Archive for March, 2008

Robust Proclamation

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written 3/18/08

In no more time than it takes an awakening robin
To twirl from his night perch the few whistling,
Warbling notes of his matin song,
The whole immensity of the sky has made
Passage from a soft blue, still humid
With the densities of night, to this deepened,
Colossal cerulean, in which the white clouds
Have suddenly alchemized from citadels
Of smoky alabaster to citadels of cotton swans.
The sun is up now, and the darkness is destroyed
In a showering of precious gems and metals.
As the many exquisitries of this living world
Are made apparent, we say, happy in these
First few moments of brightness, “What was
Is gone. What is is day, and mine.” This is
The time when love leaps brilliantly from every
Leaf, as inside of us, we are slowly, but certainly
Uncoiling beyond the boundaries of the skin,
And beyond even the most distant limits of perception,
To find we are one with the sun, imagination
Taking us breathlessly, yet full of breath, into that
Golden palace where the health of the universe resides,
Here, the gentle and omnipotent Lazarus
Has risen from night’s musty tomb,
To tell us we whole and full of light.

Incarnational Direction

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written 3/25/08

Go down low, near to the polished stones,
Whose mountains the ant traverses feelingly.
Go down, and with the sticky tongues of loam,
Recount the mysteries of gouging rivers.
Go down to where the dust of silica glows
In nuggets as big as prehistoric birds,
Great feathered lizards carrying chunks of sunlight
Through skies that drum with thunderous premonitions —
Wing-whirr and whistles of drunken bliss and hunger,
Deep needs that feed barbarities of fruit trees,
And form this potency whose issuance
Can be as garbled as bark as slick as leaf.
Go down to where all things that are must rise,
Rise high, and higher, because they go so low,
Perceptions swarming like heavy, yellow drones
Into the intimate blossom of the sky,
The sky that climbs, in order to go down,
Gathering rain and time in flashing clouds,
Whose rivers of air carve rivers of polished stone,
Whose egg is scent that clings to all things known.
Go down into the body, go down low,
Where eyesight burns as dream, and all nerves hum
With electrical charges of ancient crudity,
As fine as silica, as vast as stars.
Go down, and there, in the very pit of Self,
Become not this nor that, not him nor her,
But it — THE IT — the insect of all insects,
The shell with a million feet that all go down.

Spiritual Discipline

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

Robust Proclamation
Incarnational Direction


Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written 3/17/08

Convinced that some other annunciation
Of night might still be possible, the darkness
Rescued a human speaker from the comforting
Clutch of sleep and whispered: “Horizon.”
Sure enough, along a serrated edge of silhouettes —
Trees, mountains, houses, and such —
A perception streamed smoothly upward,
Until, curving overhead with an intensity
Whose concentration is only relieved
Here and there by the punctuations of a few stars,
The word is repeated, but this time, as if
Newborn: “Horizon.” Night has acquired a new
Dimension, in which the domain of darkness
Has been pushed aside in favor of certain
Floating tissues of deep color. Are they
Ultramarines, viridians, maroons? These tissues,
These profound nourishments for the eye, these silks that are,
In this moment, as dear as the brighter confections
Of the day — are they garments? Our new feelings?
Do these moods of satiation and longing, soundlessly
Sliding passed each other, define an inner plane,
Where translucent membranes delineate the antique
Images of dream? Whatever they are, the night
Has made its point, and a difference between
Darkness and darkness has been revealed.
Although, in another instant, when the clutch
Of sleep once more enwraps the speaker,
That difference will again become obscure.


Wednesday, March 19th, 2008


Swan Song

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written 8/21/01, Golden City Campus One, India

On the last day of the world, the remnants
Of the true believers will suddenly, and a little
Sadly, realize that the temple was never devised
To be completed, that the great marble edifice
With its cupolas and minarets, its impressive arches
And spiraling ziggurats, will be home only
To a few feral dogs, its porticoes echoing
With the clatter of pigeon wings. Amidst
The construction debris, these ghosts will be
Ascending the concrete stairs, viewing
What is left of the last day, golden sheets
Of tropical squalls slanting rain across
Green lines of small, hysterical trees
That will never grow large enough to shade
The boulevards, and the sky, its vast dome
Shattered with the incomplete grandeur
Of trying to express too many things, will be
An enormous hovel of broken rainbows,
Of massive thunderheads, purple and orange
And white, of the sinking last day sun,
And of the final, never to be full, half-moon,
Silvered and set against the foil of an impossible cerulean.
On the last day, the revenants, not wholly sincere,
Will realize they were actors who had forgotten
Their lines, and each one, each devotee, will be
The one speaker of a tongue shared by no other.
They will gather, these ghosts, of the primeval, dying mind,
In a last stand of flesh against the onslaught
Of eternity, holding hands in a circle beneath
The darkening dome, and they will chant, forlornly,
Happily, words they do not understand.


Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written 8/22/07 Ananda Loka 3, India

Gratitude is a word we have gifted to that
Glistening, transparent sphere whose blessings
Remain impregnable to the frantic lances of the mind.
This sphere, this morning, swirls with a cool breeze
After days of clinging heat, and in the midst of the swirl,
There sways a large-leafed unnamable tree,
Whose open branchwork bursts with airy clusters
Of pale yellow flowers, larger, much larger,
Than any man’s ambitious, encompassing reach.
The flowers are food and bed to butterflies.
Some rest, dark wedges, their thin lives closed or pulsing.
Others flutter about the flowers as detached portions
Of an inward joy too seldom experienced by humans,
Layers of translucence that make vivid images,
Simultaneously bright or soft, some orange,
Some mottled, some blue, some yellow,
Some a luminous black dolloped with happy scarlet.
These portions of ourselves, small, twittery, ephemeral,
Exude an alien intimacy that reminds us that
The inexplicable sufferings of birth
Are touched by bliss, that the mother arising
Inside of us as blood and sky and tree and sudden pain
Is not wholly imprisoned in the bone-rack
And that this feeling flowering in the heart
Is a constant flurry of incandescent wings.

Birthday Greeting

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written 8/15/07 Ananda Loka 3, India
For Amma

It is not as if we can ever cease being born,
Each moment of each day, all that is
Suffers the enormous travail of emerging
Impossibly from the cramped immensity
Of the void. We see a leaf, a fly,
A gecko traversing the smooth glass of a wall,
The vast and the small, the mite and the thick green river,
The great red mountain, the gnat, the sea, the moth.
The whispering and the loud, all squall, constricted
In those terrible throes, as in each moment,
Of each day, the scavenger, Nothingness, watches us,
Hungrily. This is our peace, that without flowers
Or ceremony or celebration, silence keeps chanting:
“That which is is no more.” Mother, all life,
All death, the lean dog with withered dugs,
The serpent with too many eggs to tend,
The sun with all the planets in his charge,
You are the only mover moved by care.
Care for us in this instant of our birth,
And save us for a brevity of joy
From the endless pick of the axe,
The tick of the clock.

Hearing the Ocean Inland

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written 8/9/07, Ananda Loka 3, India

The Hibiscus are primly aligned on either side
Of the long, straight, pink-stone walkways,
And each makes little, yellow, high-toned squeaks,
As we walk by them, like little girls, excited
By there own prettiness. That’s how it is here,
Gnats trying to perch on our astonished eyelashes,
Large-leafed grasses growing in starry spirals
Under the domes of hundred-year-old mangos.
A whole conspiracy of smiles and other
Sensory fruits, plumped and piled everywhere
For the feast of the spirit, so that we partake
Continuously, from a place of just enough
Emptiness, so that our satiation never dulls us.
The brain, that frantic chatterer, is lulled, al last,
Into drowsy, rocking silence, like a boat adrift
On pellucid turquoise waters, whose only
Motion is a series of undulations,
Timed perfectly to the rhythms of our hearts.
That’s how it is here, in the pulse-chamber,
Where the conspiracy is born, moment to moment,
Soft hump, by hump, by hump, among the Hibiscus,
Under the domes of the mangos, swept through
The spirals of billions of human grasses,
And spun through this song, which turns in nacreous tunnels,
Like the turns that form the fabulous Nautilus Shell.


Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

By Roy Dean Doughty
Written 8/8/07, Ananda Loka 3, India

The sun has already withdrawn from the western
Skies, which are, in any case, walled by muscular,
Ruddy charcoal, stacked in vaporous boulders.
Looming billows walk the horizons as distant rain,
Or tower suddenly to mount snowy pink
Challenges to background sheets of blue-gray
Lavenders. All of which, taken together,
Lavish us with Olympian quietude.
And yet, this is a sounding quiet, not quiet to the ears,
Not silent quiet, but wind-rush contorted
With the emotive thoughts and breaths of a billion
Busy people, a force sucked or squeezed by
Unequal pressures to rake across or through mountains,
Jungles, cities, seas, always to be saturated by
A constant insect thrum, by the clatter of birds,
By the cries of the harried humans and their machines.
Ah, the quiet of India, which these skies
Continually transmute into balm for the eyes,
Chaos for the defeated urban planners,
Calm for the central being. The organism
Of this country is thousands of years old
And it stokes with equal toxicity and nourishment
A monstrous spirit and a majestic squalor,
So that when this half-Elephant, half-human
Conglomeration trundles through the heavens,
Bellowing mantras through his mighty proboscis,
And smashing obstacles with his thousand arms,
His ten-thousand hands always bursting with floods of riches,
We say, completely appeased, in this perfect quiet,
“The clouds are thick tonight. The country is blessed
With the perfect wealth of rain.”