Poem – Self

The following poem is from a conversation with Hanakia Zedek regarding Zen and takes place through a series of poems.  Questions are asked, along with a poem, and the response is a poem addressing each question.

Self

(1)

Standing on the blue cliff on
one side of the valley
dividing mountain ranges
tiled with a patchwork
of snow, ice, streams, and fields
or desert, the valley
divides mountain ranges.

(2)

Throughout history significance
has been assigned to these
ancient features of the earth
carved by nature’s machine
of retreating and advancing glaciers –
valley of the kings,
death valley.

I entered the valley without
name and unknown location.

I entered the valley knowing
only concepts of time
distance and realms of three –
existence beyond did not
exist, unbound and free
I chose to come here
and play.

Rolling dice I did not carry
left to chance the path.

Rules and systems break down
and do not apply.

I feel weak and strong
I spin my way along
a river fluctuating between
a dusty path and flowing
glacial melt.

I feel an energy before
or after it has arrived.

I know the next color of
the sun even when the
sun does not appear
over the horizon.

(3)

I tie a string to a tree
near a bend in the river.

I tie the other end to
my leg and walk down the
river bank.

I pause and see a red sun nearing.
I think of myself minutes ago and remember
that person thought of myself years
past and vowed to kill the false being
within consuming the consciousness.

I walk into the cold, slushy
water until it covers my head.

Shock infiltrates muscle and bone
and breathing stops.

Eyes closed the body struggles to
go within itself.

Time of some form
static, fuzzy colors pass at
speeds I cannot comprehend
I reach out trying to grasp
yellow and green spheres but
they pass through my body.

Ever faster I forgot that I was
not breathing until nothing.

(4)

Walking along the banks
of an unnamed river I find
a string tied to a tree, leading
into the river.

I pull, hard, struggling
against some weight until
I pull my previous self out.

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