Forever’s Grasp

Butterfly drops of love
resplendent auras of rainbow
joy permeates the sky

Transcendent opalescence shimmers
across clouds strewn across
the infinite span of forever’s
voice

Thrumming drumbeats of sound
rumble like drumsong through skies
alight with the wonder of life

Beating hearts strum like guitars
in tune with the effervescent bubbling
of the multiverse’s eternal expanse

Laughter becomes tears as beauty rises
filling vision and minds alight
with wonder and happiness

Children run and play amidst fields
of golden sunbursts splayed across
emerald carpets of living breath

Parents fill the moments of peace
with prayers of safety and wisdom
each thought a divine incantation

Grandparents watch lovingly their souls
expanding beyond life to meet that which
lies beyond forever within their grasp.

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The Shibboleth of Fears

When I die, just let my body lie, right there, on the ground. Don’t bury me and don’t burn me, let me remain where I’m found. Let my corpse fester, bloat, molder and rot, let the Insects eat me, let the Birds and Animals feast on my flesh till nothing’s left but bones and ground. Let Nature have me, let Life consume me, returning me to the essence of Creation itself. The endless process of Birth, Death and Rebirth, nothing is wasted all is gained, as I return to the Earth. A smorgasbord,  real wealth, every morsel enjoyed, creatures large and small benefit as my cells are redeployed.

Don’t waste time on grieving, or mourning my loss, my Essence will be in the Wind, my Soul is not lost. Energy cannot be destroyed only transformed, that much is true. In the gaze of a Vulture or the sheen of a Fly, my genetic material will return by and by. The smell, it will pass, the grotesquery is not for long, the efficiency of Nature is a bounteous and beautiful song. Waste not an ounce of artificial preservers, no embalming fluids at all, the Stars, Dirt and Trees deserve the bounty of my Fall.

As my eyes glaze over and my vision is dimmed, a single, solitary blade of Grass shall be my last friend. So beautiful, so wild, so perfectly formed, as Darkness closes in that sight shall keep me warm. As feelings grow distant and movement grows faint, I look forward to the clarion call of Angels, the bass bellow of the Saints. The only Church I need are the Trees grown so tall, their crowns like wondrous temples, that beckon one and all. I seek not large Funerals, not accolades or words, the gratitude of the Ants is enough, or even the Birds. To give back to life is the highest of destinies, to return to mere Dust and to float on the Breeze.

Think of me when you look to the Sky and the Stars, when you hear a faint voice on the Wind, from afar. If ever your Thoughts should in my direction turn, remember my Words and my spurning of Urns. Of Coffins and Burials, of Ceremonies and Grief, to return to the material of Life itself eases my Journey Beyond, no more do I ask, because Love is Eternal and sharing our task. To some this may sound crazy and it is to you I speak now, this is no form of vanity but a norm of the Tao. We belong to this Planet this is known beyond doubt, our bodies are Stardust coalesced sent to scout out the vagaries of Life to seek Strife to seek Pain to live Joy to live Hard to live Right from the Start.

My Blessing was to be here and perhaps yours was too, to experience the bounty of Life’s fatal Brew to drink deep to drink long to eat, dance, sing and sleep, to greet the Morn with a smile to walk long and lonely miles, to find Companionship and Hate, to have Babies and to await the arrival of Death upon our Shores, to be thankful for everything and much more. These are the most transcendent Gifts as we approach that fateful Rift between Life and what lies Beyond, those places we go when we break our last bond with all that remains here in this fateful Vale of Tears, the recognition of true Origins, that Shibboleth of Fears.

So pay heed to my words and listen closely I plead, they come from my spirit and the highest of needs. To give back to Earth Mother and to seek the Father’s ear, to look forward to Judgement with the highest of cheer. We are not our bodies these are but  vehicles indeed, that served us as needed as we followed our Creeds. When I go to rest I care not regarding flesh, but if I have a say in it I prefer to nourish weeds. This is the Greatest of Loves, this Truth I assert, to witness the flight of a Dove, to forget harms and hurts, before my eyes close forever and my flesh returns to dirt, to you I send all that I ever claimed as mine as I surrender to the Divine. My laughter echoes Heavenward as my spirit climbs aligned with the Stairway to Heaven and the Highest of High. And the last you will hear from me shall be a well-contented sigh.

