Poetry Archives Index



                         WIND WHEEDLED
                         POETRY BY BLAKE STEELE

                         FILE OPENED 10/17/97




                         ALL DAY I'M WATCHING,

                         AS I PASS THE POTENTIALITIES

                              OF THE MYSTERIOUS OTHER

                              I DO NOT KNOW         

                         AUTUMN ENCOUNTER

                         AUTUMN ON SOME STREET



                         CRAZY WISDOM




                         (Inspired by Mary Oliver)



                         ECHOES FROM THE BLUE BOY

                              (Jean Giono)



                         FALL REFLECTIONS

                         FIRE GROWLS, AND RIGHTFULLY

                         FROM A LETTER TO LI'L DEB WHO LOVES

                              DARK WEATHER MORE THAN ANYTHING

                         FROM YU XUANJI





                         HOW IT IS WITH THE WILD BODY



                         I HAD A GOD ONCE

                         I'M WAKING UP AND DREAMING

                         I NEVER KNEW A MAN WHO THREW

                         IT'S A LILLY DAY...

                         IT IS IN THIS POETRY THAT I KNOW

                                   WHAT IS CLEAR AND TRUE



                         LEAPING OUT OF THE DEADLIEST SNARE

                         LI'LDEB LILLY

                         LITTLE REVELATIONS

                         LOVING SILENCE









                         THE CREST OF LOVE

                         THE MISSION OF THIS POETRY

                         THE WILD CHRIST

                         THE WILD, WIDE, OPAL EYED



                         WAKING THE SOUL

                         WE ARE HERE FOR LIFE

                         WILD SANITY

                         WIND CAJOLED

                         WIND CRAZY



                         YOU MAY DREAM...



                         LAST POEM IN FILE: LITTLE REVELATIONS








                         WAKING THE SOUL


                         Would you wake up your soul?

                         Walk then somewhere, anywhere,

                         through a field, over a hill,

                         down a lane,

                         and touch the sky with your fingers...

                         Then turn to complement the roses

                         for their dresses,

                         and the way they watch the ocean

                         all day with patience,

                         and how they love the summer garden's

                         starry skies

                         when they, in black dresses,

                         drift in dreams of fragrance.

                         You are waking up to seek your soul

                         that hides somewhere in happiness,

                         (a secret poet in an unpoetic age),

                         that dips its naked body

                         in pure colors and hides

                         in every color of the day;

                         that paints itself black,

                         like the Christ child's skin,

                         and runs wild and sacred in the night;

                         that, gray-eyed and innocent,

                         looks quietly upon you

                         in morning's light

                         waiting for you to sing

                         until all your sorrows are sung away

                         and you lean against a wall

                         and laugh at bird song,

                         and laugh at your hands and feet...

                         and laugh at children laughing,

                         and laugh at lover's awkward loving,

                         until your knees are buckling

                         as your soul slips through

                         your laughter

                         and makes you.








                              I'M WAKING UP AND DREAMING


                              I'm waking up and dreaming

                              of billowing red wings

                              rooted into my thin shoulder blades

                              as I stare out of the window

                              at a blank, gray day.

                              Today, the Technicolor phenomenon

                              of an Indian Summer

                              has shrunk down to the size

                              of a golden, pollen-heavy bee

                              and slipped into the deep throat

                              of a dying iris,

                              disappearing in a purple mist.

                              It is a day when deer

                              are licking up

                              the last fresh colors of flowers,

                              storing summer in their bellies

                              because winter is bleakly ambling

                              down from Alaska,

                              pillaging the country side,

                              rattling its skinny bones.

                              I'm a half season behind the seasons,

                              having just recently fallen in love again

                              with summer sun,

                              hot stones by cold rivers,

                              the sounds of flies and bees.

                              But the round wheel turns

                              and all things that flow in acceptance

                              fall into natural rhythms

                              which teach spiders to weave webs

                              for little gnats and mayflies,

                              which thicken red deer fur,

                              and paint the mind

                              with yellow fire shining in frigid nights.

                              Autumn brilliance is here...

                              but will it be gone

                              when I suddenly wake up to love

                              the glory of dying things?










                              ECHOES FROM THE BLUE BOY

                              (Jean Giono)


                              Break nothing, tear nothing, stifle nothing,

                              efface nothing, let the whole round world

                              of blue air and green seas, of stars

                              and planets, and countless waves

                              course through the embrace of two

                              innocent lovers. Let honey flow

                              from lip to lip in words and kisses.

