the speed of darkness

natalia jakubek / requiem

 

I have studied and become intimate

with the speed of darkness. It’s so fast

it’s always here. When the light withdraws

the dark comes from no place. It always lives

with us. Your heart and brain are black.

They never see the true light except in violence

or autopsy. Of course the brain can cast

its own blinding light that we wait for in a poem,

at least blinding to us. In our trances the loves

of long ago enter the room unescorted, silent

perhaps from the black bottom of the ocean

where we all die in perfect darkness, a sense

of whirling that recedes back to the time

the ocean swallowed the smallest stars

then heated us into our early life.

Darkness is always there,

it only stands revealed.

 

Jim Harrison

 

a new year rain

 

I have a ladle of wine

to share with you tonight

a new year rain drums on the roof

an ancient wind sings in the fields

considering the world’s 

springtime and fall

this body’s decay and emptiness

the destruction of the tombs on Peimang

let us sigh for all our heroes.

Lu You (1125-1210)

 

realization is bound into every difficulty


 

Every breath, 

each movement, all activity 

is completely, inseparably interwoven 

with enlightenment. Complete realization 

is bound into every petty difficulty, 

and wholly liberated and 

illuminated through 

quiet awareness 

of that fact. 

 

Wei wu Wei Ching, Chapter 21

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If there

is peace in your mind

you will find peace with everybody.

If your mind is agitated you will find agitation

everywhere. So first find peace within and you will see

this inner peace reflected everywhere else.

You are this peace! You are happiness,

find out. Where else will you

find peace if not

within

you?

 

 

Darkness

has been given as

a nightshirt to sleep in.

Remember how human beings

were composed from water and dust

for blood and flesh with oily resins heated

in fire to make a skeleton. Then the soul, the divine

light, was breathed into human shapes. The work now is

to help our bodies become pure light. It may look like

this is not happening. But in a cocoon every bit

of worm-dissolving slime becomes silk.

As we take in light, each part

of us turns to

silk.

 

We

made the night

a darkness, but we bring

shining dawnlight out of that.

In the same way the mound of your

grave will bloom with resurrection. Sufis

and those on the path of the heart use darkness

to go within. During the night vigil the universe

is theirs. With all the kings and sultans and

their learned counselors asleep, everyone

is unemployed, except those wakeful

few and the divine

presence.

 

Bahauddin