i

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every morning i wake, i wake
surprised. that life appears
again with each
opening of these eyes.
that eyes arise
with opening of each day.
that when both close, all i’s
fall away.

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Was T. S. Eliot a Buddhist? by Michele Seminara

My essay, ‘Was T. S. Eliot a Buddhist?’ has been re-published in the wonderful Blue Hour Magazine. Please take a look, and while you’re there consider submitting something yourself – the editors, Susie and Moriah, are the loveliest around.

The Blue Hour

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time.

T. S. Eliot – Four Quartets

Several years ago I taught a Buddhist class on the profound subject of emptiness, and I used this quote to illustrate what I felt was our true goal in life  – to consciously return home.

Not home in the sense of an external place, but as an internal place of perfect inner peace and connectedness – a state which Buddhists enticingly call the union of bliss and emptiness.

Bliss refers to our most subtle and clear-seeing level of mind, an intoxicating place existing deep down beneath the turbulence of our conceptions.

Emptiness is a little trickier. Essentially it is the theory of how things don’t exist – that is, they are empty of existing independently, either from all other phenomena, or from the minds that…

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Subterranean Creation

'Creation'  by Meats Meier

‘Creation’ by Meats Meier

Once I’ve birthed a poem and stopped staring 
in its eyes,
anxiety starts feeding  
on the empty space inside.

I don’t know how it got there, 
or if another ever will; I’ve no idea 
what made it grow – God knows 
it wasn’t skill.

Its herald is a rumbling 
from the caverns of the mind, 
which builds in its intensity to a seismic 
shifting of disquiet.

Faults and fissures open up, misshapen 
truth is born,
squalling and demanding to
be healed and fashioned form.

The trick is not to think of it,
don’t call its name, or stare; 
(allow it its dark silence to grow strange and unaware).

Only once it’s almost 
whole you take a sideways 
glance - shuffle some stray words 
around, find harmony in chance.

Then when every note has fallen,
exactly where it should, 
withdraw in awe and wonder 
how what’s been made you never could.

Child’s Mind

picture of children's faces in baloons

‘Blue’n Red’ by Michael D. Edens

Little child with eyes like darts
please hurl them at my hardened heart;
perhaps they'll lodge in fissures there
explode and blow me wild and bare.

Little child with face like corn
field spreading wide as eye can see -
allow me to drown my dark dolor
in your anesthetizing sea.

Little child with mind like nascent
cloud on volatile day,
teach me how to dissipate
and gently fade away.

Adrift

Underwater Photography Exhibition by Andreas Franke

Underwater Photography Exhibition by Andreas Franke

Her mind was strong
but now it's gone
adrifting out to sea

and barnacles
and sucker fish
are living there for free.

Her thoughts, like eels, are slippery
they shimmer in the wet,
enticing her to hook their tails
with language she'll forget.

Life must feel so unnerving
without handles to hold on -
a mind that's lost its labels is
a maze you can't escape from.

Trapped in watery corridors
with no words to let you out,
identity is cast away
Her treasures sunk throughout.