I've been reading an interview in this month's "The Sun" magazine between Alice Luterman and Kim Rosen. "Written On The Bones, On Reclaiming The Ancient Power Of Poetry." It has taken me two days to read it because I've savored every word. I would like to crawl into that conversation, not to say anything, really, but to hear the voices.
It would be so satisfying to type the whole interview for you. But, I won't. Go purchase or borrow the magazine. This interview is worth the whole year's subscription.
To me a good poem is like a sacred mind-altering substance: you take it into your system, and it carries you beyond your ordinary ways of understanding. ---Like a shaman's drum, the beat of a poem can literally entrain the rhythms of your body: your heartbeat, your breath, even your brain waves, altering consciousness.
This explains why I reach for the embrace of my dear friend, Hafiz. Opening The Gift, and more recently, God Is Laughing, which (for the moment) I cannot locate, brings me joy, insight, and brings me quickly to God/Spirit as Hafiz. It is as though Spirit is then speaking directly to me, infusing me with first, a lightheartedness, and second, a direct-line to The Creator.
Learning a poem by heart... is a mutual relationship in which you let yourself be changed and healed. The ancient Tibetans used to call it "writing on the bones." They couldn't read or write, so they passed down the Buddha's teachings by memory. They knew that taking these teachings into themselves was a bodily experience.
Hafiz, Luna, Emerson and all of my selves are now going out into the fog, over the mountain and down to the Lake. We are going to get wet and exhausted. We are going to exalt in this Life. This Day, which, is a seriously large gift.
And thank you for being here, whispering words of love and compassion. You all are my Beloved teachers.
Swallowtail Butterflies are fresh and new by the first of April. Larabee is a hidden valley created by the Eel River. Perhaps I have lived here since time began, a butterfly in the willows on the banks of a Northern river.