Campfire Song

That bittersweet music, the poignancy of recollection,
now washes over me — I feel the whole world, its history,
its wanting, its violence, its hope and inevitable collapse.
Without a doubt, nobody is excluded from this ceremony.

Here around the campfire it grows late, and we are
softened by the wine, we huddle together, dreaming.
If we were in any other world, it would be the same,
we will never escape the destiny we’ve set in motion.

Let’s sing together then, let’s join the chorus of souls
who get suddenly sober in this mortal remembrance,
who stare into the fire, musing, because to look up
into each other’s eyes now would be unbearable.

If any imagine that they are just casual bystanders,
that they are merely here to observe — please, Dears,
don’t fool yourselves — the time for that has passed,
your secret name is emblazoned here in the flames.

I see your face in the fire, it is always my own face,
for I have taken numberless forms, the infinite forms
of every being, sexual being, spirit being, hungry beings
who hide behind their names, scheming, wanting more.

One by one they are all vanishing now — the child, parent,
the husband and wife, the lover, hater, the killer, believer
and fool, the good and bad, all the joyful and sorrowful,
all are disappearing in the fire — let them go, let them go!

Let’s sing together then, let’s join the chorus of souls
who get suddenly sober through this remembrance,
who stare into the fire, musing, because to look up
into each other’s eyes now would be unbearable.

If we were hoping for lasting forgiveness, here it is.
Whatever we ever wanted — redemption — here it is,
flickering in the flames, an image consuming itself,
a memory turning to ash, a prayer gone up in smoke.

Oh, I want to be that one whose tears tumble down
and create new worlds, new galaxies of heart music
which will make the empty space break out smiling,
and no, I won’t look back because, at last, I’m home.

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No Failure

Then the sun bends down to caress your face,
and now your soft eyes slowly open, revealing
an enormous white room — its dazzling shine!

You’re astonished — yes — you’ve sprouted wings.
You can go anywhere, do anything, be anyone.

You rise from the discarded shell of the old body.
You don’t look back, this will be the new dream.

The old gravity falls away, that cramped hovel
crumbles, disintegrates, revealing blue sky
with no horizon, only blue, endless blue.

It’s all open, spacious, unqualified vastness!
This is beyond the old stories of birth and death.

You blink your eyes and find yourself awake
amidst the turning stars — ah, you’re the matrix
from which streaming trails of pristine light connect
the galaxies in some unspeakable atomic bliss!

You blink again and now you’re home in bed.
You glance over to your sleeping lover — her beauty!

You realize that she has wandered far and deep
into the dream, sprouted her own new wings.

She can go anywhere, do anything, be anyone.
No failure is possible now, nor any binding limit.

She has become you, as you became her, there is
only one dreaming, the old gravity has fallen away,
and now we drift, untethered, through an enormous
white room, blinded by its brilliant shine, euphoric!

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Dry Creek

Black-Eyed Juncos are busily flittering
around the large bowls of fresh seeds
you kindly put out this morning, while
I sit here in my chair, not moving at all.

For so long I wanted this: to be still,
not moving even when the Jay descends
out of nowhere and spooks the Juncos,
not even when the splattering rain begins.

Even when the light in the sky goes dark,
I will remain motionless, maybe for hours,
maybe for the time it takes to hush every
thought, every impulse to have it be different.

Then, when the loud hikers trampling in the forest
pause for a moment, thinking that they may have
heard something further back in the darker woods,
it will not be me. I am quiet, I won’t move at all.

I was sitting, learning the trick of patience. It is
difficult at first. Gradually, the noise gave up.
Gradually, the silence superseded ambition.
It’s true what they say about wanting.

Desire was a stream that became a trickle.
It became a dry river bed, filled with the ghosts
of former fishes, now nameless in their absence.
There are fading grooves in the air they left behind.

Sometimes when my eyes close, I remember them —
their lovely rainbow colors, the way they darted
over the glistening stream stones, always moving,
moving, moving in and through the everlasting light.

Now they are quiet. They are not moving at all.
They’re like statues of themselves, like museum fish
mounted in the air, their hearts resting in the God,
their slippery spirits gone, gone, gone beyond.

This is how it may be with us: we will just stop moving.
The parts we thought of as ourselves will crumble back
into a dry creek bed. Then a trickle of melting snow begins,
later a tumbling brook, teeming with urgent darting minnows.

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Nobody understands how to meet You today
how to greet You, to fall at Your feet
I am there, I am there, we are all here
You are the vanished one, hail the goer
I would say something, I am a vehicle
You are the driver, You are the immortality
You came to me in my dream, my fever
You said a word, a revelation
I did not understand, I understand now
it is not of mind, not of this dream
it is the immortality, You are that
I will tell them about You, You are unforgotten
You are eternal, this human form, You are that
You said, if anyone can understand, You would stay
You are here, I understand, I am going with You
I am You, in the form of myself, all praise
all blessing flows from this, this, this
I raise up my hands, Your hands, these hands
glory glory glory all praise to You, to this
this human form, this divinity, this bliss body
I will raise up my hands, I raise them high
I say “Yes, Yes, Yes!”
Om is the vibration, Om is the word, Om is this
You are the bringer, You work in the mysterious way
Yours is the message, the message for this world
the message is this: just this, just this!


bhagawanblessing sm

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New Year Poem

Watching the dawn light as it begins to filter
through the tall pines, our canary launches
into a series of brilliant whistles and trills
for the sheer joy, the ecstasy of it —

to be alive, to witness the great god of light
illuminating all that once was dark and hidden.

