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COMMENTARY ON A SUNLIGHT SUTRA

All language
Is a commentary on the
Nature of silence.

All movement,
A desire
To return to stillness.

(In the still, clear cold of almost dawn, the phurba of a cock pheasant’s call melts divisions, ripples out air to the small, bright horizon.)

Time is dead,
Slain by measurement
And subdivision.
Space
Stutters directionless.

Holding too close to sense, we have turned senseless.
Grasping the meaning too fast, we make mockery of Mind.
We have huddled and gathered in
By enslaving and subduing.
We run from paradox, who are maintained
By its pretty dance.

( upon the water a million suns corruscate. They are not there. There is no movement, except the edge of one, and the edge of other.)

Let me say this in another way, let me translate, let me interpret. I shall press out, express, and it shall all run: the juice of, the wine of, the seed of, flow out gushing to water still roots.

The stupid, placid ones
( those who uphold all motion),
The silent, remaining ones
( they who found and maintain),
The unentertaining, unremarkable ones
( they who tie the fabric of everything),

The ones who do not require victory,
Who do not mock the broken,
Who do not sweep away unmitigated failure,
Who do not defile the future,
Who do not despise the past,
Who appear to be voiceless,
Lacking argument, with blank, bright stares: the green, the feathered, the soft-pawed, the disinherited, the awkward, the displaced. All these, all these: eloquent, an ornament and a recompense.

(On the blank tree
This crow
Mouths a call
The wind disguises.
A scattering of runes from Odin’s spear. No fuss in this universe as the sun flips over, turns to face jaded prophecy, a certain arrogant science, a philosophy of endings.)

Now it settles and fades,
Now it whispers subdued,
Explaining nothing.
It has found its place,
Existing, flung together,
Til its release
In deeper silence.

—-

“The Sunlight Sutras” are a collection of aphorisms and mnemonics I published recently as a little, as it were, unilluminated manuscript. Things fed to me by the world, regurgitated, a green vision blurred. ( if interested head to the Blurb bookshop ( http://blurb.com ) and check out the first 15 pages….). This dream stream inspired by one or two sutras, versions and elaborations of which begin the piece off.

—–

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Finally, I have got round to putting “The House of Trees” into format for e-publishing on Smashwords. Please go and have a look. You can download the first 20% for free, and the whole darn thing is only $2.99 in whatever format you would like.

House of Trees cover3a

http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Simonhlilly
Book page to sample or purchase The House of Trees: http://smashwords.com/b/302318

Here is the foreword to that book:

“FOREWORD

This long poem was composed in the late autumn of 2012 and through that winter into January 2013. It was conceived on the Isle of Skye, Scotland, during a short visit there. The main themes emerged from elements within that spectacular landscape, and became woven together into an exploration of the nature of freedom. At this time Scotland was again considering whether it would be better off as an independent nation, planning for a referendum in 1214. The history of Scotland, as with most small countries, is full of external pressures and influences. The yearning for freedom is palpable, as much as its strong sense of identity, but seems to be tightly knotted together with nostalgia, pain, suffering, the past and the mythic presence of its Celtic inheritance. My heart opens and relaxes whenever I return to Scotland. Although I was not born there, (and my traceable ancestry is largely rural English and Welsh), I lived and studied in Edinburgh for six years during the 1970’s and 80s, and always look forward to breathing its air again.
Everything we know, every place we cherish, is mythologised and overlain by countless personal coincidences. Significance and resonance colours all our perceptions and memories, often without our conscious knowledge. Poetry is maybe the most precise and accurate means to explore and record these deeper tides of the mind. When we make judgments, when we are asked to decide, it is not the rational mind that pulls the strings. That sensible voice of justification is merely the storyteller that weaves more stubbornly held beliefs and preconceptions into a political statement of policy. The past is not just a record of events. The past maintains itself and evolves through the present. The present, it might be said, is merely the visible tip of the submerged iceberg that is the past. It is in the same way that, amongst traditional cultures, the visible world is conceived as being a reflection, or an elaborate set of clues, to an underlying and much more powerful realm of spiritual beings.
“The House of Trees” is a weaving of these levels of mind: my mind, the mind of the land, the mind of its peoples and the powerful dreams that haunt every pool and rock. The outer always mirrors the inner. To attempt to differentiate the subjective from the objective may be thought by some as the noblest goal of science, a compassionate climb out of foggy ignorance into the clarity of certain knowledge. Indeed, the failure to make the distinction between inner (imagined constructs) and outer (perceived objects) is regarded by some as a sure sign of mental illness in this civilised world. The paradox, the mighty joke, is that both in our most detailed examination of the nature of matter and in our more hesitant exploration of the functioning of the mind the deeper we delve, the less substance we can find. Certainty evaporates like an ice cube in the sun. Each horizon is a dream illusion can never be attained. We yearn, reach for and remember stories that placate or vindicate us, that tell us how we got to where we are, that tell us the roads by which we can go on a little farther.
Simon Hughes Lilly
Exminster, Devon, England. Spring 2013″

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