Wednesday, February 3, 2016


                       THE HIGHEST

I fumble for words    there are no words
not for the Highest    no syntax matches
but I call it Thou    Thou transcending all
creating all    infusing all    embracing all

The Highest because lowest    the greatest
because least    ever yet never--a paradox!
music so fiercely sweet    I ache to hear it
silence so sweetly fierce    I gladly drown

every spoke converges at Thou    each life
pivots on the axle of that invincible bliss!
rain spatters    chanting the primal name
the sun blazes    refracting a cosmic smile

most wise because foolish    inexhaustible
because empty    never yet ever--a mystery!
truth so transparent    I can't perceive it
love so incandescent I'm too blind to see

I fumble for words    there are no words
not for the Highest    just awed devotion
this yearning ascent of my whole being
this translation of my soul to the stars...


      I adore Beethoven, and one of my favorite works by him is The Missa Solemnis. It's so richly infused with passionate faith, love and joy! After listening to it yet again a while ago, I wanted to express in poetry, however inadequately, the ecstatic spirit and inspirational message I hear in this music. In doing so, I discovered it felt necessary to pack every line with paradoxical metaphors for God. Classical music by the great composers has lifelong, implicitly--and sometimes, as here, explicitly--been a primary source of poetic influence and inspiration.

                     THE GIFT

all that these words can never say
is what I mean    all that these eyes
can't see is what I want to show you

take away    take away    take away
Who's left is The Gift    Emptiness
come awake    breathe that Emptiness

lost deep in Its silence    a Singing!
the no-sound within   beyond all sound
high  holy  sweet--Music of the Spheres!

we're just one fleck of sentient foam
scattered from a single moonlit wave
cresting on the Sea which has no shore

we're a somewhat squirmy something
wrapped around a Riddle    a Paradox
a Sky turned inside out--The Infinite!

for a short while we live and die--doing
this crazy rumba of stuff and nonsense!
then vanish into The Meaning moving all


       Paradox again. There's really no other way to even approach saying what's beyond words. The name of the game, when writing ecstatic verse, can only be to try to point meaningfully toward the Divine Mystery, realizing that beyond this, the rest is cloaked in a Singing Silence. It's a Holy Fool's game, and thankfully I'm just the Holy Fool born to play it!

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