Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Moon Came to Me



author’s note:

Since my house
burned down, I now own
a better view
of the rising moon
            -- Masahide (trans. unknown)


THE MOON CAME TO ME

The Moon came to me: legs of moon beams
walked down
the hill

to where I sat in solitude,
sat vacant--
not realizing
that in my quietude
I had become
a responsible,
capable,
modest
vessel.

Not realizing that what
I would receive would be
too much for me.  Almost.
Not realizing that thereafter
I would always want more.

But who among us does not want more?
Only the truly peaceful one.

Even when you have given up
there’s still the desire for more--
for something you imagine
you have missed, something
down in a crystal box
or up, on a diamond rooftop.

There are so many ways to sing
and as I sat there, the moon
pulled a song from me--
not a happy song
nor a sad song,
nothing so simple--

a song flavored with the fog
that smelled of fresh dirt--
fresh because
the moon had filled
my groundhog earth hovel--

and thus received,
I found myself to be
a groundhog greater
than I had ever
believed myself to be.

Yet still plenty humble--
humble because
what I held
was such a flood
that my lesser self
became even less
until I felt
I was but a drop
or even a smaller
nothing.

And if
I could mint that song
into something
as metallic as words,
the coins would clank
these jangled cogitates:

“That other one is useless to me now--

“the one who thinks too much--

“because this fine pure flour, this luxurious milk,
  this collection of dove feathers
  has coalesced its silent lunar power
  in that ring where I battle doubt--
  and in that ring, the silent lunar power
  easily bests the fear process
  and thus, lights a lamp
  in my empty jack-o’-lantern--

“so that I can see myself
  best expressed
  in the silhouette of a bird on the top limb
  framed and blessed
  by that all-encompassing full moon.”

But fortunately,
my song did not carry
the burden
of words.

However, I do carry
that burden now:
I feel compelled
to tell you:

that since that night,
the moon has surfaced in my eyes
and if I can ever grow
peaceful enough
to rise to that moonlight
that lowered to me
then my vision will ascend
to the top of that tall tree--
where the bird sings
on the highest limb

and once arrived...

remain there
in harmony.

© 2008, Michael R. Patton
dream steps
earnest audio

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