                              It is meant to be like this,

                              no gesture forbidden, all love-born

                              and breathing, pouring silver life

                              in shivers, in the shaken bells

                              of laughter, in the brightness

                              of eyes shining in eyes...

                              As summer fruit swells, gorged

                              with sunlight, and leaves shimmer

                              their own leaf-laughter in the breeze,

                              so our hearts are to be lush with life

                              and free to love with Love's wisdom,

                              that architect of rivers and the rhythms

                              of years.






                              WIND CAJOLED

                              (Or, she would use wooden songbirds

                              to lure wild birds into her cage)



                              The wind came by,

                              lime green,

                              with her young chest

                              full of tender leaves,

                              and wheedled me,

                              laughing about my greatness.

                              But I knew she was testing me,

                              with that fountain of light

                              spurting through her eyes.

                              She wanted to see

                              if I was light enough

                              for the airy ride

                              to paradise,

                              or if I would sink

                              dark as the soul

                              of a stone

                              by the weight

                              of my own


                              of importance.









                         These saints, standing in cold silence

                         with frozen hair and fixed eyes,

                         weep within their stone bodies

                         that we have made them thus...

                         for their hearts are far away:

                         cart wheeling down green hills;

                         swimming naked with cherub children

                         in silver streams;

                         climbing huge, shimmering trees

                         with six-winged seraphim;

                         throwing their arms open

                         to the wild winds of God;

                         laughing at the beauty of stars;

                         and praying for us in heaven's ecstasies

                         that we would wake up!

                         raise our voices against injustice in the world,

                         learn to cherish what is mortal,

                         and come to them at last—

                         through love's fullest surrender—

                         ready to preserve at all costs

                         heaven's freedom!







                              WE ARE HERE FOR LIFE


                              We are here for life!

                              Did we sign up for this?

                              Some people say so,

                              yet no one really knows.

                              But life has formed us

                              like it unfolds the apple sprigs of spring:

                              impelling tight, hard, retracted buds

                              out of the wood

                              to explode slowly into blossoms

                              of inexplicably soft beauty.

                              That is Life's urge:

                              to flower things,

                              and then... to kill the fragile flower,

                              withering it, whirling petals away

                              that fruit might come

                              for someone else to eat

                              in unknown worlds.

                              And Life urges us--for we are wholly in it,

                              though we are too free and ignorant

                              to instinctively yield to its inerrant ways.

                              Strangely, we must make hard,

                              love-impelled choices

                              to emerge from parental wood,

                              surrendering tight encasements

                              until we vulnerably bloom

                              into the sun's oils,

                              letting Life's odors ooze through us

                              in frail beauty, until we die

                              into the soul's ascent

                              unto fruit.


                              I wonder if it's courage that drives

                              the blossom from the bud...

                              or is it love's ecstasies?

                              Friends, either we constantly

                              surrender to Life

                              and become beautiful

                              or we crucify it to its own tree

                              and perish as nothing

                              in the unrepented

                              and repeated deed.






                              THE WILD, WIDE, OPAL EYED


                              The wild, wide, opal-eyed,

                              showing and showering

                              her radiant glass

                              that's flowing

                              with lamp-lit love...

                              draws me through

                              into her blue soul,

                              the primal starred,

                              silver-barred vista

                              enclosed in clay:

                              this lady of night,

                              gray light...


                              in deep








                         FIRE GROWLS, AND RIGHTFULLY


                         The fire growls, and rightfully,

                         at wrangling, wanton boys,

                         who dull our eyes and smear our smiles

                         and shoot to hell our joys!

                         But a pale nocturnal romantically

                         still pours the fine old thing,

                         and golden gleams stream forth in reams

                         as elegance faintly sings.





                         I NEVER KNEW A MAN WHO THREW


                         I never knew a man who threw

                         a ring across the sea

                         who didn't learn a thing or two

                         of how to better be.

                         And though he dance at the Salty Dog

                         like a wayward, sea-born mate,

                         the fire in his eyes from the last surprise

                         will be his first-born fate.    







                         IT IS IN THIS POETRY THAT I KNOW

                         WHAT IS CLEAR AND TRUE


                         It is in this poetry

                         that I know what is clear and true;

                         and then I wander in this world

                         where there is little support

                         for what is clear and true:

                         and so I get lost, as you do.

