouth.

Now this dusty corpse yawns and stretches,
rises up with mouth billowing yellow marigolds,
eyes alight with love’s glory rays, as desire serenely
slides into itself, impregnating itself with sheer delight,
all past stories rendered obsolete, the gears of creation
crushing into languorous synch, a wink, a destiny duet
sung on pink-pillowed dawn, and in the near distance,
twin peacocks’ sudden thrilling cries of “Victory!”
vibrate through this incandescence of embers and ashes
we’ve made of ourselves in our sublime incineration.

The rippling notes from the two peacocks’ throats
pierce both heaven and earth with pure joy.

the-peacock-gap-country-club-soiree

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Nothing Still Waiting

Sitting together in the midst of the mystery,
we’re looking out through mystery’s eyes,
lost in the pure astonishment of you and I
appearing here before each other now —
no less a miracle than the appearance
of anything anywhere at all!

Speechless in this startling shock of being,
with no need or motive to accept or reject
or to have any of it be anything other than
just what it is, as it is, we face each other
in utter amazement, and from the heart
a loving smile beams outward, expanding
in every direction, brightening and deepening,
outshining any sense of anything but itself,
an innocent happiness, recognizing itself
as nothing more or less than this:

this breathing world, these infinite forms,
these simple fingers lovingly entwined,
warm blood surging beneath our skin,
this skin enrobing tiny nerves and muscles
in these mysteries called hands, “our” hands,
so gently held together now near the fire,
with nothing still waiting to be understood.

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Flick of the Wrist

A bell rings out in a spirit temple, and the gathered ghosts
look up from their meditation, anticipating a new arrival.

Each one passed from life to death like the hand of a sleeper
reaching for the body of its lover, only to slip through time,
gliding into dimensions most living humans can’t perceive.

For now they’ll dwell in the house of the Lord, enjoying
the time off and peacefully pondering their next move.

There is plenty to choose from — endless possibilities.

Some may feel like giving this place another try,
while others will have had enough, and thus move on
to fabulous rainbow worlds of ravishing lyricism,
or so say the tourist brochures in their spirit folders.

Here’s a hint: always read the fine print!

A few are not sure where they’ll go. They hold a compass
in their ghost hands, but the needle keeps spinning around
and around, and never just points in one clear direction.

In any case, a flick of the wrist and we’re back here on earth,
getting accustomed once more to these physical bodies.

Another flick — badda bing — and we’re gone.

Some people claim when you’re dead you’re dead,
which is true for the body but the body’s not you.

You may drive a car but you’re not the car,
smoke a cigar but you’re not the cigar.

Simply stay silent, and watch how things begin and end.
See there’s no need for fear, it just spoils the day.

When that bell rings out in your own spirit temple,
drop the worn costume and be on your way.

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