Poem of Pilgrimage May 2017

August 9, 2017

me and ducklings as child

This poem grew step-by-step treading of the ancient path through West France, one of many that eventually converge to join the coastal and mountain routes across the Pyrenees to Santiago. William Blake’s universe in a grain of sand is embedded in there somewhere, along with the longing for the soul friend; Rumi refers to the divine as The Friend and pilgrimage somehow made clear for me the sense that this is found in friendship, the shared path and the eye of the physical world, humanity immersed through the senses in nature.

me child rucksac

The fruit of a lifetime
Falls to the earth.
It is broken open in the falling
As it hits the ground.
In the split there is a seed,
And in the seed there is a space.
Within the space there lies a path
And on the path is a person.
The person is praying,
‘Let me bear fruit for the world.’
There is no peace in the person,
But they hunger for peace.
There is no wholeness either,
And this is why they walk.
The other prayer is ‘Send me help lord’,
For their burden they cannot carry alone.
Deep inside they are missing,
A place, a friend, a meaning.
In this missing they become ‘pilgrim’,
And their heart’s longing leads them on.
Inside this longing is a space,
Self-emptying space of potential.
And also what cannot be hidden,
The waste of so many lifetimes.
With each step this space
Is falling and breaking on the path.
As left and right, so inside and out,
The heart is broken in the separation.
Sacred spaces cluttered with symbols,
And the vacuous suburbs of the towns.
In the smothering domestication,
Shadow of the abandoned mother.
And the collapsing communities
Where man and woman flee each other.
Laden down the pilgrim bears witness,
The ache, the split, the wound.
Within this awkward embrace
There lives such a beautiful seed.
The seed is human flesh beating
To be known for itself in love.
Within this deepest love
There sounds a word.
A word appearing as form,
Within the silence.
The pilgrim waits in peace
And in the waiting says ‘yes’.
From the horizon walks the Friend
And in this meeting is the whole.
Earth sings in response,
The fruit of a lifetime.

on the path camino may 17

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