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Posts Tagged ‘contemplation’

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YIDAM YEW

As though through the bark
The tree remembers
every storm
Every wild sunset.
every dream of fleeting light captured, savoured.
Every rip tide and cloud race, every
Second’s shade and bright reveal.
A mad visionary truth,
The taste of an ultimate, near ultimate, real,
Stretching and scattering certainty of form and view.

At its heart is a red darkness,
a blue darkness,
a glow of orange sunrise and sunsets,
a weight of waiting
and a weight of watching.

It will see you looking at it
through your own eyes.
It will measure the coming and going of your breath,
and know that it is dreaming.

Those who name it,
do not know its name,
which began at the beginning of things
And will continue beyond their ending,
and then will not be completed, even then.

Though there is a snake hiss silence,
though the spine fills and hollows with dust,
though one moment shatters in black light,
though there is a taste of pollen and old books,
though there is a stutter thought,
though there is a window or a mirror.

A perfect dance of stillness,
a perfect song of silence,
a filled void that drowns and opens out.
A cease and a spinning.
Location lost.
A reorientation in a million shards of shadow shimmer.
Wordless is the wisdom of compassionate beasts.

Whetever form it takes,
it is light and time and endless mind
Stretched out in sunlight, flowing as wind and rain,
A map of constancy, road to all things.

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‘Yidam’ is the Tibetan word for ‘meditational deity’. It has energetic presence that encourages awakening and is dressed in a form and metaphor that excites attention. Like all deities/spirits/thought forms, it is paradoxically illusory and of an independant existence more real than the individual personality could ever be. ‘Wrathful’ deities have the appearance of dynamic, fear-provoking, fiery forms that destroy illusion and false concepts.

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The long rain, grey,
Has dissolved a fragile distance.
With the wind, it comes and goes.
A silent room, a flutter of words.
A curl of incense, a bitter tea, warms and dries.
Perched above joy and sorrow
A ribbon road turns endless,
With only two steps,
Left and right.

A monk dips his quill.
He has become half-uncial.
A steady curve delights,
One syllable at a time.
A river of knowing
And forgetting.

Though the skin he writes upon
Is his own,
A compassed scratch,
A foliate curl,
Heroditas, Avicenna, Merlin.
A history of mirrors,
A rotated wheel.
A willowed sigh,
This river ink.

—-

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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.

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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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