Baptism


         All this week from the blustering west –
wheel after wheel of spangled rain.
The berserk vanguard of winter:
shrieks; and moans
I thought only a womb could hear.
It’s as if I’m listening to lifetimes,
scratching, beating against the glass.
         In this rioting rabble of winds
my window has hardly stopped shaking.

         Thoughts won’t stand up,
are flung like gale-torn screams.
’What you should…’ and ‘What I need…’
all that: washed out, broke down, thrown up
in a steaming blur of greens gone grey;
         while what is pent up at mind’s gate
curses its face. Topples its towers.
As on and on, with shoulders hunched,
round and round, blind souls are marching.

         They take me out. It’s time to go;
to be bare-headed in the stinging rain.
Wailing trees and drumming sky –
it’s time to meet all this,
be swept up in the way it is, how it is,
          so for once I’ll ring in true:
and that whatever shivers, gets struck and springs
from the taut skin that lids the heart
brings a turning, a plunge, an arrival –

to presence untouched and unfathomable.
         Like most, I want to get some ground;
and so grab onto the twisting moment.
It takes a storm to turn the reach back,
and pull deep vowels from my throat –
Oh, to forgive you your spite, human heart,
your claws and your endless poverty!
         Let their lies fly skywards, become a song;
with notes to unwrong the world’s wounding!

          Because if I don’t burst out, I’m aborted.
A passion threw us out here, so bring it back –
let the heart’s long struggle, the fear and the flood,
pull this fisting life open.
          One-choiced is the birth:
to tear through webs of holding on
and go down through the scar –
until I kick in my truth, and get hauled up to float
          in a tide that’s turned by dragons.


From: Travels in the Middle Land, Dhamma Moon, 2013.


Posted: Tue 17 Nov, 2009