Irish Music
There is a place we go when the heart feels more                
        than the mind can endure; 
a landscape of unmeridianed love.

Each flower, bird and note moves towards this 
        in a manner that is precise and unfailing; 
that something at the edge of something else
        is the threshold point at the bottom of things.

Are the days of the wilderness unending?
And what do the floods leave when they sweep the long 
        fields of our inner worlds?

I have been wandering in the landscape of this music. 
It is too shocking a place to live forever.

When the soul is homeless it looks for shelter in the   
Two Meditations

Stand silently before any tree
and peer until it is nameless;
observe that when there is no longer a separation, 
you have been stripped to your ache.

Out of this, know the soul’s asking for grief; 
above all don’t speak of nameless trees.
These before you — so out of thought — 
call them wordlessly.

One takes a step and the ground trembles —
we press to feel the clench of toes.
Momentarily there is a foothold in the mind.

Seeing the fully real, one has a forgetting 
and a faceless silence;
there is simply no one to hold an image
nor any sanity or insanity to bring to bear.

Finding this moment, the painter forgets how to paint
and the canvas becomes receptive.
The explorer’s compass goes haywire
yet the dream of wild rivers is at hand
and an ancient landscape rises from the sea.


The poor musician, no matter how accomplished,
is always enclosed by his music;
eventually a malaise will set in, and as he plays
he prays for a note to rend the box
and reveal an unbounded universe of sounds.

In the spaces between the notes
he tends to panic in the breathless air;
a constrained silence follows his performance
in which he spends himself in trying to become

Wiser musicians greet the dying tones
as whispered surrenders to an unknown world —
in saying yes and no to everything
they become the most unambiguous of creatures.