by Lois Silverstein

January 30, 2015





traveling the universe,
along endless trails of garden stars and caverns of fir,
through the warm tunnels of the body of my mother,
and slime trails of the body of my father,
unraveling arms, legs, head, heart, in the great span,

genesis of heart and light for a moment in matter fixed,
smacked by the hand of the universe,
dispersing us one after the other into canals of light,
lighting all around,

which is no more than the flying world is,
whose journey is no more than this instant
shattering and floating into the jelly
flowing endlessly,
a white incandescence bumping through dark,
inscribing I AM somewhere and then falling
into the steady stream
three or four million times —
I was a camel driver once
a camel
an oracle
a star
a speck of dust
a leaf in an ancient forest destroyed by fire
the fire —
which is with stars falling in and out
moving beyond the avenue of any heart
or sacrament or belief,
passenger in the many-passaged tunnel,
door in a sky streaming beyond any sky,
and even this myth which I add to all others in oblation,
my father your tree planted in my mother ground
leads me to shed my leaves again:
There is no time.



The beginning may not be at the beginning,
not at the beginning of the day or of the season or of the year.
It may not even be at the beginning of life.
The beginning may come anytime,
when we are sleeping, or walking, or chopping wood, or brushing a fly
from our ear.
The beginning may come when we make love or stare out of the window
at the snow falling.
It may come at night when we wake and wander through our rooms.
The beginning may have come long before we thought of what it was, this thing,
the beginning.
And so we need to listen,
listen with our ear to the ground,
listen until it gets clear enough,loud enough,
strong enough, close enough,
until it hangs so heavy that we cannot do anything
but hold it,
touch it,
smell it,
taste it,
that we cannot help but begin.
Begin, yes, beginning.



Let me ride space with you.
Let me wander the great ball of sky
and grow inside the vast cone
wide, white and shining
(see how bright see how wide wider are together
hosannahs ringing everywhere).
Unwrap me.
Unfold and slide me through canals of light,
this infinity and the ones beyond.
Break me.
Let my tiny fragments pour into the universe
fine as sand
(Oh you take me where I want to go).
Grant peace as we make this passage
(endlessly going as we are)



Ride the white horse
down the sable canyon.
Plant no flag.
Reach for nothing.
This is no way station,
there is no leader,
no map.
Only after millions of kalpas,
the heart may come alive,
housed in gold.



We are the filaments;
do you know the fire?
Why rush away as if it were night
and a hard wind?
Out in the trees we stand it.
This house is like a hat:
Lift it off:
oceans, islands,
gardens of delicate birds,
like robes and crowns.



lois_2Lois Silverstein has been practicing Buddhism for 30 + years and understands it as both source and refuge, to guide her life. Lois writes poems and stories, novels and plays, as other ways to explore reality ‘as it is.’ She lives in Berkeley, does counseling for people who want to explore their own creativity and the depths of life as they experience it.