Wednesday, June 9, 2010

begin here at the end of the story

here is
the night sky
scratched
and scrawled
in pale grey ennui


what little light there is
contained in its
butter yellow
mouth of a moon

~

as they sail away
their awareness
travels with them
on the receding tide

by the shore
stands
a solitary figure

in her hands
a small piece of greyed paper
on which are scrawled the words:

"light the lamp within you,
but do not hide your lamp beneath a basket
for when you come to know yourself
you will be known.

say then from the heart
that you are the perfect day
and dwell in the light
that does not fail."

(source of italicized words)

moonlight flanders john twachtman

19 comments:

The Weaver of Grass said...

Steven - reading this lovely poem early in the morning has set me up for the day - and the lovely tranquil painting at the end just adds the icing on the cake. Have a nice day there.

Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow said...

Beautiful take on the painting. I like it that you place your impression of it before the actual painting, instead of after. That way your lines do not read like a description, but work to prepare the reader to receive the gift borne by the image.

I tend to do it the other way around, but I'll have to think about changing that.

By the way, yesterday I posted something that features Rumi. I mention your blog as it was here at the golden fish that I first became aware of Rumi. You will no doubt understand when I say I feel much, much gratitude.

ALeks said...

What a beautiful header you have,I love it!! Now my eyes are dry I can write this and tell you how moved I was by the first glimpse on this wonderful painting(could be drawing too)and when the warm meaning of the words reached my heart spontaneous I started to cry,can not help it,so beautiful!! Thank you Steven!
Love,light and peace!
Aleksandra

Helen said...

Good morning ...
I am never sure how to respond to your brilliance! Mere words repeated over and over don't do justice to the gifts you so generously share with your readers. Please know how much your writing is admired and appreciated.

ellen abbott said...

thank you steven. this is actually very timely for me.

Kay said...

your last post left me breathless..now this on leaves me speechless with a tear in my eye...xx

Eryl Shields said...

I love 'butter yellow / mouth of a moon' and will sleep well tonight with this poem and image for company.

steven said...

hi weaver - thanks very much. it's a heavy piece for me to share. steven

steven said...

lorenzo - i thought it would help set the painted element of the piece up if i led my readers into it through the text painting. i'm really grateful that you noticed and commented on that. steven

steven said...

aleks- i have no sense of how the photographs, paintings, drawings, and words will affect people. i have no goal that way either. it's an amzing thing to be able to share a moment's undertanding or insight and have it be received across the globe. this was a very powerful piece for me. it describes a moment im inside and outside of. haveing been there done that and also being there. steven

steven said...

helen - i'm really not brilliant - no really i'm not! goodness!!! i let what i see and what i know be a part of the experiencing of my readers. it's a really amazing cool experience to see a painting and feel words come into my head and watch them, feel them, then write them down. then play with them. then publish them. wow!!! how cool is that! steven

steven said...

ellen - perhaps sometime i'll know the connection for you!!! steven

steven said...

kay - this was a powerful one for me to share also. thanks for sharing the piece with me. steven

steven said...

eryl - i write down the words that flow into my head. it's so fun!!! steven

Pauline said...

"the butter yellow mouth of a moon" - pure poetry Steven!

Valerianna said...

mmmmmm... lovely - words and image!

Annie said...

"When you come to know yourself, you will be known." I love that part of the quote, and your poem leading up to it.

Noelle Clearwater said...

Hi Steven,
I found it fascinating--the juxtaposition of the night sky, scratched and scrawled in pale grey ennui (such a wonderful French word)with the grey piece of paper held by the solitary female figure at the end of the poem. It frames the stanzas so well. A sense of loss and abandonment pervades the first half of the poem, at least for me. The figure is left completely alone. The "they" in the poem, leave her solitary, standing on the shore, and their awareness or "vision" goes with them out to sea. My impression is that that awareness dissipates "with the receding tide" or life's changes.
She, being perhaps some aspect of the poet (or blogger) is left to herself with only the "little" light from the "butter yellow mouth" of the moon for guidance and sustenance. Such a rich metaphor but subtle at the same time. The moon is personified but not overtly.
I often think of water as a symbol for life, the ebb and flow of it, its moments of discord and resolution. She, the figure is separated from that water on shore. She has the piece of paper (sky)in her hand with the the message of grace that she must live by. Just as the night sky is scratched and scrawled in pale grey ennui, this piece of paper too, contains scratches and scrawls but they are meaningful to her, as if they were a message from the butter yellow mouth of the oracle moon itself. They offer hope and a future with some promise.

"Light the Lamp within you"...And when you come to know yourself you will be known...and dwell in the light that does not fail."

It is a lovely piece and one to be proud of certainly. Thank you for all that you so richly share with us.
Noelle

steven said...

hello noelle, thanks for your analysis! it's intriguing to have the words that express the surface of my expressive thinking unpacked and the deeper mapping of their significance laid bare. steven