Really, there is no metaphor or simile here,
no memory or even hope. All of that is just
added after the fact, but for us now, there is
simply light, and with it, lovely bird song.

You rise to tend the fire, the dog is curled nearby.
It doesn’t matter that today is named the first day
of a new year. It doesn’t matter that the humans
are always preparing somewhere for the next war.

There is a heart secret that you and I share. It is
something which has always been true, even though
there is only dreaming, and truth itself is a child’s
soap bubble drifting on an impersonal breeze.

We need not speak to say it, our silence expands
more and more each day. It’s become a vast embrace
which harbors everything that appears and vanishes.
You showed me this, you teach me to be kind.

We have one thought: peace. If love had a purpose
or destination, that would be it. There is nothing
anywhere that can compare, no other viable option,
but still, that is not our secret. There is more.

When we turn our single gaze towards each other,
when we reach out and touch, we make an offering
to the whole world. Then they will all know our secret.
Then they’ll be like our canary, they will go to war no more.

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New Years Eve

Nominally, it’s the last day of another year. Does it really matter which one? Day follows night, season follows season, it’s a perpetual cycle. Only humans manage to number the years in their minds, as if there was some sort of linear progression, the significance of which would confirm their enduring existence, the existence of their story.

Here in the SaveMart parking lot, we like to watch people going in and out of the supermarket. It’s a supermarket, as opposed to an ordinary market, so we know we are parked in the right lot for current purposes. It’s New Years Eve, so of course everyone is gathering celebratory provisions. We needed a sharp cheddar cheese for tomorrow’s souffle.

Today our little dog is in my arms, avidly enjoying the parade of phenomena with me. She is watching every person as they come and go, each with their own story — there are so many stories! Each story is God having a different experience of itself, so all is sacred. Since all is sacred, then nothing is really sacred. To my little dog, “sacred” is meaningless, and yet she will endure any of my human contrivances because it feels good to just press herself against me, snuggle up in my arms, and feel warm and safe.

We say “God”, but isn’t that just a way of cleverly attributing an identity to this utter chaos, in order to grant it some sense of structure by which we can shop for cheese and celebrate our idea of time, change, and people-watching in the parking lot? What could be more fascinating than just resting as this awareness in which the whole universe goes about its business in incomprehensible delight and confusion, terror and ecstasy, boredom and doubt, joy and sorrow, while we get to both observe and participate?

My little dog shifts in her position, probably to get a better look at the other little dog at the window of the car adjacent to us. They gaze at each other, and although we might imagine we know what kind of data is exchanged, we still do not even understand the experience of staring into another human’s eyes. For a moment, the mind goes blank. That is a holy moment, even though we have already determined that holy is just another construct of the human intellect. Still, it just might be the moment when the whole universe becomes suddenly self-aware. That’s why the mind cannot go there, and so we say that it “goes blank”.

I could say something here about emptiness, but anything said about emptiness is just another mental fabrication, and so has nothing to do with emptiness. That said, emptiness is not separate from these experiences. It is not other than the parking lot stories in which everyone seems engrossed in their moment, experiencing a sense of individuality, and then creatively elaborating on that theme.

Even so, in our hearts, we all want to be home in the safe place, where the divine universe bends down to wrap its big warm arms around us and kiss us and demonstrate how everything is only love, love beyond mental contrivance or narrative theatrics.

And so we drift around with our shopping carts in the dreaming place, the indefinite place where we just might find ourselves parked today, on the eve of yet another new year in timelessness, serenely rotating in an immense and luminous galaxy in the midst of a vast emptiness, with nothing holy in it. Once we pay the cashier for the cheese, we can happily drive away home.

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2 Heart Beats

1. Please Stay

Horizontal and vertical intersect
Shakti dances on Shiva’s chest –

is it any wonder Love’s voice
pleads: “Please stay”?

At the still point of Union
this mysterious cross
blossoms –

billowing ecstatically
the sublimely echoing scent
of this dissolving universe,
fragrance of our loving,
trailing Vibhuti Ash
with no place
to stay

2. Quenching

Love itself is the thirst,
Love the only satisfaction.

Call it pure spring water,
It’s what You feed me,
It’s what I am,
We are,
It Is —

A Love

become devotion,
bliss of Itself, waterfall
of Love over depthless pools
of Love, our falling in Love, our
Love falling, then rising into Itself,
the Self of Love, pouring into hearts
desiccated by the dry desert winds of wry
knowledge, dry recoil from their own water,
water of Life, this Life, this living moisture
of creation, irrigating the cardiac canals with
the nectar unequaled, the mysterious fluidity
of vibrant real Love, the true thirst-slaking
flagon of bubbling heart-juice, surging up
and gurgling up as the fountain of Love,
and only with One Taste will this crazy
holy thirst be finally quenched by
the limitless river of Life that
is Love, and so dissolve
in the Ocean of Love,
which is nothing
but the Truth
at the Heart
of Love.


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