Categories
Poetry

Zen Reflexions

To discern 
           our place 
To commune 
To see 
           beyond our close shadow of death 
To focus 
           my poet mind 
I need direction 
           a qibla 
Or some beads to tell 
           to take refuge from my life: 
A candle flame 
Only the candle 
Flame 
Flickering 
A journey into quietude 
            begins 
Into that silence 
             comes tranquillity 
And the absence of words 
Serenity beyond words: 
              I become sentient - 
              conscious of only this moment in the flame of a grain of sand 
                           Of the sun shining through golden autumn trees 
                          Of the clearing mists 
                          dissolving in the valley and above the hills 
                          giving way to rain that fills the sky 
                         so that the branches droop, dripping 
                         as the wind rustles the upper boughs 
                         and drops spatter on the window glass. 
                        Of love 
Peace 
Perhaps, now, I am no longer physical 
              But have become a spiritual being 
              having a human experience 
Writing 
              And in the writing 
                                the words return

Originally published in Mostly Welsh (Y Lolfa 2019, pp.51-52)

Notes

  • Moliere: “Without knowledge life is no more than a shadow of death”
  • qibla: Spiritual direction¬† (the direction of Mecca)
  • Zen Master, Hung Chih, writes of serene reflection in which one forgets all words and realizes – is aware only of – Essence.
  • c.f. Blake: Auguries of Innocence: “To see a World in a Grain of Sand…”
  • “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but…” Generally attributed to Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ, a French idealist philosopher and Jesuit priest

By Chris

Poet and writer: I have travelled the world in the Merchant Navy, worked on the farm where I now live, and re-invented myself as an information scientist. Born in Sussex, I moved to Swansea and have lived in the same farm cottage in mid-Wales for almost 50 years.

I have two collections of poems in print, Mostly Welsh and the recent Book of the Spirit. Although initially entirely focussed on poetry, my writing has branched into short stories and my first full length work of fiction, The Dark Trilogy and the collection of short stories - When I Am Not Writing Poetry - are also available.

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