6 Apr
Posted in: Poems
By    Comments Off on There’s Only Transition

There’s Only Transition

What Gets Learned While Doing Time
by Ajahn Sucitto
from Travels in the Middle Land

At the edge of the river’s mouth,
there’s a boat, still stuck and creaking,
in which we all used to doze the days.
This was before the ocean stretched out its arms;
before I inhaled its tang of homelessness,
like a kid sniffing dad’s whisky.

Half drunk, I can still feel the sea-pull.
It sucks me out on a blessing journey–
to be amazed by narwhals and tritons
and buoyed up by each wave’s eloquence.
For years my juices have been trickling out,
trying to eat the fruit in that mouth.

But isn’t this how we all get formed–
chasing the wake of what’s already past us?
And isn’t it true that, even without my ear,
the shell I picked up was always roaring;
and that, even as I open it, a door squeals:
‘Right here is your non-location’ ?

Doesn’t any sail flapping in desultory winds
yawn: ‘Your passion goes just this far.’ ?
There’s only transition, soft like the snow;
it’s drifting from nowhere to nowhere–
and yet each flake, as it falls on the water,
is quietly kissing our prayer beads.

And everything melts into a blessing.

So I don’t have to hunt for some thing.
No more cabins with spying windows.
No more gripping tides. Even the moon
that’s dogged our lives can take a break–
as, out of the compacted silts of mind,
its endless dream-journey, and its truth,

another intention bubbles up.
And, embarrassed by the touch of light,
rides the roll of an incoming wave.
Says this time there’ll be no drowning.
Who can tell? And anyway,
I always wanted to die in beauty.

But perhaps she’s right:
clear reflection has no weight.
As the days discreetly move out,
let the muttering questions go comb the shore.
To get off this boat, one step is enough–
and I float on an ocean of deepening.

Comments are closed.