Saturday, February 3, 2018

in loose pieces of air he goes clip clip clip

[He is pruning the privet]

Joanna Kyger

He is pruning the privet

                of sickly sorrow   desolation
           in loose pieces of air he goes clip clip clip
       the green blooming branches fall—‘they’re getting out
             of hand’    delirious and adorable    what a switch
                               we perceive        multiple
identities     when you sing     so beautifully     the shifting
       clouds  You are not alone is this world
               not a lone  a parallel world of reflection
       in a window keeps the fire burning
                    in the framed mandala,  the red shafted flicker
               sits on the back of the garden chair in the rain
the red robed monks downtown in the rain  a rainbow arises
                   simple country      practices thunder
      lightning,  hail and rain    eight Douglas Iris
            ribbon layers of attention
              So   constant creation of ‘self’ is a tricky
       mess    He is pruning the loquat,   the olive
     which looks real enough in the damp late morning air

1 comment:

  1. Man is the measure of all things, it is asserted - a footnote

    In his book Beyond the Post-Modern Mind (the title of which I greatly enjoy) philosopher of religion Huston Smith says that decades ago, when a new building to house the Philosophy Dept at Harvard was being built, the dept. voted to put the above statement over the entranceway. However, they were overruled, says Smith, and instead, the university president chose a verse from the Bible:

    "What is man, that Thou art mindful of him?"

    Smith goes on to recount that over the years ivy overgrew most of the motto, with the result that a former student of his, visiting the scene, noted that the only words legible were "that Thou art" - a refrain used, in some intentionally archaic translations of the Upanishads, to translate the claim that "atman = Brahman" - that the listener is him/herself a spark of the Divine Fire, a drop from the Ocean of Reality, a branch of the Vine.