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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Ablaze with the City

Look they are here
Roaming along the street
My wandering thoughts
Among the fallen leaves
The abandoned litter
And a creaky bicycle passing by

Listen it is here 
Visiting among the trees 
A random feeling 
Among the neatly parked cars 
A stray panting dog
And birds flapping above my head

See and feel it now
Ablaze with the city
The aliveness of being
Gently taking its place
Down from the cobbled alley
To its soaring among the clouds

You had a sweet friendship with it
Amongst the busy crowd
You felt its warm embrace
And its soft company
Between the blast of a horn 
And the gust of a passing truck

As you crossed the avenue
Meeting glances from the cafe
It rose to a presence so vast
That you felt enlarged with it
Like a long standing friendship
That burst into a sudden love

You knew it was home
Where you wanted to be
As the first large drops of rain
Began tapping against your coat
You opened your heart to it
Disappearing within its space

Now the whole city was glowing
And the few happy rays of a sun
Sent rainbow lights amongst it all
There was a hum and a throbbing 
It was the life surrounding you
The whole place, the whole of it, was you

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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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Overlooking You

So you have abandoned me
At least it feels like it
You have let me drift on the shores
Of helplessness and suffering

For you were too humble
Never showing your qualities
When I needed specificities
Preferences as good and bad
That’s why I didn’t notice you

You were reaching far and wide
Never complying to any border
When I wanted something to rely on
That was solid and densely felt
That’s why I missed your embrace

You had no place in time to be
Never travelling in linearity
When I desired to grasp you so
Within a thought or a moment
That’s why you left elusively 

You had no care for a distance
Always standing so merged and close
When I liked you slightly remote
To catch you in my wilful gaze
That’s why I overlooked you

You had no taste for the personal
Always averse to belonging
When I sought you in my puny self
And discarded the world for it
That’s why I shrugged at your beauty

You kept away from conditions
Always shining unreservedly
When I expected you in the bright
Not in the dark and the lowly
That’s why I misunderstood you

You were with me shining and clear
Always loving all beings and things
When I was torn in suffering
And thought you had abandoned me
I must have simply looked away

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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 Golden Thread

A golden thread is running through our life;
It says: listen, I want to be happy,
I long to be free from darkness and strife
And find that peace that is looking for me.

So now I’m out in search of all the things
That will give me some meaning and relief;
But that peace is short-lived, only quick flings
That leave me unfulfilled and full of grief.

Is it that things cannot satisfy me,
Have no power in bringing happiness?
Is it again that I have failed to see
That not a thing away from me can bless?

Life knows it well that puts death at the end
To stop me ‘cause this endeavour is null;
It is only a hint — not some cruel bend —
To show there is some answer in that lull.

Now turn around and face that void in you
That is no thing but bears all things that are,
And remember you’re not anyone who
Can say I am separate and afar.

I am empty presence that knows and sees,
Renders all things as if they were in me;
I’m the silent watcher behind all these
That previously were my identity.

Now hear at last — there is some highlight here —
That when you rest in that newly found ‘I’,
All your strife and suffering disappear,
You’re found to be happy, at peace — oh my!

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Text and photo by Alain Joly

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This poem is inspired by Rupert Spira’s suggestion that the longing for happiness is a golden thread which, if followed right through the end, leads to the discovery of our true nature.

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

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The Mystery

Sometimes opinions and beliefs isolate us
Should we have none, should we be just
Open and light-hearted, driven by the wind 

Should we open ourself to the mystery
Concealed beneath thick layers of desire
The unfulfilled dreams of a thirsty conscience

Should we never be hungry, never thirsty
Hanging nothing on the walls of our thoughts
Keeping nothing and forgiving all

Should we leave everything at the threshold of our nights
And discover every morning, at last, this new day 
That invites itself at the banquet of possibles

That one with sparkling hours rising straight and proud
Like bubbles bursting without return, renewed to the 
Rhythm of the un-formed, of the non-becoming

Without wounds — never — why should there be
When every second contains them all
And when the mind is keen, sharp as a blade

When life offers herself, whole and ardent and never 
For a moment ceases to be amazed at herself 
At this love that irrigates her, incorruptible, never changing 

That same one that moors us to the great Silence
For intimate apprenticeships, unexampled deliverances 
Alone — yet feeling so vibrant and one with what is

 

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Text and photo by Alain Joly

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