There is a Land

There is a land in your sky
When you’re climbing high enough
Above all that is swirling round and round:
The thoughts of yourself, all that finally
Doesn’t stand any scrutiny, that is ready
To shrivel at the slightest disturbance.

There is a land in your sky,
A ground so hard as to secure
Everything in you that is hesitant
Unsure, fragile, lacking, misty; 
That life that you had thought was one 
But shows to be no place to land on.

There is a land in your sky,
A place covered up by your mist,
That needs a certain habituation
Of eyes and ears and mind,
But is the most solid ground of all,
The fairest land where stands all life.

There is a land in your sky,
Feel it in the ethereal air of your self;
Let all your weighty substance fall back
And mingle with its vaporous consistency.
It will show you its strengthy arms,
Will reveal itself as the ultimate ground.

There is a land in your sky,
And another sky above that land.
Your self has here the solidity
Of all that is infinite and calm,
And the world now shows to be
The heavenly harbour of your being.

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Text and photo by Alain Joly

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Suggestion:
Voices from Silence (other poems from the blog)

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The Shrug

Went for a walk this morning, a little tired,
A little weary, to taste of the autumn air,
And watch the coloured wood against
The sparkling snow mountain caps.
Below the village along the narrow valley,
The path led to clean fields, a clearing;
Two houses stood there, farms with
Cows and hens and cats, a garden there
Deliciously abandoned for winter is coming.
Furtive escapes, lazy grazing, slow wanderings,
Countless hideouts — a children’s paradise.
I saw two young men working,
And I stood there watching;
Tasting…

Then simple men with simple features
Came towards me with wondering eyes;
We exchanged words, they were smiling.
In the silence offered to me then,
I promptly dreamt of living here:
Sitting all morning on those steep slopes,
To think, and keep an eye on the herd,
Twig in my mouth contemplating sceneries,
Strong legs, strong hands, a little nap,
I’d learn simple work for simple ends,
I’d give my heart to this beautiful piece of land 
And those two young men smiling at me.
Addressing them, I said: I like this place.
They shrugged.

So they did it again, my playful thoughts —
To imagine another place, another deed,
To bend the exquisiteness of the now
And squeeze it into a stretch of time, 
Another mirage for my needy self.
The new is good at stirring our imagination
And digging out pleasure that would not last
When coming down day after day with milking cows.
I clung to the marvellous autumn colours for help. 
They told me of all that rests peacefully
Behind the field of thoughts, the claws of time.
They told me that there is a happiness and a beauty 
Always — when you’re resting as rests the land
Or the clear sky, the mountain caps.

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Text and photo by Alain Joly

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Suggestion:
Voices from Silence (other poems from the blog)

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The Ember

Photo by Michael Foley Photography on Foter.com

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I do not know where the fire comes from
It is hidden, ready to burst
A piece of ember under the ashes

When the flame has died out
The ashes are left, 
Like a thick coat
Tenacious
Like a screed

It doesn’t let anything pass 
But the ember doesn’t die
It remains there
Hot
Waiting

We sometimes need so little
A tiny stimulation
To remove one by one the gray leaves
Glued
Welded
Undo the uncanny order
Of all these withering years

It sometimes takes very little
To revive
Timid
Intact
This little piece of fire
That contains the ardor and the madness of all flames 
Of all rebirths 
Of all cures

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Text by Alain Joly

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Suggestion:
Voices from Silence (other poems from the blog)

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The Cradle

Nothing I’ve come to see brought me as far 
As I had thought it would — what silly thought!
For I’m forever here where I began,
Locked for eternity in this cradle —
That empty space of birth where I belong.

Never could I travel so long or wide,
As to find a new place away from me.
I live and get busy like in a dream,
But home is immobile — a dreamer’s mind
From where it is impossible to leave.

So this is my cherished destination,
To where I time and again longed to be. 
I thought I left a thousand times before
But had been still at home unknowingly,
Had reached my paradise before journey began.

So now I will not part again and roam
Amongst far lands and promises that fail.
I’ll be simply a humble home keeper,
With all my travels and activities
Kept here at bay and safe in that cradle.

