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Leaning Into Earth’s Rotation

by JD Clay

I sat with Kazu deep
Inside the crickets’ song
Nighthawk skies pregnant with
Particles of peace

We contemplated transmigration
Baiting the paradigm shift
Pondering non-duality as the
Touchstone of being

Kazu threw another koan on the fire
Sending serpents skyward
Chasing dogma
Past the gateless gate

A butterfly is simply
The caterpillars dream he said
Liberation’s fantasy
Cloaked in a cocoon

The bamboo forest stores
The Bengal’s secret
The science of stripes and the
Labyrinth of life

Kazu cradled his Koto lute then
Struck a cosmic chord that split
My sweetgrass tea
Into a thousand moons



Posted on 07/07/2009
Copyright © 2023 JD Clay

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Bruce W Niedt on 07/07/09 at 02:39 PM

When's the last time I read something new from you? This one is amazing - just dripping with Eastern mysticism and imagery - love it! d:-)

Posted by A. Paige White on 07/07/09 at 05:43 PM

Beautiful, Jadi. Had to search out meaning for a few words, making it an even better read. 4th stanza is my fave. Great to see you posting again!

Posted by Gregory O'Neill on 07/07/09 at 07:14 PM

Jadi, this speaks like a holistic philosophy for a holistic cosmos, but is is a gentle scene that opens the door to endless mystery. The wise poet knows that knowledge is sorrow's spy, and really, it may not "safe" to know, Delighted. Thanks.

Posted by Melissa Panther on 07/07/09 at 07:33 PM

The movement of this piece is peaceful...just lovely!

Posted by Alison McKenzie on 07/07/09 at 08:25 PM

The imagery this brought up for me was of the sci-fi quality, and just the right kind. I love it, JD!

Posted by Rebecca Andre on 07/08/09 at 02:16 AM

wonderfully thought provoking. thank you=)

Posted by Quentin S Clingerman on 07/09/09 at 01:00 AM

Bruce has said it well enough I'll not repeat!

Posted by Wendy Sparling on 07/09/09 at 02:32 AM

The third stanza is my favourite. My imagination runs away with the words "Kazu threw another koan on the fire Sending serpents skyward"...love it. You amaze me.

Posted by Charlie Morgan on 07/10/09 at 10:47 PM

...Jay-dee, what's this one about?...nahaha, man i's on the ride o' me life, me very existence...along with every Jainist born or yet to be...so much of IT ALL you laced together quite spritely...a happy/sad cosmos, ahhh the reality of it all.

Posted by Christina Bruno on 07/11/09 at 01:53 AM

you are such a wise and interesting poet...i love this line: " A butterfly is simply The caterpillars dream" beautiful

Posted by Glenn Currier on 07/16/09 at 01:47 PM

Ah! To have such a Shaman and to be such a Shaman's student! Especially liked the koan toss. I have had a few experiences that caught me in the midst of leaning into the rotation, but never captured it like you do here, swirling the experience out for us to see and hear catching us in your wordnet.

Posted by Rula Shin on 05/18/10 at 03:37 AM

A peaceful scene. Serene yet buzzing with quiet contemplation and silent reflection. The mystical element is pronounced and the mood itself feels like a dream. If the cocoon is liberation's fantasy cloaked, yes then a butterfly must be a caterpillar's dream. And what is liberation's fantasy in the butterfly dream I wonder? What beautifully poetic insight throughout, captivating and ethereal.

Posted by Max Bouillet on 05/22/10 at 12:25 PM

Throwing koans on the fire is so very Zen. Perhaps Hakuin, you, and I could sip some tea and transcend. The imagery takes you someplace else and gives you enough respite from planning and regret to truly focus on the now, the words, and the substance of the four noble truths. Excellent write.

Posted by Elizabeth Jill on 07/15/10 at 02:03 PM

You just blow my mind and inspire me by seeing what true writing is.

...off I go to look at my sweetgrass tea much closer!

Posted by Charles E Minshall on 09/22/10 at 03:28 AM

Fun reading JD....CharMin

Posted by Rhiannon Jones on 01/28/15 at 01:13 PM

Superb. Good to see this as POTD.

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 01/28/15 at 03:51 PM

A dreamy, contemplative masterpiece. Congrats on POTD.

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