                         I dream there is wholeness here

                         --the impossible dream--

                         where trees put on their radiant dresses,

                         and white herons lift luminous eyes

                         over blue-green pools;

                         where deer run into our arms

                         and great whales lift their heavy bodies,

                         singing into yellow sheets of sunlight...

                         until some sort of suffering

                         snaps me awake to be

                         on a fast-food cluttered, smog-choked roadway,

                         or standing dumb in a cancer ward,

                         guitar listless in my hand:

                         a wounded healer in a broken world

                         embracing the holy unhappiness.

                         But we can journey together...

                         And what comfort can be found in that!

                         transforming wounds into compassion,

                         drinking bright joy in shadows,

                         writing poetry into our deeds:

                         in faithful love;

                         in our creative freedoms;

                         through our flaming body's passions;

                         in our blind dark.








                              LOVING SILENCE


                              To be a poet, or a lover,

                              or to fight for justice

                              in the world,

                              you must develop

                              a love affair

                              with silence:

                              you must long to press

                              your body into it,

                              that primal home.

                              The flow of music's majesty

                              emerges from silence.

                              Colors are conceived in silence

                              which dreams the form of things.

                              And isn't it silence

                              that opens to the quiet-cored soul

                              the storehouse

                              of all meaning,

                              of grief, of ecstasy--

                              the essence of Spirit?

                              I have found that the soul's senses

                              wake up in a baptism

                              of sustained silence.

                              When silence brims over

                              the soul weeps or laughs.

                              When the body lays down and dies

                              the soul stands up in silence,

                              and sings.









                              LI'LDEB LILLY


                              She's too innocent

                              to be understood,

                              though some taste

                              her momentarily

                              and remember

                              what should be

                              constant as sunlight

                              in the grass...

                              as her

                              swirligig laughter

                              twirls on past.

                              She confronts a

                              young, deciduous tree,

                              and entwines her arms


                              up in the branches

                              --color bright--

                              and sways and sings

                              half through the night.

                              She dances on her lippity toes

                              and grows and goes

                              where music winds

                              through the heart-ways

                              of the mind.


                              And if the deevil

                              should lie to her...

                              I'll damn that dark

                              with a prayer of beer.








                              I saw her as a child,

                              timid, crouching in corners,

                              trapped in the damp rose of her body,

                              all fragrant and falling,

                              wild with her unsown gifts:

                              words unbillowed yet streaming

                              around and above her in silence:

                              hanging all heavy with oils,

                              yearning all yellow with sun streams,

                              green with the nectars,

                              soaked and all silky,

                              unknown and unspoken.


                              In a better world I would shout,

                              "I will speak you!"

                              but here, they would

                              cart me away.





                              HOW IT IS WITH THE WILD BODY


                              The sweet animal of my body

                              loves God.

                              I have found it to be true.

                              The noble, unmasked beast,

                              with dog-soft soul,

                              with cat-quick light in the eyes.

                              And my body is wise

                              as the ants, as the osprey,

                              as the rambling deer.

                              This dead darkness is another thing,

                              the grief that kills a swan,

                              the fear of the stampeded horse,

                              the rage of the trapped owl.

                              When the body is all at home,

                              wrapped around its yellow light

                              like a transparent rose,

                              it splays open, wild and beautiful

                              at the moment of death.

                              This cannot be seen with human eyes,

                              as most of the body

                              lives in dark beneath the skin

                              and is never seen.





                              ALL DAY I'M WATCHING,


                              All day I walk through this world

                              waiting, watching

                              for someone shy and beautiful,

                              spunky and good,

                              compassionate and whimsical,

                              to dance quietly--

                              silky in movements

                              of eyes and hands,

                              hips and hair--

                              coming out of the trees

                              onto the streets,

                              out of the rivers

                              into words,

                              out of solid sheets of sunshine

                              into a cafe,

                              all naked and warm;

                              all wet and wanting.

                              Ah... you must understand,

                              if I ever ceased this longing

                              before she comes…

                              I would painfully

                              pour out my rainbow

                              into a dark

                              and die.






                              WILD SANITY

                              (the guardian)


                              I saw her running like a flowing

                              shard of sunlight,

                              lissome as light

                              glinting and glancing,

                              my heart racing with her,

                              her footsteps not wanting,

                              knowing her goings

                              were in mystery and movement

                              everywhere present

                              in the eyes of her lover.

