Standing Post: Trees in Practice

“For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche.”

Hermann Hesse, Bäume. Betrachtungen und Gedichte

No hard benches for me, or pulpits, altars or holy books,
give me skies of blue with cirrus wisps that scribble truths.
Gatherings of trees are my sangha, age old wisdom expounded
from the roughened bark and steadfast trunks that abide in calmness.
Their messages aren’t harsh and do not tell of hell and brimstone death
but instead teach trust in their brethren and nature as teachers.
Leaves and boughs happily greet as the breeze gently lifts in a
tender, quiet song of connected joy that is shared with those below.
Peace and harmony reign here in this sacred space of believers.
For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers.

Their serenity is multiplied when gathered in great throngs.
There is no jostling for favoritism or pushing aside of others
so that they may be held in higher esteem; trees teach humility.
It is hallowed ground that supports trees. I whisper in their midst.
You, I venerate as I sit at your feet and feel your gifts permeate my soul.
Quiet, meditating in one place…be still, find earth’s hidden treasure troves.
Strong, yet yielding in the face of seasons’ harshness; I bow O Masters.
My heart is restored and a reverence is imparted to me that uplifts.
Mystical beings dance and play among your holy, secret alcoves.
I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves.

Isolated or living apart from one another, trees lift their limbs in resilience.
Though alone, rooted to the ground, they are visited and inhabited by
birds, animals, myriad bugs and even air plants that join them.
Stoic and steadfast is the solitary sentinel.
When separate and alone they stand like quiet beacons in the fog.
Having no others to entangle their branches, they sometimes feel unknown.
They stretch and reach out and up, vainly feeling for a neighbor.
But do their hearts languish or brood when kept to themselves?
O lone willow whose drooping branches caress a pond, here you are sown.
And even more I revere them when they stand alone.

Patience and endurance rule in the heart of the ancient oak.
Wisdom reflects from her heart where the Great Horned Owl resides.
Distinguished, with ancient ties to Vikings and Tigers, she rests.
These Masters of Stillness have taught contemplation since millennia.
Like the Crane poised to strike a fish, they wait in silence.
They draw strength from the community of all species.
Their brilliance is oftentimes overshadowed by their infinite modesty and grace.
The hum of om strums through their leaves gaining strength on the wind that then plays out into the universe.
These stately, wizened beings spend their lives in harmony, no need for treaties.
They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche.

*Standing Post is a martial arts form based in Chi Kung.  This Glosa was inspired by a dear friend who has mastered this form.

Grace is our host this evening for Open Link Night at dVerse Poets Pub.  Come join us and share any one poem that you would like.

I’m Not as Harmless as I Look; a Glosa

Are you the new person drawn toward me?
To begin with, take warning—I am surely far different from what you suppose;
Do you suppose you will find in me your ideal?
Do you think it so easy to have me become your lover?
Walt Whitman;  “Are You the New Person Drawn Toward Me?”

I see you casting your eyes at me, they darting
quickly away as I catch them alighting.
Do you find me fair and feel an attraction?
You pretend to read your paper while sitting
on that park bench during this pleasant spring day.
No words are being read by you under that Bay tree
though, as you do your best to disguise your glances.
I take note too; you’re handsomely composed
and I blush, feeling amused, while sipping herbal tea.
Are you the new person drawn toward me?

Do not let my appearance give you a false impression.
My manner, though sometimes demure, can surprise.
Do not be fooled by my initial hesitation towards you,
that appears to be endearing, nervous shyness.
I am those things; it is true, but there are deeper
layers for you to observe. Do not ignore my repose.
There are traits below revealing a keen awareness.
I will watch you closely detecting any slip in your
comportment that would have your true nature exposed.
To begin with, take warning—I am surely far different from what you suppose.

Do you imagine me kind with wide-eyed innocence?
Do you see someone understanding and sweet?
Can you see behind my eyes?
What do you read between the lines of my face?
Do you see only light and none of the dark?
Can you detect what I feel?
What do you want from me?
What are you willing to give?
If you can’t see, I won’t be real.
Do you suppose you will find in me your ideal?

I’m not as harmless as I look.
Impatience will grow if I find you lacking.
Don’t try to mislead, I can see right through.
I’m no longer beguiled by empty words.
Substance and meaning are important to me.
Make me laugh! Have great humor!
Deepness of character, spiritual and warm,
these are what woo and captivate.
But even I, looking at you, may see another.
Do you think it so easy to have me become your lover?

Join me Thursday beginning at 3PM as I host Open Link Night at dVerse Poets:  http://dversepoets.com/2016/01/21/open-link-night-164/#comment-105837

Out Beyond; a Glosa

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field.  I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
doesn’t make any sense.
Rumi, 13th Century Poet

Many clutch too tightly to their beliefs
of what is right and what is wrong.
It pushes them away from the community
with others and inflicts discord and chafing.
The intolerance that is born can escalate
and that discomfort can grow unhealed.
Do you not see that beliefs can expand
to embrace and allow a space for all?
Compassion gifts our soul to yield.
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field.

Surrender, open, soften your ways.
There is never harm in acceptance.
Reach out and encircle your brethren.
Let the fierce grip on your beliefs fall away,
and feel your heart relax as you realize
the folly of negating how you really care.
Cultivate joy and give up willfulness
that only seeks to set up barriers.
Seek within that place that joins and where
right and wrong unite. I’ll meet you there.

The field is rife with flora and fauna,
all cohabitating in combined balance.
This microcosmic life mirrors all of
creation from the unseen particles to
the largest, all working in tandem,
cooperating in blissful silence. Cast out
disharmony and reside in the perfect peace
that the soul affirms with your every breath.
Rest in grace–all is well, have no doubt.
When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about.

It is then that you will know that there is no separation.
Nothing is ever said or done without repercussions
being felt by all. There is nothing apart from ourselves.
Ideas that we formulate and that we hold so dear are
nothing but wisps of illusions crafted out of unawareness.
Instead, let’s fashion our world out of light beginning hence.
Our truth lies in our spirit, empty of the ways of grasping
after meaningless thoughts and words that bind and trap.
Life is freedom! Let go, let go, of that which holds tense!
Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other” doesn’t make any sense.

Join us with our host Abhra at dVerse Poets for Open Link Night:  http://dversepoets.com/2016/01/07/open-link-night-163/

My thanks to Bjorn who inspired me with his beautiful Glosa to give it a try.

 

 

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