So imagine this.
Me at my wine stained desk,
PC up and running,
Buena Vista Social Club
All normal – except for a war that broke
while I slept – but perhaps that too is normal
in Samsara, land of piles and gravity,
to name the least.
I am aware as I plan my work for the day
of the fading hum of meditation.
I’d sought to chase thoughts
to their lair… but found me stranded instead
on the shore of the future, pondering…
not without delight, I add, but scatterbrained.
All this I had honoured
by lighting a stick of incense.
I turn to pour my tea,
(indispensable, for any creative act I find)
riding the air in slow breaking waves,
grey or silver as sunlight decides,
floating like skeins of finest silk…
layers of incense smoke.
They ride the invisible currents
of the air at eye level. And I,
caught by surprise,
look along their folds and think of sensuous
hills at sunset. Of Rodin too
whose artist hands merged thigh and hip…
of the magic rock, Uluru
I walked round once and which told its story
with every pace I made:
the past of this world and future too,
in a single changing Now.
What shapes are here?
Forms moving to a momentary conclusion,
but then unfurling new possibilities
as they curl with time –
for all things change do they not? And we must
count ourselves lucky if but for a moment
we catch a gleam of beauty,
a hint of underlying order.
The smoke is, I surmise,
caught between the hot upper air from my stove
and the colder air from the door.
Between extremes it shimmers
as fine as thought itself,
like mist that rises from a lake in moonlight.
The scientist in me stares in wonder.
The artist, practical man of words,
begins to conjure up this song.
But when I turn to verify,
both smoke and shapes are gone.