                              And, all loved, she was naked

                              of garments we've woven

                              to cover our senses

                              which slip through each other

                              like silk and like flame.

                              And so I went with her

                              down to the flowers

                              where her gold tent fell,

                              feathery and misty,

                              spreading like rivers

                              into the green.

                              And there I forgot

                              the world and its wanting

                              to be born in the willows,

                              wild in her singing

                              where no one's alone.





                         IT'S A LILLY DAY...


                         It's a Lilly day...

                         sunshine and wind,

                         rainbow shining across

                         the whole sky.

                         The day is full of Greek islands,

                         and Mediterranean sea breezes;

                         leaves whirligigging around your feet;

                         aspen trees quivering

                         and shimmering with their freedom...

                         a fresh mist spattering your face

                         out of a naked, sun-shine plastered sky;

                         Baily-dog prancing on his toes

                         with his nose in the wind, sniffing everything...

                         my sorrows trying to hang on heavy

                         but joy pouring all around them,

                         like colorful waters

                         on dark stones.








                         (Inspired by Mary Oliver)


                         Walking, stately, head held high,

                         like a deer with attentive eyes,

                         thrusting with my wearied legs

                         through noisy bruising of the thorns...

                         the catch of denim on the sticks.

                         Lost in odors of scruffy sage,

                         thick with memories amongst the hills,

                         visions move within my mind

                         of undefined and fertile thrills:

                         cold damp of morning amongst the sage,

                         the old, wild life of autumn fields.

                         From shaggy brush some rapid quail

                         burst in sound like beaten drums;

                         my heart's quick quiver with the birds

                         splutters in wildness like a wing!

                         Weary, upon a rock-strewn shore

                         I rest and write and ponder on

                         that I might find a work of words

                         raw and wild in primal things.

                         What more can words do unto me

                         than light the white flame of my mind!?

                         until these hills with sun and moon

                         fuse to move and search and find

                         the basal substance of this flame

                         which licks my soul

                         like errant wind.






                              THE CREST OF LOVE


                              Sometimes the only way through

                              is the way of crazy wisdom,

                              and to write a path to follow

                              into freedom.

                              We must heal the broken,

                              flesh out the partially formed,

                              prize and place the missing pieces

                              of the puzzle

                              'till our face fully appears.

                              This is all about grace:

                              and what is grace

                              but the infinite, cresting love

                              and "crazy wisdom"

                              of God. 




                       I HAD A GOD ONCE


                      Though I am not Slavic,

                       yet I find I am Bohemian,

                       a brother of the gypsies

                       who seek their joy of existence

                       in the blue sky

                       and open road

                       to unknown and unimaginable destinations.

                       Someone has made me a tinker and a weaver,

                       knocking together the little wordies,

                       worpling and wooing,

                       the soundzies, listening for the ting.

                       Ah, weaving and unweaving

                       the dark and rutilant soul fabrics:

                       both the wind-sung and worm-spun stuff

                       of withering illusions, and that frail fabric

                       which supports stars in their burn.


                       I had a God once: But He killed Himself

                       for the love of God and me...

                       by lifting my body in his enigmatic hands

                       and dropping me from a great height.

                       I was ripe for it, like a melon

                       too sweet, and the catastrophe was

                       a pure, perfidious act.

                       Then out of the broken shell of me burst

                       a Wild God I knew at once was true!:

                       Her eyes were luminous, diaphanous windows

                       of blue, and in the rain shower folds

                       of her dress birds swirled alive and singing.

                       And she kissed me...

                       and gathered my little pool of sorrows

                       in her cupped hands to carry them

                       stealthily to that whimsical gardener

                       who dances with the eternally young.

                       And the ancient, crink-crackity man

                         peered into the waters 

                       and saw his own eyes, then laughed

                       until he wept tears into her palms.

                       And the dark pool trembled

                       like August wheat fields, lightening

                       and weaving yellow in the wind of their love;

                       so they laughed breath upon me

                       until everything glowed and life blew.


                       It's the darker bodkin of His finger

                       piecing thick, titular cloth

                       laid over my heavy bones

                       that lets a white stream flood through:

                       the thin pale thread

                       as true as concrete silence:

                       a speaking eloquence of nothing...

                       that splays the heart

                       and opens the body,

                       center by flaming center,

                       until the loins and mind

                       are shook together in ecstasy.


