A poem by Miriam Jangles from Nourishing Peace Sangha in Stourbridge, written as a contribution to a Day of Mindfulness on 10th July 2021 on the theme of ‘Joyfully Together’ – the first time Nourishing Peace Sangha met physically together since the start of the lockdowns in March 2020.
The Sun rose,
And, joyfully, together,
The bird sang,
The leaf unfurled
And the branch on which they both rested
Turned its growth towards the light.
And, one by one,
Their Westerly neighbours
Sang, unfurled, turned,
Each acting siren to the next.
The air rose, spiralled,
Carrying the bird song
Into the heart of the listener
Via the ear,
Where, once it arrived,
It speeded the pumping blood
And gave birth to their actions.
This same wind:
Giving the singer flight,
Carrying beauty to the mind of the seer,
Giving birth to their hopes;
Stirring the branches, the leaves
Lifting from their surfaces
(like jewels from the beloved hands of the giver)
Risen through them from the roots,
And there joining the re-born ocean
Now made cloud,
Which dignifies like crowns the naked heads
Of the magma-hewn mountains:
Honouring what was once the Earth’s heart,
Now carried on its mantle as on a sleeve.
Above the cloud, still sun-kissed,
Circles the wilder, loftier ancestor
Of the dawn’s tree-homed minstrel,
And beneath the same
The tree-made rain
Makes homes for fishes, eels.
Or rather, bivouacs, bothies,
On their journeys to the seas
Which flow now over what once
Were other mountains,
A billion years before
And roll their waves endlessly
To shape another shore
Meanwhile, in the midday forest,
The wind stirs the bird-bejewelled trees
And lifts from their branches
(which took a forest full of threads to weave)
A leaf, returning to the welcoming earth,
Where it becomes food for future trees
And for worms
As does, in time,
The one who stands in a tower of stone
Which they believe they built,
Looking at (not ‘with’ or ‘through’)
The things that surround them
(not seeing the things that are them),
Measuring, judging, naming and owning these
Until they close their window
And think they turn away.
They can never turn away.
Not whilst there are worms
And water, sun, earth to feed them.
Beyond the same travelling sunrise,
A bird sings,
A leaf unfurls,
A branch turns.
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