Kundalini Splendor

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Saturday, December 06, 2008

Know-it-all Turtles (poem by Nancy Wakeman) 

Know-it-all Turtles
(for Michael McClure)

Some nights we stay up until dawn
as the moon sometimes does
waiting for the plodding sun

We trek down to the docks
and wander the waterfront
in pursuit of the earth's soul

Is the soul solid and squat like
the columns of a Buddhist temple?
Is it dark, cramped and steep
like the path to my heart?
Who has it and who doesn't?
Can the soles of our feet touch the soul of the world?

"If there is a soul," the poet says
"it is built with simple eyes."

Everything out there is inside of us
what is inside of us is out there.
Is our soil rich, well cultivated
teeming with healthy crops
or choked with weeds?

One night we find
lotuses spread in concentric circles
a loggerhead sea turtle
whose contribution to philosophy
has been silence

What is out there ...
the great sea stirs in me
sets me adrift

Turtles ride churning oceans
turning tides
Tuned by a wisdom
more ancient than thought
they dedicate their lives
to studying the stars
and can teach us
the uselessness of feet
By night and by light
sea turtles glide always

Earth and sun are kind to turtles
The Old Turtle
on which the earth rests
cares for turtle eggs
as the other mothers waddle off
to ride the curve of the deep
by light and by night

That night my soul swam away
with the know-it-all turtle

Nancy Wakeman
(image from www.frontier.ac.uk/_library/images/PROUruguay)

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