                       And I am happy, a gypsy child

                       of the Wild God: stone dead,

                       yet quick, green-growing—

                       nothing alive!




Word definitions:

                              worpling: an invented word

                              rutilant: glowing, gleaming, glittering

                              enigmatic: perplexing, baffling

                              perfidious: the deliberate breaking of faith,

                                          the betrayal of trust

                              bodkin: a pointed instrument for making holes

                                      in cloth

                              titular: existing only in title; in name only.





                              AUTUMN ON SOME STREET


                              I saw a billowing tree

                              which had for months stood

                              and soaked the sun's oils

                              into her skin

                              until she became

                              a flowering fountain,

                              --her yellow energy eruptive--

                              splaying herself

                              without shame

                              against a dark, polished sky.

                              She was herself...

                              and a living metaphor

                              of the flowering fountain

                              of me: standing dumb on the street,

                              blandished to throw my arms out wide,

                              while soaking in the infallible

                              golden waves of light that flowed

                              through a tree

                              like rivers laughing.







                         FALL REFLECTIONS


                         I was singing

                         like old Tom Bombadil

                         of Tolkien fame,

                         obscure and conquered,

                         undaunted and lanky,

                         rolling in the energies

                            fall leaves and briskness,

                         ...and the sunshine

                         like yellow waves above the trees,

                         and the leaves like

                         gold beads tinkling on strings,

                         and low beams breaking through

                         like falling flowers of flame.

                         And through the murky mystery

                         that suspended it all in a moment,

                         a hawk knifed in, dark and swift,

                         with blood on its wing,

                         its great eyes stern

                         in the merciless beauty of its hunt.

                         And for an instant

                         mice in the grass

                         forgot the sunset

                         and hunched down in terror,

                         hearts flushed and flashing,

                         flesh stiff and trembling

                         cowered and cold to their bones.


                         Why is it, that every time

                         things get too beautiful

                         I'm thrown like a grape,

                         autumn fat and lucent,

                         into a wine press?...

                         And this hunt?

                         God, I fear it!

                         though I love the hunter

                         and am hunted.






                              AS I PASS THE POTENTIALITIES

                              OF THE MYSTERIOUS OTHER

                              I DO NOT KNOW         

                              (Inspired by Mary Oliver)


                              Wild and rough,

                              soft and beautiful,

                              nuzzling starlight,

                              nuzzling yellow leaves,

                              her deep soul

                              rises like a rose

                              --its substance dense as blindness--

                              and opens instinctually

                              to a warmth of words.

                              This world, and all the holy books

                              were born and given

                              as food for imaginative love!

                              She herself, a flowering book,

                              an unread story,

                              lets a little wind riffle her pages

                              through a glance and vagrant smile...


                              It is unborn potential

                              that makes my belly hurt;

                              yet, is my hopeful

                              and ecstatic joy!

                              How much murk

                              separates passing souls

                              that ought to unite

                              in the dark web of old yearnings?

                              Who's hands, if cupped hand

                              to my hand,

                              would pool the light

                              and let it drip

                              like the sun's own oils

                              down upon the loins

                              to enflame that

                              red song

                              of the night

                              into singing?









                              YOU MAY DREAM...


                              In weakness

                              some may dream I am strong,

                              a devil-may-care pirate

                              in the midst of a chaotic world...

                              But I will speak my truth to you:

                              I am fragile

                              as a summer spider's web

                              trembling in winter wind.

                              Your encasement,

                              your hollow-pointed words spit

                              through mouth holes in masks,

                              rip holes in me...

                              and what can I do,

                              but pour my songs out to you,

                              imploring you to be real!

                              It is a long, lonely journey

                              to make your life a celebration

                              of soul, lush with Life:

                              the outside painting the inside

                              with stars, seas, and hills

                              and all whimsical colors

                              of the wind,

                              until love pours its rivers

                              of mystical music in movements

                              of your limbs

                              to heal the love-hungry.

                              But to forsake the journey--

                              drinking the dark currents of fear,

                              compromising to this wayward dream

                              of endless, increasing consumption--

                              is to never ride the wolf with golden eyes

                              into the garden of the fire-bird--

                              and too die at last, unopened and unaware

                              of all but the dull listless ache

                              for countless unknown,

                              unlived beauties.