Pure Beingness

Lush dreams of verdant swaths of forested mysticism,
brilliant orbs of misty light waft upon breezes of starry night,
the darkness cloaks distance, a soft embrace soothing skin
burnt by the Sun, melanated bronzen against the black ether,
camoflauged against sight, embraced by the night …

Eyes dart upwards and then down, the soft carpet of cool grass
confiding in skin shimmering under the soft moonlight, steps
slow and purposeful as the forest sings, the chorus of natural
sounds uninterrupted by conscious thought crickets saw
cacaphonic songs in perfect harmony while the lightning bugs
dance, patterning intricate geometrical shapes in the soft air,
the breeze carrying intimations of water, faintly luscious,
caressing nostrils warm with life’s breath …

Heart beating in tune with Gaia, breath taken, released, a cloud
of love billowing forth, embracing Being, encapsulating consciousness,
melding with the respirations of the forest, Oneness manifest …

A burst of movement, black life fractally dispersing as bats take
flight, high notes of exhiliration greeting the night, leathered wings
flapping, their voices exciting movement as insects flee, life’s promise
broken in the instance of their consumption, the gift of sustenance
promised before Being became, the neverending tale of ebb and flow,
beginning and ending, life and death …

Where then does belonging cast an anchor of desire, within the web of existence all creatures find space to live, firing time through sublime presence divine, casting will and intent into the void without promise, without pact, each moment a completed dare, a leap into the unknown, bold existence the challenge taken up, transcendent evolution the goal.

Starburst

Floating upon motes of sunbeam joy
bouncing and careening between photon
planetoids of microscopic complexity
fairy-songs uplift souls shining
emoting moments of pure experience
time encapsulated in the singular instance
of Now

Genies whirlwind between dimensions
coaxing nymphs and sprites
whispering sly insinuations as starbursts
light the void sending waves of cosmic energy
spiraling into perfection

Lost spirits hide in the shadows
their eyes pain-filled turned away from the light
seeking solace in black-hole tunnels
worming between dimensional spaces
embracing greater density in pain and heartache
power on the material plane a greater lure
than the weightlessness of eternal peace

Angels and demons dance between Source
and the lowest levels of earthen romance
hyper-dimensional vortices of consciousness
manifesting the divinity of the highest laws
destined to guide the stars cycling through
incarnation

Everything dies but God nothing is eternal
that lives no level of Beingness promises
perfection except the inevitable Return to Source
the invariable re-connection with that which
knows no End and no Beginning from whence
we all arise and then fall leave and then return
consciousness self-aware and growing
into Oneness.

Behold

The wondrous beautiful of the cosmos
The verdant blush of life’s variagated paths
branching into infinity
diving beneath gaseous masses of heartbreak
climbing into azure clouds billowing
With sensuality
Soaring passion feeds flames of eternity
Blooming in brilliant bursts of crimson and vermillion

Such is the blessing of life
The realization of divinity
Aloft upon wings of consciousness
Momentous and burdgeoning
With the power of love

The Congregation of the Natural World

As I left the house, I felt a an exhilarating sense of expectation, as if something special was about to occur. It was a beautiful, sunny day, about 65 degrees Fahrenheit, not a cloud in the sky. I bundled up my son, Jaedyn, ever wide-eyed and curious, settled him into his stroller and started off down Main Rd toward the Community Center and the trails crisscrossing a small Wilderness Area bordering the Lake of Two Mountains.

These have been the trails that Siräyah and I have been walking since we’ve been living here in Hudson, Quebec. We find nature to be good for the soul. Getting out and experiencing the ambiance of the natural environment is invigorating and mood-enhancing. While the area possesses a relatively limited walking space compared to the kilometers of biking and walking trails that bordered the Saint Lawrence River in Cornwall that we used to walk in the days and evenings – watching the skies and the waters while exploring life and that which lies beyond during our time in that city – it does have a certain character and spirit that we find particularly engaging.

A stream now finishing with the torrents of snow melt and settling into the Spring’s flow as the grass, flowers and leaves spring forth in preparation and the weather titillates like a shy girl, flush and vibrant with beauty. The crisp cool of the air embraced us as the boy and I strolled along the sidewalk, observing the bustling little town of Hudson engaged in the morning rituals of Canadian-style civilization.

We walked by the bakery and the art salon; a young man with his 2 year old son in a wagon pulled off to the side of the walkway to let us pass. I laughed and told him, “Ah, and see, I was going to make way for you!”

He smiled and gestured us past with a grand sweep of his arm and I nodded, pleased by his theatrics.

We continued on past the community center where an older french man was speaking to his young daughter in a pedantic tone while she answered shortly and querelously.

