The pattern made by what falls through

the careful construction 

delineating false from true

as simply as red from blue

some spaces inside, some out

some realms hell,

some heaven

yet all the same sand.

Freehand  

 

     measuring pigment and silica

in proper proportion,

the perfection of straight lines,

born of decades of practice,

all the possible precision

of a truly focused mind.

Hours tap, tap, tapping a single image,

bright mandala a few feet wide,

sometimes years carefully offered 

to this immaculate collection of particles

telling one part of the divine story.

When it’s complete,

every grain in its place,

the breath and prayer of each monk arranged

as so much color and imagery:

a brush of sleeve,

a rush of eager wind,

and it is gone,

never to be seen in such way again.

 

Offerings made not for the glory of human eyes.

Not for consumption and rapturous cries

of the hungry hordes.

Not to fill the emptiness,

Nor ease the longing.

Knowledge never to be known,

seeds held in futures sown,

ephemeral, ineffable,

a fleeting fragrance, dance of effulgence,

to intimate and celebrate humanity’s greatest, wisest enemy: 

impermanence.

 

How, after years of creation, 

refinement, prayed for alignment, gracious inspiration,

to say “my life, my art, my identity,

is as complete as it can be,”

and let it go completely,

to take up new colors and a new form?

To hold so lightly something given such attention,

sweat and blood and tears to come this far

the grieving of each lost star,

and everything between the original wish,

and now.

How to say “I am not anything I have ever made, I am akin to the Maker:

I have but one slate in this life.”

And wipe it clean.

 

To stop running from impermanence, 

doggedly tapping a mark upon the world,

clinging to the false hope of meaning

the potential fulfillment of longing.

Building a castle of sand,

when no matter how we try,

the tide will rise

the leaves will fall

and only a spiral 

of compressed colored carbon

will remain.

Why make an enemy

of the inevitable end of all striving,

when it could be our best inspiring?

 

Pride and yearning notwithstanding,

beyond my desire to give nourishment and meaning

perhaps I can learn from those monks.

Offer my art to the tempestuous ocean,

to the wild quiet of bubbling mountain streams,

and let it be carried away:

Grains of sand melting into nothingness

dissolving on the water’s surface,

until all is lost, and found, and fallen through.

 

 

Listen to the demo track of this here 

waiting for you to be what follows

when the lump in my throat dissolves.

When I finally check off everything on my to-do list,

for you to be 

there with hand outstretched,

inviting me on an adventure.

Wishing that your presence 

on my contacts list,

the last words we sent across the web

still visible,

frozen in time like your pixelated smile,

meant that I need only push a button

and wait for your response.

 

The ache of emptiness is its vastness.

the unquenchable yearning for it to be filled by something remembered,

something treasured.

Feeling the value

of what cannot be held.

Finding the fullness

hidden in every breath,

wisdom whispering at the edges,

like the echo of your laugh.

Abiding in the patient expectancy

of a life beholden

to cycles and seasons,

comings and leavings,

birthings and dyings,

I cannot help but look for you

when the spin stops

and my eyes turn to sky.

when my heart wonders who to call

to remind me of what is true.

But as wind can only be seen

by the way it dances the trees,

you only appear

in the salty warmth of my cheeks,

my poignant smile of gratitude

my pen on paper, witnessing

the unburdening of a heart 

that is bereft, and full, and following,

dissolving,

offering to life through art.

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© 2018 by Medicinal Poetry