                              THE MISSION OF THIS POETRY


                              Getting the outside inside,

                              transforming the inside

                              with imaginative, crazy wisdom;

                              coming together singing and sorrowing,

                              communal and singular--

                              creating a world.







                              AUTUMN ENCOUNTER


                              I was blessing a great pine tree

                              and being blessed,

                              the silver waters moving

                              from human to tree,

                              from tree to human core

                              and the sky spinning above...

                              and the sweet grasses of earth

                              drifting tiny, delicate jewels

                              of autumn seeds in the air,

                              and my beard seed-full

                              from having nuzzled the earth,

                              telling my old mother

                              I love her with my body.

                              And a gray squirrel eating pine seeds

                              from a cone, like a hungry child

                              ratcheting a cob in its hands rapidly

                              in a 4th of July corn eating contest:

                              and the seeds spinning down in whirliggigs

                              into my hands until the squirrel

                              finished and poot! tossed the shaved core

                              of a cone carelessly over its shoulder

                              and down upon me.

                              Then the squirrel dives upside down

                              and starts coming down

                              that huge, gray tree trunk highway

                              I was hugging,

                              its scrawny legs stretched

                              wide like a spiders,

                              like a circus safety net of fur,

                              like a tense glove,

                              toes miraculously gripping

                              the bark, moving in quick, jerky

                              sporadic spurts, head first

                              coming right at me, face to face,

                              and me in wonder, but the worm of my mind

                              thinking what if it should come right up

                              and bite my nose!

                              And the squirrel, bobbing and staring,

                              suddenly unsure if I was a tree...

                              Perhaps I bore the blessing

                              of one and it couldn't differentiate.

                              And I speaking softly, calling love

                              upon it, and the squirrel jerking this

                              way, scimp, fwrimp, around the tree,

                              pip, up to peer, making me out to be a man,

                              and upside down twirling,

                              suddenly shot into another tree,

                              a couple scrimps, and scoots, and shibang

                              on legs that couldn't be seen,

                              even as a blur, dipping down into long

                              sensual grasses!

                              And I laughing, and leaning,

                              and thanking the God who breathes

                              though all things and me.







                              FROM A LETTER TO LI'L DEB WHO LOVES

                              DARK WEATHER MORE THAN ANYTHING


                              If we were two magical children

                              going down a road of stars,

                              I would carry the golden bucket

                              and you the gray...

                              I would pour out sunshine

                              and you, the rain.

                              I would splash my gold

                              into your dark as cozy firelight,

                              while you spattered me

                              with your sweet, silver rain

                              on a sun-bright, wind swept ridge...

                              and we would both be happy.






                              WIND CRAZY


                              A wind is twirling

                              down broad, manicured streets,

                              all looped and laughing,

                              hullabalooed and shaking

                              the stately maple trees.

                              And the wind is winding crazily

                              through twisted alleyways,

                              slipping under broken fences, whistling

                              through knot holes, thumping

                              her blue knuckles on sheet metal walls.

                              There is a huge, matronly maple

                              up on Ritz street. The wind plays havoc

                              with her; insights her to a shimmering

                              riot, makes her forget her decor,

                              lose her dignity, become young again

                              for a delicious while.

                              And there's a little runt,

                              a wayward sprout of an aspen down

                              on Doldrums alleyway growing

                              through a barbed wire fence which

                              has cut and scarred her skin. The wind

                              shakes her down to heartwood,

                              sends electric sparks through her

                              twigs, clatters her little round

                              leaves, makes her crazy with jollity!

                              like a little loony clown--

                              mad! out of her head, like a

                              child in a musical trance, out on

                              the borderlands, high on some

                              drug called wild sanity! Oh,

                              that crazy wind!





                              CRAZY WISDOM


                              How shall we surrender

                              our sanity to God's crazy wisdom?

                              that white fluidity;

                              that silken stream;

                              that blare of silence;

                              that holy nothing;

                              that blather of happiness;

                              that spontaneous flare;

                              that wild jolt of love?

                              Tear the heart gate

                              off its hinges;

                              build thorny walls of roses;

                              sing the lithe wind

                              that looks into everything;

                              melt into the shining face.


                              The holy book once mentioned

                              a firmament of sapphired glass.

                              Beyond the firmament

                              a golden voice sings

                              your name!

                              This is the foundation

                              of crazy wisdom!

