Beginning a series I will call Stones in the Desert. A small practice. An intention.
Open the first gate of the desert path
that I may begin my journey.
The Desert Gate, this day at the beginning of the ancient season of Lent, the portal into the pilgrimage to spring, to rebirth. It opens onto a wilderness of the soul, a place of solitary going. When one steps thru, one never knows what one will find. There are clues in the old stories. There are instructions from the Poets who know the place.
Wendell Berry tells me that To Be a Better Poet one must “make the best you can of the little words that come out of silence”
Gary Snyder says in What You Should Know to Be a Poet one must meet “the illusory demons and the illusory shining gods. Kiss the ass of the devil…” (among other things)
There is a poet I have stalked thru long nights and days in the desert of earth and dreams. Footprints and shadow, heart beat and wind.
Setting myself the task of a small poem every day thru Lent…It doesn’t have to be worked, simply found, picked up, turned over in the hand, looked at with a “watchful and elegant mind”. Little yogas, mudras of time. Knowing they have been left for you to find your way across the tracklessness.
What The Poets Tell Me…
This is what you will find in the desert:
silence and terror
This is what you need to know to be a poet: