Advent Again – day 6

“Is this the time…?”


from “A Letter from Li Po, part XII” by Conrad Aiken


“Light Wind and Bright Moonlight” by Maolin Zhang (2002)

The hour is open as the mind is open.

Closed as the mind is closed. Opens as the hand opens

to receive the ghostly snowflakes of the moon, closes

to feel the sunbeams of the bloodstream warm

our human inheritance of touch. The air tonight

brings back, to the all-remembering world, its ghosts,

borne from the Great Year on the Wind Wheel Circle.

On that invisible wave we lift, we too,

and drag at secret moorings,

stirred by the ancient currents that gave us birth.

And they are here, Li Po and all the others,

our fathers and our mothers: the dead leaf’s footstep

touches the grass: those who were lost at sea

and those the innocents the too-soon dead:

all mankind

and all it ever knew is here in-gathered,

held in our hands, and in the wind

breathed by the pines on Sheepfold Hill.

How still the Quaker Graveyard, the Meeting House

how still, where Cousin Abiel, on a night like this,

now long since dead, but then how young,

how young, scuffing among the dead leaves after frost

looked up and saw the Wine Star, listened and heard

borne from all quarters the Wind Wheel Circle word:

the father within him, the mother within him, the self

coming to self through love of each for each.

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