Wednesday, February 1, 2012

blessing bow

Here at seventy-four, I am having an idea
what I do pretty-well, what not-so-well.
I dream. I keep a journal of my dreams,
and I put images from them in trance-poems.
I do not write or think about poetry
with a very clear intelligence. I love
certain lines and passages without getting
the whole picture, like rocks thrown against
my door without knowing who’s there.
I found this piece of paper on my bookshelf
dated Sept. 2, 1976. It records a three-part
dream from that night. I recall best
what it felt like there at the end, here
thirty-five years later. I am invited to
a dinner table with Gary Snyder, his family
and friends. We sit in the blessing-bow.
He begins, but I raise my head instead,
and open my eyes, feeling a great love
coming. The air is electrical, full of spirit.
He opens his eyes and sees me reaching
my hand toward him. He takes my hand,
still saying the blessing, which is about
filling with love for the ONE, as we are,
and amen to that. Now the dream
feels like an approach into this flawed
and difficult, hilarious, opening-out time
left before death encloses me in its whatever
it-will-be, a full prostration blessing-bow.

~ Coleman Barks
from the Georgia Review
photo by Robert Foah