The Fate of Me

‘Ink Landscape’ – Kanō Motonobu, 16th AD (Art Institute of Chicago) – Wikimedia

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I saw you rise so many times,
Invade the space of my being,
To occupy my whole presence,
Take everything, leaving nothing,
Not a corner of emptiness
Where I could recognise my self.

I saw you rise so many times
Acquire my whole, my essential
To leave me lost, truly yearning
For that silence now filled by you;
To leave me sad, truly longing
For the one here just before you.

I saw you rise so many times
T’was impudent, how did you dare
Burying light in obscurity,
Dimming joy with your avid search,
Thinking it right to lead my life
When you are but a malign ghost.

But more than once, you did vanish
I’ll tell you why, listen to this:
I found you had no consistence
The reason is: you are not found
Your reality imagined
Your existence: your insistence.

Look at yourself, you are not here
You’re not the one you claim to be
You’re just a thought that’s tossed about
In an ocean of presence;
That sea is not a place to be
When you are but a lump of salt.

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Text by Alain Joly

Painting by Kanō Motonobu (1476–1559)

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Website:
Kanō Motonobu (Wikipedia)

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

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Longing

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Longing
Is happiness already formed
Crying for your noticing.
It is the soft yet
Heartbreaking expression
Of our forgotten completion.
To suffer was never bad;
Not a thing to run away from
Or curse, or cover, or repair.
It is presence itself ignored —
The wound that it provokes;
It is the plaint of your beloved —
Who wants to turn her down?
Pain is the ecstasy of love
Pushing hard through you,
Elbowing its way on you:
It wants to be revealed;
It aims at being recognised;
It doesn’t thrive in the dark;
Cannot quite find you
In the slumber of your indifference.
Believe me
Suffering has no other attributes
Than the radiance of your being;
No other name or identity
Than a plain and infinite joy —
That thing indescribable
Knocking at your door.

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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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Hunger

‘Raager på Pløjemarken’ – Laurits Andersen Ring, 1891 – Wikimedia

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So this is the mystery,
That there is no mystery,
That it’s all out in the open:
Consciousness being aware of itself.

No dark intrigues, no hidden thoughts,
No story — what an insanity!
Nothing that you were meant to
Invent, project, and be afraid of.

And you were not left away
from the banquet table — never!
Didn’t have to be hungry, to be thirsty,
Had no necessity to believe in any thing.

Your hungers? They were your
Desperation, your final lassitude;
The only thing you could come up with
For not facing death.

So hunger for one thing only:
That one which is without hunger;
And thirst for one beverage and no other:
The beverage of your heart.

Care only for that one spark of light
That will ignite your world
And reveal it to be devoid of hunger,
of thirst, of story — whatever.

But don’t think too big here,
Only have a little hunger,
An infinitesimal thirst,
That will suffice.

That will break
Your hunger
In a thousand
Golden pieces.

It will precipitate you into that
Which is before all hunger,
Incapable of even conceptualising it,
Of only conceiving of it.

The peace of satiation?
Not even that;
The bliss of fulfilment?
That’s too far ahead.

Listen, I’m not admonishing you;
I know about hunger,
To what untold extremities
It can lead us.

Yet its destructiveness
Comes short compare to that
Which will be given to you when
You can be hungry no more.

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Text by Alain Joly

Painting by Laurits Andersen Ring (1854-1933)

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Website:
Laurits Andersen Ring (Wikipedia) 

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

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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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