Tuesday, October 27, 2015
THE PHIAL OF GALADRIEL
"May it be a light to you in dark places,
when all other lights go out."
we see merely a fleeting refraction of that Light
glowing sometimes in the eyes of lover or friend
or glistening briefly at dawn just before the sun
edges its fiery rim slowly above the horizon
or lacing the deepening shadows of dusk
as those brightest first stars begin to shine
I've heard rumors of that Light now and then
a refrain sung so piercingly sweet so aching pure
my heart could no longer fit inside my chest
but broke free opening out like a radiant blossom
expanding till it encompassed both earth and sky!
yet no such image can possibly contain it
my mind strains mightily but can't find words
for this Reality reaching forever beyond words
a Beacon that's guided me through living hell
inspiring hope when every hope was blasted away
infusing courage though I stood paralyzed with fear
a dazzling shaft of Eternity bursting into time!
found and lost found and lost found again!
the greatest wisdom isn't gleaned from any teacher
it's only learned through being--all other knowing
trumped by our soul's transcendent revelation!
everyone's a sacred vessel--a Phial of Galadriel
the Light that saves us is the Light we are
"The Phial of Galadriel" is, of course, from J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings. It's the sacred gift Galadriel, Queen of the Elves, gives to Frodo when he and the other eight members of the Fellowship journey through Lothlorien on their way to Mordor. Frodo later fends of Shelob, the horrible giant spider (for a time) with The Phial. It seemed to me Galadriel's Phial could be used as a symbol for the Divine Light of our own souls, and that's how I deployed it in this poem.
I'm back inside the fold today
munching sweet clover again
grass of blissful coming home
yesterday I thrashed about
oozing self-pity and bitterness
turning away blaming God
Divine Light won't gutter out
Grace cascades unquenchable
yet I felt splintery bereft
how could it go otherwise?
how could I be safe or whole
estranged from my inmost Self?
today though I scoured my soul
tearing down its rigid walls
flinging wide the brittle gates
my stubborn ego caved to One
Who envelops like atmosphere!
I breathed in opened bowed
now I munch the sweetest grass
holy sustenance grown for me
clover of blissful coming Home
The gleam of Divinity is always there, at the core of my being. But I have a thousand ways of blinding myself, alienating myself from my Eternal Source--self-pity, bitterness, fear, rage, etc. That's what I know about hell. Yet I'm never "damned" unless I choose to be. And when I finally choose not to be "estranged from my inmost Self", then I find I'm back inside the fold again, munching that sweetest grass--"clover of blissful coming Home."
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
ISN'T THIS THE TIME
(for Charles Stonewall)
isn't this the time--right now!--when you
can no longer keep yourself from dancing
since every molecule's bursting with soul?
isn't this the time--right now!--when bliss
breaks out all over and the nightmares
snaring you release their strangling clutch?
you leap up suddenly both arms raised
splayed hands harvesting fistfuls of Light
thrum! go your bones--they will not stop!
isn't this the time--right now!--the waking
when doubt disappears when the faces
of flowers beam swiveling to greet you?
O this is the time--right now!--that heaven
ignites a vision in your eyes and you see
through every guise the exaltation of love
Handfuls of Light
Virtually all my drawings either inspire a poem or, as here, are inspired by one. In this way, two sides of my creative spirit--apparently the masculine and feminine--come together and dance as one. Expressed through companion pieces, each then helps to illuminate the other, evoking together a larger visionary synthesis.
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
like a finely calibrated antenna attuned
to a single exquisite frequency I receive
the most delicate nuances of your soul
even those tiny bright earrings you wear
glitter in my thoughts--scintillant as stars
while the silver polish coating your nails
matches precisely my raptest admiration
you express more shades between white
and black than Eskimos perceive in snow
this world spreads many gaudy banquets
cakes gussied up to deceive blinded eyes
and ensnare groping hearts no matter
I'd rather taste your artfully diced veggies
--bits of love you prepare so impeccably--
than gorge myself on that feast for fools
In matters of love, often less is more--at least that's the way I experience it. In style, I'm attracted to subtlety, nuance, refinement, originality, understatement, elegance, the minimally indispensable. Such qualities engage both my senses and my soul. When sufficient time and space leaven a relationship, enough room is left to savor what's unique and beautiful.
did you ever wonder
why love can be so blind
such a hit-or-miss type thing?
Jack's pining away for Jill
too bad--Jill yearns for Jane
while Jane worships Joe!
and how forlorn a dog acts
abandoned by its human
it will never find a home
sometimes a rushing river
bursts upon us--but we're
too flimsy to contain it
we can't control when
it overwhelms our banks
or predict where it will flow
if even the tiniest runnel
of Love's elemental torrent
cascades through our heart
we've got all we can handle
keeping our head above water
just snatching a breath or two
I've been swept along, swept away, by Love's "rushing river"; and even though I wound up bruised and gasping on the rocks, I realize, for a time, I was flooded by a God. Anyone who's felt this irresistible power of Eros pouring through them toward another, knows what I mean. We only can say "yes" or "no" to election by the God. And if we say "yes", then love's river possesses our hearts. Wherever it takes us, for better or worse, there we must go...