Turning the corner and walking back toward the railroad tracks and the forest, we passed through the parking lot of the center. An elderly gentleman moved slowly in our direction, nodding curmudgeon-like and muttering a short, “Morning,” as he passed, intent upon the community center and whatever activities he engaged in within.

I responded in kind, accompanying my chipper “Morning!” with a nod of my own and an up-quirked lip.

The center was a generally busy space. We’d visited a few times and spoken with the receptionist as well as looked around. There was art for sale on the walls, open space for auctions, parties and miscellaneous gatherings, chairs and tables for bingo and other group activities and a few curling lanes. It was a nicely built and well-attended public area that we hoped to utilize ourselves someday.

I could feel the cool of the forest even in the general briskness of the day as the concrete parking lot turned to road. The beauty of the Hardwood Forest sub-zone of western-Quebec is beyond question. The region we live in, on the banks of the lower Ottawa River and the local widening of that river known to the natives and euro-Canadians alike as the Lake of Two Mountains, is in the sugar maple/bitternut hickory domain of the sub-zone and this forest extension was representative of the region. Cork elms, swamp white oaks, shagbark hickory, black and sugar maples, pitch pine, fir and spruce trees are abundant in this diverse realm on the very edge of two northern climate zones and we appreciated the diversity, energetic aspects and natural beauty greatly.

The boy and I continued our funky expedition. We bumped over the railroad tracks onto the gravel road leading back into the forests and I looked  at the main path leading in, through the bars of an old, rusted, cast iron gate. I could see the leaf-strewn brownness of the path leading between the chapeled trees, most still browned and bare but beginning to display the pale greens and deeper hues of the onrushing spring.

always walk down that path whenever I enter the forest from this direction, as it is a straight shot from the main street but today, for some reason, the thought of the alternate path – just 20 feet distant – leading along the banks of the stream toward the bridge from further down the gravel road, came to mind. A couple days before I’d noticed it as I hadn’t walked down it since last Fall, when Siräyah and I used to jog in the forests. But on this day I felt an irresistable urge to walk it even though it was just a bit further to get to it and it led to the same destination.

As soon as we entered the woods, I felt it. The trees were greening, small leaves budding and the smell of pines and vibrant growth filled my nostrils with a heady scent. As I inhaled, my heart – already open, warm and receptive – filled with what can only be described as an onrushing cascade of love. I was immersed within it, my out-breath and Tonglen training immediately and almost automatically sending that love multiplied back in response, out into the trees, the stream, the underbrush and whatever life dwelt therein, present in that moment, communing with us.  I basked in the feeling, looking around me in amazement because this could be nothing less than the forest welcoming me. I laughed thickly, still breathing in that energy, that love and breathing it back out as the colors grew more vibrant, the scene around me imprinting upon my memory in all of its natural beauty and intensity.

I stood there for a few minutes engaged in rapturous communication with the forest. It seemed as if we were speaking at the deepest level, beyond words, beyond concepts, beyond ideas, at the level of existence itself. Never distant from tears in the best of times they now flowed freely as did my low and amazed laughter as I basked in the joy of existence, sharing it with my ethereal and material friends of the natural world.

I walked in front of the stroller to look down at the boy. He was staring out into the distance, but when I moved into his field of vision he looked at me with his typical deadpan seriousness. I laughed, because it looked for all the world like he was thinking, Ok Pops, it’s a forest already. This is how they talk. What, you forgot? Come on, let’s go.

I chuckled and shook my head, my entire body pleasantly tingling with the remnants of the energy exchange between the forest and I.  We crossed the bridge over the stream and greeted another couple with a dog. They smiled and spoke and continued on down another trail as we took the path they had just vacated deeper into the marsh area heading toward the lake. As we neared an overlook I began to hear a deep, groaning chorus of croaks and warbles that quieted when we stepped onto the wooden platform that served as an observation area.

In that particular part of the forest the winter runoff had caused an overflow of water during the past few weeks as the weather warmed that had left the seasonally dry terrain overflowing the banks of the meandering stream channels. A large pond had formed as a result. A pond that had dwindled as the winter snow melt completed and the streams of the area returned to their normal confines.

A few days before I’d learned that there were beavers in the area when speaking to a native of the region and observed a small one working industriously a bit further down the stream bed. Considering its size, its parents must have been responsible for the building of the dam that had resulted in the formation of this pond, which I was searching curiously for some sign of the creatures who were singing such a singular song.

