Amazing As The Stars In The Darkness My Eyes
Amazing as the stars in the darkness, my eyes,
though I've never seen them directly, only
as a reflection I take at its word they're blue.
And when I look a little deeper, there's
no part of me that isn't eventually invisible.
Everything's like that, the seer and the seen,
so wholly absorbed in each other,
there's no sign of either of them, just the seeing,
the heart and its feeling, the mind and its thought,
the flower and the eye, crocus, turk's cap, tiger lily, lilac
all one spontaneous happening without distinction,
one infinitely collaborative creative event flashing
out of the dark resources of the plenum-void
to give it a name for the sake of rendering experience
communicable through a delirium of form.
If you've ever walked by a mirror and the mirror's disappeared,
mercury into mercury, water into water, fire into fire,
a mother into her child, an unsuccessful lover into his longing,
that's something like it. You're everything
and in that everything you're nothing, you're selfless
to the point of not even knowing what that means anymore
except it's of no significance whatsoever. There's just
this star flashing out of a night it's surrounded by,
just these dark hills where the dead buried themselves
as they did their children, as they had lived, secretly
under the leaves that covered their gravestones,
lichens, moss, growing hundreds of wild columbine
on a modest rock of ages with the sensibilities of a butterfly.
If you stand by a gate that doesn't latch by itself anymore,
and the garden's been left to its own inner resources,
because no one lives there any longer, as, perhaps, even you once did,
o in a dream, how long ago was that? And watch the moon rise,
as if the healer and the wound were remembering
an old love affair that's gone well beyond the inseparable
because there never was a time, a prelude to seeing,
they were ever apart. You'll understand passing
as a perpetually new approach to things, you'll see birth in why
the flowers fall, and death, in why they rise again.
The simultaneity of the life and death of all things.
How present you are in the midst of your longing.
How clear in the absence of everything you're missing.
I've spent much of my life preparing gardens for planting.
Shaking out roots, rocking fields. Wondering
whose house of life the bones I dig up once belonged to,
cornerstones and rafters in arrears
to the temples they once upheld to themselves.
And come nightfall, my work finished for the day,
I've paused and looked to see if I could identify
through the trees, the whole of a constellation
from a single star. As if gazing in wonder at it
in the mutual solitude and hugeness
of the unknown immmensities that surround us both,
and bind us to a weary body and a still heart
leaning on a shovel in a garden, as if the silence
could look up or down, either way, were made sacred
by the poignancy of a momentary insight
that penetrated both our hearts as if time and space
were mere bubbles of awareness in a dream.
And in a differentiated union of not-two,
I saw myself shining through the eyes of a star
as it laboured over what flowers it intended to grow.
Without a thought or a feeling I could call my own
I was a desert of stars without a mirage
to keep up appearances. I was a single point of light
with infinite distances in it, and even the word, one,
had gaps in it I learned to jump like a star.
And I saw with the certainty of water, that
when one was a wave, the other was an ocean
and separation was simply the blindfold we put on
at midnight in front of an imaginary firing squad,
as if our whole life depended upon it, to watch
the stars shoot flowers at the sun like blanks
I seeded the garden with like constellations
breaking ground through the tree tops like Vega in Lyra.
Astro-flowers. The Pleiades approaching
the larkspur like bees. Honey in a new hive.
Light years of perceptions in a garden of starmud
encompassing strangers only an insight away from home.
It's an immensely intimate universe. Go out.
Get down on your knees in the soil. Plant flowers.
And when you go in look at your hands, at the stars
shining under your fingernails as a sign
of some honest cosmic work well done.