After Thomas Merton
The single eye of the sun long shut,
world deep asleep like a sunken ship loaded with treasures,
full moon’s fierce shadows illumine the way for miles,
stars glint like coins dropped to the well’s black bottom,
last apple fallen from the tree
in a slush of honey and crimson.
I walk barefoot across wet grass,
night’s questions relentlessly wrestling
in my mind’s knotted weave.
I look for answers written by salmon in the stream,
or a snail’s slither of streaming silver.
I prostrate myself at the gnarled foot of the ash tree.
River softly murmurs her secrets.
Then the wind departs, taking words with it.
Hush cracks open, and
blankets my moss-covered dreams
under the mute howl of night.
The long slow leaving of voices reveals
the ancient song of repose.
I awaken covered with dew,
stillness shaken by a single robin.
No longer full of my own echoing emptiness,
I am able to hear at last.
~Christine Valters Paintner
cold. dark. heaven. source. synchronicity. to sense. to strive. to relinquish. to offer. to grieve.
I am a mountain.
Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heartache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty. Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source. There is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, only to discover what is already there. ~Henry Miller