Thanks, It’s A Pleasure To Be Here

I met a young man the other day, who
When he talked didn’t look once in your eye.
He had strange hand gestures as if to say
‘Can I show you over there, or to your
Seat’, his forearm stiff and level as though
A waiter complete with white hand towel, when
All we were talking of was at our feet,
The ginger plants and privet I had cleared.
 
His hand would scoop the air, and his eyes would
Follow, blinking with nervous energy.
A gentle man, my heart went out to him,
Hoping that I could touch with easy words
Warm enough to fill a hollow I sensed
In him, though wishing more I could simply
Give him a hug, or find those eyes to hold
In mine, and reassure him it was safe.
 
And later I pondered why I was so
Affected, and wondering what this man
Could see when his very presence was so
Unrested, his movements feints like he was
Refusing to believe he could just be
Here, and not somehow suggesting that by
Distracting my gaze, somewhere else was by
Far the better object of attention.
 
I know enough to know the battles I
Have won, and to admit that in this young
Man I saw in fact myself, my younger
One. In the general impression of
Memories, what stand out in colour are
The times alone, seedheads of tall grasses
That wave in the sun above my head as
I lay in happiness, sensing the earth.
 
It would seem a paradox otherwise
That interactions with most others were
Mostly a disguise, and the way many
Circumstances happened at random, the
Chance is, I’d surmise, that they were products
Of indirect words, quick furtive glances,
The memories blurred except for moments
When in bright flashes there was clear presence.
 
So when you say to me, ‘I’m glad you’ve come’:
‘Thanks, it’s a pleasure to be here’.
 
Society will wound us in varied
Ways. Over many years I’ve laid down more
Memories, interactive, full colour,
But what are the possibilities please?
I remember kayaking Waiheke
Island, hours on end with a longtime friend.
And we swam in winter on a remote
Rocky beach, crawling out onto the sand.
 
Naked around a driftwood fire I lost
The gift of speech. Atavistic urges
Surged in the meat of my frozen body,
And the fire and the pohutukawa
Trees breathed in me it seemed, and the full moon
Hung so clearly like a ball in the sky.
I felt like I was so fully here, or
At least, other times playing hide and seek.
 
So when you say to me, ‘I’m glad you’ve come’:
‘Thanks, it’s a pleasure to be here’.
 
‘Here’ is our galaxy of a thousand
Million star systems. ‘Here’ is why the Earth
Is a sphere, for no matter how far you
Can go away, really it just brings you
Back here. ‘Here’ is where our ancestors are,
For from the ‘here and now’, ‘there’ is then the
Hereafter, but even though ‘after’, we
Still remain here, never ‘taken’ by death.
 
Why is it so difficult to be here?
Is it because here is eternity
And infinity? What religions of
Doom have promised some celestial bliss,
‘Out of this world and into the next’, so
Never mind this, it’s just a short life, no
Gnosis, no deeper awareness, nothing
Like life’s journey with apotheosis.
 
There are many people who wait in queues
As they might be waiting for death: on pause,
Absent-minded, idling idly, nothing
Happening: except their life, rich around
Them, a story in signs and miracles
Mirroring, the flexibility by
Which if their awareness attended they
Might well abide in heavenly splendour.
 
How welcome it would seem not to be here,
To retreat into or out of this world,
Instead of marrying the eternal
Inner and outer, ensouling the world,
Considering the ‘suchness’ of ‘thisness’.
Discovering from synchronicities,
Sensory aliveness, intimacies,
And all manner of reciprocities,
 
Such that when I say to you, ‘I’m glad I’ve come’,
I can see it is your pleasure to be here.
 
 
6th July 2013

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