Disguise, a poem…

Woman Discovering Nature (Kahlil Gibran)

Sometimes you come to me
Disguised as a friend, a stranger
A student sometimes
And, sitting low below me
You ask me, ardently, to sing…
Enamored by your asking, then
Yet, slowly and hesitantly, like
A hatchling tiptoeing to the edge of a cliff
Warmed by the sun that also seems to be below
I sing my blurry-eyed song
Just a newborn, raw call across the immense valley
That I don’t yet know how to cross…
But you break into rapture
You dance on the words
And hold close my broken notes
As if they were stars of the rarest sky
And – as if they came from me –
When, I know, it is all you…
Even the wind
Even the wings
Even the valley
Even the song.
Tell me, my Master
Isn’t this how you ease me
Out of the frail safety of my nest?
Don’t you make me a hawk
And, you, the sky I pour myself into
So I may learn from your open arms
That joy has two sides:
One, a giver, two, a receiver…?
The world holds higher the giver
The singer, the poet, the painter, but
If there weren’t always the receptacle
The unconditional, bottomless heart
There would be no homecoming
No tears of joy…
Would there?
And when our exchange is done for the night
And sleep closes all outward doors
I forget all this grand knowing, except:
How much you love me
That you meet me everywhere, inside everything.
This is the gift you wanted me to find
Hidden in your disguise
Isn’t it?

Unrelated Entirely

Warmth (Shambhavi Singh)

I have some questions
And some answers
Unrelated entirely…
They came from that place where
Sequence matters only in appearances.

I have this question that:
Are my tears the inverse evidence
Of your being…?
Like thirst is the inverse presence
Of quenching water?

And there is this separate answer that
Sincerity is your little finger
Holding on to the little finger
Of Truth…
As, together, you walk this circus.

And this idea too, I have, that if
You want to keep moving forward
The most important thing is
To stay still inside
And want nothing.

But why do I sit, overwhelmed,
Ever since I got wind of your coming
Even though I half believe my luck?
Yet, my other half has begun to dress up
As if, at the break of dawn, you’ll be here.
__

When the shore appears…

Moonlit Night at Miyajima (Hasui Kawase, 1947)

Tonight, when the shore appears
Get off your boat
Leave your things behind
And enter alone
Carry nothing, not even the lightest
For, even the smell of incense
That gave you peace thus far
Will weigh you down now,
The chants that kept you going
Will now keep your breath,
The ripples of the gong too
However thin
Will remind you of some mountain peak
That you wanted to climb again…
No, leave here at this threshold
Your longing, your tears, your peace,
Your reverence too…
Let the image of another god
Float away on the ripples
To some other shore, where
Someone else might need it
To point out her path –
And you go in now, just you,
Sit down inside yourself
Utterly naked, empty
Upon the throne that’s been waiting
To tell you the truth
About who you are.