daylight’s book is closed — / now the grass is full of monks / chanting their sutras
This is what I wanted, a long time ago: to sit untroubled in a quiet cafe after sunset, excellent music playing at just the right volume over the bass-heavy speaker system, a book of poems in my lap. Coffee decent. Cars flashing by outside. Will you still love me when I’m no longer young and beautiful?, sings the voice of Lana del Rey, and the answer is of course perhaps. Life has been full: work, music, laughter, dance, all the pleasures of this world; but it has contained little of that special introspective listening which leads to poetry. This is the challenge of my life now: amid all of the busyness and colour, in the middle of the dust of it all, to make room, to make space for the words to enter in. How long has it been since I actually sat down with a book for its own sake, when reading wasn’t just a way of using time on the way to somewhere else or while waiting for someone else? How long has it been since I simply sat and watched? There are many ways of writing poetry, but a large part of it for me always came from my ability to listen to the world. When the veil of things becomes opaque, then also I am nothing, in spite of wealth, skill, opportunity, companionship, delight. Now it is time to seek it all over again. In poetry there can be no substitute for spirit.