Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Poem for Light

The Solstice is about the return of the light and so I thought I'd find poems, stories, and images that talk, one way or another, about Light.

The Buddha’s Last Instruction

“Make of yourself a light,” 
said the Buddha,
before he died.

I think of this every morning
as the east begins
to tear off its many clouds
of darkness, to send up the first
signal – a white fan
streaked with pink and violet,
even green.

An old man, he lay down
between two sala trees,
and he might have said anything,
knowing it was his final hour.

The light burns upward,
it thickens and settles over the fields.
Around him, the villagers gathered
and stretched forward to listen.
Even before the sun itself
hangs, disattached, in the blue air,
I am touched everywhere
by its ocean of yellow waves.

No doubt he thought of everything
that had happened in his difficult life.

And then I feel the sun itself
as it blazes over the hills,
like a million flowers on fire –
clearly I’m not needed,
yet I feel myself turning
into something 

of inexplicable value.

Slowly, beneath the branches,
he raised his head.
He looked into the faces of that frightened crowd.


sukipoet said...

Lovely Lauren. I adore Mary Oliver and in fact just unpacked a few of her books which I own, one signed by her for me on my birthday. thanks for stopping by Paint,Poems and Ponderings. Blessings to you on this transition into 2011

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

Gorgeous poem.I've never read this woman, but certainly will now.