The Great Expanse

1.
 
Late Autumn, and majestic masses of laden clouds
congregate and collide in the sky theater above me,
while here below innumerable heaps of turning leaves
soak into the moistened earth in a ceremony of surrender.
 
Although the intermittent sky patches of brilliant blue
can always take my breath away, I’m drawn of late
to the plain and simple things –
 
a leafless tree branch reaching out to touch the air,
to feel its tangible emptiness, its essential silence.
 
There’s a petrified forest that features the preserved remains
of trees fallen a quarter billion years ago, along with fossils
of various dinosaurs that died there while the trees
looked on, impartially witnessing their demise.
 
There is an unspeakable beauty in the way time seems to go,
a continuous revelation in the way everything is changing.
 
Any moment now, a book of ecstasy may open
before me and it will start to rain.
 
You tell me how you stand in the midst and are moved to weep,
and it is not a sadness, or even a joy, but something else.
 
It’s as if the whole world is always passing into another dimension,
but what it leaves behind is more precious than words can say.
 
Without understanding any of this, without wanting it
to be one way or the other, I will still bow down.
 
2.
 
Late Autumn, and majestic masses of laden clouds
congregate and collide in the sky theater above me,
while here below innumerable heaps of turning leaves
soak into the moistened earth in a ceremony of surrender.
 
Born as a thought, it’s all in turn maintained as a thought,
lingers as a thought, and dissolves as a thought dissolves,
while never having attained any actual solidity.
 
If this is somehow liberating, remember that too
is a thought, as is the sense of any limitation
requiring our manipulation to fix and free.
 
One game we like to play is to grant it special meaning.
 
Just so, I’ve heard there’s a marvelous expanse of great bliss
bestowing blessings on earnest pilgrims who offer themselves
as a loving sacrifice for the sake of all others’ well-being.
 
From the point of view of the immaculate mind mirror,
all of that is a mere veneer of dust, but I will still
go with it, since at least it does seem kind.
 
Kindness is hard to find in these times, so it’s important
to nourish it when we’re presented with the opportunity.
 
All of these other beings seeking my compassionate sacrifice
are appearing and vanishing without the least pantomime
of effort on my part — that’s what I call service!
 
Beings magically self-liberate without any thought,
just as clouds open up in Autumn and freely pour down
their blessings from the great empty expanse of bliss
in a perfect display of compassionate service.
 
Without understanding any of this, without wanting it
to be one way or the other, I will still bow down.

 

sky-1

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About Bob OHearn

My name is Bob O'Hearn, and I live with my Beloved Mate, Mazie, in the foothills of the Northern California Sierra Nevada Mountains. I have a number of blog sites you may enjoy: Photo Gallery: http://www.pbase.com/1heart Essays on the Conscious Process: http://theconsciousprocess.wordpress.com/ Compiled Poetry and Prosetry: https://feelingtoinfinity.wordpress.com/ Verses and ramblings on life as it is: https://writingonwater934500566.wordpress.com/ Verses and Variations on the Investigation of Mind Nature: https://themindthatneverwas.wordpress.com/ Verses on the Play of Consciousness: https://onlydreaming187718380.wordpress.com/ Poetic Fiction, Fable, Fantabulation: https://themysteriousexpanse.wordpress.com/ Poems of the Mountain Hermit: https://snowypathtonowhere.wordpress.com/ Love Poems from The Book of Yes: https://lovesight.wordpress.com/ Autobiographical Fragments, Memories, Stories, and Tall Tales: https://travelsindreamland.wordpress.com/ Ancient and modern spiritual texts, creatively refreshed: https://freetransliterations.wordpress.com/ Writings from selected Western Mystics, Classic and Modern: https://westernmystics.wordpress.com/ Wisdom of a Spirit Guide: https://spiritguidesparrow.wordpress.com/ Thank You!
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2 Responses to The Great Expanse

  1. Sky McCain says:

    Well spoken Bob. I’m reminded of how I try to be with the mystery and listen to the small still voice which is indescribable yet real so to speak. This piece speaks to me of connection, the intimacy of being the Earth and not just living on the Earth. I’m reminded of Paul Stamets:
    “The task that we face today is to understand the language of Nature.”
    Your work triggers my continued efforts to understand how I can hope to be in a more penetrating relationship with other than human life. A couple of years ago, I had a vision where I realized that looking out onto the trees, bushes and grass I heard in my minds ears: It’s all alive and “They know me.” The extent of knowing; oh how I long to feel into this knowing to a greater extent.
    Rupert Spira spoke along these lines in a recent Youtube talk. Many folks search for the self and long to know the self but can’t quite grasp that they are what they search for and the search is futile because the self is not an object to be known.

    Be well,

    Sky

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