                              This is the wild womb

                              of freedom!





                              LEAPING OUT OF THE DEADLIEST SNARE


                              In reality, Christ is not the dogma,

                              nor the ritual, the liturgy, nor

                              the prayers, the prophecies

                              nor the portents,

                              the deeds nor the dearth--

                              but Christ is that wild, silky river

                              flowing from the unmapped,

                              unmoveable parts of us:

                              the liquid light

                              that shows its pearly face

                              through love-lit eyes;

                              the sheen and shine

                              of the primal soul.

                              And the one who overcomes

                              religion--that last bastion

                              of freedom from God--

                              shall be inscribed upon the Spirit

                              as love.




                              THE WILD CHRIST


                              I surrender to an infinite Christ:

                              not a local, owned version

                              but a spontaneous sanity of silence

                              that makes the Pleiades burn

                              in utterly pure flame;

                              who smears the orange,

                              smoldering chalk of the sun

                              all over the stones and bodies of the trees;

                              who rides careening clouds, like gray ponies

                              prancing down wild rivers of wind;

                              who changes breezes into His angels

                              to whisper a spacious laugh of liberty;

                              who puts a silver moistness in dark valleys,

                              a seep between mountains

                              where the wild ones drink;

                              who cherishes the birds

                              so passionately from the inside

                              they have to sing!;

                              who swells succulent grasses

                              for the white teeth of cattle;

                              who breathes life into a sullen bear

                              and sucks it out again

                              when those dark, simmering eyes

                              cease to burn;

                              who makes pear trees

                              drip slow, golden bodies

                              for the juice of the sun;

                              who slowly seduces water to wine

                              in every grape of the world

                              to celebrate a perpetual wedding feast;

                              who makes the human heart

                              like a white candle in meditation

                              and spouts through it words

                              as sputters of flame in a wind

                              to sing his own wonder

                              at the infinite plentitude

                              of Wisdom's everywhere wise,

                              spontaneous lush of being.

                              This is the wild Christ

                              no one can tame!

                              This is the new,

                              unknowable name.






                              FROM YU XUANJI



                              There is a spunky lady.

                              Her name is spiritual imagination,

                              and crazy wisdom.

                              She can travel through all the world

                              on a wild, bone-white horse;

                              she can fly beyond stars,

                              or into the core of a tree

                              to enter the house of God.

                              Ah, sunflowers bloom everywhere!

                              and here are the little pale blossoms

                              of the moon.

                              Look, a round, white cottage.

                              God the gardener lives here...

                              Roses hang from under its eaves;

                              carnations and the lotus intertwine.

                              In the arbor, amidst sweet grapes,

                              there is a barrel of good wine.

                              Hot bread and rice are in one basket

                              on a table that's bountifully spread.

                              The silence is startling!

                              A little path leads through the garden

                              into ancient forest's darkened groves.

                              The grass here is glassy and luminous.

                              Deer nuzzle your arms; birds land in your hair;

                              you scratch the back of a black bear.

                              Under an apple tree is a pile of small books.

                              I take one, and sitting on a rock

                              next to a clear stream

                              sing its poems and sail

                              in a little green and yellow boat

                              upon the lake of God's dreams.

                              The wind carries me here and there

                              to villages, and flowered fields,

                              to hermitages and exotic cities,

                              to desolate deserts on endless rivers.

                              Everywhere I arrive is home.








                              LITTLE REVELATIONS


                              Sitting somberly, staring blankly,

                              mind weary, heart disappointed

                              with believing...

                              Still loving, still wanting

                              to fight for the sacred.

                              And a little prayer murmurs

                              through some fissure, some

                              soul crevice, a little stream

                              of it, a little steam--

                              and with it hope, white,

                              clear, like a lamb's eyes,

                              uncaring of all but loving.

                              And the crazy thing begins:

                              some laughter at yourself,

                              the joke of you, the absurd miracle--

                              like a little geyser of God

                              turning the wheels

                              the humor tumbles and tickles

                              some deep fabric of feeling,

                              some layer, red, blood-sopped,

                              sensing and swelling,

                              then shrinking in the animal you:

                              played upon, and dumb,

                              blind with what it knows,

                              which laughs, and rests,

                              then feels its sad weight

                              descend again and sighs,

                              sitting somberly staring,

                              in the dark glow,

                              knowing nothing.




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