As I stood there watching, the song resumed in its previous intensity, our presence noted and dismissed, apparently deemed insignificant. The chorus alternated in surround-sound from both sides in a call-and-response patterning that felt to me like flirting. I smiled, realizing that it was indeed Spring and mating season had once again arrived. I looked down at the boy, taking note of his heavy lids and generally somnolent behavior. The forest was like a narcotic to him, he always fell asleep whenever we spent time there. We continued our trek, leaving the strange creatures – probably toads or frogs of some sort although I saw neither hide nor wart of one – to their private conversations.

The forest felt magical. My body continued to tingle from the earlier energetic exchange with the forest and I was now being bombarded on all sides by new stimuli. A bird here, a rustle in the bushes, there. My senses were afire and everything glowed with a luminescence I attribute to an altered state of consciousness brought about by my sudden welcoming into the Congregation of the Natural World. The day itself was brilliant and the slight breeze flowed around us, whispering secrets just beyond the range of hearing. The Now moment was prescient and pregnant with potentiality and all else receded as we turned parallel to the river following the path toward the sandy beach.

As we approached the beach, I noticed a few crows in the trees. We stopped by a particular tree, a pitch pine that I’d passed many times before. I remembered just a few days earlier I’d noticed it and felt drawn to it for some reason. I chuckled to myself, as I’d actually hugged the tree after looking around to make sure I was alone. The next time I’d passed it I met Glenn and we’d had a wonderful conversation. As I stood there looking at it I remembered that I’d felt a bit peeved at the time, as I wanted to spend time with the tree and here was this guy showing up right at the moment I was walking by it. The synchronicity was not lost on me and I wondered if the tree had planned the whole thing.

The pervasive joy coursing through me had settled into a steady vibratory resonance of peace and I moved to the tree, examining it, particularly it’s roots. It was large, over 100 years old and the root system was extensive. To the rear of the tree, closest to the water, the soil had been washed away by the natural action of the lake as it rose and fell yearly with the melting and runoff of the winter seasons, so that the roots were exposed.

It’s beautiful, I realized. Sit. Meditate. The thought came to me suddenly and it seemed like the only possibility in that moment. The boy was sleeping peacfully, his face serene in the morning sunlight. I turned his stroller so that he was facing me and I then sat among the roots, finding a perfect position that left me grounded and steady. It felt as if the location had been waiting for me and I thanked the tree silently as I settled in.

A crow sounded above with a danger call. Three caws. Another answered, about twenty meters distant with three of its own. I noticed, but paid little mind as I looked around, relaxing, looking into the forest, still totally in the Now moment, my senses alert. The crow sounded again with a rally call. Four caws. I contemplated the crows and the meanings of their caws for a moment before a snapped branch and a sense of presence alerted me to a woman and her dog, approaching from the direction of the crows, and the sandy beach. As she passed, she looked at me curiously and smiled. “Hello.”

“Hello,” I replied, smiling back. Her dog huffed shortly and I said, “Hello to you too!”

She looked at me and said, “Excuse me?”

I replied, “Oh, your dog said hello also, I was speaking to him.”

The woman laughed and looked at the dog, still walking past, “Oh, she talks all the time.”

I laughed in return and watched them for a moment as they continued on and then returned my attention to the forest. It soon stilled, the only sounds the gentle wave action of the lake behind us and the ambient rustling of the forest, interspersed with the harsh croaking of crows, the one closest to me still sending out updates every few minutes, others in distant trees responding.

My breath evened and I entered Samatha meditation, my eyes unfocused, gazing down at the ground, alternating between dirt and twigs, my mind stilling, the thoughts slowing. I concentrated on the breath for a while, steadying my seat, feeling the connection to the ground in that space, the earth, this forest and the tree. Resonant energy seemed to emanate from the very forest itself, a white, misty nothingness that twirled, twisted and undulated around the edges of my vision. The ground itself moved, also flowing, rising and falling with my breath, or like the lake and river beyond, unbound by the laws of the material world.

It felt only natural when I found myself engaging in Tonglen. With the in-breath I concentrated first upon the area, breathing in the energy of the forest, feeling it fill me, then with the out-breath, sending out love and peace. The air around me contracted with each taking, expanded with each sending. I then moved to the city of Hudson, envisoning its people going about their business, breathing in and taking their pain, their heartache, seeing it as black, crusty oil surrounding my heart.  With the outbreath the tar-like substance dissipated in a burst of light and love as I sent energy outwards, intentioning harmony and higher states of consciousness.