And if I may be blessed with some delight,
I will not make it mine — what impudence!
The twitches I may own but not the peace;
For my home is too broad to be enclosed,
Laughter too wild for an identity.

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Text and photo by Alain Joly

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Suggestion:
Voices from Silence (other poems from the blog)

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The Pond

Photo by sheldon0531 on Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

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Is it the morning dew,
Or the remains of a summer rain?
We guess a sun deep in the chlorophyll;
It shines as you see in children’s drawings 
With all its regular rays 
Arranged, brightly shining

The pearls are on display, fine or replete
Protected on the surface of the pond.
Emerald bubbles or golden balls flowing by 
Like small, distant herds carried by the waters;
The wandering foam,
The giant reflections that shimmer

Deployed like antennas
Water lilies have other games
Other functions and other hidden links
With the peaceful waters, the sunshine, the impalpable ether
The deep nights, the shoals of stars
The whims of the moon

A world of connections
Subtle balances settled from the bottom of ages;
There are millions,
Of these intelligent immensities
Of these stories everywhere at work
These invisible rounds, these intimate marriages

And you are part of it
Only you do not know that well
Until one day, gazing at the water lilies 
They might invite you into the dance
And you may find yourself to be
Not the pond, nor the moon, or the sun

Not the water bubbles, nor the stars in the night
But the very fabric of it all, what holds them together;
The rhythm of the dance itself
And above all, the thin subtlety 
That is at the origin of such alliances
That makes them thrive and rejoice

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Text by Alain Joly

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Suggestion:
Voices from Silence (other poems from the blog)

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The Seagull

Photo by MaxNegro on Foter.com / CC BY-SA

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It stopped my line of thoughts:
A simple seagull
Flying through the courtyard,
Both wings elegantly spread

It taught me of pure grace
And effortlessness,
And brought within its trail 
The simple taste
Of bliss — of what is given 
Down here
Not to a deserving one
Or any special being
But to only a bird passing by
In the nonchalance of a fleeting moment;
Almost non existing,
A ghost within a ghost

It taught me of the ease of being
And the silence contained
In a movement unfettered.
Could I ever feel such joy?
Could I ever be brought down
To my knees
And let myself drift
In the same infinite gift
Of being.
Could I too spread my wings
And be given
Such a splendid death

It taught me of flow and pride
And of oneness too,
Of how the bird — any bird
Any small creature,
Is but a king in its kingdom,
And how a glance
Though caught elusively
Immediately raised me
To the rank of prince,
And made me feel
My own seagull reality,
My own soaring into the sky

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Text by Alain Joly

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Suggestion:
Voices from Silence (other poems from the blog)

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The Starry Night

‘The Starry Night’ – Vincent Van Gogh, 1889 – WikiArt

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Van Gogh was depressed
A lonely heart in an asylum,
So he painted a starry night
And made it bright.
He said ‘The night is so alive
And more richly coloured 
Than day.’
The flame of his pain
Became a dark cypress
That rose on to the skies.
The grim is found in the defined;
The light and the spacious,
Say the precious — in airy sky.
There is a wide expanse
Below Van Gogh’s window,
An even larger one shining
Behind the iron bars of mind.
The darkest mood embraced
Turns into soft and tender mist;
Let it clear up, reveal a sky
Lit up by countless twinkling stars.
There is no mind, no gloom inside
That doesn’t rest on happy ground,
So he painted a starry night
And made it bright.
There is peaceful living under heaven
In a village with some shiny windows 
But more is meant in illumination.
Among the shadows, the murky
Does run a light so clear and vast,
Whirlpools of joy, luminous streams,
A saraband of radiant beings.
Even the quieter moon bragged 
And clothed itself in gleaming apparel;
There is glory in a silent night
And fireworks concealed
In the obscure.
There is a sea 
Beneath the hectic waves
And an eternity
Amongst the fainted lights of day,
So he painted a starry night
And made it bright.

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Poem by Alain Joly

Painting by Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890)

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Websites:
Vincent Van Gogh (Wikipedia)
The Starry Night (Wikipedia)

Suggestion:
Voices from Silence (other poems from the blog)

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