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)

 

The Hermitage

 

Step out of your house
Turn left
Or right
Then left again
Or maybe right
What does it matter really
You’re one with it all

 

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Then enter the nearest wood
See how it is enchanted 
And don’t forget
This is all you
You’re not walking anywhere
Not reaching any new place

 

[…]

 

Continue wandering in search of your inner hermitage… (READ MORE…)

 

Songs of Awakening

Nancy Neithercut is my newly invited guest on ‘The Dawn Within’. After many years of trying to figure out the pain of existence, Nancy has experienced a shift in her life where all sense of separation faded away and, in her own words, “the whirling center of the dream had exploded and imploded into a vast unknowable unknown.” She now writes and speaks about this ungraspable no-thing in countless poems which are direct effusions of her inner life and understanding. They have been gathered in her website, “Nancy’s posts and poems”, and in her numerous books.

I chose and gathered here a few excerpts of her poetry that came my way. My mind drifted through Nancy’s beautiful writings and picked up just what it did, sometimes arrested by the deep meaning conveyed, sometimes by a harmonious dance of words, or a striking force, or a freshness, or just a no thing elusively expressed. At the end of her last book, she wrote: “This is the end of my seventh book of songs of awakening and I have never captured even one bite of this deliciousness… Yet songs flow through me and even as these words appear my story writes itself.” We are grateful for her many attempts. I hope you enjoy reading these songs of awakening…

 

Without a listener there is no song, and there is no singer.”

 

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the rush of stillness
sings through it all
it cannot be trampled
or held
it cannot be concocted
by chanting spells
or reading books
or sitting for a thousand years
you cannot wait for it
or gain it
or throw it away
knowing this
is the dawn of love

 

~

 

I would say that the stillness that seekers long for is the end of belief in the dream. Yet this is also feared, because when the dream of this and that is seen to be made up, then it means also that they are made up! It would mean that everyone they have ever loved or known in their entire lives are also made up! 

It would mean that there has never been a past and there will never be a future.  A future where somehow stillness could be attained or lost.  

It would mean the end of all seeking, as the seeker has disappeared.  The end of all ideas of other better more or next.  It’s like the Zen guy sitting there in the cartoon and one guy says to another so this is it huh? And the other guy says Yep.

[…]

Continue reading Nancy Neithercut’s Songs of Awakening… (READ MORE…)

 

The Never Ending Story

May you find that within you 
which already lives beyond death 
and begin to live out of it now
.”
~ Rafe (Benedictine monk)

 

Listen to it. It is now. It is taking place now. It is taking your whole world in, and it does it effortlessly. For this is it. The whole thing yes, all you have ever been, seen, heard, encountered. All you have ever thought and felt. Including that which has given a home, a birthing place to it all. The whole bunch of it, this is you. I mean really you. Don’t think that you were some part of it. There are no parts. Your life is an undivided whole. And put your two feet in it. Stand as it. Don’t escape into some dark corners. Be proud. Take it all in. Be the giant that you truly are. But first, diminish all that is small in you. All your bits and pieces. Your thoughts of grandeur and failure. Your overwhelming feelings. Your precious little person. They will get in the way. Make them dim and distant. Let them leave you. For they were never yours, never you. They were little clowns dancing, laughing, crying on the stage of your life. Asking for your applauds or your pity. Don’t involve yourself with them. Welcome them all but stay remote, untouched. Let them perform though. They need to tell you something. To warn you. But stay when they have left the stage. Don’t run away with them. Don’t forget who you are. Extend your view. Make your being whole. Encompass it. Espouse it. Listen to it. It is now. It is taking place now. It is taking your whole world in, and it does it effortlessly. For this is it. The whole thing yes…

 

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Text and photo by Alain Joly

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Other reveries from the blog…