With each breath in and out I expanded my vision to the next town over, Saint Lazare; then Montreal, then all of Quebec, then Canada and North America, then the Americas and the world. I found my parents, my siblings, cousins, other loved ones, including them, taking and sending. With each breath, I felt the energy growing, burgeoning, filling me, the breathes lengthening, the crust surrounding my heart thickening and then exploding as the energy shone from my heart outwards, always enough, ever enough to dissipate any negativity, for myself, those around me and the world.

I continued on in this vein for about 15 minutes before halting, returning to breath meditation in order to come down. My body was resonating still from the energy expenditure, I could feel elation, peace, a real and steady connection to the forest, to the world. A sense of grounding and of presence that I hadn’t felt in a long time. After regaining my equilibrium and grounding myself, I relaxed into the meditation for another 10 minutes or so before ending it.

I looked around. Immediately, the crow above me cawed. Four caws. The rally cry again. Answered from a few trees away. Then again, a bit more distant. I stood, feeling a bit faint and out of it. I was a bit surprised, but realized that I’d spent a lot of energy in the last half an hour. I was not tired but a bit disconnected from my body, while still being utterly in tune with my surroundings.

We continued on to the beach area. Jaedyn was still asleep. The crow that had sat in the tree next to mine the entire time I’d been meditating took flight in the same direction I was walking, cawing ahead. Danger, danger. He was answered and I realized then that, ok, this was a really weird experience.

The path opened up into the beach area. The glacial till of this region of western Quebec was known for it’s sandy character and I remember my amazement to find better sand on the river beaches here in Canada than existed down on the Gulf of Mexico.

The crows were still cawing away, now there had to be four or five of them, still close to us in the trees above. I decided for some reason to push the boy’s stoller out onto the beach itself, leaving the relative stability of the forest ground, out closer to the water. I’d never even walked down this section of the beach before, but felt that I had to.

The caws had become a steady but jarring cacaphony above, but as we left the shelter of the trees and moved out onto the beach they took on a different character, became more punctuated, briefer, including growls and high-pitched screeches. They were engaging in the fight call. Something had changed. I stopped the stroller about halfway between the beach and the forest and looked up.

Directly above us were two red-tailed Hawks, circling majestically, each in the opposite direction to the other. Only 4 to 5 meters distant, I gaped up at the raptors in total amazement and felt an unexpected surge of love and gratitude which I, again, automatically sent outwards and upwards towards them. In return I received a jolt of acknowledgement accompanied by unmistakable impressions of mission and of purpose and of destiny.  My heart opened wide and the tears once again coursed down my cheeks as the beauty and majesty of the experience washed over me.

The rightness of the moment and the perfection of the synchronicty was too obvious to mistake as the birds of prey circled above us exactly once, twice, three times. It felt like a sign. It was a sign that I was meant to notice and remark upon; something too direct, too purposeful, too intelligent to be coincidence on that fateful day.

After making their point, the raptors drifted away on the winds, to the west, slowly. I watched one tilt and glide lazily southwards while the other continued west, going their separate ways, both eventually disappearing over the trees.  I noticed then that the crows were gone. Or being very quiet.

I stood there, breathing hard in the aftermath, as if I’d just finished a 26 mile marathon, my mind reeling with the implications of the succession of events I’d just experienced. As I wheeled the boy off the beach and we walked back through the forest, I wrestled with the memories, already casting them as a tale told and searching for meaning.

I stopped at the bridge again on the way out and built a small dolmen with three rocks, two round and one long, placing the structure precariously on a large boulder near the water. As we exited the forest I looked back, wondering if I would ever have such an experience again. The day seemed to grow brighter in response and the moment opened up, revealing, once more, the perfection and magic to be found right Now and in every Now following, from here unto Eternity.

Corona

Eclipsed
Imperfectly harmonic
Solar flares erupt
Spewing soulsonic force

Helios unbound

Counter-clockwise
Counter-orbital
Rings of differential rotation
Cube fusion in convective waves

Photospheric segregation
Magnifies chromospheric tensions
Subtly sanctifying sunspots
Etheric emanations

Corona

Solar winds sing softly
Through dimensional rifts
Superstring melodies magnify
Spheres of silence

The aurora borealis
Births dreams of the soul’s slumber
Slipstreams reveal infinite panoramas
Timelessness that stains the sky

Electromagnetic

Crux ansata
Template of copper and gold
Binding kundalini in melanated flows
Energy exudes empathic resonations

Sunlit joy
Exuberantly celebrating existence
Soothingly cellular memories
Revealed

Nature flows

Macrocosmosis
As above so below
Source of life
Sol