Tapestry of Friends
A poem by the late Cecile Kwiat
In our lives the choice is less difﬁcult,
We can or cannot listen for
the creative sound,
see the light h shadow of clouds cast down
we are the fortunate,
the ignorant of beauty,
the children of bliss.
When touched by feeling,
the hand may ﬁx in place a strand of hair
wipe particles of dust from the stall
pick up a telephone to dial
some distant friend (“Are things going well?”)
We have a thousand moves to delay
that very touch of grace
lest it grasp our pain,
ﬁngers deep inside the brain
diddling at the root of ignorance,
until who knows what is real.
We do not wish to remember sorrow
yet our voices thread its threnody
through every seam.
The melody drones through bone marrow
middle ear rocked dumb to all else
(which also sings, but now, misted over.
Gone into oblivion.)!
It is amazing how often
we avoid the ocean’s reach;
holding our breath when air is free.
Although it is certain that we are
both the curl of the shell
and the soft wave washing in
we refuse to be entertained.
And still, and always, comes the friend:
stranger than dishonesty
closer than our certainty
inviting our involvement
with what we do not think to see.
He passes through, whispering in our dreams.
What does he say?
“Don’t grasp at the form, it cannot grant you peace.
Praise the emptiness which gives all form its shape;
the womb from which all creation pours, cascades,
overﬂows, ripples, crashes, slumbers, stagnated.
From the very no-beginning the wheeling life-force surges into being
then dries up, evaporates, just when you’ve got the pipes securely set in place.
Beloved one, let go.”
The message vibrates the edges of clarity
leaving an imprint of something more powerful
than possessing a reality.
What does he say? Nothing. Really.
Absolutely no thing.